X-Men: Apocalypse

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Superhero Films with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 4, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

En Sabah Nur, a powerful mutant believed to be the first of his kind, rules ancient Egypt until he is betrayed by his worshippers, who entomb him alive. His four lieutenants die preserving him. Awakening in 1983, he believes humanity has lost its way without his presence. Aiming to destroy and remake the world, he recruits Cairo pickpocket Ororo Munroe, who can control the weather, and upgrades her power.

In East Berlin, shape-shifting mutant Raven investigates an underground fight club and discovers mutant champion Angel, who possesses a pair of large feathered wings on his back, and Kurt Wagner, who can teleport. Raven rescues Kurt and employs the services of black marketeer Caliban to transport him to America. En Sabah Nur recruits Caliban’s enforcer, Psylocke, who leads him to Angel. En Sabah Nur enhances both their powers, transforming Angel’s wings into metal.

Alex Summers discovers that his younger brother Scott is manifesting a mutation for shooting optic beams. Alex takes Scott to Professor Charles Xavier’s educational institute in Westchester County, New York, hoping that Xavier and Hank McCoy will teach him to control his abilities. Scott meets the telepathic and telekinetic Jean Grey, and the two develop an attraction. Raven brings Kurt to the institute. En Sabah Nur’s powers cause disturbances around the world, leading Xavier and Alex to consult with CIA agent Moira MacTaggert, who has been researching the legend of Nur.

In Communist Poland, the metal-controlling mutant Erik Lehnsherr lives with his wife and their young daughter, Nina. He uses his powers to save a coworker, prompting the militia to capture him. When they murder Erik’s family, he retaliates by executing them. En Sabah Nur later approaches the devastated Erik and takes him to Auschwitz, where Erik’s power first manifested. Erik destroys the camp and joins him.

En Sabah Nur remotely accesses Cerebro, a brainwave-amplifying device Xavier uses to locate mutants. Through it, he forces the telepathic Xavier to make the global superpowers launch their entire nuclear arsenals into space to prevent interference with En Sabah Nur’s plan. He and his new lieutenants arrive at the mansion and kidnap Xavier. Attempting to stop them, Alex accidentally causes an explosion that destroys the mansion. Peter Maximoff, having learned that he is Erik’s son and hoping that Xavier can help to find him, arrives just in time; he uses his super-speed to evacuate the students before the explosion destroys the building, but Alex is presumed dead. Colonel William Stryker’s forces subsequently capture Hank, Raven, Peter, and Moira, and take them to a military facility for interrogation. Scott, Jean and Kurt follow covertly, and liberate their comrades using Stryker’s mind-controlled and brainwashed experiment Weapon X, whose memories Jean partially restores.

At En Sabah Nur’s behest, Erik uses his powers to control the Earth’s magnetic poles, causing death and destruction across the planet. En Sabah Nur plans to transfer his consciousness into Xavier’s body, and use Xavier’s power to enslave every person on earth. Xavier secretly sends a telepathic distress call to Jean, and the others travel to Cairo to battle Apocalypse (En Sabah Nur) and his horsemen. They rescue Xavier, but he loses his hair as the process nears completion. Angel is defeated and incapacitated in the battle. Erik and Ororo are persuaded to turn on En Sabah Nur and, with the help of Scott, they keep him occupied physically while Xavier fights him telepathically in the astral plane. Finally, Xavier encourages Jean to unleash the full extent of her powers, incinerating En Sabah Nur, killing him for good. In the ensuing chaos, Psylocke flees.

Xavier and Moira rekindle their relationship. Erik and Jean help reconstruct the school, but Erik refuses Xavier’s offer to stay and help teach. Peter decides not to tell Erik yet that he is Erik’s son. Hank and Raven train new X-Men recruits Scott, Jean, Ororo, Kurt and Peter.

In a post-credits scene, men in suits visit the Weapon X facility to retrieve data on Stryker’s mutant research, including an X-ray and a blood sample marked “Weapon X”, on behalf of the Essex Corporation.

REVIEW:

Bryan Singer is the man who brought the X-Men to the big screen way back in 2000 and many give him credit for jump starting the superhero movie boom (though I’m sure Blade has a solid case). Now that he’s back, expectations are high for X-Men: Apocalypse. Does this film live up to those lofty expectations? Let’s find out!

What is this about?

Bearing the ominous moniker of Apocalypse, a legendary mutant comes to life after thousands of years and resolves to impose an oppressive new world order. With humanity’s fate at stake, the X-Men team prepares for an all-or-nothing showdown.

What did I like?

80s. As a child of the 80s, of course I’m going to be a little partial to films that are set in that era. The fashions, the music, even a marquee featuring Return of the Jedi and characters talking about Empire Strikes Back (with a slight jab at X-Men: The Last Stand). This could have very well been set in modern day, but I don’t it would have worked as well. Same goes for if it was set in the near future.

Be gentle, it’s my first time. We’ve seen Professor X, Magneto, Beast, Mystique, etc. on-screen plenty of times, but this is the first time for the likes of Psylocke, Archangel, Apocalypse, etc. There are literally hundreds of X-Men, we don’t need to keep seeing the same handful. Now, its up for debate about whether these characters were any good, but hey, give them time and we’ll see what they can do.

Foreshadowing. There is a scene where Professor Xavier is fighting Apocalypse on the astral plane and he calls in Jean Grey, a telekinetic in her own right, for reinforcements. When she engages in the battle we are treated to her full power and the energy around her is shaped like a bird…a phoenix, it would see. If this is foreshadowing for a future film based on the Dark Phoenix saga, I’m all for it (hopefully they’ll do it right, this time). If not, then it was just a nice visual easter egg.

What didn’t I like?

Loss of power. My first introduction to Apocalypse was in the 90s X-Men animated series, where he was portrayed as a true being of unspeakable power. Since then, from what I’ve read in the comics, he’s only gotten more powerful. While he does have a fair amount of power, I never felt like he was nigh unstoppable. Basically, he was just a step above Magneto. This is a guy that was supposedly there at the very beginning and his power theoretically grows every year, so why does he feel so unintimidating? Maybe it is the Ivan Ooze look they gave him?

Phoning it in. To be honest, I’ve never been a fan of the way Mystique has been portrayed on film. Don’t get me wrong, a half naked Rebecca Romijn or Jennifer Lawrence is perfectly fine, but the paint and scales, not so much. With Lawrence, she just looks like she’s wearing blue grease paint and doesn’t seem comfortable in the role. Also, it seems as if the bigger her star has become, the less interested she has been in playing this role. Many other critics and reviewers have said it, but she looks like she is just in this for the paycheck and to honor her contract. There is no enthusiasm or life in her performance. If we get another film with this universe, she either needs to step it up or the directors need to find someone else who gives a damn!

Too soon? I know we’re like 9 movies into the X-Men franchise, but it was recently rebooted with X-Men: First Class. This brings me to question whether it is too soon to bring in a major foe such as Apocalypse in, at least without more of a buildup. The average movie goer knows little to nothing about Apocalypse, and that’s if they took a few minutes to read some Wikipedia articles on him. I don’t know. I guess part of me is just wishes they would have gone with another adversary like the Hellfire Club or the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants while the seeds were planted for a big Apocalypse entrance. Instead we get a story involving a villain that we have no connection to, other than a quick backstory at the beginning of the film.

Final verdict on X-Men: Apocalypse? Well, it gave us an X-Men story that wasn’t reliant on Wolverine, so there is that. The new versions of Jean, Cyclops, Storm, Nightcrawler, etc. aren’t given anything to really endear themselves to the audience or make us forget Halle Berry, Famke Jensen, James Marsden, etc. The action is engaging and the effects are what you have come to expect from this franchise. So, do I recommend it? Yes, but this is not the best film in the franchise, so keep that in mind. Still, it is worth watching once or twice, so there you go.

4 out of 5 stars

The Princess Diaries

Posted in Comedy, Family, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on March 4, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Teenager Mia Thermopolis lives with her artist mother, Helen, and her black and white cat, Fat Louie, in a remodeled San Francisco firehouse. A somewhat awkward and unpopular girl, she is terrified of public speaking and often wishes to be “invisible”. She has a crush on the popular Josh Bryant, but is frequently teased by both him and his cheerleader girlfriend, Lana Thomas. Mia’s only friendships are in the form of the equally unpopular Lilly Moscovitz and Lilly’s brother Michael, who secretly has a crush on Mia.

Just before her 16th birthday, Mia learns her paternal grandmother, Clarisse, is visiting from (the fictional) Genovia, a small European kingdom. When Mia goes to meet her at a large house (later revealed to be the Genovian consulate), Clarisse reveals she is actually Queen Clarisse Renaldi, and that her son, Mia’s late father, was Crown Prince of Genovia. Mia is stunned to learn she is a princess and heir to the Genovian throne. In shock, Mia runs home and angrily confronts her mother, who explains she had planned to tell Mia on her 18th birthday, but that her father’s death has forced the matter. Queen Clarisse visits and explains that if Mia refuses the throne, Genovia will be without a ruler (a subplot involves a scheming baron and his unsightly baroness quietly rooting for Mia’s downfall). Helen persuades a hesitant Mia to attend “princess lessons” with the Queen, telling her she does not have to make her decision until the upcoming Genovian Independence Day ball.

Mia is given a glamorous makeover, the use of a limousine and a bodyguard (the Queen’s head of security, Joe). This and Mia’s frequent absences for the lessons make Lilly suspicious and jealous, so she accuses Mia of trying to be like the popular girls. Mia breaks down and tells Lilly everything, swearing her to secrecy. However, the San Francisco Chronicle learns that Mia is the Genovian Crown Princess after hairdresser Paolo breaks his confidentiality agreement (so his work would be known), causing a press frenzy, and a sudden surge in popularity at school for Mia. In a craven urge for fame, many of her classmates (mostly Lana) bluff that they are friends of the princess to reporters.

At a state dinner, Mia embarrasses herself with her clumsiness, delighting her rivals for the crown. However, all is not lost as the situation amuses a stuffy diplomat, and the Queen tells Mia the next day she found it fun. Deciding it is time the two bonded as grandmother and granddaughter, the Queen allows Mia to take her out in Mia’s late 60s Ford Mustang convertible for the day to the Musée Mécanique, an amusement arcade. The day almost ends terribly when Mia’s car stalls a hill and rams backward into a cable car, but Queen Clarisse saves the day by “appointing” the attending police officer and the tram driver to the Genovian “Order of the Rose” (something she clearly made up on the spot), flattering them into dropping any charges. Mia sees this and is impressed with her grandmother.

Later, Mia is delighted when Josh Bryant invites her to a beach party, but her acceptance hurts Lilly and Michael, with whom she had plans (the former wanting Mia to appear on her self-made cable show, and the latter wanting her to watch his band perform). Things go wrong when the press arrive, tipped off by Lana. Josh uses Mia to get his 15 minutes of fame by publicly kissing her, while Lana tricks her into changing in a tent, pulling it away as the paparazzi arrive, giving them a scandalous shot of her in a towel. She breaks down into tears in her mother’s arms when she gets home. The photos appear on tabloid covers the following day, leaving Queen Clarisse furious at Mia. A humiliated Mia tells her that she is renouncing the throne, feeling she is nowhere near ready to be a true princess. Joe later reminds the Queen that although Mia is a princess, she is still a teenager and her granddaughter.

Back at school, Mia attempts to rescue her friendships with Lilly and Michael by inviting them to the Genovian Independence Day Ball, gets back at Josh for using her by hitting a baseball into his gut during gym class, and finally stands up to Lana when she is cruel to Lilly’s friend Jeremiah, publicly humiliating her by smearing ice cream on her cheerleader outfit and telling her that while she (Mia) might grow out of her proclaimed odd ways, she (Lana) will never stop being a jerk; the teachers do not interfere, knowing Lana deserved it. While Lilly is excited at the prospect of attending a royal ball, Michael, brokenhearted over Mia’s initial feelings for Josh, turns her down. Clarisse apologizes to Mia for being furious at her over the beach incident, and states that she must publicly announce her decision to become princess of Genovia. Mia, terrified at this large responsibility placed upon her, plans to run away. However, when she finds a letter from her late father, his touching words make her change her mind, and she makes her way to the ball. Mia’s car breaks down in the rain, but she is rescued by Joe, who had suspected she was going to run.

When they arrive, a drenched and untidy Mia voices her acceptance of her role as Princess of Genovia. Mia gets dressed up and accompanies Clarisse to the ballroom, where she is formally introduced and invited to dance. Michael, accepting an apologetic gift from Mia (a pizza with M & M candies cleverly topped to say “sorry”), arrives at the ball, and after a quick dance, they adjourn to the courtyard. Mia confesses her feelings to him, stating that even when she was constantly teased and embarrassed at school, he liked her for who she truly was. Mia shares her first kiss with Michael, while Clarisse and Joe are seen holding hands. In the final scene Mia is shown on a private plane with Fat Louie, writing in her diary, explaining she is moving with her mother to Genovia, just as the beautiful royal palace and landscape come into view below.

REVIEW:

I’ve been writing reviews here for nearly 10 yrs and one of the films that I get the most flak for not reviewing is The Princess Diaries. There is no reason for me not reviewing this film before this morning. It just happens to have slipped through the cracks up to this point, but since I was able to watch the whole this for the first time in forever, allow me to share my thoughts on this film.

What is this about?

The life of gawky Mia Thermopolis changes drastically after learning she’s the heir to a European principality’s throne. But as her royal grandmother schools Mia on conducting herself with gracious disdain, she ends up at odds with her best friend.

What did I like?

Introducing Anne Hathaway. Today, she is viewed as one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood, but when this was released in 2001, no one knew who Anne Hathaway was. I must say, for an introductory film, she knocked it out of the park, giving a performance that is not only scene stealing, but hints at the great actress she will turn into in the coming years. On top of that, she has some nice chemistry with Dame Julie Andrews, who is playing her estranged grandmother. More on that shortly.

Real teens. We’ve seen teens portrayed ad nauseam in TV and movies, but I think this is one of the few films where they actually felt like teenagers act (or acted at the time). There is no random kid who seems to have unlimited amounts of money, but still goes to high school. Mia and her friend are social outcasts for the most part and, while they aren’t popular, they aren’t getting pranked, ridiculed, or something more life altering (see Central Intelligence). All in all, with the exception of Mandy Moore’s head cheerleader character, who is in the same vein as her character from Saved! btw, none of the teens we meet are cartoonish caricatures.

Can she be my grandmother? No matter what your age, chances are Julie Andrews had a part in raising you, be it as Mary Poppins, Maria von Trapp, or just her normal, warm-hearted self. Those were characters she made popular in the 60s, though. Fast forward some 40 years and here she is as a grandmother. I can’t help but wish she was mine, though. She is firm but fair, regal, elegant and did I mention she’s Julie freakin’ Andrews?!?

What didn’t I like?

Joe. After Mia first meets the Queen and is told she is a princess, she runs out. The next couple of scenes seem oddly cut, as Queen Clarice asks Joe to keep an eye on her and he introduces himself as “…the head of her security, not a chauffeur and a babysitter[sic].” For a character that plays such an important role throughout the film, his introduction felt…I dunno…underwhelming because of how that was cut. It wouldn’t have been so bad, except that is the only time in the entire film the editing was so choppy.

Papa, can you hear me? I have never read the book this was based on, so my familiarity with these characters hinges strictly on what I see on film. I’m sure more than a few viewers feel the same way. This brings in to question the legend of Mia’s father. Throughout the film, especially around the time Queen Clarice shows up, everyone starts mentioning the accident, but that is all we know. Obviously, giving graphic details about what happened would have brought the film down, but just a little information would have been nice like, I don’t know, what kind of accident that took his life and inadvertently put all this pressure on young Mia’s shoulders

Makeover. One of the big problems people have with makeovers, in movies especially, is that the person being made over is obviously drop-dead gorgeous in the first place. Take She’s All That for example. Rachel Leigh Cook is a total cutie, and even though they stuck a thick pair of glasses on her and shoved the poor girl in some baggy overalls, it didn’t hide the fact that she was a total hottie. This was even mentioned in the film! With Anne Hathaway, they did something very similar, giving her some “Groucho Marx meets Brooke Shields” eyebrows, unkept curly hair, and an all around geeky look. Anne was still developing into the beautiful creature she is today, but she was still extremely gorgeous back then, and it was obvious, despite attempts to hide it.

Final thoughts on The Princess Diaries? Well, first off, this is one of those squeaky clean family films that Garry Marshall excelled in making. The introduction of young Anne Hathaway as the titular princess was actually a pretty good idea. As we’ve seen her career take off from this film. I wonder where the other actresses who were considered/audition for the part are today. There is very little negative that I have to say about this picture. Do I recommend it? Yes, very much so! This needs to be on your list of movies to watch before you die! Check it out, if you haven’t already!

5 out of 5 stars

Trailer Thursday 3/2

Posted in Trailer Thursday with tags on March 2, 2017 by Mystery Man

It’s Trailer Thursday!!!

Kung fu movies were all the rage back in the 60s. In 2004, this film made an attempt to jump start the craze. It didn’t work out so well, but the film, as cheesy as it is, is quite entertaining. Enjoy the trailer for Kung Fu Hustle!

Meet the Blacks

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews, Spoofs & Satire with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 1, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

After obtaining a great deal of money, the patriarch (Mike Epps) of a black family decides they should move from Chicago to a posh neighborhood in Beverly Hills. However, they are soon terrorized by home intruders who want them out of the affluent community in this comedic spoof of the Purge films.

What people are saying:

“The movie as a whole is such an incompetent train wreck, you can’t look away, just to see how much worse it can get.” 1 star

“Totally surprised me that the movie was funny. The family left chicago for beverly hills, at first was really boring but then the movie picked up speed with every new character. The whole cast added charm with their wants, lacks, needs, fears and strengths.  ” 4 stars

“So bad it’s funny half the time, and just plain unenjoyable the other half, it’s a weak movie that only manages to make the Purge look worse than it already did. The horrendous editing, “cinematography” and stock noises make it appear as if the cast was also the crew.” 2 1/2 stars

“Lackluster and lacking. I guess it serves the purpose of what is meant to be, but it was even weak to be slapstick comedy. This is more for teens or those persons who aren’t really concerned with a script, point or direction.” 1 star

“Meet the Blacks is a painfully unfunny spoof of The Purge. Mike Epps tries in the lead role. But his character just isn’t likable or funny. The other actors are fine, just not funny. The biggest problem with this film is the script. The jokes don’t land. A lot of the humor is just racist. The film also fails at being a parody. The film doesn’t really spoof anything. It just takes place while the Purge happens. The story isn’t entertaining, but I could’ve forgiven that if the film landed any jokes. I literally fell asleep towards the end of the film. Overall, this pales in comparison to the Scary Movie franchise and even the A Haunted House movies. And those aren’t even good!” 1/2 star

Home Alone

Posted in Classics, Comedy, Family, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , on February 26, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Home Alone is the highly successful and beloved family comedy about a young boy named Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) who is accidentally left behind when his family takes off for a vacation in France over the holiday season. Once he realizes they’ve left him home alone, he learns to fend for himself and, eventually has to protect his house against two bumbling burglars (Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern) who are planning to rob every house in Kevin’s suburban Chicago neighborhood.

What people are saying:

“Macaulay Culkin is arguably one of the best child actors to ever hit the big screen. Home Alone shows how he can take the spotlight and entertain any viewer. With an addition of the Wet Bandits’ hilarious antics and physical humor this is a very strong Christmas comedy that should be watched every year.” 4 1/2 stars

“A true holiday classic! I watch this movie almost every Christmas and it never seems to get old. The movie has pretty much everything; family conflicts, crime, action, comedy, and is also great for kids! If you haven’t seen this yet – now is the perfect time!!” 5 stars

“Home Alone has not aged well, but it’s still a well made film. John Hughes started losing his touch right around here. The John Williams score is great. Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern are perfect as the bumbling crooks. Who would’ve thought that? Macaulay Culkin was definitely one of the best, most spirited child actors of all time. Watching this as a 32-year old adult it just doesn’t have the same magic it did when I was a kid.” 3 stars

“Classic jokes and an all-star cast make this a great movie to revisit. Fast paced silliness accompanied by a variety of Christmas music entertains the whole family. We tend to forget about the vast array of characters and side-stories in this movie aside from Kevin (Macaulay) and the burglars.” 5 stars

“This is the movie as a kid that proved to me that laughter is great medicine. I was pretty sick the day my dad took me to see this in the theaters and walked out of the theater feeling much better. Great script by John Hughes and full of slapstick greatness by Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern.” 4 stars

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , on February 25, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Hard-partying brothers Mike (Adam Devine) and Dave (Zac Efron) place an online ad to find the perfect dates (Anna Kendrick, Aubrey Plaza) for their sister’s Hawaiian wedding. Hoping for a wild getaway, the boys instead find themselves outsmarted and out-partied by the uncontrollable duo.

What people are saying:

“…where the comedy really takes off, Aubrey Plaza, who was so sharp playing a good girl pretending to be bad in The To Do List, is even sharper playing a bad girl pretending to be good. She’s got a face made for deception — she’s like a devil doll, eyebrows lowering with cunning — and her line readings are killer.” 3 stars

“The story and humour do fall flat occasionally however the central 4 and there combined comedic flair (which makes it annoying to see Plaza and Kendrick split up for the second act) add up to enough craziness to keep viewers entertained for 90 minutes, even if it’s not one you rush to re-watch.” 3 stars

“It was very raunchy…I know some people like that, but I felt it was too much. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind it in small doses–wedding craters, hangover, horrible bosses are all great movies but, as someone else said, raunchy-for-the-sake-of-raunchy can lose it’s appeal very quickly. I thought the premise of the movie seemed different and intriguing, especially because it was loosely based off of true events and the girls were far from boring–I just couldn’t find the humor” 2 stars

“Based on a true story (of sorts), Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates is an extremely raunchy sex comedy. While it sports an impressive cast that includes Zac Efron, Adam Devine, Aubrey Plaza, and Anna Kendrick, the writing is atrociously bad. The plot’s pretty much a standard rom-com vacation, with all the usual tropes and clichés that go with it. And the comedy is chock-full of gross-out sexual humor. Formulaic tripe, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates is utterly pointless and vulgar.” 1 1/2 stars

“I hate to write anything bad about Anna Kendrick or Aubrey Plaza as I usually really like both of them. However, they completely ruined this movie. Their acting was fake, forced and obnoxious. Zac Efron and Adam Devine were hilarious and the only scenes I could stand were the ones with them. I don’t think it was the fault of the two actresses, it seemed more like a directorial error but unfortunately, it ruined the entire film. It does have a few laughable moments and Adam Devine and Zac Efron definitely make a great duo. Hopefully they join forces again under someone else’s direction.” 1 star

The Huntsman: Winter’s War

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 25, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Freya the Ice Queen (Emily Blunt) brings her sister Ravenna (Charlize Theron) back to life, and the powerful evil siblings plan to conquer the Enchanted Forest. Only the Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) and his secret lover Sara (Jessica Chastain) can stop them in this sequel continuing the inventive twist on the Snow White fable.

What people are saying:

The Huntsman: Winter’s War is visually arresting and boasts a stellar cast, but neither are enough to recommend this entirely unnecessary sequel” 2.5 stars

“When people gripe about Hollywood’s reliance on sequels and cheap franchise cash-ins, this is the kind of movie they mean: no Grimm’s Fairy Tale, but a grim tale nonetheless.” 2 stars

“Visually beautiful with all kinds of now-typical fantasy action, “The Huntsman” is that pretty but dumb date we all wanted, but knew wouldn’t be good for very long. I enjoyed it for what it was, and truly the visual effects are stunning and creative, but the plot was paper-thin (even as the writers tried to contrive a complicated story by pushing a lot of plot lines in quick sequence).” 3 stars

“If you can get past Chris Hemsworths terrible Scottish accent this is a lot better than the Snow White film. I suspect that’s mainly down to the lack of the abysmal Kristen Stewart. This is quite fun and pretty to look at (I’m including Mr Hemsworth in that), and Sheridan Smith, Nick Frost and Rob Bryden add some much needed comedy element! ” 3 stars

“The Huntsman: Winter’s War is an unnecessary sequel that wastes its talented cast. Why did these actors do this movie? They are all better than this. Chris Hemsworth and Jessica Chastain are only in this for the paycheck. Emily Blunt and Charlize Theron overdo it as the villains. Thankfully, Theron camps it up with her performance, making her performance the most fun to watch. Unfortunately, there isn’t any emotional attachment to these characters. You just don’t care about them. The plot is generic and boring. The script is terrible. They try to do humor in this film, and it fails miserably. The action is fine, but it just isn’t exciting. Overall, there really isn’t any point to this movie. These excellent actors are trapped in a movie with a lazy script and dull action.” 1 1/2 stars