Trailer Thursday 11/16

Posted in Trailer Thursday with tags on November 16, 2017 by Mystery Man

It’s Trailer Thursday!!!

In the 60s, beach movies were all the rage. In the late 80s/early 90s, there seemed to be a trend of reunion movies.

Back to the Beach seems to be the product of both!

Enjoy the trailer!

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The African Queen

Posted in Action/Adventure, Classics, Drama, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , on November 15, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Charlie Allnut (Humphrey Bogart), the booze-guzzling, rough-hewn captain of a broken-down East African riverboat, teams with a straitlaced, iron-willed missionary (Katharine Hepburn) to take on a menacing German gunboat during World War I.

What people are saying:

“This movie is in the DNA of rom-coms and buddy-cop comedies and fish-out-of-water tales and Indiana Jones (he bickers and fights Germans too! Plus, dirt beard!).” 5 stars

“Not a moment of film is wasted in this finely-crafted story of adventure and unlikely love. Humphrey Bogart is the drunken captain of the river-running heap, the African Queen. Katherine Hepburn is the prim spinster missionary he offers to take to safety when the Germans invade. Learning that there’s a huge German ship on the lake at the end of the river, Hepburn decides it’s their duty to destroy it – although no one has ever successfully navigated the river.” 5 stars

The African Queen breathes authenticity. Tumultuous at times but calmer at others, Bogart’s and Hepburn’s voyage on an African river is always an exciting adventure, surrounded by a colourful, luxuriant jungle. Yet, the brightness of Huston’s film also lies in the remarkable, contrasting pairing formed by the two stars. The African Queen is a very pleasant occasion to meet two of the most superb actors that Hollywood ever knew.” 4 stars

“I am not particularly fond of Katherine Hepburn and Bogart is not my favorite male cast in a romance. However, in this film, both excel to such a degree and the storyline was so good, that I couldn’t help but love the movie. It’s tough to cast older actors into a 1st-time romance, but the background of the story made it possible and realistic. The special effects were a bit flimsy as you might excpect for a 1951 movie, but overall, I felt like I was there. I appreciated the descrection between the two, making it a clean movie throughout. This is definitely an all-time classic and one of Bogart’s best” 4 1/2 stars

“Heard so much about this movie and have finally seen it. Excellent script, casting, portrayals, and cinematography. If anything, this could have been 20 minutes longer. Shows what effect a distant war can have when a few become patriotic – or romantic.” 4 1/2 stars

Smurfs: The Lost Village

Posted in Animation, Family, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 11, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

In this fully animated, all-new take on the Smurfs, a mysterious map sets Smurfette and her best friends Brainy, Clumsy and Hefty on an exciting and thrilling race through the Forbidden Forest filled with magical creatures to find a mysterious lost village before the evil wizard Gargamel does. Embarking on a rollercoaster journey full of action and danger, the Smurfs are on a course that leads to the discovery of the biggest secret in Smurf history!

What people are saying:

Smurfs: The Lost Village is a mediocre effort that nonetheless succeeds in its main goal of keeping its blue characters alive for future merchandising purposes” 3 stars

“The acknowledgment that it is aiming solely for the kiddie audience this time around at least makes it slightly more palatable than its predecessors.” 2 stars

“I don’t understand why every kids movie has to be drowned in feminism. The far left in Hollywood are relentless in pushing these worn out themes down our throats. Sony can’t stop violating every adults fond memories of the 80’s (Ghostbusters, Karate Kid, Annie, Smurfs). The voice acting was bad and the movie isn’t funny.” 2 stars

“A direct-to-video feel with a generic plot. Despite the big name voice cast, the movie spends too much time trying to promote girl power than being an actual Smurfs movie.” 2 stars

“The animation is great but the film is a little boring with no real plot line. The problem with the Smurf films is the studio hires uninspired filmmakers for the property. The original Tv show was clever and the characters were fun, this film just goes through the motions of a very simple storyline. This was better than the first 2 films but it isn’t by a huge stretch, I can only hope with the films poor box office the film is handed to another studio to produce. Sony is having a mixed year with films and this was another poor reboot, Spiderman Homecoming proved reboots do work for studio but that was more thanks to Marvel Studios being involved. Uninspired film that fails to garner interest in a critically poor franchise.” 1 1/2 stars

London Has Fallen

Posted in Movie Reviews, Action/Adventure with tags , , , , , , , , on November 11, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert):

Western intelligence services of the G8 track down Pakistani arms dealer Aamir Barkawi (Alon Moni Aboutboul) as the mastermind behind several terrorist attacks, and authorize an American drone strike on Barkawi’s compound, apparently killing Barkawi and his family.

Two years later, UK Prime Minister James Wilson suddenly dies, and arrangements are made for the Western world leaders to attend his funeral in London. Secret Service Director Lynne Jacobs (Angela Bassett) assigns agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler), a close friend of US President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart), to lead Asher’s security detail while overseas, even though Banning’s wife Leah (Radha Mitchell) is due to give birth to their child in a few weeks. The entourage arrives via Air Force One at Stansted Airport, and Banning pushes their arrival at the Somerset House in London via Marine One earlier. As Asher’s Presidential State Car arrives at St Paul’s Cathedral, a series of coordinated attacks by terrorists disguised as London Metropolitan Police, the Queen’s Guardsmen, and other first responders erupts, killing the other Western leaders, damaging or destroying major landmarks and generating mass panic. Asher’s early arrival has thrown the attack on him at St. Paul’s off-guard, and Banning is able to rescue Asher and Jacobs and rushes them back to Marine One. As the helicopter and its escorts takes off, terrorists fire Stinger missiles at them, destroying the escorts and forcing the damaged helicopter to crash-land in Hyde Park. Banning and Asher suffer only minor wounds, but Jacobs is fatally injured, and she makes Banning promise to get back at whomever did this. Banning quickly escorts Asher into the London Underground as the city’s power is lost and people take shelter in their homes.

In Washington D.C., US Vice President Allan Trumbull (Morgan Freeman) works with the British authorities to investigate the incident while trying to track down the President. Trumbull receives a call from Barkawi, still alive after all and operating out of Yemen. The man takes responsibility for the attacks, coordinated by his son Kamran (Waleed Zuaiter). Barkawi purposely had Wilson poisoned to lure the Western leaders to London to attack them. Barkawi knows Asher is still alive, and promises that if Kamran captures him, he will broadcast the execution of the President on the Internet. Trumbull orders his intelligence staff to local Barkawi’s known operatives to find any connection to the attack, while British authorities have all first responders stand down, so than any left in the open can be identified as terrorists.

After leaving a sign to be picked up by satellite tracking, Banning leads Asher to a MI6 safehouse, where Jacqueline “Jax” Marshall (Charlotte Riley) briefs them on what their intelligence has learned. Marshall receives a coded message from Trumbull that confirms they saw Banning’s sign and that an extraction team is en route. Security monitors show the approach of a Delta Force team, but Banning suspects they have arrived far too soon and may be more terrorists. He covers and fights off the terrorists as Marshall drives Asher away but their car is struck by another vehicle driven by terrorists, allowing Kamran to capture Asher. Banning and Marshall are rescued by the extraction team, a combined Delta Force/SAS squad.

Trumbull’s staff have identified a building in London owned by one of Barkawi’s companies, which still appears to be drawing power, and suspect that is Kamran’s headquarters. Banning joins the extraction team to infiltrate the building and stop Kamran before he can kill Asher. Banning and Asher escape just before the building is destroyed by the Delta Force/SAS squad, killing Kamran and the remaining terrorists. Marshall has worked with British authorities to restore London’s security system, and discovering that MI5 Intelligence Chief John Lancaster (Patrick Kennedy) aided in Barkawi’s attack, she kills him. Meanwhile, Trumbull contacts Barkawi to tell them his planned failed, and then to look outside, moments before his building is attacked by another drone strike, killing him.

Two weeks after the attack on London, Banning is home spending time with Leah and their newborn child, named Lynne after his deceased boss. He sits in front of his laptop and contemplates sending his letter of resignation. On TV, Trumbull speaks regarding the recent events, leaving an inspiring message that the US will prevail. This convinces Banning to delete the letter.

REVIEW:

We live in a world where everytime there is a whisper of a terror plot, security goes on high alert and our elected officials are whisked away to a safe bunker. Not really sure what makes them so much more special than us common folks, but whatever. London Has Fallen takes the situation is something were to happen, though I don’t think anyone would care if something happen to our current president, and runs with it.

What is this about?

After the British Prime Minister has passed away under mysterious circumstances, all leaders of the Western world must attend his funeral. But what starts out as the most protected event on earth, turns into a deadly plot to kill the world’s most powerful leaders and unleash a terrifying vision of the future. The President of the United States, his formidable secret service head and a British MI-6 agent who trusts no one are the only people who have any hope of stopping it.

What did I like?

Raise the stakes. In Olympus Has Fallen, the stakes were limited to keeping the president alive while the White House was under siege. As quickly as this film was released after that one, I was thinking this would be nothing more than the same film, just moved to London. Instead, it turns out that there is an intricate plot to take out all the world leaders and murder the president live over the internet. Much higher stakes than its predecessor!

Not just propaganda. On the surface, this film could come off as US propaganda, but as you watch the film, it becomes clear that they are not just glamorizing the military and making the US seem like the perfect country. As a matter of fact, there is a conversation that Gerard Butler has with one of the hitmen where he says something along the lines of “we may not be as united as we should be, but you can’t f— with us!”

Proper ethnicity. Hollywood has long had a problem with casting people in the correct ethnicity. They either whitewash them, as in Cleopatra, or randomly change the race of a character for no reason, see Fantastic Four (2015). In the era we currently live in, the go-to villainous race, for lack of a better term, happen to be those from the middle-east. The casting directors appeared to actually get actors from that part of the world. Kudos for authenticity!

What didn’t I like?

Cut and paste. As I said earlier, there seemed to be a rush to get this film into production. As such, the script was rushed, causing some creative things to fall by the wayside. While I praise the higher stakes we get with this flick, I couldn’t help but notice that once again Aaron Eckhart’s president character was the proverbial damsel in distress, Radha Mitchell was basically just a cameo, and Gerard Butler was basically playing a live-action first-person shooter. Surely, we deserve to see something better!

R/F switch. Make no mistake, this is a much more violent film than the first. With that said, I can’t help but wonder if all the F-bombs that were dropped were done just to get an R-rating. Not that there is anything wrong with all the cursing, especially in this situation, it was just noticeable for some reason.

You’re my friend, sir. If I recall, Butler and Eckart’s characters are supposed to be friends. So, why is he calling him sir so much? I get there is a protocol when it comes to working with the president, but it just feels as if there should have been some more casual exchanges between the two old friends.

Final verdict on London Has Fallen? This is a good action film. The director obviously knew hat he was doing there. However, the rest of the picture falls short of expectations as the first film was surprise hit with critics. That said, there’s a decent enough plot here to keep you interested between exploding vehicles and military-esque shootouts. Do I recommend this? I really don’t see a reason to watch. If you’re a Gerard Butler fan, you can see him in an actual video game in his film Gamer. As for everyone else, it would be better to keep the memory of the first film and forget this one exists.

3 3/4 out of 5 stars

Trailer Thursday 11/9

Posted in Trailer Thursday with tags on November 9, 2017 by Mystery Man

It’s Trailer Thursday!!!

Julie Andrews is a goddess! Most of us are know her from her innocent roles as Mary Poppins and Maria von Trapp, but she was also in some more daring films, as well.

Check her out in the trailer for Victor/Victoria

Trailer Thursday 11/2

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

It’s Trailer Thursday!!!

In searching for this week’s trailer, I was at a loss for what to share. Then this popped up in my recommendations and I had to check it out. Make no mistake, this film looks horrible, but in that “so bad its good kind of way”

Check out the trailer for Attack of the 50 ft. Centerfold

Justice League: Gods and Monsters

Posted in Action/Adventure, Animation, Movie Reviews, Superhero Films with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 2, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

In an alternative history Zod is Superman’s father, Batman is a vampiric Man-Bat, and Wonder Woman is the child of Ares, God of War. When these dark heroes form an alliance, the question everyone asks is will they save the world, or rule it?

What people are saying:

“Another solid entry in the DCU line, Justice League: Gods and Monsters works best as an entrée into what should be a fascinating and highly entertaining series of its own.” 4 stars

“I did not like anything about this film. I’m not a comics book expert but have read DC comics growing up. I viewed this expecting to see the classic justice league or at least a re-boot of the characters. Instead I saw completely different characters I’ve never seen before & didn’t understand why. There was no explanation or mystery that unfolded it was simply confusing & boring because these versions of the classic Batman, super woman, super man just weren’t interesting at all. If your a die hard fan I’m guessing you would like this film if your only familiar with the main story lines for these characters you’ll probably be disappointed, even though the actors seem to do well with what they were given.” 1 star

“This wasn’t as bad as I was lead to believe. I kinda dug the skewed take on the DC trio. Superman (Son of Zod & Lara El), Wonder Woman (New God grand-daughter of Highfather). and Batman (Kirk Langstrom, a vampire created by science) take on a warped William Magnus & his Metal Men. It was pretty damn good.” 3 stars

“Wow! Dark, disturbing alternate universe “superhero” movie that is definitely not for kids. Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman are all evil, calculating, violent arms of the federal government and not in the Bizarro way but something completely different. The Justice League is a sinister monument in the middle of the city. Eerie. This unholy alliance is tasked with solving a mystery when a number of key scientists are killed in spectacular ways. Not just any scientists but those that would have been Antman, Ironman and Dr. Freeze in the normal universe. I’ve always wondered in the back of my mind what would happen if a true superhero were to live amongst us. Would they want to dominate us? Shepherd us? Both scenarios are disturbing and this movie explores those options in dramatic and sometimes bloody detail. Lex Luthor said it best, “Unassailable power is never to be trusted.” Dark, compelling, violent – highly recommended for those who’d like a different take on superheros.” 5 stars

“I love pretty much all the animated hero shows that matter, and I was riveted for this. Is it good? I dunno, but I LOVED it. Too much blood and violence? I’m a grown man, I can take it. Honestly, the whole “nobody ever dies” idea is a bit of a stretch. When a building is destroyed, I’m going to bet at least one person doesn’t make it out alive. In a time of constant remakes and reboots, this is a refreshing and well-executed original story line set in an alternate universe. Not for the kids, but if this is what WB Animation is up to, I say “more, please.” 5 stars