Angel Has Fallen

A few things have fallen in this franchise. Olympus has fallen, London has fallen and now, Angel has fallen.  You know what hasn’t fallen?  The box office receipts!  As long as those keep coming in and they keep with this great tried and true formula of action and violence, these movies will keep coming.  I for one hope they do because I enjoy them all. This one gets a solid 3.5 Icees out of 5.

If I enjoy it so much, why only 3.5 Icees?  Well, I enjoy it for what it is… a fun movie with a hero fighting against it all (defining “it” is a whole different thing).  In this case “it” is the FBI, the Secret Service and pretty much the whole country.  There are some obvious drawbacks though.  For one, you know who the bad guys are right away and predictability is never good.  For another, some of the lines are cheesy.  That’s probably why it has a 40% rating from RottenTomatoes.com from the critics.  That doesn’t mean it’s not fun to see (which is probably why it has a 95% rating from the audience at the same site), just not something that I can honestly give a super rating to (although 3.5 isn’t bad at all).

Gerard Butler does a good job of faking an American accent once again (he is from Scotland) and Morgan Freeman does his usual good work.  However, to me the best performance in this movie goes to Nick Nolte.  Even at 78 he can still deliver a good performance.

There is plenty of action, plenty of death, plenty of things that really couldn’t happen….. and most importantlly, plenty of fun!

There is a scene partway through the credits but none afterwards.

Enjoy…

Dora And The Lost City Of Gold

In short, this movie should have been lost like the city of gold, except never found.  I can only give this 2 Icees out of 5.  I really tried to give it a higher mark, as I liked the main actress, Isabela Moner, in Instant Family and Transformers: The Last Night, but it was just wayyyy to corny, predictable and just not funny and that’s a shame because I was really looking forward to a young Lara Croft type movie, which is what the trailers led me to believe this would.  This couldn’t be further from that, sadly.

Eva Longoria and Michael Pena are two actors that I really like, but in this movie their talents are just wasted.  Eugenio Derbez played a character that was difficult to even watch, it was so bad.

I think the problem with this live action version of the cartoon series is that it was too cartoony (is that a word?).  I don’t know that anyone over the age of 8 would really enjoy this movie, which is sad, because if they had made it less… well..  cartoony, kids and adults could have enjoyed it more.  It could have been a movie that could be a role model for young girls everywhere.  Instead, it’s just a sad live version of a cartoon, and not a good one at that.

In addition, this movie has some serious continuity issues but to tell you about them would be spoilers.

I guess really, really little kids will enjoy it so if you have some young ones you could give it a shot, but just know that you will only find one or two things amusing in this film.

There were some really young kids that seemed to enjoy themselves, which is the one reason that this movie even got 2 Icees.  The other was the fact that Spanish was used in spots throughout the movie without feeling forced.  It was natural and I liked that.

There is a scene during the credits and one afterwards.

Enjoy…

 

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw

I’m not going to lie.  I really, really liked this movie.  Yes, it has some bad dialog.. yes it has some incredibly inplausible scenes (like F&F in the past… remember parachuting cars?).. but what it also has is awesome action, greatly choreographed fight scenes, funny banter and fantastic chemistry between its stars.  Therefore, this movie gets a solid 4.5 Icees out of 5!

When you have Jason Statham in a movie, you must have choreographed fight scenes to show off his skills, and this has them a-plenty.  He hasn’t lost a step!

When you have The Rock (or should we just call him Dwayne Johnson now?) you have to have incredible (or not even credible) feats of strength and so this movie has plenty of that as well.

Idris Elba doesn’t bother trying to charm you.  He just straight out gets after it as only he can do.  As he says in the trailer, he is “Black Superman” and shows it!

An awesome addition to this franchise is Vanessa Kirby, showing great action ability that you didn’t get to see in Mission Impossible: Fallout.  She’s got skills of her own, thank you very much.  She also fit perfectly into the chemistry of the two headliners and held her own quite well.

This movie has action throughout, and not just a little action, but a lot!  The driving scenes and fight scenes were so well done it’s not even funny.

Since it is an F&F movie, it has to have a family component and this movie lives up to that tradition.  It also has things in it that just can’t possibly happen in real life, but that also is a F&F tradition.

I’ve read some negative reviews on this movie (currently at 67% critics and 90% audience) and those critics are just too stuck on “art”.  Yes, sometimes you go to a movie to see Oscar-worthy performances and incredible writing.  However, most of the time you go to a movie just to be entertained, and this movie is very entertaining!

There are a few scenes during the credits and one scene afterwards.

Enjoy…

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

Every once in a while you come across a movie that people either love or hate.  As I looked through some audience comments on rottentomatoes, this appeared to be one of those movies.  Sadly, if forced to pick one side or the other, I would pick hate.  This movie only earns a sad 2 Icees out of 5.

First the positive.  The acting is strong.  Leo, Brad and Margot all give excellent performances.  So, if this is true, if the three stars are all credited with giving “strong” performances, how can this possibly only get 2 Icees??  Simply put…. the writing.

This movie has spots in it that are brilliant.  Some lines that are given made the entire theater laugh.  However, those spots were too far apart and between them, long… long… long stretches of boredom.  For some that lived in LA in the late 60s, the nostalgia of a car driving at night through the city could be good.  For the other 95% of the world those types of scenes just took forever and offered no real boost to the plot.  Well, using the word “plot” in itself is kind of funny because the plot of this movie sort of plodded along.  Perhaps they should have changed the term to the “plod”?

Some characters and long scenes were totally irrelevant to the movie.  I would go into detail, but to do so would be spoiling and I don’t do that.

I still don’t really understand why so many people liked this movie (85% critics, 77% audience at rottentomatoes as I write this) because although there are spots that are brilliant, it just isn’t worth the 2-hrs and 41-minutes of airtime.  Yeah, you read that right…  2-hrs and 41-minutes of your life (not counting trailers at the front end).

The R-rating comes from the language and Tarantino typical violence.  However, the violence is only in one long scene toward the end so it’s not nearly as bad as it could have been.

My recommendation – Don’t risk that you will be one of the people that hate this movie and simply wait until it comes out on video.

There is a scene partway through the credits and “something” else as the credits come to a close.  At least since there aren’t a lot of destination spots and no CGI the credits aren’t that long.

Enjoy…

Stuber

Stuber is an attempt to establish to cash in on the buddy cop genre.  Sometimes it suceeds and sometimes it fails.  This is how it only earns 3 Icees out of 5.  When it succeeds, it’s hilarious.  When it fails, it is cringe-worthy.  Fortunately when I left the theater I was more happy than cringy (is that a word?).

Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy) is a cop with baggage (seemingly all movie cops have baggage… it’s a thing).  Kumal Nanjiani (Portlandia) is an Uber driver with issues.  Combine them and this should be a laugh-out-loud funny movie throughout.  Sadly, it is not, but when there is laughter it is truly “laugh out loud” funny.

A couple of other reasons that this movie lost some icees for me is that they had a scene in the trailer that didn’t make it to the movie (I hate it when that happens, although I am trying to get over it) and their explanation of how Uber works is all wrong.  Sometimes I drive for Uber just for the ability to make some cash in a low-stress manner so I can tell you with confidence that they way they depict the Uber app is just wrong.

Oh yeah, one other thing.  This movie more than earns its R-rating with the vulgar language.  Language that really wasn’t necessary.  It didn’t make the movie any funnier.  It didn’t “add” to the movie experience.  It was vulgarity for the sake of vulgarity and that’s just sad.

I would recommend waiting until this comes out at Redbox and then pop some popcorn and enjoy.  Don’t waste the money it costs to watch it in the theater.

No scenes during or after the credits.

Enjoy…

Spider-Man: Far From Home

After the heavy drama of Infinity War and Endgame, this is the perfect movie to get things back to a lighter tone.  For this and other reasons, this movie gets a solid 4.5 Icees (out of 5).  It is a much more “lighter” movie than the previous Avengers films which I think is good to get the Marvel universe back on track (yes, I know that this is a Sony movie and not a Marvel Studios film, but Marvel had quite a bit of input into this).  The most important thing is that, similar to Spider-Man: Homecoming, this movie focuses as much (if not more) on Peter Parker instead of just Spider-Man.  I think that’s what made Homecoming successful and will no doubt help this movie out quite a bit (and probably helped it to its current 92% critic rating on rottentomatoes).

Although we are dealing with the aftermath of the Thanos “blip” (which is explained sufficiently right away), Peter and his friends are trying to get back to life as normal which includes a summer vacation.  There, well…  things happen.  These things go along 2 paths, with Peter wanting to focus on MJ (Zendaya) and the needs of the world kicking in. All of this while dealing with the death of Tony Stark, which is an important undertone throughout the film.  They handle both of these plotlines well, including where the intertwine.  That’s all I can really say about it without giving away spoilers (and there are plenty to give away!).

Jake Gyllenhaal does a masterful job as Mysterio showing that he belongs in the Marvel universe.  Zendaya does a good job, but there are moments where her acting was a bit stiff.  Hopefully that will pass with the next film (there’s gotta be a next film, right?).  Of course Tom Holland nails this version of Spidey down pat.  Although I don’t know how long this 25 year-old will be able to pass for a 16 year-old kid.  I guess that’s the problem when there are so many years between movies. Anyway, it was also good to see Samuel L. Jackson back after being pretty much absent from the films.  The same is true with Cobie Smulders (who I still would like to see get her own action franchise).

There is great action spread throughout the movie and when combined with the story… well, it just works!

There is a crucial scene during the credits, and another scene at the end.

Enjoy…

Yesterday

So today I watched Yesterday.  Sorry, I’ve been waiting all week to write that line.  The basic premise is on the trailers so it’s no spoiler to say that a man ends up in a world that had never heard of the Beatles nor any of their historic hits and brings them for the first time to today’s society.  Great premise, and I’m a sucker for an interesting and new premise.This movie was actually pretty good, earning 3.5 Icees out of 5.

First, the plot…  Man gets in accident and when he wakes the Beatles never existed.  This could have went so many different ways, but the way that this one went was to focus more one thing more than really focusing on the music itself.  I don’t know that’s the direction I would have taken but I think it worked well enough.

The acting, well Himesh Patel (who?) from the TV series Eastenders (what?) does a really nice job of someone who has to deal with this interesting occurence and is shocked in the whirlwind that success brings him.  Lily James (Downton Abbey) plays his friend/manager and does a great job of doing so.  You really believe that she feels the way she does.  Kate McKinnon plays the role of someone in the music business as funny as it could be done.  She’s awesome.  Finally, a major recording artist (no spoilers here) gets a larger role in the film than you’d expect and does really well with it.

Finally, and this is the test that I judge all movies by….  I just enjoyed it.  I wasn’t overwhelmed-can’t wait to own it-want to see it again  type of enjoyed… but it was a pleasant movie and the music was really awesome (it’s the Beatles after all).  After all, isn’t enjoying a movie the reasont that you go to see it?

No scenes during or after the credits.

Enjoy…

Toy Story 4

When is a sure thing not a sure thing?  Seeing that the critics had this movie at a 98% rating and the audience had it at 95% on Rottentomatoes.com, I thought for sure that this would be a great movie and probably much better than Secret Life Of Pets 2 (4.5 Icees).  Everyone was saying how great this movie was.  How could it go wrong, right?

Now in the interest of full disclosure I stopped watching these movies about midway through #2.  It was just lost on me that these things keep coming out.  Yeah, the first one was great because we were exposed for the first time to the thought that toys could lead their own lives.  Then they tried to weave some other storylines in there, and that’s the same with this entry into the franchise.  The introduction of “Forky” was something that I was thinking could be hilarious… and it was funny at times, but not nearly as much as it could have been.

So for me the best this movie can get from me is 3.5 Icees (and that’s being generous).  When I go to a kids’ movie I expect to laugh and I laughed some but not as much as I had hoped during this film.  More importantly was the fact that the kids in the theater didn’t laugh that much either.  Don’t get me wrong… the story was fine, the “villain” sufficiently creepy, but just not enough laughter for me.  Also, they focus too much on just a few of the toys and you don’t get to see the others do too much and that’s a mistake in my book.

I’m sure people that have loved this franchise will enjoy this movie more than I did.  Now, I did give this 3.5 Icees so it’s not like I hated this movie or anything, but it just wasn’t as good as I had hoped.  It’s a pleasant way to take your kids to the movie for a couple of hours (runtime listed at 1hr, 40min), but don’t go in thinking that this will be all that and a bag of chips because then you might just be disappointed.  You’ll come away having enjoyed it, but thinking that you’re kinda hoping this was the last of the franchise.

There are 2 scenes during the credits and one after.

Enjoy…

 

Anna

When I saw the trailer for this movie, I thought it looked exciting.  Good action and well-choreographed fighting.  This is why I decided to watch it despite the 27% rottentomatoes rating.  I’m glad I did because I agree with the 79% audience rating and give this movie 3.5 Icees (out of 5).  Now to be fair, the critics were right in that this movie isn’t as good as Atomic Blonde in many ways, but I am giving it the same 3.5 Icee rating.

Why you may ask?  Simple… I enjoyed it.  The method of storytelling can be a bit trying as you are constantly wisked back and forth (you’ll see what I mean when you watch it), but it is worth the journey as you follow Anna through her adventures.

The movie stars relatively unknown actress Sasha Luss and I think she does a really good job.  Being supported by Helen Mirren, Luke Evans and Cillian Murphy didn’t hurt either!  I think they all did a fine job in this movie and I kind of hope they do a sequel (although I don’t know if it will make the money for that to happen).

This movie could have used more action, as it had a great fight scene in the restaurant but not many others.  She also had a “John Wick” moment toward the end of the movie, but again… not quite enough action.

I was surprised throughout the film and I really liked that.

No scenes during or after the credits.

Enjoy…

Men In Black: International

Sadly, the best I can give this movie is 2.5 Icees (out of 5).  I wanted to give it more.  My wife thought it deserved more.  However I just can’t do it.

When I think of an MIB movie, there’s a certain electricity to it; an energy that can’t be explained but you know it’s there.  In this case, it just wasn’t…  and that’s sad because I think this movie had so much potential.

The producers were obviously banking on the chemistry between Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson, since they showed they have it in Thor: Ragnorok.  Here, not so much.  I think that was the fault of the writers as the character they developed for Hemsworth was sort of… boring.  No excitement, no real fun (until later).  I can’t go into more detail because it would give away spoilers but let’s just say that they didn’t utilize this actor’s abilities as well as they could have.  I think that Tessa did her part, but without a solid co-star it just wasn’t enough.

There also wasn’t nearly enough alien jokes (remember Tony Shalhoub having his head shot of and regenerated?  Nothing as fun as that).  I guess overall it just lacked creativity.

Now it is a MIB movie, so there is still quite a bit of good in it, hence why it still got the 2.5 Icees.  The special effects were good. The action (limited as it is) was good.  Emma Thompson does a good Agent O, and Liam Neeson gives his typical performance.  If you are an MIB fan, you will probably like this… once it comes out on Blu-Ray.

I don’t know if this movie will make enough money to warrant another one, but if it does… hire new writers, will ya?

No scenes during or after the credits

Enjoy…

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