Deadpool 2

If you liked the first one, you’ll be perfectly happy with this one as well, which is why I gave it a solid 4-Icees.  Be warned however that in my opinion this movie is more vulgar, violent and gory than the original (hard to believe, I know).  On the flip side, I think that in spots it is also funnier.

The movie starts out hilariously (you’ll want to be there for the opening credits and reading them for a change) and ends the same way (the during-the-credits scenes are hilarious).  There is some parts in the middle of the movie (with the arrival of Cable) that slow down and kind of plod through, and some bits here and there that just aren’t as funny as they intended and drag on a tad.  However, it picks back up and continues down it’s merry way and overall is hilarious.

Ryan Reynolds ability to deliver the sarcastic lines is magnificent, even if he’s poking fun at himself (which he does frequently).  His supporting cast is simply there to play off of him and do so well enough without having any real meaning or depth at all. This is a Deadpool movie, and he’s the star and they work it to perfection!

Warning: I saw some people bringing in younger kids (like 11-12 years old).  I would highly discourage this.  This movie does not hold back on the vulgarity and leudness at all and fully earns its R-rating.  Heck, even in the previews there was a red band trailer that wasn’t appropriate for younger kids, even though it has puppets!  That being said, if that kind of stuff doesn’t bother you, this movie is hilarious and fun and you will enjoy yourself.

There are scenes during the credits, but once the long credits get moving along you can leave because there is nothing at the very end.

Enjoy…

P.S. If you like my reviews, please click on the ad at the top of the page.  I get about $.05 a click so it’s not a lot, but it’s something… Thanks!!

Avengers: Infinity War

As you might expect, I had very high hopes for this film.  As a Marvel/DC junkie, I’ve enjoyed all of the films, but this one…  Wow..  Just… Wow!!  Two and a half hours of pure excitement, laughter (at times) and action… nonstop action.  It’s everything you had hoped this movie would be and more.  Yes, as you may have guessed, I am giving this 5 Icees out of 5. Not only because of the action, but also the classic Marvel wit, mixed in with some real emotional moments.

I read some reviews online that knocked this movie a bit for being too much action and not enough development.  Hello?!?!  We’ve had 18 movies of development!  How much more development do you need??  The only really new character is Thanos, and I thought they gave him just enough of a backstory.  Combine that backstory with Josh Brolin’s portrayal, and you have an exquisitely played villain who thinks he’s doing the right thing.

You must try to avoid spoilers before seeing this movie.  It will allow you to be shocked when things happen that you don’t expect, and a couple that you do.

The movie does a really good job of blending in all of the heroes from the previous 18 movies.  You might even recognize a villain from a previous movie. Of course, you’ll recognize Stan Lee in his cameo (I don’t really count that as a spoiler).  Instead of keeping the Guardians together, and keeping the Avengers together, and so on… Marvel does a great job of mixing a matching, but not in a forced way… in a way that really is pretty smooth.  Once the mixes/matches get used to each other, the action really heats up!

If you have enjoyed the previous Marvel movies, you will absolutely LOVE this one.  There is only one scene after the credits and it’s way at the end.  It may require you do to so Googling after the movie is over, but it’s a nice tease for the next movie.

I liked this one so much… I am really glad that we pre-bought tickets to go see it again tomorrow morning!

Enjoy…

Rampage

Ok, let’s be honest.  When you saw the trailer for this movie you weren’t thinking, “Wow, this is going to be an exciting, excellent movie based on the video game”, right?  You were probably thinking as I was that this movie looked stupid, but perhaps there was enough action in it to be a fun family film.  Well, not exactly.  The action and acting in this movie gets it a solid 3 Icees (out of 5), but you don’t want to take your little kids to this film.  This thing is rated PG-13 for a reason.

So before I talk about how good the movie is, let me elaborate as to why you don’t want to bring little kids to this movie.  Some people did and I could hear those kids being a bit more frightened than the parents bargained for.  If you played the video game from the 90’s, you know the object of the game is to destroy the city, crush and/or eat people and just generally destroy everything in your path.  This movie nailed this part down very well. There definitely is stepping on and eating of people, along with flinging them and destroying the vehicles/aircraft while the people are still inside.  Early on in the movie there are also a few scenes where kids can get really scared (probably some adults too).

Now, why would I give this movie 3 Icees?  Well, once you realize what type of movie it is, it’s actually not half bad.  I’m not saying it’s half good either, but it falls into that, “there are monsters and we have to get rid of them genre”, like Godzilla or King Kong.  There is some cheesiness, but not nearly as much as I thought there would be.  There is some humor, as there is in all Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson movies, but this is definitely not a comedy.

So now that you know what this movie is, I do recommend that you go and enjoy it… just don’t expect any Oscar-worthy performances and don’t bring the little kids… and you’ll be fine.  If you liked San Andreas, you’ll like this movie.

No scenes during or after the credits.

Enjoy…

Ready Player One

This movie that takes you back through your childhood (if you’re in your forties or fifties, that is) gets a solid 4 Icees.  When you have a movie that makes you smile throughout, you almost have to give it a great rating.  Such is the case with this nostalgic trip through time.

So there’s this nostalgic flood of references, which isn’t put in to just feel good, but as an actual part of the plot.  Not to give out a spoiler (because I pride myself on not doing that), but the Oasis is a flood of 80’s references because the designer of it wanted it to be that way. I found myself calling out (in my mind of course, because to do so out loud in the theater would be rude) each of the things I would see, whether it be the Delorian from Back To The Future, the maze from The Shining, the Martian from the Bugs Bunny cartoons, or any of the myriad of other 80’s references.

Speaking of the designer of the Oasis, Mark Rylance (Dunkirk, Bridge of Spies) does a great job of playing Halliday, portraying an odd, unique character.  Although he is not the “star” of the movie, he gave the performance that I will probably remember most.  As far as the primary stars of the movie, I thought that both Tye Sheridan and Olivia Cooke gave really good performances as Parzival and Art3mis respectively. I know that they have been in other things, but nothing that I could actually remember seeing them in, so for me this was their coming-out party… and they did it well !

Although for me, the star of the movie wasn’t even in it. It was Steven Spielberg, who has delivered another great story.  First and foremost, it is the story being told that takes the spotlight.  The way the movie depicts the dim state of our not-too-distant future, the way a video game could take over our lives, and the visualization of “The Stacks” was exquisite.  I understand that this movie was based on a 2011 science fiction book written by Ernest Cline (which of course I never read), but the way that it is brought to life is pure Spielbergian (is that a word?).

Is it reality-based?  Of course not, but I could easily see that if the Oasis video game were real, it would engulf the world like no game before it, not even World of Warcraft or Pokemon Go. I could see where it would be a place of escape that most (if not all) of humanity would go to in order to get away from daily life.

There is some mild language and a frightening scene or two, but overall it is a fun, enjoyable movie that anyone 13 and over (it is PG-13 after all) should enjoy.

There is no scene before or after the credits.

Enjoy…

Paul, Apostle of Christ

I asked a good friend of mine, Mark R., to write a review for this movie since he watched and I haven’t yet (and may not).  Below is his review.  He gives it 3.5 Icees out of 5.

It’s not that it was such a well done film, or that it was full of forceful or powerful scenes, or evoked feelings of deep emotion based on it’s cinematic wonder.  As far as “Religious” films go it’s quality was indeed excellent. Fine quality acting. The plot was a bit slow moving, I’m sure, for most…perhaps even a bit boring and of course poetic license was taken in dramatically recreating ancient events short on interpersonal details.

But none of that was the point.  The intent, it seems to me, was to communicate the horrific persecution and dogged tenacity that propelled this beautiful, unlikely message of a peasant, Jewish carpenter turned Rabbi… whom these heroic, messengers claimed had been resurrected and revolutionized their lives…out of the first century.

 

It’s no Passion of the Christ. Moves kinda slow and doesn’t develop the various characters/ideas in detail, but it’s covering 35 years of early Christianity and trying to stay within one city and year. I had a couple theological issues but not bad. I like that it makes the characters very human. Not holy, untouchable, saints, but scared, flawed, sometimes doubting everyday humans.

Based on what he wrote, I think I am confident in saying that Mark would encourage anyone to see this movie, perhaps especially those that consider themselves Christians, or those that follow Christ.  Others may enjoy this movie as well.

Pacific Rim: Uprising

This movie surprisingly gets a solid 3 Icees.  I thought the first movie was “ok” and since generally sequels are worse, I had very low expectations for this film.  It really did surprise me in that it wasn’t bad at all.  It had some cheesy lines, sure… but it also had unexpected plot twists (and a few expected ones).

John Boyega (Star Wars movies) is obviously the star and pulls it off pretty well, despite the fact that sometimes his humor misses. Cailee Spaeny plays a teenager (of course, she’s not one, she’s 20) and does a serviceable job.  Let’s face it, the actors really aren’t the story here… it’s the Jaegers and the Kaijus, and those scenes really save the movie.  I guess that’s not 100% true.  The acting does rise up in spots and some good speeches or lines are delivered.  If there is any doubt that Scott Eastwood would take after his father (Clint), those are quickly squashed as he plays a brooding, slow-talking pretty boy (just like his good ol’ dad).  In fact, if you listen to his voice, you can hear Clint talking.

Okay, enough of that.  The plot seems pretty straight-forward and then a twist or two comes in that you don’t expect and I like that. Predictability is really bad for a film, and although you expect the final outcome, it’s the surprises that are really nice.

If you liked the first movie, you’ll enjoy this one just as much, if not more.  For me, if I was doing reviews back then, I probably would have given the original 2.5 Icees, whereas this one is better, even if by just a smidge.

No scene after the credits.

Enjoy…

Tomb Raider

This reboot of the classic video game is an enjoyable one, but not as great as I would have hoped it would be. This movie has excitement and action but is missing many of the puzzles and mental challenges that you think of from a Tomb Raider movie. Yes, there are some of those at the end, but for me that was a bit far down the road. The movie offers a really good start for a long stream of movies, but this one has to be successful first, and that’s not a given.

This movie gets a solid 3.5 Icees as I really enjoyed watching it, but I can’t help compare it to the movies staring Angelina Jolie, which I am a huge fan of.  The best way to describe Alicia Vikander’s Lara Croft would be to say that this is a true origin movie, whereas Angelina’s Lara was already developed. What do I mean by that?  Simply, in this movie, Lara Croft doesn’t have the skills, the experiences, and the confidence that was in Angelina’s version of a Lara Croft already established as a tomb raider. Ironically, Alicia (29) is older than Angelina was (25) when playing this character, although Alicia looks much younger and I am guessing she is portraying a Lara Croft that is around 20-21.

As I mentioned above, this is a true origin story. We see the birth of the Tomb Raider in that we see glimpses of the skills that will become second nature down the road.  We see the intelligence, but not the confidence that will come with time.  I know the producers were hoping to kick-start a franchise but based on the critic’s comments (much harsher than mine) I don’t know if this will pick up the steam in order to become a true franchise.  That would be a shame as this origin story sets up Alicia for a promising future as Lara Croft, It will just depend on how many people actually go and watch the movie.  The writers certainly set up the franchise with several references to what could be a follow-on mission.

I thought that the version played by Angelina (again, huge fan) was campy, as a video game movie would be expected to be.  This movie is more gritty, which is one of the things that the professional critics hate about it.  No “fun”. No “comedic remarks”.  That is something that the writers should have done a better job of.  Even with that being said, if you want to watch a movie that is a bit more grounded in reality (such as can be from a video game movie), this one would fit the bill quite well.

No scene during or after the credits.

Enjoy…

A Wrinkle In Time

This very odd movie only manages 2 Icees out of 5.  Perhaps this is a left-brain/right-brain thing, but if you’re not an overly creative person I just don’t know how you’re really going to get a lot more than just “eh” out of this movie.  For the rest of us, this movie should have been ironed out before it was released (get it?).

Now I will say that as with all movies based on books, I did not read the book, so my review is based solely on the movie itself.  Perhaps that’s why I just didn’t get many things of this movie.  For example, who refers to their brother as “Charles Wallace”?  Charles, Chuck, Charley… those I get.  Charles Wallace on the other hand makes no sense whatsoever.

It was kind of obvious that this came from a book because it seems that the director wanted you to fill in the gaps (and there were many) yourself.  However, for those of us that did not read the book, this movie was almost impossible to make any sense of.  Again, maybe it’s that left/right brain thing but the acceptance of strange people walking into your home, or just walking into what appears to be an abandoned house… none of that makes any sense.

I have a friend who absolutely loved this movie, and I’m not really sure why (even though she tried to explain it to me).  Reading on rottentomatoes.com it is obvious that most people (critics and audience) disliked the movie horribly and I won’t go that far.  Visually, there was some very exquisite scenes and some of the outfits were beautiful.  Reese Witherspoon gave the best performance of all of the actors (and that’s not saying much in this film) with Deric McCabe (Charles Wallace) doing a much better job than actors his age normally do.  Otherwise the acting was either “odd”, over the top or just plain dull.

I’d recommend waiting until this comes out on Redbox and only renting it if you’re the creative left-brain type.  The rest of us… well, just let this one pass.

No scenes during or after the credits.

Enjoy…

Death Wish

This interestingly timed movie gets 3 Icees out of 5.  The idea to remake the 1974 classic Charles Bronson movie was one thing.  Yeah, I could see someone saying that with franchises like The Expendables out there, this remake just might work.  But now?  With all the urban/suburban gun violence going around. This is when you decide to put this out?  Actually, this was scheduled to come out last year right after the Las Vegas shooting but it was decided to push it back a few months (go figure).  Well, I don’t take any of that kind of stuff into account when I watch or review movies, so with that in mind, here we go.

I honestly don’t remember the original when it came out. I mean c’mon, I was 9 years old.  I remember watching it sometime later but one thing I didn’t remember was that there were FIVE movies in the franchise. Five!  I don’t think we have to worry about that with this version.

Don’t get me wrong, the movie is decent enough for a watching, although I would recommend waiting until it comes out on Redbox or Vudu and renting it.  I see that this is one of those movies where the professional critics on RottenTomatoes hate it (15%) but the audience loves it (85%). I fall somewhere inbetween.  I mean, I enjoyed it, but it’s not something that I just can’t wait to own when it comes out on Blu-Ray.

Bruce Willis doesn’t play his normal macho scary self.  He plays a doctor that is dealing with a loss.  The best way I can describe his performance is genuine. He becomes tougher, but still not Die Hard tough.  I actually think he does a good job as a surgeon turned vigilante. The others around him are serviceable in their roles (including Dean Norris in a sterotypical detective role) but nobody really stands out.  This movie is 100% about Bruce.

The movie is full of violence (duh!) and some of it, especially one scene, is really graphic.  Combine that with the language and it more than earns its R-rating. If you enjoy these types of movies, I think you’ll enjoy this one, but if you’re tired of hearing about people arming themselves for defense (or offense) then you might want to just skip on by.

There are no scenes during or after the credits.

Enjoy…

Game Night

This surprisingly funny movie gets 3.5 Icees out of 5.  When I saw that this movie was Rated R for language, sexual references and some violence I was worried that it would be overly vulgar (like Bridesmaids or The Hangover).  I just don’t find those types of movies funny.  I’m glad I went ahead and tried it out because it was really funny without that vulgarity.  In fact, I think the studio should have argued that this was really PG-13 and not R, or removed a couple of F-words to get down to a PG-13.  But, they didn’t, so there you go.

The movie isn’t the best comedy you’ll ever see, but it is the best I’ve seen in a LONG time. It is loaded with several moments where the audience (myself included) literally laughed out loud.  Isn’t that what a comedy is supposed to do?

It’s not perfect, as there is one character (Gary, played creepily by Jesse Plemons) that is just too weird, but otherwise the characters are well done.  Jason Bateman is someone who for the most part I’ve enjoyed watching over the years. It’s not often that a child star goes on to do good work after puberty, but he has pulled it off. Rachel McAdams is someone who I’ve only watched a few of her projects (since I don’t watch romantic movies like The Notebook) but I really think she has a knack for comedy and could be really successful at it.  Billy Magnussen is hilarious as the group’s less intelligent member. The other actors did a good job as well in supporting roles.

The basic premise of the movie (gleened from trailers so it’s not a spoiler) is that on a game night one of the members plans a fake kidnapping game for the others to solve, only for it to actually happen.  The movie has some mini plots within it (to detail them would be spoilers) which is nice because sometimes you need a break from the main plot.  These mini plots aren’t too distracting, but fit in nicely within the confines of the main plot. There’s even an unexpected twist or two!

So if you’re looking for a good laugh or a break after seeing Black Panther twice, this movie fits the bill.

There is a scene just as the credits start and another one at the end of the credits.

Enjoy…

© 2018 Reviews by the Don

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑