John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum

First, I will say that people get killed in this movie.  Shocker, I know… especially for a John Wick movie because they are normally so tame and docile.  I know I shouldn’t be giving out spoilers and I really try not to, but in this case I thought I’d make that small exception.  Okay, maybe that’s not a real spoiler but the fact that this movie is excellent and gets 4.5 Icees as an action movie.  And boy is there action!  I won’t say it’s “non-stop”, but it’s pretty darn close!

This movie picks up right where JW2 left off, and just ramps it up from there.  When last we left ol’ Johnny-boy he had been told that in 1hr a $14M price would be put on his head.  He replied that he would, “kill them all”.  I tell ya, he sure tries to live up to that.

Anyone that has watched the first two movies knows JW’s signature move is to shot someone twice, with the second shot going to the head (if he doesn’t do that with the first shot).  Well, in the movie there are many ways he kills people, include a way that will make a friend of mine (Mark R) proud.

Joining Keanu Reeves (who I really don’t think “acts” well, but he fits this role perfectly) are some of the same that were in the previous movies as well as the addition of Halle Berry, still looking good at 52.  She rocks her role in the movie!  Well, her and her sidekicks.

In addition to all the action, there are some humorous lines thrown in for good measure.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a comedy but some of the lines are really funny.

If you enjoyed the first two movies, you’ll love this one.  I know I did!

No scenes during or after the credits.

Enjoy…

Pokemon Detective Pikachu

This lighthearted Pokemon-based movie gets 4 Icees.  Now, before you start on me let me say that I try to judge a movie based on what its genre, so I’m not comparing this movie to an action movie, drama or comedy. This is a kids’ movie, so I am judging it from the perspective, and from that perspective… this was a really fun movie and isn’t that why you go to the movies?  To have fun?  This one may be geared for kids, but even kids at heart will enjoy themselves.

First, you have Ryan Reynolds at his snarky best.  Throw in some delightful (and some scary) Pokemon and you have a formula for fun.  Full disclosure: I play Pokemon Go and I enjoy it, so I have “some” familiarity with Pokemon.  That may have helped my experience but I truly believe that even if you didn’t know what Pokemon were you’d still enjoy this movie because they explain things “just enough” to bring you up to speed without totally nerding out and do so in a way that doesn’t seem like you’re watching a documentary.

In addition to Ryan being Ryan, the movie also stars Justice Smith (Paper Towns, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom) and Kathryn Newton (Big Little Lies, Supernatural).  These two young people really give good performances, especially Justice.  Kathryn’s performance is good, but sometimes just a little much.

This movie is lighthearted and fun but does have some “peril” and action scenes so the PG is the appropriate rating for this.  Not PG-13… just PG.  The kids that were in the theater really seemed to enjoy it and as we were walking out I heard at least one parent say, “this movie is much better than I thought it would be”.  Now if that isn’t a ringing endorsement, I don’t know what is!

If you are looking for a good movie to take your kids to that isn’t a Disney snooze-fest, this one works really well.

No scenes during or after the credits.

Enjoy…

Long Shot

I should probably start off with a disclaimer, and that disclaimer is that I have never “appreciated” the vulgar humor of Seth Rogen.  However, this movie also has Charlize Theron in it and I thought it would be great to see her in a funny comedy.  Sadly, I am still waiting to see her in a funny comedy, because this one does not qualify.  She’s great… and is the only reason why this movie earned the 2-Icees that it gets (out of 5).  She has great comedic timing and her deliveries are spot on.  Sadly, she just had an idotic co-star and a horrible script to work with.

During the opening scene, I thought that this movie would be different and that Seth Rogen was going to be playing someone that is at least somewhat believeable.  The rest of the movie proved me wrong as he plays an absolute idiot and someone that would not even be able to function in society, much less get the Secretary of State to be interested in him.  It’s not even that this movie goes into vulgar areas it doesn’t need to go to (and believe me, it does).  It’s just that… it’s… not… funny…   At all!

Why the critics love this movie so much 83% on Rottentomatoes is beyond me.  This is why this site exists!

I mentioned earlier that Charlize is the only reason this movie got the 2 Icees.  Well, that’s not totally correct.  Another actress in this movie was pretty good as well in a supporting role, and that is June Diane Raphael.  She’s been in other things, but nothing I’d seen.  She’s got skills.

Overall, this movie is ultra-vulgar, stupid and worst of all… just not funny.   I would advise that even if Seth Rogen movies are your thing, wait until this comes out at Redbox.

No scenes after the credits (thank goodness!).

Enjoy…

Avengers: Endgame

Wow…  There are rare occasions when I find it difficult to write a review without doing any spoilers, but that is what this will be because it’s what I do… so if this post seems a little disjointed it is because I am endeavoring to tell you how awesome this movie is without giving away anything.   However, first things first.  Let me tell you how many Icees (out of five) that this movie gets…  FIVE!!!

It has everything that an Avengers movie should have.  It has action (mostly during the last hour), humor, the obligatory Chris Hemsworth shirtless scene, and the familiar theme of heroes versus villains.  However, to try to summarize this movie as just those things would not be fair.  This movie is an end to a 22-movie run, and when you watch it, you cannot help but remember many things from the movies that came before it.

What I like is that this movie truly feels like an “end” to the story.  Not the end of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe), but the end of this story.  I like that.  I like that a story that started 11 years ago is concluded and it feels like a conclusion.

This movie has plenty of emotion throughout.  As you know half of all life had been dusted in Infinity War and this movie forces us to feel how the world has dealt with that and you can’t do that without emotion.  People have suffered loss.  The Avengers suffered loss by watching their friends/loved ones get dusted right before their eyes and the wrought feeling of that loss is protrayed very well.

I would recommend watching Captain Marvel, to include the post-credits scene, before watching this movie or else something will seem a little off (like, where did she come from?).

There is no “scene” during or after the credits, but there is “something” at the very end.  I wouldn’t say that it’s worth sticking around for and honestly I couldn’t tell you what it was if I tried.

Enjoy…

Hellboy

Sometimes when a movie’s rating talks about having gore or bloody violence, you think, “ok, no worries”.  Sometimes they really mean it, and this is one of those times.  This is Rated-R for strong bloody violence and gore throughout, and language.  Note how the “and language” is just kind of thrown in at the end.  Well, there’s a reason for that.  Don’t get me wrong, this movie has plenty of f-bombs flying around but they pale in comparison to the overly-done gore throughout the movie.  It’s sad really, because this movie didn’t need that gore and would have actually been better without it.

I give this 3 Icees because there is a good story here and the storytelling (some via flashbacks) is pretty good as well.  Unfortunately I can’t go any higher than that because of all the… well, you know.  That and the fact that some scenes delve into the obvious just stop this movie from getting any higher of a rating.

David Harbour would not have been my first choice to play the title roll, or my second, third or fourth, but he really did pull it off quite well.  Mila Jovovich (of Resident Evil fame) does decent as the antagonist but could have been much better if given enough screen time to do so.

So a promising remake that I’m sure hopes to re-launch a franchise starts off with a decent story but overkills with gore.  Quentin Tarantino would be proud.  Some fans will like that, but it brought the movie down for me. Definitely do not take little kids to see this movie!!

There is a scene during the credits and another after them.

Enjoy…

Shazam!

This fun, light-hearted movie strongly earns 4 Icees out of 5.  There was some minor issues that prevented it from getting more, but don’t let the lack of 1 star mislead you.  This is a fun movie, with more than a couple of laugh-out-loud moments.

This movie follows one of DC’s second-tier heroes as he gets his powers and has his first fight with a super-villain (one of the minor issues is that the final battle with this villain lasts too long).  Zachary Levi (from the TV series “Chuck”) is made for this role.  To watch him, you truly believe he is a 14/15 year-old boy in a man’s body.  He does an excellent job.  The others around him, to include Asher Angel (Billy Batson) and Jack Dylan Glazer (who I just learned was in “It) have created a nice buddy-comedy relationship that I look forward to continuing to a sequel (if the movie does well enough).

There is just enough backstory to let you know what’s going on, but not soooo much that you feel like it’s taking forever to get to him being a super hero. Be warned though, as light-hearted as this movie is, there are some heavy moments, mostly when the villain (played well by Mark Strong).  Not a lot of them… maybe one or two… but enough that really young viewers might have to have their eyes covered.  Now don’t bite my head off if you watch the movie and disagree with this… I just write it like I see it.

If you are looking for a superhero movie that doesn’t lay it on thick, this just might be the one for you.  It definitely makes for a fun afternoon/evening out!

The during-the-credits drawings are fun and there is a scene during and after the credits.

Enjoy…

Hotel Mumbai

This powerful movie, based on a true story, gets 4.5 Icees.  Rarely does a movie “stay with me” after I leave the theater.  This one did and still is with me as I write the review so perhaps my review will be a little slanted, but this movie was exceptional in depicting the viscous, cold, ruthless killing committed in 2008 in the name of religion.  This is not a movie to take kids to.  This is not a movie where the heroes storm in and save the day.  This is a movie about an actual event in 2008 where over 100 people were killed, mowed down like they were nothing.

The acting in this movie is superb.  Even though there is no particular “star” of the movie each person whether they be citizens or terrorists played their part exceptionally.  I want to say more, but fear doing so would give away spoilers.  Let’s just say the terrorists were cold, calculating and killed without thought.  The gun violence in this movie is horrific.

I don’t know how much Hollywood strayed from the story but articles I’ve read said that the director conducted interviews with the survivors and wanted to make it as close to the real story as possible. There were even screenings for the survivors and they say that those that viewed the film said it was scaringly accurate.

If you want to go watch a laid back action movie, this is not the one to see.  If you want to watch a horrifyingly true-to-life recount of an actual event, then I recommend this one.  It’s good.

No scenes during or after the credits…

Enjoy…

Nancy Drew And The Hidden Staircase

So it was a slow weekend at the movies (since I had already seen Captain Marvel twice) and I saw a trailer for this movie and thought it looked cute so I’d give it a look-see.  I am glad I did.  I really enjoyed this pre-teen movie about the famous junior detective.  When I rate a movie, I judge it by the genre that it is as opposed to trying to rate this against an Avengers or Green Book or any other type of movie.  So, for a pre-teen mystery movie, this one gets 4 Icees.

I have a friend of mine (Jessica) that has two daughters that I think might enjoy this movie.  There are almost no male “main” characters.  The men in this movie (the father, the sheriff, etc..) are supporting characters and you know what?  That works just fine.  I like that the ladies are the sole focus of the movie.

The plot is sometimes predictable but otherwise engaging enough for young audiences.  However, one word of warning.  There is one scene that frightened a couple of the younger girls in the audience.  So if you bring youngins in, be wary of the “haunting” scene.  To avoid spoilers, I won’t go any further into explanation.

The actresses all did a good job, with a special shout-out to Linda Lavin.  She, as always, played her role amazingly.

As many know, Nancy Drew had many adventures in the literary world.  I can only hope that this movie does well enough to warrant a sequel.  I for sure would watch it!  All in all, this movie was enjoyable to watch and I think it was a good movie for the pre-teens out there.

So if you’re looking for an alternative from Captain Marvel and you have young kids (or just want to see a nice movie), this one just might be the right one.

No scene during or after the credits

Enjoy…

Captain Marvel

I’ve rarely (if ever) given an origin story for either DC or Marvel a 5-Icee rating, and this one is no exception.  That doesn’t mean the movie isn’t good, because it certainly is… but when you compare any origin story to the first Avengers movie or Infinity War or something like that, it just doesn’t quite measure up.  All that set-up information… blah blah blah.  Now, that being said, this movie is really good and gets a solid 4 Icees out of 5.

This movie has a good cast, classic Marvel wit and humor and enough action to keep you engaged for the most part.  Like all origin stories, there are some slow spots, but fortunately this one doesn’t kill you with an hour and a half of slowness just to have a bunch of action at the end.  It sprinkles the action throughout.

Brie Larson does a commendable job as the title character (although a bit stiff at times), but to be honest it really isn’t her that steals the show, nor is it a younger Samuel (which by the way, that de-aging CGI is pretty darn good because after a few minutes of marveling (see what I did there) at how good it works, you forget that it’s even happening).  No, the scene-stealers are Ben Mendelsohn as Talos (Skrull leader) and Goose the cat.  The rest of the cast does a great job, but those two just have a way about them.  You’ll see what I mean when you watch the movie.

Other good things about this movie?  Well, it’s not a spoiler because it was revealed in the trailers that this movie takes place in the 90s.  There are tons of 90s references that are fun to catch.  Seeing Agent Coulsen as a younger agent was cool. The fight scenes are well choreographed.  The banter is typical Marvel great.  It’s just a really good movie and I think you’ll enjoy it.  I know I did, and I’m seeing it again tomorrow night!

There is a scene about a third of the way through the credits and another at the end.

Enjoy…

Isn’t It Romantic

This anit-rom-com rom-com gets a nice little 4-Icee review.  I like movies that have a twist, or a unique angle on things, and this movie falls into that mold. Yes, in its core it is a romantic comedy, but its main character is someone who hates romantic comedies so the fact that she is trapped in one is a great way to do a rom-com.

This movie calls out all of the rom-com staples (the gay friend, breaking up a wedding, sudden dance numbers, etc) but it calls them out by doing them.  You’ll have to see the movie to know what I mean, and for me… this was a cute little movie that would be a nice date-night out.

Rebel Wilson (Pitch Perfect franchise… which I’ve never seen) is hilarious as the main character and is supported well by the whole cast.  There is (of course) a moral to the movie and that’s all well and good… and the laughs aren’t all lol funny (although some of them are), but I really enjoyed watching this movie and in the end, that’s what counts right?

There is a dance scene that happens during the first part of the credits, but nothing after that.

Enjoy…

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