Thursday, August 2, 2018

Mission: Impossible Fallout Review

How are we still making Mission: Impossible movies?  I guess because Tom Cruise hasn't managed to kill himself doing stunts yet.  Although he did manage to fracture his ankle shooting this one, so they had to put Fallout on hold for a couple of months while he healed up.

You can see that take in the movie too, because if nothing else, Mission: Impossible Fallout endeavors to bring you as an authentic an experience as possible, no doubt due to Cruise's personal insanity. Fist fights, motorcycle chases, HALO jumps, helicopter's pretty clear Cruise happily decided to play stuntman for all of it.  Might make him crazy, but it certainly gave me a reason to check out his movie.

This also happens to be the movie that Henry Cavill was in the middle of when WB came calling for Justice League reshoots, which as you may recall resulted in the awful CGI Superman face since he was not allowed to shave off the mustache he grew for this one.  So, that facial hair had to be incredibly important to his character in Fallout right?  Let's talk about it:

Thursday, July 26, 2018

The Equalizer 2 Review

After you watch The Equalizer, you never look at a Home Depot quite the same way again. It was one of those movies that looked like it would at best be mediocre, and then surprisingly turned out to be an inventive, fun little Taken-wannabe starring Denzel Washington of all people. While it ended with a sequel hook, it didn't seem to be the kind of thing that would ever get one, and yet, here we are with The Equalizer 2.

As you may have guessed from my previous writings, I'm always skeptical of sequels, particularly when it comes to sleeper hits like The Equalizer that seem like perfectly self-contained stories. We saw how the Taken franchise descended into garbage real fast, for example.  Then again, we've got John Wick 2 now to show everybody how it's done: keep what's good, expand the world, don't repeat the first movie beat for beat.

The trailers for Equalizer 2 didn't look like it would repeat the first movie beat for beat, so that was good, but it did look like it was going to water down the concept from a guy helping people around him to a guy just getting revenge for his friend.  Now that I've seen it, I can tell you the trailers are a pretty accurate representation of what you're getting here.

That doesn't mean it's terrible though, so let me tell you how The Equalizer 2 manages to balance out the bad with some good:

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Skyscraper Review

Let's face it, the only reason anyone has any interest in Skyscraper is because it stars Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.  Otherwise we'd all take one look at this Die Hard meets Towering Inferno homage and laugh it straight to "looking for something to fall asleep to on Netflix at 1 AM."

But The Rock tends to make good, fun movies out of all kinds of stuff.  Hell he made a Jumanji sequel that was one of the most surprisingly enjoyable movies of last year.  Of course the last movie I saw him in was Rampage, and as I said in the review for that, he really let me down on that one. Since then I've also seen his version of Baywatch on TV and just...dear God why.

So naturally my normal enthusiasm for a Rock action movie was blunted quite a bit going into Skyscraper.  My hope was that somehow he and his team would manage to do something fresh and original with this concept.  Alas, there was absolutely nothing fresh or original to be found here.  Let me tell you about all the ways Skyscraper falls down:

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Ant-Man and the Wasp Review

Hey look, another Marvel movie!  Man they are just cranking these things out lately. It's going to be weird to have to wait until next March to get the next one considering we've had one roughly every three months since Thor: Ragnarok.  This time it's Ant-Man and the Wasp, which believe it or not marks the 20th movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

When this whole thing started out, who would've ever believed Ant-Man would get one movie let alone two? After all, they effectively booted him out of the original roster for the Avengers when they started the cinematic universe explicitly because the concept seemed too goofy even for the MCU. I guess once you make Guardians of the Galaxy work, everything is on the table.

In any case, the first Ant-Man was a surprisingly fun little film that somehow managed to do the concept justice without getting too ridiculous for words.  Now its sequel has the unenviable task of both following up on the original and delivering a satisfying experience in the wake the stunning climax of Infinity War

Between that and the trailers making it look like this would actually be The Wasp, featuring cameos by Ant-Man, I can't say I was especially excited for this one. Marvel's certainly earned my trust and then some with their history, but it's hard to muster up a lot of interest in Scott Lang's antics when you know that the world is ending elsewhere.

So, did Ant-Man and the Wasp win me over or is it Marvels first total flop? Well, here's what I thought:

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Review

For some reason people actually liked Jurassic World enough for it to make all the money, so now we have to suffer through yet another attempt to continue the Jurassic Park franchise.  This one's called Fallen Kingdom, which I guess refers to the destruction of the island all the dinosaurs have been hanging out on since the first movie.

See the dormant volcano that made the island has gone active again, and if our heroes don't act fast, it will render the dinosaurs extinct. Again! (Except for me of course.)  So even though they can obviously make dinosaurs at will, the humanitarian thing to do is to send Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard back to the island on a mission to round up as many dinos as they can and ship them to the mainland (where they can get loose and wreak havoc on civilization.)

Look I'm a dinosaur and even I think that's a stupid idea. Turns out it's only the tip of the iceberg of how monumentally idiotic this movie gets.  In fact, the only thing worse than the writing in this movie was the parents sitting behind me who brought their little 3 year old with them to see it on opening night.

So without further ado, here's me ranting for six minutes or so about how bad Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom really is:

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Deadpool 2 Review

The Merc with a Mouth is back in one of the most anticipated comic book movies ever. After all Deadpool is pretty much a perfect film, no doubt due to being a passion project its creators had to fight for years just to make and then fight to stay on budget to finish.

It did everything exactly right in order to create a comic book movie completely unlike anything else we had seen to date. Hilarious and gratuitously violent, it lampooned everything about comic book movies while celebrating them at the same time.  Add to it the fact that Ryan Reynolds might as well be Deadpool in real life and you end up with a superb transition of the character from the comic books to the big screen. Not to mention the advertising campaign, which is a work of pure genius all its own.  It just made for a uniquely awesome experience that is just as good the 5th time as it is the 1st, which is why it made an obscene amount of money for both its release time and budget.

Of course, making an obscene amount of money guaranteed the sequel teased at the end of the credits, and so here we are.  Sequels are tricky business though, especially when dealing with a surprise hit.  How do you replicate that perfect bit of magic that makes a movie stand out the way Deadpool did?  It's been done before, but the odds are rarely in favor of it.

Unfortunately, even with Cable and X-Force joining the fray, Deadpool 2 finds itself on the wrong end of that statistical breakdown. So let me tell you why I was so very disappointed with it:

Friday, May 4, 2018

Avengers: Infinity War Review

Well here it is folks. Marvel's finally getting Thanos off his ass and putting him to work for perhaps the most ambitious movie of all time.  That's right, it's Avengers: Infinity War.

Look what can you say about Marvel's movies by now?  Even the total stinkers are at least entertaining enough to get you through a couple hours at the theater, and the ones that are really good, are really, really good.  I guess the only question about Infinity War is "how the hell is this going to live up to all the hype?"

I just couldn't imagine how you'd put THIS many characters in one movie and not have it turn into a complete debacle.  Plus Marvel's track record for villains is extremely hit or miss.  You're going to spend almost a decade hyping up this one bad guy and he's supposed to deliver?  It all just seemed impossible to pull off.

And yet, they did it.  Now I have to try and explain how without spoiling the movie for those few of you who haven't managed to see it already.  So, without further ado, here's my non-spoiler review of Infinity War: