Sunday, December 9, 2018

Tomb Raider 2018 4 out of 10

Tomb Raider 2018  4 out of 10

When Alicia Vikander was first announced as the new Lara Croft I thought.... that is an odd choice.  She has proved herself as a solid actress in films like Ex Machina in which she was incredible,  but she just doesn't look like the character from the classic video game.  She is too skinny and has a very slight figure.

 I'm sure I will be labeled by the PC crowd as sexist to even say this --but at least they got the characters look right the previous time around with Angelina Jolie.    Alicia is a good actress she just doesn't fit the role.   And before you label me sexiest for thinking that Lara Croft should have a body type that more resembles the original character think about this for a second because it goes both ways.   

Do you think your wife would be as excited for the next Aquaman if instead of Jason Mamoa she got Raj from the Big Bang Theory.

Or if instead of casting Chris Hemsworth as Thor you got David Spade .  I don't think so?

All I'm saying is cast someone who fits the character.  People want to see buff Chris Evans as Captain America and not skinny Steve Rogers before the serum.  

On a different note they even got the character wrong.  Lara  Croft is a total badass in the games.   Instead she is portrayed quite differently in this film.  The character with two guns from the original game seems more of a survivalist in this film instead of a fearless explorer.  At times she seems very capable and at others like a victim struggling to just survive.  It was almost as if they didn't know how the character should be played.

That aside the movie itself was a total dud.  It was like the creators had never seen or played the video games before.   A huge pet peeve of mine is when Hollywood tries to reboot a franchise and wastes half the movie giving us an origin story for the character we already know.   If you are going to see Tomb Raider you know who Lara Croft is.  The film wastes time showing her training as a kick boxer and riding a bicycle through the city in some race to earn extra money.  She finally excepts her inheritance from her father who has been missing for 7 years and discovers his secret chamber in his castle estate.   She watches a video of him instructing her to destroy his research instead she goes in search of him.  

The film takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes to get to anything resembling Tomb Raider after wasting time with her character getting robbed by street thugs in Asia and then hiring the son of the guy that took her father to a mysterious island that I half expected to find King Kong on.  Then after falling off a waterfall she runs into her dad who looks like the crazy character from Treasure Island or Professor Oxyley from Crystal Skull.  There is a straight out of Last Crusade where he states at least she destroyed his research like he asked.  Not so much..... she actually brought the "Grail Diary" with her. 

 By the time it does get to Tomb Raider worthy story it is instead just a bad rip off of  end of The Last Crusade.    Unfortunately I had already checked out of the film by this point and was checking how much time was left on the DVD.  Everything that could be considered good in this film was taken from other films. 

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Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Like Father 2018 8 out of 10

Like Father 2018   8 out of 10

Like Father was a surprisingly charming straight to Netflix film starring Kristen Bell and Kelsey Grammer.  Kristen Bell's character gets walked out on at her wedding after she is delayed walking down the aisle because she is too obsessed with her phone and work even walk down the aisle on time.   Her father who walked out on her when she was still a kid shows up to the wedding and after talking her out for a drink they both end totally hammered and on her honeymoon cruise.

The film does a great job of exploring this broken relationship with the cruise as a backdrop.  It has a few funny moments --but for the most part it is a drama grounded in the reality of their broken relationship.    What makes this movie work so well is the talent of its main to stars.   I pretty much love Kristen Bell in everything and Kelsey Grammer was a part of two of my favorite TV shows (Cheers and Frasier).   The two great actors play off each other really well and made what I figured would just be a throw away movie a lot more fun,  especially the sequence where they compete in a on ship game show together.     

If you don't go into this movie expecting big laughs and just enjoy the experience you may find this film as enjoyable as I did.

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Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Tag 2018 7+ out of 10

Tag 2018  7+ out of 10

The true story that this movie is based on features 10 friends from high school that have been playing the same game of tag for over 30 plus year.  I recall seeing a feature on the actual story years ago on ESPN and thought it was amazing.  Every year during a certain month the group which is now dispersed across the country plays an elaborate game of tag as a way of keeping contected.  They pull out all the stops including disguises like a guy that dressed up as the mascot from a sports team to tag one of the friends at a baseball game. 

It was just a matter of time until Hollywood turned this story into a movie.  They assembled a great cast that includes Jake Johnson, Ed Helms, Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner and Hannibal Buress  and created a fun Hollywoodized over the top version of the story.   The movie was an enjoyable adventure and had some funny sequences. The group teams up to try and tag the one untaggable member of the team at his wedding weekend.  It was almost a little too over the top and I guess I blame that on the fact that I know it was based and an amazing true story.  

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Deadpool 2 2018 9 out of 10

Deadpool 2  2018 9 out of 10

I enjoyed the first Deadpool movie, but felt it was a little bit over hyped.  Deadpool 2 on the other hand lived up to the hype.  Ryan Reynolds is tailor made to play this 4th wall breaking smart ass character.   It was such a waste the first time the character was miss used in the one Wolverine movie he appeared in.

The movie starts out with a great montage of Deadpool in some great brutal action sequences where he takes out a bunch of bad guys to the 9 to 5 theme song by Dolly Parton.   Then surprisingly the love of his life is taken from him and he tries to kill himself.  He ends up being helped out by his X-Men friends from the first film and gets involved in an X-Men assignment that goes terribly wrong. He takes matters into his own hands and lands himself in jail with the Mutant kid who they were sent to stop.   A solider from the future named Cable (played by Josh Brolin) shows up and tries to kills the kid and Deadpool gets involved.

The movie had some great sequences. The action pieces in the movie were well choreographed throughout the film. The section of the movie where Deadpool auditions people to create his own group of super-heroes called X-Force and then ill-advisedly takes them on a mission to rescue the kid was amazing.  Let's just say things don't go so great with this mission.  Peter (the guy with the mustache) was great shines.

One of the best scenes was in the in the end credits when Deadpool uses Cable's time travel device to fix somethings.  One of the things he fixed was a great reference to Wolervine movie that originally featured Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool (without the wisecracks), in which the real Deadpool kills that version off.   

The plot of the movie was simple and just okay,  but the wise cracking antics of Deadpool makes up for the plot issues and delivers a fun comic book ride.

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Thursday, November 29, 2018

Mystery Team 2009 5 out of 10

Mystery Team 2009  5 out of 10

One of the co-hosts of our Podcast recommended this flick from 2009 that stars a younger Donald Glover.  Think the Scooby Doo gang with no dog or girls and all three of them are basically like the guys from Dumb and Dumber.  

 The story is basically that this group of guys created the “Mystery Team” when they were around 7 years old to solve small crimes around the neighborhood.   Unfortunately, at age 18 they basically are all still stuck in that 7-year-old mindset.   They are still solving these petty crimes like "Who stuck their finger in the pie?" when a murder case falls into their laps.    The movie derives its comedy from the juxtaposition of these 18-year-old in 7-year-old clothes and na├»ve demeanor working on an adult crime that takes them into a world of strippers, drugs and murder. It had some funny moments -but the potential of the concept was never really realized.  The film should have been funnier than it was.  The Dumb and Dumber style humor was very hit and miss with some jokes working and others just kind of sitting on the vine.  

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Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Skyscraper 2018 8+ out of 10

Skyscraper 2018   8+ out of 10

Let's face it Skyscraper is just a remake of Die Hard with a different name.  In the world of where everything is remade it is surprising that they didn't actually do it under the Die Hard brand.  But whether it says Die Hard on it or not it is a basically a Die Hard film.   So what does this film have going for it to make it special??  Dwayne the Rock Johnson of course.

The Rock stars Will Sawyer as a former FBI Hostage Rescue Team Leader and war veteran that lost his leg from an explosion shown the beginning of the film.  The film picks up 10 years later and his character has been hired as a security expert to assess the world's newest and tallest skyscraper.  This thing is supposed to be the safest building in the world.  Whenever you brag about the world's tallest and safest building it is of course doomed like the Titanic.  Of course a crime syndicate is after some evidence that the owner of the building holds and decide to set the building on fire after disabling the buildings alarms.   Will Sawyer's family happens to be in the building at the time and he has to climb a construction crane and leap with his one leg into the building and then take on the syndicate.  

The film is totally ridiculous and over the top and that is a good thing.  The Rock just has whatever it is in Hollywood.  He is this generations Arnold Schwarzenegger.   He shines in this role as a father trying to save his family against the odds.  The film is full of fun action sequences and was a fun summer action film.  If you like the Rock you will enjoy this flick.  The only thing the original Die Hard has on this film is a better villain.   You just can't beat Alan Rickman in Die Hard.

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Sunday, November 25, 2018

The Endless 2017 9 out of 10

The Endless  2017 9 out of 10

I randomly came across this film based only on the poster while looking up new releases on Netflix.   The description looked interesting so I dove in headfirst.  It is a low budget film so don't go in expecting amazing special effects.  Instead it is an interesting and creative story that takes you someplace strange.  

 The story features two adult brothers that escaped a UFO death cult about 10 years ago.  After a random video tape shows up the younger brother wants to go back to the camp, since the reason they had left 10 years earlier was because the older brother thought the cult was going to commit suicide.     The older brother reluctantly agrees to spend one night back at the place (I have no idea why).   
They arrive back at the camp and things get really weird.  The people their haven't seemed to age at all and the film slowly builds to some interesting mysteries.   Something supernatural has a grip on the camp and as they find out the surrounding areas as well.   You think the film may just be about this strange cult --but instead there is something deeper and more interesting going on.

 I enjoyed the originality of the storyline. I thought the script did a clever job of creating an interesting story on a budget.  It brought to mind Coherence,  another low budget Sci-fi film I really enjoyed.  It created a new and interesting kind of unseen and creepy antagonist.  This foe is never fully explained, but is definitely something I would like to see more of.   

Check out the trailer below and then go into the movie with an open mind.

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