Category: Movie Reviews

Review: “Bumblebee”

Last week in my Box Office Breakdown I hinted that I may have a surprise review this weekend. Well, here it is! The “Transformers” movie franchise has been a train wreck pretty much from the very beginning. Director Michael Bay brought five movies to life over ten years that are now pretty much universally reviled by fans and critics alike. The latest entry in the franchise, “Bumblebee”, is supposed to be a new start for the series with a new director, new tone and new feel. Now this film doesn’t actually come out until Christmas weekend but thanks to the folks at Showcase Cinemas and National Amusement (who did NOT sponsor this I’m just giving them a shout out) I was one of the lucky viewers who were privy to a special showing of the film two weeks early last night and thus I get to share my take a few weeks ahead of time. Does this spin-off prequel truly right the ship for a franchise that, honestly, should NOT be that hard to make a cool movie about or is it just another horrible entry in a series that should have died long ago? Let’s find out. This is my review of “Bumblebee”.

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Review: “The Possession of Hannah Grace”

Possession has become one of the most overused tropes in horror films over the years and honestly many movies do utilize the cliché quite well. So well in fact I did a whole list on it leading into this weekend which you can read here. However, it has been a while since we’ve seen a genre piece that even remotely tries to do something different or unique with the premise. From the previews it looked like “The Possession of Hannah Grace” was going to break that trend and offer a different spin on the potential of possession. The setting seemed neat and there was a lot of promise for suspense and great horror thrills. But it’s still a horror movie which means there shouldn’t be heavy expectation for anything more than simple genre flair right? Well I got to check out the movie for myself with it being a slow weekend in theaters and I’m ready to give my take. Does “The Possession of Hannah Grace” really offer something new or is it just another typical horror flick that phones it in for simple thrills? Let’s find out. This is my review of “The Possession of Hannah Grace”.

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Review: “Green Book”

“Green Book” has been touted as a front runner for awards season and as one of the best movies of 2018. Many have compared it (favorably) to the Best Picture winning 1989 classic “Driving Miss Daisy”, although in the case of “Green Book” it’s a real-life story and the roles of the races are reversed with a white man chauffeuring a black man. With so much buzz surrounding it and some amazing names in the cast I had to give it a watch to see for myself if “Green Book” was really up to snuff especially in a year where race relations seems to have been a hot topic in the world of film. That said is this movie worth all of the praise it’s been receiving or is “Green Book” and epic miss? Let’s take a look. This is my review of “Green Book”.

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Review: “Beautiful Boy”

Drug addiction is one of the most controversial yet destructive vices impacting society today. Here is America opioids have become one of the most damaging mainstream drugs on the market, used to treat mental and physical illness but also highly addictive due to their euphoric and relaxing properties. A lot of films have tried to capture the impact such drugs and addiction in general have on someone’s life and family, but surprisingly not a lot of them are grounded in the real world which is probably why “Beautiful Boy” has gained so much attention in recent weeks. An early Oscar favorite, this biographical drama is based on the duel struggles of father and son Dave and Nic Sheff whose memoirs provided looks at the different sides of addiction, the addict and the loved ones affected by the addiction. I finally got the chance to see the film myself. Is “Beautiful Boy” the emotionally charged experience is needs to be or is it a pandering drama that misses the mark? Let’s find out. This is my review of “Beautiful Boy”.

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Review: “Boy Erased”

Homosexuality and transgender identity have become major hot button topics in recent years as acceptance of those who identify as such has become the social justice movement of a generation. A lot of this debate is driven by how these sexualities differ from the morals of religion and surprisingly this relationship of ideals has seldom been captured effectively on the big screen. A recently released potential awards season project looks to change that, “Boy Erased”. Based on the memoir of Gerrard Conley “Boy Erased” depicts his real-life experience in a gay conversion therapy program. Frankly it’s a powerful and overdue theme for a film and with several great actors and writer/director/producer/co-star Joel Edgerton at the helm “Boy Erased” had a lot of promise. So, is this the eye-opening look at atrocity it was meant to be or does “Boy Erased” missed the mark in tackling its real life premise? Let’s take a closer look. This is my review of “Boy Erased”.

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Review: “Creed II”

I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving yesterday!

The Best Picture winning “Rocky” has spawned many sequels over the years, but with the series’ popularity weaning MGM, New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. decided to reboot the series with a new lead, an apprentice to Rocky named Adonis Creed, the son of one of the franchise’s most popular characters Apollo Creed. And thus, a new franchise was born with the 2015 “Creed” being a massive hit and spawning award season buzz. So, it was natural that a sequel would follow and many expected it to connect the story of the younger Creed to his father’s legacy even more. That’s exactly what we got with “Creed II” which builds on the younger Creed’s journey by pitting him against the son of his father’s killer Ivan Drago. With such an epic rematch as it’s base and an amazing predecessor to succeed does “Creed II” live up to expectations? Let’s find out. This is my review of “Creed II”.

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Review: “Ralph Breaks the Internet” (“Wreck-It Ralph 2”)

Disney has proven over the years that while subsidiary Pixar may still be THE name in computer animation the company’s home studio Walt Disney Animation Studios can still churn out credible works on their own. We’ve seen is with the likes of “Frozen”, “Tangled”, “Big Hero 6” and others but one film that still stands out in the crowd for it’s fun and unique premise is “Wreck-It Ralph” which this weekend became the first movie in the studio’s modern CGI animation collection to receive a sequel, “Ralph Breaks the Internet”. There was a lot of promise for this film with director Rich Moore returning to the helm, this time joined by his fellow story writer from the original Phil Johnston who wrote the screenplay along with Pamela Robin for this followup. A lot of the same characters return to the movie as well while the film expands the universe beyond the limits of the arcade into the internet. With so much promise and a much larger scale for the story this was a risky sequel to make seeing as the original is so beloved among modern fans. So, does this follow-up succeed in building on a modern animated classic or is it a simple retread? Let’s take a look in my review of “Ralph Breaks the Internet”.

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Review: “Robin Hood” (2018)

Robin Hood is one of the most legendary characters in film and literature being the subject of numerous movies and books across several decades. With so many big screen adaptations of his story keeping his popularity afloat it’s no wonder a new cinematic version has been released for 2018 as well. However, this new “Robin Hood” takes a similar approach to storytelling to many other modern retellings of literary legends by updating the material for a new generation with more lighthearted action and a more “hip” and “relatable” hero. The problem with this approach is it almost NEVER works, but that doesn’t necessarily mean “Robin Hood” couldn’t be the exception. After all it was produced by Leonardo DiCaprio, so you’d think there would be some merit to it right? So, does this new version of the famed archer and outlaw buck the trend and add to its legendary source material or is “Robin Hood” only the latest in a growing line of bland retellings of tired stories? Let’s find out. This is my review of “Robin Hood” (2018).

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Review: “Widows”

Back in 1983 ITV in Britain released a series called “Widows” that chronicled the exploits of a group of wives whose husbands died in a botched robbery leaving them to pick up the pieces and perform their own heist. Now, 35-years later, that story is the basis of a film, also called “Widows”, that is said to have been a passion project for Oscar-winning Director and co-writer Steve McQueen. It’s received a bit of award season buzz and has been on my watch list for some time with the premise serving as somewhat of a more serious take on the gender-swapped heist movie similar to “Ocean’s 8” earlier this year. The film intrigued me enough to take a look and see if it’s worth all the buzz surrounding it or if it’s just an overrated heist movie that should be skipped. So, without further ado, this is my review of “Widows”.

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Review: “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald”

The “Harry Potter” franchise and the Wizarding World universe has to be one of the most popular series of all time in any medium. While the adventures of the Boy Who Lived concluded with eight films years ago it didn’t take long for J.K. Rowling to spearhead a continuation of the her series exploring one of the most popular side stories from the original saga, the story of the Dark Wizard Grindelwald. That journey began in 2016 with “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”, based on the spinoff book by Rowling. The idea has sense expanded into a multi-film prequel story arc that continued this weekend with the second entry, “The Crimes of Grindelwald”. Despite controversy over the casting of Johnny Depp as the main villain and some believing the franchise lost its luster long ago it looks like “The Crimes of Grindelwald” is going to be yet another smash hit for the franchise, but where does it stand when compared to the previous nine films? Is it a worthy return to the Wizarding World or proof that J.K. Rowling’s popular series may finally be losing steam? Let’s take a look in my review of “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald”.

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Review: “The Grinch”

I was eleven years old when the first feature length adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” hit theaters in 2000. Since then that live action version has become the quintessential classic for my generation while those from older generations still hold tightly to the impact of the original television cartoon. Now the current generation of children will have their own adaptation of the famous Christmas story to embrace with “The Grinch”, a computer animated take of the tale of the titular grump and his war on Christmas. You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn’t know or enjoy the story of the Grinch in one form or another so this new take on the tale certainly had a lot to live up to. That begs the question, does this new animated version of “The Grinch” hold up and add something new to the legacy or is it a carbon copy retread worth skipping over? Well I’m late on making this post as it is so let’s get to it. This is my review of “The Grinch”.

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Review: “Overlord”

Earlier this year we got an underwhelming “Cloverfield” universe addition called “The Cloverfield Paradox” that left fans wanting more from the J.J. Abrams produced franchise that explores different genres in science fiction with each film. With Abrams producing another movie released this weekend called “Overlord” many believed this would be the SECOND “Cloverfield” tie-in movie to be released in 2018, alas it is not. “Overlord” is an intriguing movie though, one that melds war film and zombie horror into a single project with the full intent of being a no-holds-barred cinematic experience of gore and fun. But how well does it actually do the job? Well I’m here to fill you in. This is my review of “Overlord”.

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