Category Archives: Movie reviews

Instant Family movie review

Few movies have ever brought me to the brink of tears. Instant family did multiple times throughout. I’m not saying that makes it a great movie or anything, but it’s great at something.

Instant Family is based on a true story and follows Pete (Mark Wahlberg) and Ellie (Rose Byrne) as they foster and attempt to adopt three kids, one of them being a teenager. Though this movie has its faults just like any movie, sometimes going slightly over the top with its few gags, for the most part I would say it sets out to do exactly what it wants to. Which is to tell a real and heartfelt story while feeding you a few slight laughs occasionally to pick up your spirits when it is necessary. I have seem some critics say that these laughs ruin the moment, but I say they add to them by making things feel more real when the tension of an emotional moment is broke afterwords and people start giggling. But that isn’t the only reason this movie is likable.

It is also original. Their are probably other movies like this one out there, sure, but I haven’t seen them and they are definitely not “in the norm”. The difficulty with making something like this good is you need solid young actors, which are very hard to come by. The three they snagged up for this one nail it though,  especially Isabela Moner as the teenage older sister of the three foster kids. She and Mark Wahlberg play off of each other so nicely that they alone almost brought on the tears I was talking about.

I would honestly watch this again, it’s simple, sweet, and funny. My kinda movie.

 

7 Days in Hell movie review

I haven’t fully processed this mockumentary film since watching it last night, but I’m fairly certain that I will never fully understand what I watched anyway. 7 Days in Hell is a mockumentary following an epic tennis match that took place over seven days between two all-star players. Off the bat I gotta say that I love that HBO lists this under “Sports” as if it is real. That alone made me laugh.

7 Days in Hell stars Andy Samberg as a past legend in tennis that comes back to take down the rising young star played by Kit Harington. Now, everyone knows and expects this type of thing from Samberg, but seeing it coming from a man I have only ever known as Jon Snow is great. Kit has a subtle deadpan comedy style that I couldn’t really expect. As for the comedy, be prepared, because it doesn’t exactly pull any punches. Early on you realize there isn’t a single aspect of this movie(?) that is going for realism, and goes to strange and far away measures to get a laugh.

In the end I’d say that if stupid, dirty, over the top comedy isn’t for you than you wouldn’t enjoy the first two minutes of 7 Days in Hell. If it is than it will be one of the many things keeping you in a laughing fit the whole time.

 

Creed 2 movie review

Ironically these days boxing movies are bigger than boxing itself. The Rocky franchise has been the benchmark for great boxing flicks since the 1970’s and remains that way decades later. Sure, there are good ones out there such as The Fighter, Southpaw, and Bleed For This, but Creed 2 steps back in the ring and shows them who the real champ is.

Creed 2 once again continues the story of Adonis Creed, Apollo Creed’s son. Apollo is now the world heavyweight champion, having just won the belt. He is on top with no opposition until Viktor Drago, son of Ivan Drago, the man that killed Apollo comes forward and challenges him for the title.

I will admit this movie is very formulaic. The first Creed movie follows the same story as the first Rocky and this one skips a few steps and jumps right to being the same (basically) as Rocky 4. Despite that though I personally believe and see this movie as being better than its predecessor. Not by much! But, still better… The first movie was very solid, and very good. It was a great introduction to the character of Apollo and eased us back in to the world of Rocky nicely. While Stallone was a show stealer in the first one, and still remains awesome in the this, I really feel like Michael B. Jordan’s performance and emotion fuel this movie well. Emotion is really what drives this film. I found myself overcome with it a few times and was surprised with just how serious it got.

The bad guys set it apart as well. Or, should I say “bad” guys. What is most surprising is that the villains are never really villiainized and are fleshed out and three dimensional characters. I wouldn’t say I liked them, but I was conflicted on wanting them to lose, and I definitely didn’t want to see them hurt.

All in all I would put this very close to the top, maybe even number two in this legendary eight film series. I hope they end it here as I feel Creed’s story has been told perfectly. I don’t need to see anymore and we run the risk of getting to the point Rocky did in his later films. I don’t want that for this, and it doesn’t deserve it.

Ocean’s 8 movie review

Ocean’s 8 is a spin-off/sequel to the Ocean’s trilogy that takes place after the third movie and follows the sister of Danny and her “crew”. After Debbie, the main character played by Sandra Bullock, gets out of prison she of course sets out to preform a massive heist. She wants to steal an insanely expensive diamond necklace from a star studded event and needs a crew to do it. I will say that the best thing this movie has going for it IS the cast. Every single actress is massively different in their styles and yet they somehow have a great chemistry. Luckily they have a great chemistry though because without it the lackluster script and dialogue would be just that much worse. Out of everyone, though, I thought the show was stolen by Anne Hathaway. Hathaway plays the woman that is being stolen from and does an amazing job of being a pompous celebrity while still remaining likable. I had watched her in The Intern the night before and was reminded of just how stellar of an actor she really is, because it was hard to picture her being the same person in both roles.

When it comes to the movie itself, it was unfortunately pretty boring. It followed the same three act formula of all heist movies.
Act 1: Meet the team.
Act 2: Plan the heist.
Act 3: Execute the heist.
During the first two acts I found myself repeatedly looking at my watch to see just how long I had been subjected to planning an admittedly boring heist. Meeting some of the team was kind of cool, but not cool enough. The heist itself amped it up quite a bit for me. Seeing it all unfold and the different pieces fall together was satisfying as hell. UNFORTUNATELY, the biggest drawback this whole movie has and what put the nail in the coffin for in making it officially a bad movie for me was them revealing too much that the audience didn’t know. It tries to be too clever in the last ten minutes of the whole damn thing, revealing a large number of things that went on off screen that the audience didn’t know was happening. Things that honestly would have been more interesting to the viewer than we were given.

In the end Ocean’s 8 is blessed with a stellar cast of diverse actresses but unfortunately doesn’t leave the shadow of its predecessors.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald movie review

 

It may not surprise anyone when I say I didn’t enjoy this movie, given that is a popular opinion at this point, but it breaks my heart none the less. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is a sequel to “Where to Find Them” and follows the uprising of the universes most famous dark wizard. Now, I feel it must be stated that my wife and I are huge Harry Potter fans, both of us sporting tattoos and collectibles. I am however a much bigger fan than her. I enjoyed the first installment of the series, liking the twists it put on the things I already loved without ruining itself or relying on the Harry Potter series too much. It marketed itself as completely separate except for the world itself. I respected and liked that. I went it to this movie with high hopes and they were dashed away rather quickly into it.

The movie opens with one of the most bad ass magic fights we have had since the finale of Order of the Phoenix. The stunning visuals coupled with score of John Williams are breathtaking. That is, unfortunately, the peak of the movie. Shortly after this it spirals into a cluster of confusing plots, characters that go nowhere, and references that are shoved down your throat every few minutes to distract you from how boring this movie actually is. This truly saddens me to write because I am someone that will quite regularly throw in a Harry Potter movie to relax during a rough time.

There are so many main plots, sub plots, character arcs, and everything else that it is honestly just hard to follow. At the end of it I wasn’t sure what was important, what was going on, or if it was even over. Because of this it made the big twist at the end more confusing rather than anything else and I left the theater completely unsatisfied.

The actors in this are good. Eddie Redmayne as Newt is still amazing and the best part of this movie. The movie is less focused on him than the first one however and it suffers from it. I don’t believe it needed to be focused on him completely but if they didn’t want to they needed to make the other characters just as interesting. Jude Law as Dumbeldore was great but he had barely any screen time. Johhny Depp was a nice cast for Grindelwald, but they gave him nothing to do, wasting the character and actor at the same time. Any time spent with Credence, played by Ezra Miller, brought the movie to a screeching halt and we were with him a lot.

The icing on the cake for me was the references. References were everywhere, handed to you on a silver platter, trying to distract you from what you were watching by reminding you of the good times. But it didn’t work. I was only reminded that I wasn’t watching those movies instead. I wanted this movie to succeed on its own. I didn’t want it to rely on my love for its predecessor. A few call backs would have been fine, welcome even, but it was clear it KNEW it wasn’t good. It was clear it WANTED  me distracted and reminiscing.

Writing this review doesn’t make me happy. In fact it disappoints, and saddens me that I am writing it. But it is honest. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is boring, and expects to get by purely on your love of Harry Potter to make money with it’s next three movies. It is nothing more than a shameful cash-grab filler.

Deadpool 2 movie review

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Skyscraper movie review

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Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom movie review

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Tag movie review

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Tomb Raider movie review

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So, I hate to break it to you, but there is no point to see this movie… It didn’t have a SINGLE Destiny’s Child song in it…

So Tomb Raider, the 2018 version, is a basically a prequel to the original movies and a reboot to the franchise. Alicia Vikander was cast to play Lara Croft and I think they really couldn’t have chosen anyone better. Now, I always think the opening to a movie is very important. It hooks you and reals you in, keeps you excited for whats to come. Clearly the people who made this movie do not agree because the first act of this movie is a damn snooze-fest! I understand that this is an origin story and we need to see where Lara was before she became the tomb raider, but I don’t need a twenty-minute sequence of her as a bike messenger. Eventually though it DOES get to the point and although it has its faults I have to admit, for a video game adaptation movie it really felt like a video game adaptation. There were so many sequences where I found myself thinking that it looked like it was lifted straight out of a video game! Whether she was stealthing, clearly doing live-action QTE’s, having a boss fight, going from one bad thing in to another, it was quite remarkable actually and I will give it points for that. However, it does have faults. One of its biggest and most important being that it was just kind of boring. It was two hours, almost on the dot, and should have been much shorter. It had so much filler and parts that I just wished would be over. I wanted to like it, it was trying so hard to be exciting but it barely even kept my attention. I want my tombs!