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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.

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!

Avengers: Infinity War movie review

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Well here it is. The big one. Everything that a decade of Marvel and eighteen movies have led up to. No ones expectations could be higher, it had so much to live up to… And you know what? It NAILED it. Avengers: Infinity war is what everything was always leading up to. The Avenger are all assembled, with a massive number of them now, all to fight Thanos as he is nearing completion in uniting all of the Infinity stones and wiping out half of the universe. This is probably one of the most exciting movies I have ever seen for many reasons, probably the biggest though being that I got to see crossovers from heroes I only dreamed of seeing together! What is really cool is that no one seems to be left behind. Certain characters may only be in here for what feels like minutes but it always feels like they contributed exactly what they needed to. Because of that though it is also a stupidly long movie. Don’t misunderstand me, that is certainly not a complaint, I could have happily sat through it if it was triple the length… Much like every Marvel movie the comedy is prevalent and there without ever really taking away from the tone of the movie, which is ever-changing. As you switch between heroes you follow the tone and feel of the movie changes on a dime. When we go to the Guardians you get some cool 80’s jam and humor, then it switches to Wakanda and we get the tribal music everyone associates with Black Panther. However, the comedy isn’t there as much as other Marvel movies and you have to go into this realizing it isn’t going to pull punches like other Marvel movies either. Right from the opening scene it proves that there are going to be much darker takes in here than anywhere else and it keeps proving that right up until the bitter end. It’s difficult to write a review for the most anticipated movie in a decade without giving anything away so I’m going to leave it here. After watching this, you will have just as much you want to say as I want to!

Pacific Rim: Uprising movie review

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It’s hard to review a movie that is just merely as okay as this one is. Pacific Rim: Uprising follows the son of Stacker Pentacost, Jake, who is played by John Boyege. Jake was once a promising Jaeger pilot, but left the program to pursue a life of partying. The war against Kaiju is deemed to be over, but someone out there is controlling evil Jaegers remotely trying to take out pilots. That is until the kaiju come back with a plan to take out the world entirely!.. To be honest I don’t even know HOW I would make this movie sound interesting. The plot of the movie is very clearly the first thing someone thought to do to make a sequel, with literally no creativity added in. None of the actors we loved from the first are back, except maybe for Charlie Day, but he is given such a shitty role to play in this that it makes the movie worse because of it. I was very disappointing, the first one was exactly what I wanted out of a monster vs. robot movie and this one doesn’t capitalize on my excitement at all, it just kind of coasts by.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom movie review

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Having a family and a new job with responsibilities doesn’t grant me a lot of free time to go to the theaters anymore. However, this was one of the few movies this year that I was so excited about that I went on opening day. Unfortunately though, for the most part it was a letdown and didn’t meet up to my expectations following the first (or fourth, whatever). The first Jurassic World movie is, in my personal opinion, phenomenal. It delivers on everything I wanted from a new Jurassic sequel, showing me a large and active park for the first time ever while remaining a visual spectacle. I expected the second one to be even larger and more grand, but was unfortunately let down shortly in to the movie… The movie starts out with Owen and Claire having to return to the island to save the dinosaurs from the volcano erupting. Much like in The Lost World, another company is also there to do the same thing (with a small twist), but with evil intentions. For the most part this portion of the movie is rather interesting, despite relying heavily on two completely disposable and annoying side characters. It doesn’t last long though as very early on in the movie they leave the island. Now, when I go into a sequel I expect it to be taken up a notch and be even larger in scale, this one went in the opposite direction in a very dramatic way. Not only did in downgrade from the whole island to a HOUSE, but the new “evil” dinosaur is smaller and less frightening. The rest of the movie after that point just seems to drag on. Sure, I will admit it was still beautiful to look at but almost every shot was picked up from a previous Jurassic movie into this one so much so that it was less a homage and more just laziness. To top it all off the ending plays at a cheap moral decision that we don’t really care about because this movie never takes the time to make us care about ANY of the people. Despite all of that I still remain hopeful for the third and final installment. This movie was clearly a filler movie and we were even told it is purely a filler movie to set up for the third. So, hopefully in the last we will actually get the larger scale we hoped for.

Dunkirk movie review

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The Lovely Bones movie review

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The Lovely Bones is, in my professional opinion, the most emotionally taxing movie I have ever seen. Lovely Bones follows a young girl that watches her family, and murderer from purgatory as they unravel her mystery and move on from the loss. I saw after watching this movie that it had received low reviews and I’m honestly not surprised because it is definitely not a movie for everyone. The acting is good from the leads, and a standout performance is given by Stanley Tucci who plays the killer. Tucci plays creepy in a way that gets under your skin and incites paranoia. He is nearly unrecognizable in this role. Susan Sarandon is also great as the grandmother. The only aspect of this movie I wasn’t necessarily a fan of was the depiction of purgatory, or “the-in-between” as they call it. It was undeniably gorgeous in every shot, but a lot of the scenes I found myself bored in and wanting to go back to the parts of the movie following the family. It’s not a big issue, just a small gripe… My wife put it perfectly when she described this movie as “not too much of anything.” You never feel too overwhelmed while watching Lovely Bones. Sure, there are moments I’m on the edge of my seat and holding my breath, times I am nearly brought to tears, and times I can barely look at the screen. All of that is balanced though. I was also intrigued, happy, and even laughing in moments. That right there is what makes you need to take a moment and collect yourself after it’s over though. You have just exited a roller coaster that you never even knew you got on. You don’t know what to think, or feel, or even if you like it. To me, that is the beauty of this movie.

Top 5 Justin Timberlake performances

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Sausage Party movie review

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Holy shit, this is an all-star cast! When I saw This is the End ALL I wanted was for these comedians to come together again and make a monster of a movie… They did just that but not in the way any of us were expecting! I’m a huge Seth Rogen fan, so, I follow all of his work closely. About a year ago I saw on IMDb that he was working on a big movie and I got STOKED. When the first trailer for this dropped and I saw what it was, I was blown away and laughed my ass off. I was SURE there was no way it could live up to that trailer. Well, it exceeded my expectations… Sausage Party is a animated movie (that I beg you do not take your kids too) that is the brainchild of Seth Rogen and features more amazing actors than I care to list. It follows Frank, a hot dog in a grocery store, and his endevour to get taken home with someone and “go inside” a bun. A bunch of shit goes awry when he gets picked to go home and he sets out on a mission to find out what REALLY happens when the humans take you away (spoiler: they get eaten). It sounds weird to say about a movie like this, but, this movie is truly genius. The amount of subtle references and jokes, along with the huge amount of food puns is awesome. The voice acting is spectacular, with not a single person phoning it in! And, best of all, because the people that made this are who they are there was no holding back in this movie. At one point a douche actually jumped up into and mans ass and controlled him that way making him murder everyone! If you are a fan of movies such as This is the End, Pineapple Express, and Knocked Up, this is the comedy for you!

SPOILER: I never knew I needed a food orgy scene until I had one.