Friday, June 23, 2017

New in Theaters for June 23, 2017 "Transformers: The Last Knight"

Transformers: The Last Knight
Starring: Mark Wahlberg and Anthony Hopkins
Rated PG-13

Most of the film is spent on unnecessary and incoherent confusing subplots dealing with an orphaned girl, John Turturro literally 'phoning it in,' flashbacks to King Arthur and his knights and Anthony Hopkins explaining everything to the audience because the script doesn't make any sense. 

Then there are the blurry and confusing battles between Transformers and Decepticons (The 'bad' Transformers) and the sheer impossibility of keeping track of all the characters in this film.
At every turn, “Transformers: The Last Knight” will not only disappoint you but goes the extra mile to insult your intelligence.
In the film, humans and Transformers are at war and Optimus Prime is gone. The key to saving our future lies buried in the secrets of the past, in the hidden history of Transformers on Earth.
“Transformers: The Last Knight” is a mess. Most of us have seen this coming, what with each film in the franchise getting progressively worse and worse. I am hoping director Michael Bay will seriously read the reviews by both critics and audiences and simply hand this over to someone who can actually direct a sci-fi film.
All in all this is a giant waste of time that can't turn itself into anything worthwhile.

The film, which I am calling 'The Worst Film of 2017 So Far,' gets an F and is rated PG-13.

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Thursday, June 15, 2017

New in Theaters for June 16, 2017 "Cars 3," "Book of Henry" and "47 Meters Down"

47 Meters Down
Starring: Mandy Moore and Matthew Modine
Rated PG-13
Two sisters vacationing in Mexico become trapped in a shark cage on the ocean floor. As their oxygen starts to run out and with great white sharks circling them, the sisters must find a way to get to the surface alive.

“47 Meters Down” starts off to be a solid thriller, giving the audience the hope that it will be worth the time and effort to see it. But then the film falls into a cliche-ridden movie where everyone begins doing stupid things.

Experienced divers jump into shark-infested waters, The girls leave and return to the shark cage like it was a revolving door and everyone seems not to know how to work a flashlight.

There are some jump-in-your-seat moments, but mostly the action is almost too quick to follow.

“47 Meters Down” is a likable shark movie, but it is not one that will be remembered for very long.

It gets a C and is rated PG-13.

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Book of Henry
Starring: Naomi Watts and Jacob Trembly
Rated PG-13

In the film , a single mother discovers a scheme in her son's book to rescue a young girl from the hands of her abusive stepfather and sets out to execute the plan at any cost.

“The Book of Henry” is an overindulgent movie that lightly candy coats child abuse and pediatric terminal illness to the point of the ridiculous. The film is too preachy and weighty to be enjoyable and too maudlin to be forgivable.

The film gets a D and is rated PG-13.

Cars 3
Starring the voices of: Owen Wilson, Nathan Fillion and Armie Hammer
Rated PG
Lightning McQueen is up against his biggest challenger to date, a new generation sports car that may mean the end of McQueen's racing career once and for all.

“Cars 3” wasn't expected to be much more than a way for the Disney franchise machine to sell more stuff. More toys and new characters to collect.

But the surprise is “Cars 3” really delivers a unique and heartfelt story which simply talks about finding the best in yourself, no matter what generation you represent.

There are so many wonderfully touching moments in the film where Lightning seems to be lost emotionally and has lost his passion for the sport. In those moments he remembers what his mentor, Doc Hudson, said to him and somehow finds the strength and courage to not only move on, but to do in in a very unexpected way.

“Cars 3” is about as good as a Disney sequel can get.

It gets an A and is rated PG.

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Monday, June 12, 2017

New on DVD and Blu-ray for June 13, 2017 "John Wick 2" and "The Lego Batman Movie"

John Wick Chapter 2
Starring: Keanu Reeves
Rated R

In the sequel to “John Wick,” everybody's favorite hit man now has a price on his head and must defend himself against a barrage of assassins out to get him. 

“John Wick: Chapter 2” is an action-filled film with plenty of violence, a high body count and lots of stunts.

But the film is basically a rehash of the original. Basically the producers are saying to their audience, “If it worked once it will work again, they'll never know.” And judging from the film's $166.8 million dollars it earned globally, maybe they're right.

But, I was hoping for much more.

Simply the film did not stretch or task the John Wick character at all, and only offered cartoonish villains for the chase. In essence, the movie only delivered on the garnish, not on the main entree.

“John Wick: Chapter 2” gets a C and is rated R.

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The Lego Batman Movie
Starring the Voices of: Will Arnett and Michael Cera
Rated PG
Gotham City is facing its biggest challenge, The Joker is back and wants to take over the city. But Batman is preoccupied with a new adopted son and a new police commissioner who wants the caped crusader to drop the vigilante routine and work as a team member.

“The Lego Batman Movie” is one of the best surprises that hit theaters this year. Funny, poignant, touching and fun, the film offers big laughs and great gags all the while teaching us that we all are a part of the team.

“The Lego Batman Movie” gets an A and is rated PG.

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Thursday, June 8, 2017

New in theaters June 9, 2017 "Megan Leavey" and "The Mummy"

Megan Leavey
Starring: Kate Mara and Edie Falco
Rated PG-13

The film is based on a true story of a young Marine corporal who forms a unique and binding bond with a combat dog during her assignment in Iraq. 

“Megan Leavey” is an emotional and satisfying film about the love between humans and their animals, in this case a dog. Over the years we've seen films like this which all touch our hearts. Films like, “My Dog Skip,” “Turner and Hootch,” “Eight Below,” “Max” and even as far back as “Lassie,” prove that movie makers know audiences love films about the human bond with animals.

“Megan Leavey” proves that the formula still works and is very powerful.

Kate Mara delivers an honest performance as the title character, who was lost in life until she decided to join the Marines. The film's best moments come from footage of Mara as Megan Leavey working with her canine trainee, Rex.

All in all “Megan Leavey” is a film well worth your time to experience.

It gets a B and is rated PG-13.

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The Mummy
Starring: Tom Cruise and Russell Crowe
Rated PG-13

Long ago, an Egyptian princess is buried alive for her evil deeds and swears to return to rule the world.
In present day, a mercenary, played by Tom Cruise, uncovers the tomb of the evil princess and unwittingly sets her free.

This latest version of “The Mummy” lacks so much. Imagination, direction, interesting characters, characters that are completely unnecessary, dumb plots, confusing story lines and clunky special effects.

And there is really no reason for any of that, other than sheer lack of caring on the studio's part. This film needed rewrite after rewrite as well as a few cast changes. Russell Crowe had no business being in this film, other than to add his name to the credits. His character, “Dr. Jekyll,” (Yes THAT Dr. Jekyll) gave the impression it was tacked on at the last moment. Crowe added nothing to the storyline.

Tom Cruise was just miscast. Tom could have played this role 15 years ago. The actor struggles to keep himself centered in the role, and loses the audience early into the film.

“The Mummy” should have stayed buried. It gets a D and is rated PG-13.

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Monday, June 5, 2017

New on DVD and Blu-ray for Tuesday June 6, 2017 "A Cure for Wellness" and "Beauty and the Beast"

A Cure for Wellness
Starring: Dean Dehaan and Jason Isaacs
Rated R

An ambitious young executive is sent to retrieve his company's CEO from an idyllic but mysterious "wellness center" at a remote location in the Swiss Alps, but soon suspects that the spa's treatments are not what they seem.

“A Cure for Wellness” is a throwback to Hitchcock's psychological thrillers in which the audience is never really is let in on the whole truth. Until the end.

Directed by Gore Verbinski, the film builds itself on visual imagery, slick camera movements and red herrings all the while the pacing of the film is methodical and deliberate.

In the end, “A Cure for Wellness” is an oddball movie, which should be savored by film fans of the gothic thriller genre.

It gets a B and is rated R.

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Beauty and the Beast
Starring: Emma Watson and Josh Gad
Rated PG
Disney's animated classic takes on a new form, with a widened mythology and an all-star cast. A young prince, imprisoned in the form of a beast, can be freed only by true love. What may be his only opportunity arrives when he meets Belle, the only human girl to ever visit the castle since it was enchanted.
I guess there are two kinds of people now those who love the new live adaptation of "Beauty and the Beast" and those who hate it.
Some will tell you that this film is uninspired and lacks the charm of the original Oscar-winning animated film, adding it's not worth your time to see.
But if you're a romantic and love the fantasy of the story, I think you'll be pleased with the film and the way it was adapted including the deeper back story.
The film does have pacing problems and the CGI work needed to be better but, all in all, the film will please most audiences.
"Beauty and the Beast" will not make you forget the original animated film, quite the contrary, it will make you appreciate it much, much more.
The film gets a B and is rated PG.

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Thursday, June 1, 2017

New in theaters June 2, 2017 "Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie" and "Wonder Woman"

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie
Starring (Voices): Kevin Hart, Jordan Peele, Thomas Middleditch and Ed Helms
Rated PG
In the film, two overly imaginative pranksters named George and Harold, hypnotize their principal into thinking he's a ridiculously enthusiastic, incredibly dimwitted superhero named 'Captain Underpants.'

“Captain Underpants” is a funny film but with a few restrictions. 

The movie moves at warp speed to keep the core audience's attention, (8 to 12 years old) but because of the film's fast-pacing there is virtually no continuity in the plot. And the film keeps taking unnecessary detours 

There are several story line changes during the film, but it's all at top speed giving the audience the feeling the film suffers from a cinematic form of ADHD.

“Captain Underpants: The First Epic Film” is a harmless film to take your kids to, but nothing in this animated movie ends up memorable.

It gets a C and is rated PG.

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Wonder Woman

Starring: Gal Gadot and Chris Pine
Rated PG-13

Gal Gadot is Princess Diana, who rescues a WWII pilot when he crashes in the waters of the coast of her hidden and mythical Island.

The downed pilot, Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), tells her of the war that's being fought and Diana begins to realize her true purpose.

She leaves her island with Trevor to begin a battle against evil deeds.

“Wonder Woman” is a rip-roaring, action adventure and exactly what comic book films should be, exciting, fun, humorous and touching.

Gal Gadot is perfectly cast as the Amazon warrior. She is a fearsome fighter who never loses her femininity. It is a perfect balance she gracefully maintains. Also well-cast are the supporting characters including Chris Pine as the steadfast Steve Trevor. Pine delivers a terrific turn as Wonder Woman's guide into the world beyond her peaceful island.

“Wonder Woman” is a true summer blockbuster delivered with all the trimmings.

It gets an A and is rated PG-13.

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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Starring: Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron
Rated R

Based on the TV series, “Baywatch” stars Dwayne Johnson as a no-nonsense lifeguard who must contend with new trainees and a drug smuggler.

“Baywatch” is a scattered comedy trying desperately to be liked but fails at just about every turn.

The spoof begins with a lot of hope for the audience, but degenerates quickly into one raunchy sight gag after another. Unlike the very funny “21 Jump Street,” “Baywatch” refused to connect with the audience, and although there were a few laughs, most of the film was a sloppy mess.

Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson, who plays “Mitch,” was regulated too muscle-flexing and running. Johnson, who does rather well in comedies like “Central Intelligence,” was let down by a way too underdone script.

Zac Efron, who is making a career of being in 'frat house films' like “Dirty Grandpa” and “Neighbors,” handed in an uninspired and lackluster performance as he plays “Matt,” a 2-time gold medal Olympian now disgraced.

In the end “Baywatch” is just another in a long line of poorly written, badly directed TV parodies that simply are not funny.

“Baywatch” gets a D and is rated R.

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Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Starring: Johnny Depp and Geoffrey Rush
Rated PG-13

The 5th film in the 'Pirates' franchise has Jack Sparrow teaming up with Will Turner's son, Henry, to bring back the Trident of Poseidon to break the curse Will Turner is under. All the while being pursued by a villainous Spanish pirate, played by Javier Bardem.

“Pirates 5” delightfully takes the franchise almost full circle to where it all began. But the ante is upped as new characters are introduced, deals are made and broken, and the special effects are terrific and the script is fresh and fun.

“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” uses the right blend of action, adventure, lunacy and swashbuckle. It gets a B and is rated PG-13.

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