Tag: 2 out of 4

Bloodshot

Hey, hey, heyheyhey. Vin Diesel. You’re looking kind of rough there. Are you stressed out? Are you getting enough sleep? Because you are looking a little…Bloodshot there.

Hyuck hyuck hyuck.

Of course Bloodshot is based on a comic, and no one really is aware of that. If it ain’t Marvel, DC, or even Dark Horse, ain’t no one give a damn. And sure, through some of the images, it looks like Diesel looks like the comic, so they are going for the same thing here.

See, if you didn’t read my words, you would have just assumed this is Diesel living out another of his Sci-Fi/Fantasy fantasies. Giving him cool powers and letting him run around like he bribed the DM of his campaign. Alas, this isn’t OG made up stuff, but a sourced material made up stuff.

punch
Every punch is sourced.
Ray Garrison (Vin Diesel) is one of those elite soldiers of America, who is good at killing and not being killed. He just returned from vague mission, where he did good things for America, and now he can go on vacation with his wife (Talulah Riley). But uh oh. Ray doing good, means bad guys are mad at him.

This one bad guy, Martin Axe (Toby Kebbell), dances his way in to their life and kills the wife, and kills Ray for not giving them good information. And end of movie!

Oh wait, no. Some company, RTS, brings Ray back to life, full of nanobots. Now he is a super soldier. Dr. Emil Harting (Guy Pearce) has brought him back to life, knowing only he died in war and didn’t have anyone claim his body. Ray’s memories are gone and he has a new purpose.

But, if he tries hard, maybe memories will return to him and he can get revenge on that dancing madman. That’d be swell, now that he is a superhero.

Also starring Alex Hernandez, Sam Heughan, Eiza González, Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson, and Lamorne Morris.

nanos
All the bots, all the time, always ready to party. 
Do you like emotional robots? Because then I have a film to not recommend. Because apparently being made of nanobots for your blood means you will stop feeling anything and somehow turn wooden, not metal.

Diesel smiles a couple times in this movie, generally when he is with his wife, and that is it. Everything else is super serious and stern. This movie takes itself far more seriously than the events on the screen should allow. I need some passion or winks or something to keep me more interested in the very weak plot.

The film I am giving an average rating for only due to originality. The plot could have gone a lot of ways, realistically, and it didn’t go the dumbest way. Audiences, whether they want to or not, have to pay a little bit attention and can’t just be impressed by some punches.

I will also highlight two scenes in particular. The flour fight scene was probably the coolest scene. The lighting gave it some fun visuals that really amplified the moment. And two, the elevator Spider-man deleted scene. Where Doc Ock is involved as well. This sounds ridiculous, and it is ridiculous, but I appreciate them doing this long fight scene in the bright light and not hide it all in the darkness.

But this film has weak acting all around. Average effects. A poor plot. And some okay twists. Somehow exactly what I expected without watching the trailer or knowing anything about the movie going in, weird huh?

2 out of 4.

Greed

Greed is probably my 2nd favorite game show of all time. I think it had a good balance of trivia, team work, back stabbery, and good money prizes. I am annoyed it didn’t take off more. My favorite would be Survivor, if that counts as a game show.

However, this doesn’t have anything to do with the game show, outside of the concept of needing…uhh, money. And Greed.

I couldn’t tell what I was really getting into when I accepted the invite. It had an orange dude on the cover, so I didn’t know if it was going for Trump parody, a different person, a mockumentary or what. I did know it was going to be British, which means strange humor.

greece
This doesn’t look like British humor! These are clearly Brazilian outfits!

Sir Richard McCreadie (Steve Coogan), or Greedy McCreadie from his non-fans, is a dick. An older, relatively wealthy, dick. He grabbed himself by his bootstraps, had already a large sum of money, and turned himself into a fashion icon.

Sure, most of his companies failed. Most of them went bankrupt and somehow the assets went to his family. His wife (Isla Fisher) was able to profit off of them the most, and a lot of it went into Tax Free havens. He borrowed money from the banks to pay for companies, that then went into the companies debt, not his own. He knew the system and knew how to make it work for him and his own, no one else.

>Well McCreadie is about to turn 60. He is annoyed about the bad press, the investigations, and the negativity. He is going to throw a giant bash for himself, regardless of what conditions his workers face. He is going to have the best party, in Greece, with all the stops pulled out. He also has a writer (David Mitchell) doing his life story. He has a lot of random workers like Amanda (Dinita Gohil) whose mom works in his factory, and a son (Asa Butterfield) who can’t stand him.

Yep, this party is going to be the best or the worst.

Also starring Sarah

Solemani, Tim Key, Asim Chaudhry, Ollie Locke, Kareem Alkabbani, Pearl Mackie, Jamie Blackley, Shanina Shaik, Jonny Sweet, Sophie Cookson, and Shirley Henderson.

trial
He’s not Trump. He is more competent.

Greed was weird. It had good moments, and lame moments. I want to be positive and focus mostly on the good.

I enjoyed the strangeness of Mitchell’s character, the writer, who was above it all and awkwardly placed at the same time. Name dropping literary references, not being sure how to handle the lavish dicks all around. He is our character going through the same emotions the audience go through, except he has a bit more say in what happens by the end.

Other actors of note include Gohil, Key, and Chaudhry, who all give us realistic feeling characters. And sure. Coogan as our asshole rich man, with his slick and creative slurs. The rest of the cast isn’t given a lot to work with, outside of being unbearable rich people for the most part, doing dick things and living fake lives. It is more of a script issue than anything, but none of them stand out in a positive way to elevate the film.

The film gets really weird with the end. Often, real stories give us text updates at the end to let us know about the real characters after the events of the film. This one did that as well, except it is about fake people. Instead it talked about real issues, with a lot more weight and passion that didn’t seem to match the scrutiny during the actual film.

Sure, it had rich people doing bad things, and they noted it as bad. It still didn’t seem like such a big deal in the context of ridiculous characters. So it felt like a harder attack at the end. They should have done a better job at being more explicit with the message they were really going for overall.

On its own, its is an okay movie, with some interesting elements. In retrospect, especially how it was filmed, it might have been even better as an actual mockumentary, as it already had a lot of good elements there.

2 out of 4.

The Photograph

Look at this photograph…movie! Hopefully doesn’t make me laugh. It’s supposed to be serious, how did we come to this?

Okay, for The Photograph I don’t know anything about it technically. I don’t know the main woman lead. I only know the director, Stella Meghie, did Everything, Everything and I didn’t like the ending.

But, I do know who LaKeith Stanfield, who has been really solid these last few years, which is reason enough for me to be excited. If its a good romance, I will hopefully cry as well.


Oh this one has a red room as well?
Our movie tells two stories, in the 80’s and in the modern day.

Our past story involves Christina (Chante Adams). She grew up relatively poor, enjoying picture taking. Her mom was mad at her youth and freedom, and seemed to disown her just for wanting to live her life. She loved Issac (Y’Lan Noel), and they were gonna grow old together, but he never wanted to leave Louisiana like Christina did, and that made them incompatible. She moved to New York, started a family, and became a great photographer.

In our modern time, we have Michael (Lakeith Stanfield), a reporter for something, who gets to take a long time on his articles. Nice. Not given the shit work. As part of a feature, he meets Issac (Rob Morgan), old now, and learns about Christina who has since died, and meets Christina’s daughter, Mae (Issa Rae) while looking for her art. And sure enough, they find that connection.

The story is about love, its future and past, and how the simplest things can change your life.

Also starring Chelsea Peretti, Jasmine Cephas Jones, Lil Rey Howery, Kelvin Harrison Jr., and Courtney B. Vance.


Staring at necks when people don’t see me is also my fetish.
The Photograph is two tales of romance, and it seems they need two tales because neither can stand well on its own feet. Two stories that are related by a single lady. Our past story is relatively basic, as they only flashback just a few times. It is needed for the main story, sure, but it isn’t the type of romance that one will walk out of and talk about how wonderful or tragic it feels. It just feels…basic.

Our modern romance story is a bit more interesting. Adding in new jobs versus new romances, getting over exes, and finding someone that is compatible vs maybe just lustful.

I like the acting from Stanfield and Rae a lot. I particularly enjoy that their stories made them seem like just regular people. It didn’t get bogged down in anything except for their relationships with each other (and for Mae, the relationship with her parents).

But it is a story with very little happening, very little of a conclusion. Decent acting saves a story that just won’t be memorable in a few months.

2 out of 4.

Isn’t It Romantic?

It has been tough for Rebel Wilson to breakout so far as a leading actress. Probably mostly because she is seen as a goofy, lovable sidekick character. She played it in the Pitch Perfect franchise and What To Expect When You’re Expecting really well, to make her mark.

But with those roles came more roles of similar nature. Only small parts, and if she is a leading lady, she is sharing it with a few others in a group, and those films haven’t been met with any acclaim.

Now with Isn’t It Romantic?, she gets to be not just the leading woman, but obviously the leading character. This is a movie about someone she plays, and everyone else is side folly. I could be mistake, but I believe this is the first time she has done this in a big picture before.

And why not start with a purely satire picture, so that people know we are supposed to find it ridiculous.


Having a RomCom? That means the impromptu musical part will be my favorite!

Natalie (Rebel Wilson) works as an architect, but has no self confidence at all. She lets her work friends walk all over her, she does favors with none given back, she can’t get a word in at meetings, she has an assistant (Betty Gilpin) who just likes to watch movies and is lazy, but she is fine with it.

But this leads to their discussion of romantic comedies. Because Natalie thinks they are stupid, but her assistant loves them. And sure enough, after getting mugged by a subway and waking up in a hospital, Natalie has found her life to be different. The world is cleaner, people are nicer, and good things are suddenly happening to her out of nowhere.

A guy who used to be a jerk to her (Liam Hemsworth) now only wants to seduce her, she now has a gay best friend (Brandon Scott Jones), and her best friend forever (Adam DeVine) is also getting wrapped up in the genre and found a new love (Priyanka Chopra)!

Looks like everything is going to work out after all…

c
Have your dreams come true? Gain a Hemsworth.

Plenty of satires have mocked what they were satirizing, and also given a film that follows those tropes as part of their satire. But how far is too far? And how much of it is just an excuse to make another romantic comedy?

It sort of feels like lampshading. “Oh golly, romantic comedies have a gay best friend, and now here is ours!” and things like that. And this movie does do that a lot, which loses its impact over time.

ON THE OTHER HAND. This film does not fully commit, thankfully. It does subvert the expectation as well, giving us that breath of fresh air.

It would be most ideal if it subverted it more often, but if it only subverted the trope, then she wouldn’t be stuck in a RomCom, so it is hard to find the balance.

And also, let’s be honest, I loved the multiple musical numbers. Those really are my jam.

It could have been better, but it also could have been way, way worse.

2 out of 4.

Bad Boys For Life

Bad Boys bad boys, Michael gonna Bay, Michael gonna Bay and explode on you.

As of last week, I had not seen either of the Bad Boys movies. I did make sure to check out the first two before this third one quite a few years later. I figured the plot would be relevant [Editor’s Note: It wasn’t] to previous movies and didn’t want to be lost. And honestly, neither were my jam at all. I can’t remember much about the first film, and only a few scenes from the sequel stand out. It was definitely a chore I had to put up with.

And let’s talk about this title? Bad Boys For Life. I guess they don’t have high expectations for future films, letting go of that obvious for for the fourth film there.

And yes, I know Michael Bay didn’t direct this one. Let me have my fun.

ooohyeah
Lawrence is mostly just excited to have work at this point. 

Set all the real life years after the other movies, we have our heroes Mike Lowrey (Will Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) getting older and getting into slightly less trouble. Mike still feels he is king of the world and untouchable. Marcus is slowing down, ready to retire, and over a lot of this stuff. Hell, he is a grandfather now. He wants to make sure he can see his grandson grow up and now get shot at some point in the future.

At the same time, some Hispanic lady (Kate del Castillo) broke out of prison in Mexico, thanks to her son (Jacob Scipio), and they seem to have plans about getting their family back on top. Finding some lost money, getting the literal gang back together. All of that. And she wants revenge, for everyone who hurt the family, including a Mike Lowrey many years ago.

Oh yeah, they have history. But you don’t know about it, since it took place before even the first movie, because why not.

Anyways, not sure what else to talk about. Scary threat and scary bad people, and maybe some people will die.

Also starring Alexander Ludwig, Vanessa Hudgens, Joe Pantoliano, Paola Nuñez, Charles Melton, and DJ Khaled.

panning shot
Oh yeah, everyone is getting too old for this shit. 

Bad Boys for Life could have been a better film. The ideas were there. Some of the characters were there. But it did not ever reach the potential and by the end, we were left with the same damn shit.

First I want to talk about Martin Lawrence, featuring a fatter head because he has been a lot more out of the spotlight. Honestly, it fits his character. And I loved his character in the first half of the movie. A grandson changed his life. He had new priorities. He prayed and stick to his prayers. It was actually a delight to see. And uhh, eventually, it was all just thrown away and hey, action movie, shoot gun, bang bang bang killing people. Okay.

Second note. In the middle of the movie we get a big speech from a character and it is meant to be this big moment. A change of heart speech. And then a really bad thing happens at that moment. Mike realizes at that point that everyone else was right, and that he was wrong. He was doing the bad stuff, he shouldn’t be involved, he needs to let others handle the current issue at hand. Hell, Marcus was right and Mike was wrong. They establish it, we all agree with it.

AND THEN RIGHT AFTER THEY GO BACK TO DOING THE BAD THING THEY ALL JUST AGREED SHOULDN’T BE DONE.

What in the hell? I feel like I was taking crazy pills.

This is a film that has some good laughs and scenes, and has good ideas, that get tossed aside on a whim to give us just another buddy cop action film. It didn’t stick the landing in terms of character growth at all, especially with the actual ending, which became a standard big kill fest with expendable bad guys, fire, and some underwhelming CGI.

Oh yeah, and there is no need to watch either previous movie. Despite having a villain from the past, it certainly isn’t one in the first two movies. Despite having a character that was in a relationship with Mike in the past, it is another thing that happened off screen. Completely lazy writing at points for these minor details, and, you know, the main plot of the dang film.

I am just so upset that it had potential and started off way better than expected.

2 out of 4.

Underwater

To start this review, let’s talk about Underwater as a concept.

What does it mean to be underwater? Usually, someone who says that they are underwater means they have water above them. And they are rarely actually under water while speaking, because that is hard to do when surrounded by water.

But if you have water over you, there is a good chance you still have more water under you too. Right? To be under something you really just need to be under a little bit of it apparently. You can be completely surrounded by water, so why would you be so weirdly specific in order to just say you are under it?

Seems ridiculous. Speaking of being ridiculous and not super specific, let’s get on to the review.

swimsuit
Not much water surrounding these folks!

As you will try to read very quickly at the start of the film, as newspaper headlines/taglines/regular lines flash across the screen with the occasional strobe, there are big underwater research/drilling sites. Super big, bottom of the ocean, with drills going far down. Why? Energy or something. And I guess some earthquakes are happening and weird things. But we don’t have time for that.

We only have time for Norah (Kristen Stewart), who is contemplating what it means to exist and sleep and work, when the explosions immediately start rocking the ship. Panic, running, and immediately she helps save the day by blocking the water from blowing up the whole place. Norah, along with some stranglers she meets (Mamoudou Athie, T.J. Miller) make it up to the escape pods, and darn it, they are already gone.

She does meet the captain (Vincent Cassel) and some more crew members (Jessica Henwick, John Gallagher Jr.) and realize they don’t have much time to get out. The top is collapsing. The bottom is flooded. They make a quick plan to descend to the sea floor, get int these sweet underwater suits, and walk a long distance to an older station that should still have some escape pods. It is their only chance.

But what caused the explosions down there? What made the horrible sounds in the last drill recording, what is banging on their walls, and what is out for their blood?

new swim suits
Not great for speed swimming, but good for not blowing up purposes.

I expected Underwater to be much worse than it actually ended up being.

I saw a giant standee for it a few months ago and sent it to my wife that it would be bad. It had T.J. Miller on the standee, third name! What? The Bomb threat guy? The one who beat his girlfriend? The drunk and wants to fight man? Why is he in a movie right now?

Oh, turns out this was made in 2017, before a lot of that, and took forever to come out.

Now surprinsgly, it wasn’t completely terrible. Miller was terrible yes. And the film early on had an issue where it refused to let the audience fully react to scenes or let us see how characters got out of a jam. Quick jumps in time, that gets us through potentially boring struggles I guess? One quite annoying one had them crashing to the sea floor on a ride, hurrying to get the door open to jump, and then the next instant they were all on the sea floor running. What the hell? Where’s my jump?

A lot of the film uses the dark depths and hard to distinguish up/down to its advantage to confuse the viewer. But honestly, the monsters were really a cool design. I love what they did with them. Reminded me of underwater ghost vampires in a way, and sure, Cthulhu in another.

This film gets straight to the point at the beginning, and isn’t a long run time. It is relatively predictable, but it has some sweet visuals that can produce some scares and some relatively fun moments.

2 out of 4.

The Aeronauts

The Aeronauts is a an end of year movie that should have had all of the pomp and circumstance of a summer release and…did not. Because Amazon Studios bought it, I guess they felt it only deserved some amount of release, and one of those online a month or so later.

It was really swell of them to do that for me, as I got to see it before the end of 2019!

Although, I was curious about how the device would affect my enjoyment of the movie. So I split it into thirds by time, not my plot (as I hadn’t seen it yet). I started with my regular desktop computer, then the next third was my phone, and my final third was my living room television.

And the results will not surprise you at all!

smile
The results are as shocking as this balloon ride.
The Aeronauts is a fictionalized telling of James Glaisher (Eddie Redmayne), famed weather scientist, and him going on a balloon to do some science. His goal was to go super high up, higher than anyone else, with all the science equipment in order to help predict weather patterns and just figure out shit about the atmosphere.

His partner in crime? Fictional, Amelia Wren (Felicity Jones), hot air balloon pilot, loosely based on Sophie Blanchard. She was good a piloting, even though on one of her recent missions, her husband (Vincent Perez) died in the balloon, so that sucks a lot. She is all about the flair and the spectacle in order to get financing behind these trips. Science be damned, she just wants to fly and redeem herself.

And yeah. This is a movie about the hot air balloon trip that almost killed them both, where they went higher than any human before, and science’d a whole lot. Sort of based off of a real trip done, but way less crazy.

Also starring Himesh Patel, Phoebe Fox, Rebecca Front, and Robert Glenister.

ice
She’s as cold as ice, but not willing to sacrifice their love. 

First, the screen results. I was much more excited abotu the movie and interested in its plot the bigger the screen. Shocking ahh! If you got to watch this on IMAX, I am jealous, because it is a beautiful movie with a lot of CGI that works really well together to take us on a trip above the clouds.

The biggest selling point for the film is the visuals.

Redmayne and Jones have really good chemistry together, and despite the story being told in a disjointed order, it doesn’t take away from their short and important flight.

Unfortunately, it is also really hard to get super psyched about this movie, knowing it is far closer to a fake tale than anything else. If it was sold just a fiction story? It’d be a fun adventure. But it is being sold as the sort of true story, and now the whole thing is muddled. This is not something you would get actual useful knowledge out of. It should not be seen as educational.

Unfortunately, the whole film is set up in a way to highlight this one big important moment and flight that really didn’t exist. A cool story, destroyed by its details.

2 out of 4.

Jumanji: The Next Level

Jumanji: The Next Level is the sequel to the sequel/reboot that was actually the second sequel to a movie that is based on a book from the 1980’s.

But this one has characters from the last one, and is also in a video game, so people like that.

Honestly, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle was better than I expected, even with dumb video game inconsistencies that movies just refuse to ever get right when we have real people sucked into video games.

And knowing that this movie had Dwayne Johnson pretending to be Danny DeVito? That was really enough for me to make sure I could see it!

awk
Seems like some glitches have affected the Avatars!
Alright! Time for more video games!

This takes place I guess about two years after the events of our first film. All of our heroes went off to do things. Spencer (Alex Wolff), our main kid I guess, went off to NYC for college, while the girl Martha (Morgan Turner) whom he started to date, went to a different school. She seemed toooo cool for him now and he broke up because of his anxieties and low self worth.

But the four of them still agree to meet up over the holidays, Spencer, Martha, Bethany (Madison Iseman) and Fridge (Ser’Darius Blain), a strange Breakfast club that didn’t end.

This time though, Spencer doesn’t show up, despite coming back home. So they check for him at home and only see some old dudes, Eddie (Danny DeVito) and Milo (Danny Glover). It’s his grandparent and old business partner!

Turns out Spencer went back into the game Also turns out that Spencer even has the game again, despite being all broken. So they agree to go back in, but uh oh, old people get sucked in instead of Bethany! Now they have to explain it all to people who are bad at video games. Not only that, but the game seems to be a sequel, and a new quest!

Ack. Okay. Find Spencer. Finish the game. Don’t die. Also starring the same avatars of Karen Gillan, Dwayne Johnson, Jack BlackNick Jonas, and Kevin Hart. Also Awkwafina, Rhys Darby, Rory McCann, and Colin Hanks.

upsidedown car
In this new level, it takes place in Australia! Clearly.

I came for the Rock as Devito, but it turns out the real star was Hart as Glover. It is already hard to see Kevin Hart as anyone besides Kevin Hart. Even in the last film, it was still basically Kevin Hart. But when he was imitating Glover, his voice was deeper, his voice was more thoughtful and slow. And sure, the slower speech was important enough to the plot so that everyone would notice it, doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate it.

The Rock as DeVito? Honestly, a bit more disappointing. At first I thought it must be my own hype ruining it, and maybe DeVito wasn’t as obvious as I thought. But later in the movie, ANOTHER character had to act like DeVito for long periods of time and they nailed it. It was exactly what I was hoping the Rock would do, and he didn’t deliver. And for spoiler reasons I will keep it vague, great job other acting person. You and the previous mentioned Hart description knocked it out of the park.

Now on the other fronts, the plot of this one is really weak. Not just the video game plot, which is part of the point. The real world plot. The old guy anger isn’t worth our time. The plot to get Spencer and friends into the game was terrible this time around. Why does it happen? Because they want a sequel to exist, I guess.

This film still has some fun, and some tricks up its sleeve. And still, like the first, it ends up being just okay.

2 out of 4.

Dark Waters

Do you remember A Civil Action? Or maybe Erin Brockovich? Well, I will say I remember the first one a lot more. Because the latter came out when I was a bustling teenager and the only thing I remember in that film is cleavage being nominated for Best Supporting Actress, or something like that.

Either way, legal thrillers can be really fun, especially when they are fighting against people hurting the environment. Hurting the environment is something most of us can agree is wrong, and it is an easy bad guy. The corporations! And usually people are getting sick, or dying, or the land is getting ruined, and no one wants that either.

The sad news is that these cases are still happening and still real, so they can keep making movies about them. They don’t have to make fake boogeyman stories, they are really out there!

Dark Waters is the next attempt to bring a real story to public eye, so we know there is a bad guy out there, and who is trying to fix it.

baby
And do they also know where this baby is?!
Robert Bilott (Mark Ruffalo) just got partner in the late 1990’s at a sweet Law firm in Ohio. They are probably the number one corporate chemical law firm. They protect companies in chemical law suits, from regular folks or other companies. But the number one chemical company, DuPont, has been out of their grasp as a client.

Well, Bilott comes from a small town in West Virginia, and an old neighbor of his grandma shows up at the firm one day with tape after tape of “evidence” that the landfill put up by his farm is dumping/hiding chemicals even though they said they wouldn’t. His cows are dying, their parts are mutating, they are angry, and his own family is being affected. DuPont, the largest employer in their area, is also the one in charge of this landfill.

Fun.

Bilott is not used to representing plantiffs, but he feels like he has to check it out, for his own sense of morality. And sure, after a few levels of checking, it feels like DuPont is still on the up and up. But when he continually digs, he finds out they have been hiding secrets for decades from the community and America about their products, and this quick lawsuit is going to be a several decade long affair.

Also starring Anne Hathaway, Bill Camp, Bill Pullman, Louisa Krause, Mare Winningham, Tim Robbins, Victor Garber, and William Jackson Harper.

frogface
Ruffalo does his best impression of a frog pretending to be human in this movie.
Todd Haynes directed Dark Waters, and honestly, this is not the topic or type of movie I would have expected from the person who last brought us Carol a few years ago.

To me, this movie had a sort of TV movie special feel about it. The way it was shot, some awkward scenes early on for exposition purposes, it really just didn’t help me get fully into it.

Now, Dark Waters is certainly a story worth being told. It is an important case and I assume most people don’t know about it despite it affecting most households (myself included). It could become must watch material for that reason (or at least, must read for the article this movie is based off of). Maybe even just the Wikipedia synopsis at some point.

Or here: DuPont sucks. Teflon is cancer causing and bad for us. The chemical company lied for decades, helped cause diseases that killed its workers, and tried to hide it and never self regulated what the EPA demanded of it at the time. For profit. And they are still making lots of profit.

But in terms of this film, a lot of great actors are involved and feel wasted. Hathaway is way too great an actress for the angry at home housewife role. I couldn’t tell if Pullman was acting, and Robbins has maybe one good scene. I hate seeing Garber as the villain, but his scenes were pretty by the numbers. Ruffalo is definitely acting weird the whole film, and putting a lot of face work into it. I did love Camp in his role, once I could understand his heavy accent.

The film as a whole is just average. It doesn’t go hard enough and it just feels lazily put together.

2 out of 4.

Frozen II

Seven years ago, Frozen hit the world one Thanksgiving week, and we weren’t ready for it. I don’t recall a lot about the trailers, but I do recall the teaser trailer, and it was very basic.

And you know what? I loved it. Most of the soundtrack was really good. They didn’t use Menzel enough, and Groff was ignored stupidly, but they could have done better. It was still a really good sign of Disney amping up their animation department, and led to the also quite perfect Moana!

And let me say, that for Frozen II, I wasn’t dreading it at all. I loved their first teaser trailer. It made this movie look darker, more plot focused, more adventure full. I was ready to be blown away.

horse
A water horse in water? That makes sense. Land horses are on land.
Three years after the events of the first film, everything in Arendelle is going so darn swell. The gates have been open, people are happy and prosperous, and oh golly gee gumdrops, everything will stay the same.

Except… Elsa (Idina Menzel) is starting to hear a strange calling in the distance, and only she is hearing it. And Anna (Kristen Bell) is helping run things, she loves having all these freedoms. Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) is about to propose to Anna, but she is so preoccupied with her sister things keep coming up. And Olaf (Josh Gad) is dealing with his strange existence, getting older and more mature.

All of this only slightly matters. What matters the most is that voice, and all of the exposition the beginning of the film talked about. There used to be an enchanted nearby that the old King saw when he was a boy, and the two groups tried to be friends. But, betrayal! Sadness! And a lot of magic left the world.

I guess Elsa just has that magical adventure itch, because she gets the gang together after a disaster in their city to try and enter that blocked off enchanted forest to see if they can figure out what is going on, or maybe just that voice.

Also starring various voices by Alan Tudyk, Ciarán Hinds, Sterling K. Brown, Evan Rachel Wood, Alfred Molina, Martha Plimpton, Jason Ritter, Rachel Matthews, and Jeremy Sisto.

deer
Reindeers rush better than people, Sven wouldn’t you say that’s true? 

Really early on in Frozen II is when I realized things weren’t going to be as good as I had hoped. It started with a scene from their childhood, pre trolls interfering with memory. And it had the long story their dad said about the forest, and a bonus mom song. And the entirety of the movie relies on the scene.

The entirety of a sequel relying on a scene that didn’t happen in the first film? Ugh. There were a lot of plot points they could have naturally done based on the first film. Hell, they could have done most of this film without that scene. But really this just feels like changing the canon. Sure, that kid conversation could have happened in their life and not changed the first film at all. But it now just feels tacked on.

Another downgrade for me is the music overall. Now of course, I love that they gave Groff his own song and parts of other songs, keeping true to his character. They also used Menzel more. But most of the songs don’t capture the spirit to me like they did in the first film. I already listened to the soundtrack a second time and I am not left with whimsy, I’m not wanting to hear and sing a long over and over.

Again, overall, the plot is okay. It has some good parts, some lame parts, some rushed parts, and some tacked on parts. Some of the Elsa and Anna scenes are really strong, but the film overall feels a lot weaker. And that is a shame. It will still probably win an Oscar for animated awards because the Academy is usually really lame though.

2 out of 4.