Movie Roundup – Online Releases 2018

Welcome to a Movie Roundup! A movie roundup features a few films that I didn’t feel like making full reviews for, but needed to get basic reviews out there for completionist reasons. It also helps me deal with my backlog. It may have a theme, and today’s theme is Online Releases 2018! Basically, things that started out on the internet, ideally a streaming website, because it is a loose theme, and I will take it.

Being on a movie round up doesn’t mean a movie is inherently bad, or good, or meh. I can feature any rating on here! So don’t assume the worst! I will also just post the reviews in alphabetical order.


Online Releases 2018

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Can we go wrong with the Coen brothers? Yes, we totally can. But I can’t help but feel something wonderful when they continually try to do something different, or make the normal a lot more eccentric. This time, they went back to the former, while also going back to some of those old timey western roots, which are arguably their best movies. Except this time, it is straight to Netflix, and an Anthology movie with six short films instead. The only connection? Western.

This ends up working really well, even if I can say I didn’t love every part of the anthology. Unfortunately, the best and most fun was the first of the stories, and probably me least favorite was number two. I really enjoyed the one about the prospectors and the woman with her not dog too. When it works, it really works, and when it doesn’t work, it is still well made and a bit beautiful, if not full of fuckery. This is not a happy movie, and it can easily be watched in parts, and deserves praise for its individual shorts that work out amazingly well.

3 out of 4.

Ballad
None of these people share a scene with the others.

The Kissing Booth

On the other hand, Netflix has made it clear its strategy isn’t to appeal to just the best movie ever, but to instead go for all the demographics so that they all have something to watch, which is fair. Netflix having a shit movie doesn’t mean that Netflix is bad, I just don’t have to watch it…if I am a normal movie goer.

But this movie is something else, and it has crawled out of the pits of hell thanks to some teenage girl. Yeah, it is based on a book, written by a teenage girl, on some website, and now its a movie. An uninspired romance movie, that seems to rely on the kissing booth as a feature, despite not being featured too heavily in the grand scope. It features a love interest who is super controlling, threatening, and uses his fists to solve problems. Ah, what good values to instill in our youth.

0 out of 4.

Kissing
Help, help, I’m trapped in a 90s movie.

My Dinner with Hervé

Over on HBO, they also like to do movies, and shows, and documentaries. In this one, we have dudes as the stars, with one of them being one of their biggest stars of their biggest show. Makes sense. Peter Dinklage playing a biographical role, of possibly the most famous little person in history (before Peter Dinklage and Verne Troyer), Hervé Villechaize. Made famous for being in Fantasy Island and The Man With The Golden Gun.

Now, this is all according to a journalist, but it is based on the night out on the town with Hervé, where he also recounts his whole life story leading up to the point, his rises, and his many many downfalls. Dinklage does an amazing job of transforming himself, or what I know about himself, and this is an extremely touching tale of a childhood of abuse and sadness, while still trying to make something about it. It never seems to go deep enough into the sadder parts though, and probably skirts around important details. I just knew that it started off way better than it eventually ended.

2 out of 4.

DINNer
And that is also true about life, I suppose.

Slice

Slice might not technically fit this theme, because it came out on VOD, but hey, my themes are loose, and I want it in this post. Slice is the type of movie that is just so out there, it is hard to believe that it even exists. Vampires, werewolves, zombies, ghosts, murder mystery, pizza store, witches, and such a strange plot and concept. It is the type of movie that when describing it you know will have a cult following and probably LARPing in the future.

But in all honestly, it just doesn’t work out well. The only redeeming factor is that it definitely feels original. It just is a weird mash of ideas that aren’t fully explained because it isn’t fully thought through. It is cool, it is weird, but it is definitely not good.

1 out of 4.

sLIce
Although, it made me want pizza, so good job there.

The Tale

Finally, another HBO movie (sorry Hulu), that I didn’t even know came out this last summer. I would have never known it existed if it didn’t get nominated for a Spirit award. I mean, it has a big name in it, and it is about sexual abuse when someone was a child. Sure, a fictional tale, but a tale that resonates due to how often similar “tales” have been told by other girls in relation to their coaches while growing up. Hell, the gymnastics scandal was in 2018, maybe even going on after this movie. It is very relevant.

Dern plays someone very vulnerable and stubborn at the same time. It doesn’t end with fireworks, but plays it in a more realistic way. More importantly, the girl who plays the younger version is amazing at her role. Her acting, in normal kid way, amplifies the creepiness of everything. It puts the viewer in a dark place and really helps bring the hate towards these sexual predators.

3 out of 4.

tale
These two adults are now on my despise list, well done!

Overall, steaming platforms put out a lot of duds, and some successes. And especially Netflix, because I will never catch up on on their new releases. Or, maybe I will, if I just keep the review format like this and not larger. But these ones caught my eye for some reason or another and I chose them to watch to review, and never got around to actually writing.

Movie Roundup – Animated 2018

Welcome to a Movie Roundup! A movie roundup features a few films that I didn’t feel like making full reviews for, but needed to get basic reviews out there for completionist reasons. It also helps me deal with my backlog. It may have a theme, and today’s theme is Animated 2018! Basically, all of the animated movies of 2018 that didn’t get their own review.

Being on a movie round up doesn’t mean a movie is inherently bad, or good, or meh. I can feature any rating on here! So don’t assume the worst! I will also just post the reviews in alphabetical order.


Animated 2018

Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation

First up is the only third film in a franchise in the group, but there are a few unnecessary sequels as well. And in terms of unnecessary things, this is near the top. This film doesn’t relaly have any redeeming qualities. It is very clear right from the get go what a twist would be, so instead of milking it, they give it away early as well.

The real twist is tricking you to give money for this terrible, terrible movie. The ending features a several minute long dance battle, from various artists, and then an even longer Macarena dance party. Yes, that Macarena. Were they paid to have it featured so prominently, has it been too long outside of our pop culture sphere? It seriously had to milk this scene so hard, as each main character needed to be shown doing the dance, and then group shots, and then tons of tourists, and every person everywhere, with extreme body movements to highlight their awkward appearances. It was one of the worst endings of a movie this year, so well done Hotel Transylvania 3. Please stop now.

0 out of 4.

Group

If only Van Helsing was successful hundreds of years ago, none of this would be here today.

Incredibles 2

Next up is a sequel people have actually been wanting forever, and Brad Bird said only when he had a worthy script, and apparently that meant 14 years later. Real time, not the movie time, as it takes place right after the first movie. And I honestly thought he should have waited longer. This film just feels so uninspired by me. I really didn’t need to see moments after they finished the first film, leaving me at the same exact point except we have a baby with changing every power nonsense. I could have used years later, more developed.

This plot feels too similar to the first. Still people are afraid of supers, but instead of the man going out to fight, its now the lady. The plot twist was once again obvious, so it didn’t do much for me. In 2004, Superhero movies were shit, so The Incredibles stood out as a beacon of hope for things to come. Now Superhero films have been able to elevate their game, bring a whole lot more exciting things, and this film more or less stayed the same. My mind checked out by the end, and it felt like too little too late.

2 out of 4.

group

Babies are hard to care for. Hialrious!

Ralph Breaks The Internet

This sequel is a lot sooner after the first film, to maximize off of its success. However, this felt like a rushed piece of movie that relied on current style jokes only to work, which is going to doom it in the long run. This movie is by Disney, who wanted to flex their expansive collection and throw in all of the princesses and more in an internet hub world to make people giddy, almost as counter to Ready Player One , another nostalgia heavy film. Except this one combines nostolgia with extremely current, so we get memes, we get current popular websites, and it is going to do what many modern comedies do: fade into obscurity in a few years.

It is still nice to look at, and the ending is totally weird, but honestly, they made Ralph into such a shit in this movie. In the first film, he was tired of being a bad guy, who tried to do the right thing, but from his good intentions some bad still happened. In this film, he becomes selfish and straight up almost gaslighting Penelope into staying, and going out of his way to be a dick, whcih causes the problems. He felt like an extreme nice guy. “I did all of this for you, and now you want to leave!? Love me!” These are not the traits to be highlighting in our animated heroes, even if he learns his lesson. He still needed to not be such a dick.

2 out of 4.

group

Ha ha ha ha screaming goats ha ha manipulation ha ha ha free will.

Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero

This movie is an awkward one, as it had a small release, not a big studio, and looked like absolute shit. Letting us know it is based on a true dog from World War I doesn’t make this feel any less uncomfortable the whole time. In highlighting what a dog did, with most likely extreme examples that might not have happened, we downplay the hell out of actual soldiers in the war who died. I don’t know if anyone is still alive from that war, but I know they would definitely not like this movie iteration.

It was a terrible war, and not saying we can’t make kid versions about the war. But it didn’t do a good job of really informing the details of the war, so it isn’t really educational. Instead, it is a super pup movie, who has a soldier friend, who saves everybody. It is so soft and basic it just feels like a waste of time. Cool, at least one dog in a war was given the title of sergeant. Please don’t trivialize the war at the same time.

1 out of 4.

group

Yo dawg, just no.

Sherlock Gnomes

For those of you who did not see Gnomeo and Juliet (which I will assume is everybody), it was lawn gnomes, but the Romeo and Juliet story line. And for whatever reason, they got Elton John on board with it, and a lot of his hits were either background, or the tune of his songs with different lyrics. It was uncomfortable. So yeah, let’s do a sequel. But a different story. Completely unrelated, except also being British in nature.

Now, if you are like me, you assumed okay, new story, new hero and will just be gnomes. But no, they think we really like the pair from the previous movie and it is still really about them, with also a mystery and extra characters. And despite the first being a big movie about their romance and getting together, this one is also about how Gnomeo is a shitbag who won’t let his woman do her own things, so he has to be insecure and they should not be a couple. More bad things for kids, really. Also, what the fuck is this Shelock plot line. I haven’t seen Homes & Watson yet, but this has got to be the worst year for that poor detective in hundreds of years. Straight up I will let you know, at some point, Watson is found to be part of the bad guy plot as well, because they want something new. Get out of here.

Oh yeah, and still, Elton John music.

0 out of 4.

group

Here are four characters no one ever has, or will, care about.

Smallfoot

This is one of those movies I had completely dismissed before watching it. It looked like an Illumination movie, and they are generally godawful always. But it isn’t that! It is Warner Bros, who is known for Lego Movies and Storks (and that’s it right now). Knowing Storks, I wasn’t excited either. But strangely enough, Smallfoot had a lot going on for it. It had pretty good lead acting and some fun characters. It dealt with a serious topic about dealing with religious doctrination, from many angles. It didn’t say blindly follow, or screw all of it and get rid of it. There were layers to the plot.

I didn’t know it had songs in it either, so when they started I was a bit turned off, but for the most part they are really great. Even when one had to take the riff from Under Pressure, it completely ran with the premise and made it into something wonderful. Shit, the music was dope. I laughed. Now the ending did have a lot of problems, it got clunky and a bit off. But for the most part, Smallfoot is a solid film and better than most of the animated films this year. I’m looking at you, Disney and Pixar.

3 out of 4.

group

Who really has the small feet in this situation, WB, Disney, or Pixar?

Teen Titans Go! To The Movies

And finally, we have a movie that came in a summer and I actually heard a lot of good things about. I heard it was hilarious. I heard I didn’t need to watch the show to like. I watched the first Teen Titans a few times, and it seemed quality. The Go version looked like, and maybe even smelled like trash. And it turns out, their movie seems to go with my preconceptions of the show.

Let’s make this clear. I didn’t laugh once. It had a few fart and potty jokes in it. It had a group of five people but it could not at all let them all be the stars, despite it being a team film. Clearly, a movie about Robin wanting a movie about himself will be more about him. Fine. But the other four are barely used. Cyborg is used a lot more, then Beast Boy, and our girls are rarely mentioned or get a line it seems. It is also a surprise musical, with some tunes being nice.

But what makes this movie insufferable is its over reliance on meta humor and current meme standards. We get it. Its a movie about making a super hero movies. We got superheroes in it, and they are hilarious. It just went all these terrible directions and never felt like something I would ever want to watch. It is like an idea someone made on an internet message board, and for whatever reason, a studio executive was drunk and actually listened to it. Yeah, a movie about making movies. But fart humor. And not showcasing all of the members of the team. And repeated jokes. Yes. God awful.

0 out of 4.

group

God awful.

Overall, I am not surprised that three of these films got the lowest rating. I am surprised at how much I disliked Teen Titans though, could never imagine that poor of a film. I figured Sgt. Stubb would have been worse. I am surprised at the mediocrity from our big studios and how good Smallfoot ended up being.

Some of these films will make the worst of the year list, none will make the best. If you wanted quality animated films from this year, from America, check out Isle of Dogs and Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse.

The Hate U Give

I have heard about The Hate U Give at least two years ago as a teacher in middle school. I had not read it yet, but I did want to read it. I just never got around to it. You know, movies and all.

I knew I had to wait until after I saw the movie. Maybe it would be like this year´s Wonder, in terms of book lovers all excited. Wonder was decent, and the book was decent. I assume there were a lot of fears about turning this allegedly very great book into a mediocre or shit movie. It has a big uphill battle, but at least its subject matter has been making good strides in cinema lately.

This year we already got Blindspotting and Sorry To Bother You, but neither of them are from the kid perspective. Of course, if there are already great movies on similar topics, it has a lot to live up to.

The Hate U Give has a lot of battles to climb, so on its own, it is its own representation of race relations. Another way to examine this is the IMDB rating, which at the time of writing is a 4.6, weeks before it comes out. Why? Oh, almost 200 votes for 1/10. Either this movie is very polarizing, or you know, racism.

Stare
Pretty sure we all know what she thinks.

A few years ago, the Carter family had to have ¨the talk.¨ So Lisa (Regina Hall) and Mav (Russell Hornsby) sat down their three kids, Seven (Lamar Johnson), Starr (Amandla Stenberg), and Sekani (TJ Wright). The oldest are just in their pre-teens, but it is time. No, this talk isn´t about sex. It is about what to do if they are in a situation where they are detained or pulled over by the cops.

This is a real talk that black families are starting to have to talk to, due to the violence and targeting that is going on in our country. It is not a great talk, but for families that care for each other, who know they cannot always be there to protect them, it is necessary.

It is the type of loving family that Starr grew up in, full of knowledge and strength. And now she goes to school outside of the hood she lives in. It is a white school, with white friends, white boyfriends (K.J. Apa) who won´t ever understand what she is going through at home. She has to balance these two lives. But it is when tragedy strikes her life and her friend Khalil (Algee Smith), she has her worlds start to crash together, giving her a whole new insight to this thing called life.

Also starring Common, Issa Rae, Sabrina Carpenter, Dominique Fishback, Megan Lawless, and Anthony Mackie as a bad guy drug dealer. Been awhile since he has turned south in his roles.

Hands Up
Hands up won´t protect her on its own, but that Carolina Blue shirt will help.

The Hate U Give is a powerhouse from start to finish. From ¨the talk¨ at the start of the film, to the different worlds, to the cop tragedy, to the protests, to the speeches, to the riots. It is full of emotion from unexpected places. My first cry was because the father was by his daughters side after a nightmare. She wasn´t screaming causing him to run in the door. No, she woke up panicked and he was already there. Just subtle clues to show that clearly he had fallen asleep in a chair by her side to protect her, to help her with the morning after, and just be a goddamn amazing father. And that is the type of stuff that gets me.

Sure, I did cry a few other times, not just a one and done deal. It is hard not to get wrapped up in the story. Hell, at over 2 hours it almost doesn´t feel long enough. I need more of the story, I need to be there to help comfort the characters, to rage against the machine or whatever it takes. I am definitely going to grab the book, and it is going to make me upset just like the movie.

And more importantly, it is going to get me more upset about real life. I am white, if my writing doesn´t make that obvious. I am a man, if you cannot tell with my boob tags. And this is the type of movie that can get people to see the other side of the fence if they come to it with any amount of openness.

Stenberg was fantastic in the lead role. She wasn´t great in The Darkest Minds, but no one was. She was good in Everything, Everything despite the fact that I didn´t like the movie. But she was outstanding in this film. She carries a lot of weight and emotion in her face. Hornsby as the dad is my goddamn hero. I hope I can one day grow into a worldly intelligent and caring man like him.

Just so much of this film is relevant, at this point, it is practically essential viewing. It deals with heavy topics that kids in their pre-teens can better handle unlike other films and will be seen in schools throughout the nation within the next year.

4 out of 4.

John Wick: Chapter 2

When John Wick came out, I missed it for awhile, and everyone got mad at me for not watching John Wick. So I saw it a few months after the fact, thought it was interesting, but honestly, never rushed back to see it. Didn’t feel like a double watcher for me, is all.

But I was still excited to see John Wick: Chapter 2, because if anything, I like Keanu Reeves as a person and want the most exciting things to happen to him.

And besides, we need more action films where the hero actually reloads his gun and can get hurt.

Fish
But first, a reunion we have long been waiting for.

Chapter 2 takes place a little bit after the first film. Wick (Reeves) has a new dog now, but no name. He is still on a rampage, getting things back, finally getting his car. And once he returns, he can retire in peace. But right after he finishes burying his gun, a visitor appears at his door, some dickweed named Santino D’Antonio (Riccardo Scamarcio). Wick owes D’Antonio a favor, a blood favor, because D’Antonio was able to get Wick out of the killing game in order to retire.

But since Wick un-retired for a bit, D’Antonio is going to use his blood favor to make Wick go on one more mission for him. D’Antonio is going to use Wick to kill his sister, Gianna D’Antonio (Claudia Gerini). She has a seat in some international assassins council, and Santino wants it. Wick is forced to, based on these same council rules, despite the fact that killing a council seat holder also gets him in trouble with people on the council.

He is in a lose lose situation, but it is clear that when he does it, everyone will be gunning for him, and Wick will be gunning for one man: Santino.

Also featuring Ian McShane, Ruby Rose, Common, Lance Reddick, Laurence Fishburne, and John Leguizamo.

Common
Something seems in common between these two.

I am actually having a hard time talking about John Wick: Chapter 2. I liked it as a movie, that is for sure. The first movie was very weak on plot, but still entertaining. It had a lot of mystery. In this film, the plot is technically still weak, still mysterious, but also something that answers a whole lot about their world. Secret cabals of assassins, rules for them to follow, safe zones, rules, rules. So many rules.

And you just jump into the world they created. It overwhelms you at first, characters come in with pasts that intersected with Wick that we don’t fully get explained nor do they choose to ever explain them. You just have to run and gun with the rest of them.

As for the action, it is at times non-stop and seemingly realistic. Outside of how many punches Wick can take in the face. He is also given bulletproof suits, they stop the puncture, but they still give him the forceful pain. And hey, he reloads his weapon when he runs out, he replaces his guns all the time, and there are some seriously intense fights. His two bouts with Common are pretty good, and the entirety of the catacombs escape was some of my favorite parts.

If anything, the ending is a bit disappointment because they are turning it into a trilogy and not what feels like a self-contained story like our first film. A great trilogy will have what feels like a complete story on each part, that enhances the whole. So as long as Wick2 makes money, Wick 3 will hopefully finish his story, and be a little bit more than a blood bath.

3 out of 4.

Run All Night

I don’t even know what to say about Run All Night. This movie kind of came out of nowhere for me. I had at least heard about things like Non-Stop or A Walk Among The Tombstones

Like, months of notice. This one just in the last few weeks before coming out.

Is this guy even trying anymore? Does he do any serious drama anymore? Who keeps giving him these paychecks for these types of movie? Is it like…is he the next Mr. Cage? After all, he will take literally anything.

I think there must be a robot similar to AWESOME-O doing this. But instead of Adam Sandler movies, it keeps popping out generic Neeson movies. Has to be the only logical solution to what in the hell is going on.

Train
Tag Teaming with pre-accident RoboCop.

Good news! Jimmy Conlon (Liam Neeson) is an asshole and not an anti-hero! He was a hitman for many years, to his good friend Shawn Maguire (Ed Harris). Shawn ran the ports of NYC, a pretty big task, got stupid wealthy, and lives a nice life now. Jimmy the Grave Digger? Well, he is a drunk who has a bad relationship with his son, Mike (Joel Kinnaman). Mike knows of Jimmy’s past. He doesn’t want that around his wife (Genesis Rodriguez) and kids.

Fair enough.

Well, Mike gets into some trouble. Due to no fault of his own, while driving a limo, Shawn’s son, Danny (Boyd Holbrook) wants to kill him. Danny ignores everyone and tries it anywhere, forcing Jimmy to protect his own son. Well, now we got a dead son of a gangster. That isn’t allowed. So Jimmy and his son have to go into hiding. They have to Run All Night, until Jimmy can figure this whole mess out. How to protect his family, how to get rid of his guilt, and how to…well, not suck.

Including Vincent D’Onofrio as a detective who was never able to bring Jimmy Conlon to justice, and Common as a hitman hired to get Jimmy and Mike. Yes, you read that correctly. COMMON is playing a “bad guy”, not a cop on the good guy side. This is truly a historic moment.

Food
Not as historic as this restaurant, that is clearly dedicating itself fully to the color red.

Run All Night has a terrible title. I feel like I should mention that, as titles I haven’t been bringing up as often. It sounds just super generic. Not Fighting generic, but real close.

Speaking of this movie, it wasn’t as terrible as I had thought. First of all, I am stoked again that Liam Neeson doesn’t play a good guy or an anti-hero. He plays definitely a bad guy who tries to redeem himself for his son. So he kills bad people, and has been a bad dude all his life, thus his alcohol/depression. Great. I prefer this.

The action wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t great. The plot was pretty predictable, and it even started with a scene near the ending, just so you can make sure you know where the whole thing is going towards. Genesis Rodriguez was wasted in this movie, barely having any lines, and not even being able to freak out about her husbands sudden life of crime. She was passive as fuck.

I liked that they featured the NY Rangers and a hockey game pretty heavily, but as you will see from one of my FB posts here, they also butchered the whole thing up.

What I am getting at is that this movie could drag, but also entertain. It is a storybook 2 out of 4. I am mostly happy that it just wasn’t super terrible though.

2 out of 4.

Selma

I’ll be honest, when I first heard of the movie Selma, I had no idea what it was about.

When I found out it was a pseudo-biographical film about a moment in MLK’s life? I assumed Selma was his wife.

Nopers, I was way wrong. Selma is actually a city in Alabama! Yeah, who knew? Not only that, but it was a huge staging ground for civil rights in the mid 1960s, and it had nothing to do with sit-ins, busses, or fire hoses. That is pretty exciting on my part, because that means I will actually learn something new instead of the same few tales they teach us about in school. As it deals with race relations, it will probably end up being topical too in some way.

Protest
Not sure how, but I am sure someway it could be topical. Hmmmm.

Martin (David Oyelowo) (We are on cool enough terms for me to just use his first name) had just received his Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, but he wasn’t done yet. This was after his I Have A Dream speech. There was a big issue with Jim Crow laws in the south. Sure, technically, everyone now had the right to vote. But people were getting in the way of that.

Poll taxes, literacy tests, inconvenient hours, and rude as shit clerks made things like that hard. Not to mention the general threat of violence for those who might attempt if they were black. Martin wanted LBJ (Tom Wilkinson) to make fixing this issue a priority, but LBJ wouldn’t have it. He had other issues like poverty he wanted to work on. So Martin and his comrades (Common, Andre Holland, Wendell Pierce and more!) found the staging grounds for their next battle in Selma, Alabama.

A student group (Stephan James, Trai Byers) was already working there, building up community support, and of all the registered votes, only 1% were black despite about equal numbers. It was a great battleground. Even had a super racist sheriff (Stan Houston)! Martin just also has family issues with his wife (Carmen Ejogo) while all this is going down, so, pretty intense stuff.

Oh and a whole lot of people are in here as smaller or villainous roles as cameos. We have Tim Roth, Giovanni Ribisi, Cuba Gooding Jr., Martin Sheen, Dylan Baker, and Oprah Winfrey.

Walk
People walked a lot more back then, just a matter of fact.

Thinking back on it, I don’t think I have ever seen a high quality film about MLK and his life. He has appeared in other movies I have seen, like Nelsan Ellis last year in The Butler. But filmmakers seem to be afraid of his life, despite clearly being a popular figure. I wonder if people are afraid of doing him badly and not living up to his larger than life persona?

Well, if they were afraid in this movie they shouldn’t be. David Oyelowo did an INCREDIBLE performance. His walk, his talk, his power, he had it all. His looks weren’t perfect, but man were they believable. And when he did his speeches or sermons in this movie? Yeah, his voice carried it hardcore, and not in the same stereotypical way people normally do Martin’s voice. It had its own uniqueness and similarity that made it seem just as awe inspiring and just as real. Shit, the final speech he gave? I was almost certain it was an actual recording instead of Oyelowo, but I was wrong. It almost made me tear up.

My only issues with the film is that despite its superduper lead, the supporting cast didn’t seem to catch up with him. I think this is the worst ever portrayal of J. Edgar I have ever seen. Out of no where it all seemed more comical instead of serious. Roth was awkward as the evil Governor and he also felt quite cartoonish. I couldn’t take these guys seriously, limiting the seriousness of the film.

I learned a shit ton about the subject though and it is an incredible story, even if certain aspects are fabricated. A very nice watch to learn about a very overlooked yet important event in American history. And damn Oyelowo. You good, you good.

3 out of 4.

LUV

I have been avoiding LUV for quite some time. Why?

Because it is fucking named LUV. What is that? That is dumb. I don’t like that.

But I do like reviewing things that I think will be stupid, so I guess I kind of have that going for me.

FACE
Oh, come on Common. You don’t look like you at all when you laugh.

Uncle Vincent (Common), I guess just Vincent, was locked up in prison for the last 8 years. But now he is out and he wants to make his life better. But first, he has a nephew, Woody (Michael Rainey Jr.). Vincent wants to open a high end crab shack, and Woody just wants to move from Baltimore to his mothers house in North Carolina (he was living with his grandmother).

Also including such fine actors such as Danny Glover, Charles S. Dutton, Dennis Haysbert, Michael K. Williams, and Russell Hornsby.

Walk
You guys are doing it wrong. This looks nothing like the Abbey Road cover.

I STILL DON’T KNOW WHY THIS MOVIE IS NAMED LUV! Argh!

Well, it is an acronym, that I only knew existed once I saw the wikipedia page. Learning Uncle Vincent. The fuck? I mean, it makes sense, but why wasn’t that better advertised? LUV by itself is just silly.

Speaking of just silly, I liked the idea of this movie. It seemed like a good plot line for some nice drama, some crime, sure. Maybe even I would learn a life lesson or two. But it just didn’t deliver. Early on I was interested, but over time my apathy grew as what I felt looked like more and more ridiculous situations. I don’t mean ridiculous in the entertaining way either. Some sort of dramatic/crime ridiculousness, with a lot of guns, but without the excitement. It is hard to describe.

The ending was a bit of a dull too. I guess it was supposed to be surprising, but at that point, who gives a shit, right?

Learning Uncle Vincent, I don’t believe its a true story from the writer, in any way. Nope. But it is what it is, and I will go back to ignoring it.

1 out of 4.

Now You See Me

The first time I saw the trailer for Now You See Me, I got all sorts of excited. A movie with magic and illusions? Heck yeah! It has been seven years since we really had movies on the subject, when we were blessed with The Prestige and The Illusionist, both of which were quite enjoyable.

Oh. I meant good movies about magicians. Sorry. I tend to forget about The Incredible Burt Wonderstone already (and that was in March!).

Think
Look at this gaggle of fucks right here. Basically every star in this movie! Wait…

To start the film, we are introduced to four different street magicians. Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg), the fast talking kind of a dick magician, McKinney (Woody Harrelson), the formerly big mentalist, Henley (Isla Fisher), the former assistant turned pro, and Jack Wilder (Dave Franco), the thieving tricky magician. They are all invited to a secret gathering, where they find blue prints to pull off great magical feats. A year later, they are calling themselves The Four Horsemen and headlining in Las Vegas and around the world!

Their new benefactor is Arthur Tressler (Michael Caine), a big big millionaire, and they just used a magic trick to rob a bank in Paris. Huh? What?

Yep. But the FBI and lead detective Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) are in a pickle. Can they arrest them for a magic trick, with no real evidence? Well, no evidence unless they assume magic is real. The answer is no. Even with Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman), an ex-magician who has a web-series explaining and spoiling other magician’s secrets, they don’t have enough to actually put them away.

Rhodes and his new partner from Interpol (Melanie Laurent) have to follow the four horsemen across America, as their tricks get more and more daring, and steal from more and more powerful sources. But are they doing these tricks alone, or is there a Fifth Horsemen secretly pulling the strings? Also featuring Michael Kelly as an FBI agent. I feel bad for not including him.

In a previous version of this review, I used famous character names instead of actor names for the plot description (like Mark Zuckerberg, or The Hulk) but Dave Franco kind of ruined that. No one really knows who he is.

Befuddled
Why are you so befuddled Ruffalo? Surprised I decided to leave Eisenberg out of the pictures?
The more I think about the ending to Now You See Me, the more I get angry at inconsistencies. That is what I get for thinking about a movie afterwards I guess. But alas, my burden to carry as a reviewer.

In a movie like this, there will be red herrings, because they know you are trying to guess the ending the entire time. After all, clearly the fifth horseman will be someone in the movie, not some random stranger popping up at the end! But when the reveal happens it just doesn’t seem to make much since the harder you look at the film.

The movie spends a decent amount of time focusing on explaining the tricks, thanks to Freeman’s character, but at the same time, there are things done only toby the power of CGI that kind of take the mysticism out of it. We are left wondering if magic is actually real in this movie, or if it is all explainable like the normal real world. Honestly, by the end, I am still not sure.

At the same time, it still was a bit entertaining. I think Woody Harrelson was my favorite player in the movie, by far. Which is great, because I finally saw Rampart recently and didn’t have a good time doing it. As the mentalist, he was pretty funny. Ruffalo was okay as the main cop character, but definitely not the type of role he is used to. After all, aside from The Avengers and this film, every role he has had has basically been in an indie movie.

Now You See Me did a good job of playing with our mind, giving every possible misdirection in the book. But it in no way will stand up to the previous mentioned magic films in a year or two. However, it is still at least a little bit cool.

2 out of 4

Movie 43

The thing I love most about Movie 43 is how easy it will be to review.

I mean, part of the point is not knowing much about the movie ahead of time before you see it. So I don’t have describe all the skits, just the main plot that tries to hold it all together.

Shit yeah! Oh, and so many tags. I am gonna tag the shit out of this movie.

Nozzle
I don’t have any obligation to tell you what Halle Berry is going to do with that Turkey Baster!

So here is the basic story, which is a piece of shit excuse to give you this movie. Sorry, that sounds negative. The point of this movie is a series of short skits all put together, that is all. Trying to put a plot behind them all? Probably won’t work well, but it technically gets to be the movie plot.

A crazy asshole (Dennis Quaid) is having a meeting with some big movie executive (Greg Kinnear). Why? You know fucking why, to sell a movie of course. Greg doesn’t like it, the movie is vulgar and bad, but when a gun is brought into the equation, maybe he will listen. Also featuring Will Sasso and Common.

What vulgar skits? We got Hugh Jackman and Kate Winslet on a blind date, where Hugh is basically perfect. Liev Schreiber and Naomi Watts are homeschooling their kid, Jeremy Allen White, and trying to give him the realest depressing experience ever.

Anna Faris wants Chris Pratt to poop on her. Kieran Culkin and Emma Stone are awkward.

Richard Gere doesn’t understand why people are sticking their dicks in the iBabe, nor does Jack McBrayer the scientist. Only person who gets it is Kate Bosworth.

There is a speed dating convention in the DC universe, with Justin Long, Jason Sudeikis, Uma Thurman, Bobby Cannavale, Kristen Bell, and Leslie Bibb all playing parts.

Jimmy Bennett is on a “Date” with Chloe Grace Moretz, who gets her period, and the older brother Christopher Mintz-Plasse freaks out. Seann Williams Scott is mad at his best friend Johnny Knoxville, but to make it up for him, he found a leprechaun (Gerard Butler).

Am I almost done? Fuck no!

Halle Berry and Stephen Merchant are on a blind date playing truth or dare! Terrence Howard says the same joke about black people and basketball over and over!

BUT JUST YOU WAIT. THERE IS ONE MORE SCENE. AFTER THE CREDITS.

I was surprised too. Because this scene didn’t have any previews in the trailers. So I will just say Elizabeth Banks and Josh Duhamel.

Batman!
Just seeing all those links man. It makes me dizzy.

Maybe I talked about the skits too much, maybe I didn’t. But basically all I mentioned was information you can learn in the trailer, which is unfortunately a lot of it. Problem is, some of the better jokes I already knew were coming and it ruined it a bit for me. I knew about most of the Home School scene, but I still thought it was one of the better ones. Poop quest ended up being better than advertised as well. My favorite scene, however, was the Batman based speed dating, but that could just be because I am a comic nerd. Either way, Jason Sudeikis made that scene his bitch, and I want more of that.

The movie started pretty uncomfortably too, with the blind date scene. No one really laughed right away at the sight gag, but eventually they just threw it in our face enough that it became funny.

I understand the movies only purpose is to do outrageous things, without a plot, but I am upset about the main story line. I hated how it ended. Pretty much a cop out. Even more strange is that only the American version features Quaid and company. Apparently international versions star three unknown kids searching the internet for a fabled movie and finding these clips. Pretty dang weird.

Yeah, most of it is dumb ass jokes, but eventually you just have to give in or else you will have a bad time. Easier to accept the laughs than to ignore them.

Unfortunately, it is still a pretty shit film, in the grand scheme of things. So there you go! Maybe watch with the buds eventually, while drinking, when it is rentable. That would be a better idea.

1 out of 4.

New Year’s Eve

Haha! Ha ha ha! See what I did there? [Future readers will note the posting date].

Because of the really fucking large cast of New Year’s Eve, I decided that all of my tags will not list the actor name in parenthesis like normal, just tag the character. You can see the name if you hover your mouse though. That will make it at least a small mystery, if you don’t care. Maybe fuck with you a bit. After all, something needs to make it more interesting.

Ryan
Except for Ryan Seacrest. He only plays himself, always and forever. Just like Bloomberg.

YEAH ITS NEW YEAR’S EVE IN NEW YORK CITY. Time to party! Well, maybe. People gotta work, shit is still going down.

Like hospitals! Turns out people still are giving birth. But did you know at this specific NYC hospital, they have decided to give away a $10,000 prize to the couple who birthed the first baby of the new year. One Man/woman couple has been planning this out for months. The other man/woman just found out about it today. Who can push out a baby first? Also, doctors. They are a thing.

The opposite of babies is happening, people are getting old and dying. Like that one old guy. His doctor doesn’t know if he will make it to the new year. He might though, hopefully the daughter will make it in time. But until then, a nurse shall keep him company, despite her own “Date” that night to worry about.

One woman is fed up with the holiday mess. She has a boss who sucks, and wont give her time off despite already promising it. So she quits, and really wants to complete all the resolutions she made last year before the new year. Well, its impossible. But she gets a courier to help her anyways.

The courier’s sister is having problems with her daughter, who really wants to go out to times square for new years. The courier’s friend is jaded about new years, after a bad break up the previous year. He gets stuck on an elevator with an uppity girl, who really needs to get to times square for her job. What job? Back up singer to Jensen, huge celebrity who is performing on the main stage!

Turns out he only agreed to do this job, to get closer to an ex girlfriend of his. She runs a catering business, and demanded that she cater the very fancy party. Pretty sneaky sis. Too bad he also has to deal with very busty fan girls.

One man just watched his last single friend get married. He is the last one! But no worries, he has to go to NYC tonight anyways to do a speech for his work. Good year or something. But last year he met the woman of his dreams, just didn’t get her name. Will she be at the location that she promised to be at a year later? Just who is she?

But lastly, when you think of NYC NYE, you think of the ball drop. Someone has to run that thing, damn it. The woman in charge is on her first year, and is good friends with the head of police too. But there is an issue. The only way to fix it is to call back a fabled old mechanic, who they fired earlier in the year. Whoops. Awkward.

Kutcher
Nothing says a new year, like Ashton Kutcher, right?

I can honestly say that I found basically none of these plot lines that interesting. That seems like a big problem. Unlike Valentine’s Day, which had some storylines that I enjoyed (and still need to review!), this one had nothing for me. Shit, I also have to review New York, I Love You, another similar movie (Except rated R).

The best part of the movie for me is that I got paid $18 to have it. My first copy didn’t work, got it exchanged at Wal-Mart, they messed up the return (Which I pointed out), but laziness occurred, an I profited. Hey, that’d be reason enough to give a 4 out of 4 in my book. More people should give me money to own a movie.

1 out of 4.

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