Deadpool 2

Before any of you take my words too seriously, let it be known that I gave the original Deadpool a 2 out of 4. Why? Some people were quite angry with me back then! They called it a fresh sight for sore superhero eyes.

And I called it sort of boring. We start with a good intro, but then when we get the flashback, it takes forever to get to the point where we get Deadpool power again. A seriously long time, that is humerous, but less funny, and just….slow. The other main issue was the weak villains. It was a very ground film, but I watch superhero films so that superheroes can fight challenges, not just generic strong people.

Either way, with the sequel, I was more excited. It was going to have a wider cast of characters, it clearly didn’t have to get bogged down in backstory for our main character. It also was going to give us Cable for the first time in modern cinema, so Deadpool 2 had something unique going on for it. And honestly, just, it needed a second try for me. This time I was already given two amazing superhero films in Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War, so it had a bit of a hill to climb to get to their levels.

Ass
More ass is a nice touch though, I guess.

Deadpool 2 takes place after the events of Deadpool. I know that might sound shocking, but time is usually linear.

Unless a movie has a time travel device. Oh hey there is a time travel plot? Fuck. This movie has Cable (Josh Brolin) in it! Oh no! He is from the future, and he has a kid (Julian Dennison) to kill. If he kills the kid, his future is better for him at least. So why not?

Well, there are a lot of reasons why not. And Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) might have to protect them, although it doesn’t sound very Deadpool-y. Speaking of Deadpool-y, this plot outline is really vague, isn’t it? Yeah, because honestly, the less you know, the better.

Also starring Morena Baccarin, Zazie Beetz, Brianna Hildebrand, Bill Skarsgård, T.J. Miller, Terry Crews, Lewis Tan, Eddie Marsan, Jack Kesy, Shioli Kutsuna, Leslie Uggams, Stefan Kapicic, and Karan Soni.

And Rob Delaney as Peter.

Peter
And Peter guys, come on.

If you only had to read one statement about the film to confirm your beastly desires, then let it be this one: I think Deadpool 2 is better than Deadpool. So if you loved Deadpool, this might an even more crazy experience.

There is more action, there is more gore, there are a lot, lot more surprises, and an infinite amount more Celine Dion. It will shock you early on, throughout, and through the end. Both in terms of just how far it goes and the themes it will explore. It has probably one of the best credit scenes of all time.

And yet, it actually put me to sleep early on. Getting plot heavy isn’t a problem, but when the plot is sort of going all over the place, and it is just filled with streams of meta or lame jokes, it is easy to lose disinterest. Sure, it picks up in the second half. And yet as a full film it is just lacking again.

I do find myself more willing to re-watch this one than the first film. And future films too, given that they probably won’t have any T.J. Miller after the incidents.

Also, Peter!

2 out of 4.

Atomic Blonde

Atomic! Blonde! Atomic Blonde! Two words that are powerful, in very different ways, and together make something…about the sum of their parts.

It is a new action mostly film, with promises of sleek designs and fights, with a banging sound and wall to wall fun. It is also being noted as female John Wick, or something like that.

I figured Atomic Blonde would be some cool agent nick name, but it isn’t mentioned at all in the film, so really the title is just…mostly random. Strange, but it wouldn’t be the first time it is done. Sort of a call back to 80’s action films in that regard.

Wall
What a big goddamn symbol of separation. And a wall, there is a wall also in this shot.

In November, 1989, the Berlin Wall was a literal and figurative collapse of the separation between East and West Germany, reuniting the country for the first time in decades. But in this world, it almost never happened.

An MI-6 British operative gained access to a file in a watch that had information on every hidden operative on both sides of the Cold War. It would be devastating for anyone to get their hands on it, as they would gain a big advantage over the others. It getting out might also prolong the Cold War, when it is so close to finishing for once.

And then that operative was killed before he could bring it home, putting it in the hands of a Soviet soldier, who didn’t run back to his country, but is trying to get paid the big bucks for the information. So the UK sends in a new agent, Lorraine Broughton (Charlize Theron), to find the file before it gets in the wrong hands. They also want her to find information on a double agent, who is secretly leaking information to the Soviets. And all of this quickly, before the Cold War heats up.

She is sent with information to trust no one, not even their pseudo informant, David Percival (James McAvoy), a man who has been working both sides of the wall to gain intel to gain power and prestige. But he is also her only hope to really starting to crack the case. They also need to find Spyglass (Eddie Marsan), a code name for an East German intelligence officer who helped make the list and is the only one really with that information.

The majority of the story is told after the events, with Lorraine retelling it back at headquarters, to a head British dude (Toby Jones) and a member of the CIA (John Goodman).

Other bodies in this film include James Faulkner, Roland Møller, Sofia Boutella, Bill Skarsgård, Sam Hargrave, and Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson.

Cover
Man, having a big head of hair and covering your face really helps input a stunt double.

Coming from a person who didn’t find John Wick or its sequel to be perfect films (although wonderful cinematography, and wonderful action), this did not feel up to the same quality that John Wick gave us. But I am not going to compare it to John Wick, that wouldn’t be fair.

Theron was fine as our lead. A very distant protagonist, she had a lot of secrets in her head, and they showed her definitely to be a bad ass. There was an incredible scene that maybe went on 10 minutes as a long take with several fights and sequences that just felt like it would never end. It was wonderful.

But it lacked a whole lot more in the story department. It should have tried a simpler plot, instead this movie gets tangled up in its own threads, and doesn’t give a completely sensible final product. Twists and turns are one thing, but if they end up at the finale and feel forced and a bit of a let down, then the movie just ends with a pitter.

The average review isn’t just for the ending, but mostly for how the story just failed to get me involved in anyway. There were secrets, but ones I rarely cared about. I didn’t try to look for hints, because I knew they would be mostly red herrings.

But the soundtrack was definitely banging. And again, some of the fight scenes were just extremely well choreographed, so if that is all you care about, you will have a good time. I just think who cares? Big deal, I want more.

2 out of 4.

Concussion

Head injuries are serious things. Because your brain is your most important organ. You can’t survive without your brain, so things that hurt your brain are literally the worse. And vague things like concussions become scary nightmares.

These may sound like facts, but that is because your brain is telling you they are. If you asked any organ what was the most important organ in a body, they would name themselves. What games are you playing, Brain? Making us do shit to appease you? I’m on to you.

So, Concussion. A film about head trauma and the NFL. The NFL supposedly didn’t like this movie to protect their players from hearing about the probably brain problems they may have in life. Yay controversy. It definitely sells tickets.

Science
Science used to sell tickets on its own merit.

Dr. Bennet Omalu (Will Smith) is a smart man, and you should most definitely listen to him. He has like, seven degrees, both PhD and masters levels. He is smarty smarty smart. And he is generally a coroner, finding out big mysteries as to why people die.

Omalu ends up getting quite a strange case in his current city of Pittsburgh. Mike Webster (David Morse) is a famous ex-center for the Steelers, loved by everyone in the city, and now he is dead. He was having some issues near the end, going a bit crazy, alienating his friends and family.

Needless to say, Omalu spends a lot of time figuring things out. His brain had deteriorated and no one could explain it. Eventually, science happens everywhere, and he determines it must be due to the thousands of small (And large) blows to his head. Blows accumulated through youth play, high school, college, over a decade in the NFL, and of course practices for all these things. He had tiny concussions and they lead to problems most people just described as early Alzheimer’s.

This is bad news for the NFL, so they ignore the crap out of his results, make him seem like a liar, and bury him in the media. Yay PR machines.

Also featuring Alec Baldwin, Albert Brooks, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Eddie Marsan, Mike O’Malley, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, and Luke Wilson.

Doctor
He is making that face because Luke Wilson is playing Roger Goodell.

Speaking of selling tickets, to promote this movie, Columbia promised free tickets to any NFL players who wanted to see it in theaters. After all, they have a lot of twitter and instagram followers, so that is free press. I have two problems with that. One, NFL players make shit tons of money, even the bench riders. They can afford a movie ticket. And two, they should have offered it to High School or College players, people who make no money from the sport and are young enough to get out of it if they are truly worried about saving lives with this film. Columbia went for the cheap and shit route.

Now, the good news about this movie is that Will Smith actually acts. He isn’t just playing a cool version of himself or an action version of himself. He is playing a foreign (African) doctor, who doesn’t care about football or American things, just science. It was great to watch him actually try after seeing Focus and v.

Unfortunately, the rest of the movie fails to live up to its subject matter or potential. According to news reports, the NFL was involved heavily in the editing of this film. The filmmakers didn’t have rights to NFL press reports or team names/logos, or any of that. In order to make it seem more realistic, they wanted all this in the film. So they had to offer concessions and leave parts out in order to get the logos. So the NFL helped make this film and now they don’t get attacked as hard.

Do they still look bad? Sure, but they come across as unrealistic cartoon villains, not actual bad real live people. The film doesn’t go strong on the science, strong on the PR campaign, strong on anything but Smith’s accent. And now we are left with a mostly boring and pointless film that won’t change anyone’s minds when they are facing potential millions.

1 out of 4.

Filth

James McAvoy is a fun Scottish man. He has risen pretty well into fame territory, but he doesn’t let that get to his head (I think). He still does the indie movies. In fact, it seems like half of his movies are big Hollywood numbers, and the other half are indie. He really loves that shit. He is a man who loves to get into a character, a man who will work with a low budget, just to tell a story.

Maybe he was just humbled after Wanted though, who is to say.

But despite his recent performance as Professor X, again, he has now given us Filth, which is a perfect name to describe this bat shit insane movie.

Face
How insane? Well, let’s just say you wouldn’t want to smell his finger anytime soon.

Bruce Robertson (James McAvoy) is a man who knows what he wants, and gets what he wants. He is a Detective Sergeant in the Edinburgh police force, but there is a new spot opening for Detective Inspector, a big promotion. There are quite a few people competing for the spot (Jamie Bell, Imogen Poots, Brian McCardie, Emun Elliott, Gary Lewis), but they all have faults. Exploitable faults. Faults that Bruce can use against them, playing a massively deceptive game to showcase their faults to his boss (John Sessions), making them all inept to fill the highest role.

The good news is he has been tasked with finding out who killed this Japanese student, who was beaten mercilessly on the streets. Great. Shouldn’t be too hard, and will allow him to set up his multiple schemes to destroy the lives of everyone around him.

Even his friend Clifford (Eddie Marsan), who he tends to bully. He has been calling his wife harassing her sexually, just to get a ruse out of them. What a guy right?

A lot of this can be “blamed” on the fact that his wife, Carole (Shauna Macdonald), took his daughter to visit families during the holidays. Because of course this is around Christmas time. If there wasn’t a lot of pressure for Bruce to solve the case and get promoted, he’d be able to take a vacation and all. Blamed is sarcasm here guys. Because he is a scumbag, he does scumbag things.

And Jim Broadbent is in here, so you know he has some sort of comical zany role.

Dr. Who?
No, nothing about this looks comical OR zany.

I am trying not to fill this review up with adjectives that all mean the same thing, so instead I will reiterate how insane this movie felt. The Bruce character seemed to have no rhyme or reason for most of his actions. He was rustling jimmies just for the heck of it. But this movie isn’t just some sick guys fantasy about hating his coworkers or something. No. There IS a point to the madness, and it was explained very well with hints throughout the end. I really enjoyed the ending. In fact, the ending actually has a similarity to Wanted, go figure.

It was hard to look away for most of the film, a definite plus, mostly because the viewer would have no real clue with where it was going. Thankfully, when it had to be dramatic, it did a decent job at those scenes as well.

Outside of McAvoy, I am a bit surprised at how well Eddie Marsan did. He is generally a side character in most movies, much like this one, but this performance of his was quite different from his other roles. He also had enough make up that it took me awhile to even recognize his (normally) very recognizable face.

Overall, Filth is definitely a unique movie, telling a unique story, but not something everyone may appreciate. Still not even sure if it is the type of film I could comfortably watch again. Well, maybe once. But no more after that.

3 out of 4.

The World’s End

Not a lot of people know that The World’s End is actually the last movie in a trilogy. Yes, Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz are the first two films, all three of which are directed by Edgar Wright and star the same two people.

These three films make up the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy, which I would explain more, but it is British and thus inherently confusing.

Beer
It’s beer! Hooray beer!

In the town of Newton Haven, there exists a challenge. There are twelve pubs, and those who attempt this “golden mile” must travel to each pub and drink an entire pint before the night is through. That is a lot of alcohol and few have ever made it. Gary King (Simon Pegg) and his four friends attempted it on the last day of high school to celebrate their accomplishment. Unfortunately, he only made it to nine pubs, and has regretted it for the the rest of his life.

Now, twenty some years later, Gary King is exactly the same as he was in high school. Due to his regret, and living apart from his friends, he has decided to get the band back together to try again. Sure, he might have to lie to get them all to come, but at least his heart is in the right place. Kind of. His friends Steven (Paddy Considine), Peter (Eddie Marsan), Oliver (Martin Freeman), and Andy (Nick Frost) are now all adults with families, lives, and responsibilities, so they are reluctant when they see he is still so childish.

Their pub crawl becomes even more difficult when there is so much unspoken drama between the group of friends. Thankfully, alcohol makes speaking your mind a bit easier. The group also find that Newton Haven is not the same quaint town they left decades ago. It has changed, and not just in the metaphorical sense. Most of the residents are some sort of alien robot hybrid now. But that isn’t the important issue. The important issue is getting Gary to stop living in the past and finally move on!

Rosamund Pike plays Oliver’s sister and Pierce Brosnan a former high school teacher and mentor to our heroes.

Rawr
I’ve experienced emotions like this before. Once. Let’s just say, it didn’t end up with blue paint everywhere.

I guess I should start out by saying that I don’t think The World’s End is as good as the previous two films (and thus my rating!). Something seems inherently different. Maybe they were too aware of what they were doing at this point in the trilogy. Not sure, but something just feels missing.

Simon Pegg is playing a character unlike anything I have seen before from him. He was incredible in it. His character was so spastic, impulsive, and such a fast talker. Out of anything, I was most impressed with his acting in this film. Major props to Pegg.

It should go without saying that the chemistry between the group of actors was also high up there. A lot of these men have been working together and real life friends for so long, it is just completely natural.

The film itself was humorous but I don’t think it was “laugh out loud” funny for the most part. You know when a joke happens and you exhale a bit harder because of it to show your appreciation? Yeah, I did that a lot.

The story also seems to run away at times. By the end, I was just waiting for them to get to the last pub, so the film would find some sort of conclusion. I also found myself not caring about the alien/robot threat, which is a main point of the movie. The glowing eyes were kind of neat/scary but by the end they were totally uninteresting.

Fans of the other two films will most likely enjoy this new addition. Someone new to the series is unlikely to get some of the “in jokes” that run rampant throughout, however. Whether this film will be as successful as the other two in a few years is yet to be determined.

 

2 out of 4.

Jack The Giant Slayer

Eurrrgh. It happened again! A trailer went way over its bounds and told far too much of a movie. Jack the Giant Slayer, the next fairytale gone epic in theaters today. The worst part of the trailer isn’t that it tells of a betrayal, or shows character deaths. No. It says this cringeworthy line.

“If you think you know the story.
You. Don’t. Know. Jack.”

Please shoot me. Really. The first half being just stupid in general, because we do know the story. Just not this other story. Movie’s don’t make a story version stop existing. Then the last part, which was seen coming a mile away, and…just man. Come on. Stop it guys.

Ewan 2
Oh what’s that? Ewan McGregor? Fuck it, I am excited.

The movie begins, with a telling of the poem, of course! Jack (Nicholas Hoult) a wee lad hearing the story from his dad, and Princess Isabelle (Eleanor Tomlinson), an also wee lass hearing it from her mom. TEN YEARS LATER. BOTH ARE DEAD. The parents mentioned of course. Jack is a simple farm boy, who has to sell the family horse and cart. Isabelle is set to rule after her father (Ian McShane) kicks the bucket. But he wants to make sure she has someone to help her, so why not force her to marry the King’s Adviser, Roderick (Stanley Tucci)?

No, we will not let Aladdin steal all the plots.

Either way, Isabelle wants to prove that she can be a leader, to be one with the people, to do her own thing. Jack just kind of wants to stop being poor and lame and bored. Eventually, beans and a stalk! Oh no, the Princess gets trapped and taken up to the giant land above. I say that, because giants. The knights crew, Roderick, Roderick’s assistant (Ewen Bremner), Sir Elmont (McGregor) and another random dude Crawe (Eddie Marsan), along with Jack. Their goal, rescue the princess, and to not restart some ancient war that they will surely lose.

But you know, betrayal. Love. Surprisingly large amount of death. Bill Nighy voicing General Fallon, a two-headed giant. Unfortunately, the extra head has down syndrome or something.

Ewan
Fuck it, Ewan gets both pictures. You deserve it, bud. Because I can call Ewan bud now.

Gahhh. Gah.

Alright, this is another polarizing movie, that could have been epic, but fell short from its potential. Here are some positives. I actually found myself scared during a few parts. When the giants were on the ground, running through the forest, chasing them on horseback, I was terrified. Ewan McGregor had technically a small role, yet he made it his bitch, and gave that character so much personality. Hell, even the beginning plot wasn’t that bad.

But the movie floundered.

The epic fight ending ended up being nothing more than a glorified tug of war match. The story of the princess trying to prove she was an equal and could do things on her own ended up being a wash as well. She went from Damsel in Distress, to kind of helpful, to no, let Jack do the hard parts that she could have done just as easily. Seriously, the end of the movie pissed me off. They could have went the smart way, but chose the standard, this movie was made in the 1950s ending instead.

Visually, it is nice, 3D wasn’t that helpful. But man, the ending put a very bad taste in my mouth.

Oh well, watch the movie just to see a clinic on how to make a character your own. By Ewan McGregor, not Ewen Bremner.

2 out of 4.

Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes is one of those characters that everyone knows. Like Robin Hood, but with Asperger’s Syndrome. and nothing like Robin Hood.

The movie tries to create a Holmes that is closer to the actual source material, and not like the more famous “pipe and hat, smart guy” that some other show popularized. Because apparently Holmes can fight too!

Holmes
He also is trusting of such silly things, like jail cells.

At the beginning of the movie, Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) and John Watson (Jude Law) are trying to stop Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong) from killing a woman, and attempting to summon a demon.

Well they catch him, and successfully put him in jail. Later, he is successfully hanged for his crimes and the movie is over, yay!

Or not? A few days later Holmes is visited by Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams), a former adversary, and still current thief. She needs his help to find a man, and is working for a mysterious professor. Oh yeah, and Lord Blackwood’s body cannot be found, and it makes it seem like he escaped from the inside. Especially when other people start dying, and you know, see him.

This causes the Temple of the Four Orders to get involved, a secret society dealing with magic and the dark arts, and want to put a stop to Blackwood, so they try to hire Holmes. Long story short, bad things happen, where Blackwood puts the entire British parliament in danger, with plans on then taking over the US and the world.

Oh yeah, and we get the bumbling Inspector Lestrade (Eddie Marsan) and Mary (Kelly Reilly) the potential fiance to Watson in here as well.

Adele
It should be noted that most of her outfits look out of place, even in old-timey England.

This movie probably gets the distinction for being the easiest to understand Guy Ritchie movie. They are all British, but since it is helmed by RBJ, it is the least British. Not saying that all American actors are easy to understand, because Brad Pitt in Snatch was definitely the least understandable character.

Much like how my paragraph probably made no sense just then.

But still! Its hard for me to to give the genre “Adventure” to most movies, but I find it entirely suitable. With action, drama, and comedy, the first Holmes movie was entertaining in all aspects.

The second one? Well, we will see. I heard it had Thor in it.

3 out of 4.