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.

Avengers: Infinity War

I really don’t have to spend a lot of information on this intro, do I?

Avengers: Infinity War (originally called Avengers: Infinity War Part 1, but people were nervous about half movies, and now the next one’s title is a secret because of spoilers or something.

I was an ecstatic little girl when the first Avengers film came out, waiting for it as soon as the first Iron Man film finished. Since then, things have been a bit more middling. My reviews have generally always been positive, none of them ever received under a 2 out of 4, and some of which are maybe too highly rated. Not everything I am extremely excited for, but most I definitely have a higher interest.

Last year, no superhero movies made my top of the year list (although one of them was about a super hero, sort of). This year, I already had Black Panther as a 4. And yet this film, this one right here, has me just as giddy as the first one for so many reasons.

So let’s just get into it.

Group 2
Oh yeah, look at these folks. Maybe this is just Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3?

At the end of Thor: Ragnarok, we had a surprise for Thor and his crew. This film takes place right after that point. Bad news for the Asgardians, Thanos (Josh Brolin) is here. At this point he has one of the infinity stones, out of six total. His goal? To wipe out half of the life in the universe.

Now presumably this just means sentient life forms who walk around and have languages. I don’t think he has anything against puppies. Or plants. He isn’t doing it out of spite, he is calling it mercy. It is sort of his thing. He has been doing it manually with his own crew for a while, but he wants the stones to do it instantly, so that the survivors can flourish. You know, by having more resources, more space, less crime, whatever. He is a benevolent God.

It turns out some people have some issues with him wanting to do this though. And with two of the stones (that we know of) being on Earth, he is going to have to come crashing down, where a few people down there are decently strong and going to have to put up a little fight.

Starring every goddamn person ever. You know, Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Don Cheadle, Karen Gillan, Danai Gurira, Bradley Cooper, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Benedict Wong, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Zoe Saldana, Tom Hiddleston, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Idris Elba, Pom Klementieff, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Chris Pratt, and Benicio Del Toro.

Also featuring some newbies, like Peter Dinklage and Carrie Coon! Two whole people! Wow! And some technically regular people like Gwyneth Paltrow and William Hurt. Damn, did I get them all?

Group
What is this a crossover episode?

What’s to say that isn’t already all over the internet?

Avengers: Infinity War is a fan pleasing romp across the universe, adding most of the cast we have come to love into a few surprising show downs, where the stakes have never been higher. It is certainly one of the darker and serious Marvel films at this point. People are going to get hurt, people are going to be sad, and people are going to cry. Well, maybe. I know I cried near the end, and almost another time before then.

Acting wise, a lot of the stars gave their A-game. Shout out to Cumberbatch who really felt like a leader of this group, despite being one of the most recent additions. Holland was brought in for his acting ability, and it really showed by the end. A lot of pain was on Evans’ face throughout the film. Hemsworth is so goddamn Thor-y, its fantastic, and I am glad we got so much of him in the last few movies. And finally, Saldana, who is normally a low point from the acting carried a lot.

Of course I also have to talk about Brolin as Thanos, a role we have been waiting for for years and it really paid off well. This is a goddamn villain right here. It is really great writing when you sympathize with someone who is trying to kill half of the universe.

I don´t entirely know where Marvel is going with its ending, but I do have a feeling I will be incredibly annoyed by it in the next film. I think they are going to take what they did great here and ruin it with the second part, but that is just a gut feeling.

Avengers: Infinity Wars has some of the best fight scenes and team ups yet, and is just pure fan service through and through while giving an incredible story as well. I wish this film was longer.

I don´t have to tell you to go see this one, I know you will, and I can´t see anyone who likes the series to be disappointed with this milestone achievement.

If there is anything to be disappointed in, it is Marvel´s poor decisions to not include their other people. I haven´t seen Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in forever, but it seemed to react to the movies but never impact them, but someone from there might have been involved. And the Netflix shows? Come on, there was stuff happening in New York. If the Netflix shows ignore this event (which they didn´t ignore the first Avengers movie…) then they are just making poor decisions.

Group
You’d think with three group shots I’d have gotten all the heroes. But nope.

4 out of 4.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

I try my best to avoid most trailers for films, but I give myself some exceptions. I will watch a real teaser trailer occasionally, as they are the ones who don’t spoil the whole thing. Teaser trailers especially for superhero films or Pixar/Disney stuff, even though some of the teasers are downright terrible.

But sometimes a film comes along with such a unique name, that I just need to know what it is about, right away. I will watch it right away, intrigued, which is what a movie title should do. Unlike every other film I review this week after this movie, because all of their titles are shit, regardless of film quality.

Only some offense meant for the films this week that I won’t name. Back to this title. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri just grabs the viewer by the balls and tells them to get ready for a very fucking specific story.

Even better, despite being an original story, it might have been inspired by a true event. In Minnesota last year, a citizen took out a billboard calling out the sheriff with vulgar language. If you read a news article, it seems like a completely bull shit story, so who cares about that guy. But when I saw it in person I had my wife look it up on her phone (I was driving) because the gossip just had to be too good.

Again, a shit story, but it felt juicy, so I am glad to see this film do something much better with the concept.

Billboards
And I will only show you one of the billboards in this review, neener neener.

Mildred (Frances McDormand) has a problem. A problem letting go and moving on with her life, after her dad was found dead, burned alive, after being raped. A heinous, terrible crime, and honestly, it makes sense for her to not get over it. Her daughter was still a teenager and they are in such a small town, it is inexcusable and unprecedented for this to have happened.

But what is even worse, in her mind, is that the local police force seems to have given up on finding the killer. She hasn’t heard from them in 8 months and she is rightfully pissed off. So she spends most of her savings on renting out three billboards near her home, ones that have been seemingly forgotten about, to call out the local Sheriff (Woody Harrelson).

This causes quite a stir, more so than the rape/murder. The town likes the sheriff, he is a good guy, and he has goddamn cancer. Mildred doesn’t care, she just wants answers to her questions, even though she knows it will not bring her daughter back. Mildred is going to be burning several bridges to get what she needs, metaphorically and slightly literally (buildings are like bridges, right?). Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

Also starring Caleb Landry Jones, Sam Rockwell, Abbie Cornish, Lucas Hedges, Zeljko Ivanek, Amanda Warren, Malaya Rivera Drew, Peter Dinklage, Sandy Martin, John Hawkes, Samara Weaving, and Clarke Peters.

Cops
Two Cops near a billboard outside Ebbing, Missouri.

Three Billboards is a hard movie, with a hard topic, with, you guessed it, hard characters. It earned a hard R rating, when it comes to language, violence, and the occasional gore. No, not on any hardcore graphical porn level, sorry folks, just everything else.

McDormand carries the film on her poor fragile shoulders where the whole thing just feels incredibly realistic. Her grief and anger can only be described as real grief and anger. Harrelson as a supporting character still feels a bit like Harrelson, but from a different angle that I haven’t seen much before. Rockwell does one of the biggest changes, as he puts all of his charismatic roles in the past to play this disgusting, morally terrible individual. He is racist, xenophobic, crass, yet caring in strange ways. Oh, and he doesn’t even dance. Can Sam Rockwell be in a film where he doesn’t dance?

The story is an emotional and moving piece. After all, everyone deals with loss in their own ways, and McDormand’s character comes from the place of a woman who feels like she has nothing left to lose (except her son, which she admittedly forgets somewhat about). But again, it is more than just her story in this small town of individuals. At least four or five other characters get shining moments, even if just a little bit, as parts of their stories fortunately (or unfortunately) intersect with her own.

I would describe only one scene that I did not like at all, and it involved a flashback. The words used were too specific and forced, they instantly drew me out of the movie. Thankfully the strong story and characters were quick to draw me back in.

Living in a small town, like a real small town, will get quite annoying when everyone knows everyone’s business, including the law enforcers. I didn’t grow up in an environment like this personally, but based on what I have seen in other films and stories from others, it definitely seems to grasp that feeling.

Three Billboards is not a film for everyone, which is shame, given how likely it will end up on my end of the year list.

4 out of 4.

The Angry Birds Movie

When they first announced The Angry Birds Movie, you couldn’t have paid me to see the prescreening of it. That is because I was steadily employed when it was first announced. Now, when the actually prescreening occurred, I would have gladly accepted money to go to it. Alas, if I went I would have had to go for free and that still wasn’t good enough.

Now I played Angry Birds before. Yeah, like, in 2010, really early after it came out. I had an Android phone and it was 100% free, with a lot of components to it, so yeah, I played the shit out of it. Then I eventually stopped caring. I hated the space game, hated the star wars one, and well, just stopped caring, and never looked back.

At the same time I was annoyed by all the clothing and merchandising that was suddenly existing. It was just a small phone game, why would someone want a backpack with them on it? Oh well, I ignored it and then hey, six years after the game, a movie appeared.

Needless to say, waiting for it on DVD was always a safe bet for me.

Red anger grrr
Oh yeah, they really captured his anger there.

Red (Jason Sudeikis), is a bird, and he is angry. Everyone else on this island is happy, but not him. He is pissed off. All the minor things really piss him off. And after a series of incidents, he has found himself face first in an egg, so now the chick thinks he is its daddy. So the family goes to court over the incident and the judge (Keegan-Michael Key) sentences him to Anger Management class, the harshest sentence!

At the class, it is run by a white bird named Matilda (Maya Rudolph). He also meets a yellow bird who is incredibly fast, Chuck (Josh Gad), a big black bird who explodes sometimes, Bomb (Danny McBride), and a very, very large red bird who doesn’t talk a whole lot, Terence (Sean Penn).

But wait! A ship appears over the ocean. On it, a large pig named Leonard (Bill Hader), bringing gifts and technology to their small area. Everyone loves them, except for Red, because his house gets damaged in their arrival and he doesn’t let it go. All of the other birds get annoyed at Red’s anger and basically make him leave. Red decides that something must be up, as more and more pigs are arriving every day. He decides to bring Chuck and Bomb with him on a quest to find the Mighty Eagle (Peter Dinklage), famed super bird who can FLY to help save the day.

And if that doesn’t work, well, then maybe they will have to fix things on their own before everything goes sour.

Also featuring voice work from Kate McKinnon, Tituss Burgess, Hannibal Buress, Tony Hale, and Ike Barinholtz.

Pig
Oh, that pig is a king too. Royalty. King Leonard, the majestically hammy.

If you couldn’t tell, I went into this movie expecting to hate it. A franchise that has become both forgettable and annoying, about a game with not a lot of plot. It seemed like a cash grab (and regardless of quality, it is still that). Judging from the animation style, I expected it to be just as annoying as most of the Minions movies have been.

And then I laughed. I laughed quite a few times. I was surprised at how much humor they actually smushed into the film. It has a pretty standard 90 minute-ish run time, but there are so many things going on, almost at all times. It was made for the ADHD crowd. Background jokes, frontground jokes, puns, double meanings, and more. And of course globs of reference humor. The last time I saw this many jokes in an animated film was Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2.

Despite how quick everything went, it still also took its time, surprisingly. It took almost a whole hour into the film before the pigs finally went bad and did the bad stuff, leaving just the last act to chase them down and tear down their city in retaliation, aka, the angry birds game part. Normally that would be an issue but time surprisingly flew by.

Heh, like the birds when you sling them.

The Angry Birds Movie has a shitty title and a shitty franchise, but damn it, it was a pretty funny film and a decent experience. It won’t change the animated world, but it will make you giggle.

3 out of 4.

The Boss

Almost every single introduction joke I could think of for The Boss was incredibly lame. There are way too many Boss-based pop culture references that every single one became cringey at just the thought of them. I don’t think there is a single good joke or reference I can make without the readers closing their browser in anger.

If Kelsey Grammer and Tony Danza were locked in a room all night, even they couldn’t come up with something clever to make a chuckle.

Money
Although they would have made something at least more appealing than this turd.

Michelle Darnell (Melissa McCarthy) was an orphan kid and no one wanted her. She got returned a lot. Must be too much spunk. But now, as an adult, she is wickedly rich and famous. I can’t actually tell you what she does, but she is famous and sells stuff. She also sells her image, women love her, she is a rock star and she knows how to put on a show.

But then she gets arrested. For insider trading crap, even though everybody does it. But she is rich so she doesn’t have to go to jail for years, just has to post a bond and honestly, I think everyone forgets about it. Claire (Kristen Bell) doesn’t forget though. She was her assistant for years and never got the raises she deserved as a single mom. With the arrest she had to find a new job and quick. And now Michelle is showing up to sleep on her couch.

Long story short, the daughter, Rachel (Ella Anderson), is in an off shoot girl scouts group. Michelle sees how much they make selling cookies, but dislikes that the girls don’t make anything out of it. So she makes her own alternative off shoot girl scout group, but this time the girls can get commission on their pastry sales and Michelle can also make a lot of money. Hooray money!

Also conflict about other business people, Michelle being not super nice, and girls beating up other girls in the streets. Starring Peter Dinklage, Tyler Labine, Kathy Bates, Cecily Strong, Kristen Schaal, and Eva Peterson as a tall teenage girl.

Gang
Because all out brawls make the best scenes in comedies.

I really need to harp on this. In my eyes, a comedy reaches the lowest levels of its potential if it resorts to an all out brawl between parts of the cast. It was the conclusion of Grown Ups 2, and the most advertised portion of The Boss. As you can see, it is hilarious because there are young teenage girls in the fray, along with overly concerned mom, all dressed super funny. Ha ha ha!

Anyways, outside of that scene there is little else I remember about the film. Wait, I remember Melissa McCarthy making fun of Kristen Bell’s boobs for a long time. And I remember never laughing.

A comedy without laughter is like torture without pain. Wait, no, it actually IS torture and very painful. Sorry, messed that up. The Boss offers nothing new to the movie experience, not even the comedy movie experience. It is a complete waste of space. Thank goodness Ghostbusters also came out this year and was at least mediocre, or else McCarthy would have had her worst year since starting this recent trend.

Don’t watch The Boss. After reading this review, don’t remember anything except for the last line. Just a disappointment all around.

0 out of 4.

Pixels

For some reason, Happy Madison is developing a bad rep. Adam Sandler‘s production company has been around for awhile and has brought in such classics like, Jack and Jill and Grown Ups 2! Hell, just this year we already got Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 and Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser.

With such a rich pedigree, how does a company like that get hated on? Hell if I know.

And then there was Pixels, their third film of this year, and one I thought would be completely animated given the posters. Whoops. I obviously figured it out before I watched it, but damn, I don’t think I have ever been fooled like that before. Sure, it could be loosely based off of a Futurama episode, but that was a cartoon, so everything is fair game.

Pacman
Unless they wanted a giant Mickey Mouse here, then they’d have been fucked.

Brenner (Sandler) was a big deal, in 1982. He was the master of the local arcade, able to see the patterns in the games, creating high score after high score. Hell, he entered into the national arcade tournament and made it all the way to the finals. He lost though to Eddie (Peter Dinklage), a cocky son of a bitch though, because Donkey Kong has some real random elements to it, so he can’t quite figure it out. Oh well, it didn’t ruin his life.

After all, 33 years later, he is working for what constitutes a Geek Squad like company, installing technology in rich big houses. Oh hey, and his best friend, Cooper (Kevin James) ended up as president (married to Jane Krakowski too). But he is seen as a buffoon. Who gives a shit though, because Aliens are about to attack!

Oh yeah, there was a third friend, Ludlow (Josh Gad), who was pretty good at games too, but became a conspiracy nut. And looks like he was write about aliens at least!

The strange thing about these aliens is they are attacking using what looks like arcade games from the early days. You see, after the tournament, they sent digital copies of the games and a lot of pop culture items into a time capsule into space. And alien race took the games as a challenge and built giant replicas of these games to attack the Earth. Each side will only have “three lives” so the first to “win” 3 of these attacks, wins overall. If Earth wins, they leave, if Earth loses, everyone dies. You know where this is going: losers from the 1980’s have to save the day!

Also starring Michelle Monaghan, Matt Lintz, Sean Bean, and Brian Cox.

Centipede
I’ve had a nightmare like this before. I was playing a real life centipede, but I had no ammo.
Basically insects just fell on me from the sky.

Maybe its the nostalgia, maybe the cool effects, or maybe Dinklage giving his impression of the guy from King of Kong, but Pixels wasn’t super terrible. I know everyone around me said it was bad and they hated it, but I also know they went in ready to rage on it.

Pixels definitely had its moments, but the best parts were the clever ways they “fought” the various levels that totaled the many cities around the world. Having Pac-Man terrorize NYC as they chased him with cars? Come on, that’s clever.

There are unfortunately some lamer elements to the film. Having a cheating subplot? Waste of time, and ruined some of the fun. Q*bert? Fuck Q*bert. That mostly felt like an annoyance more than anything. Creepy suggestion that a woman can be a trophy? Well, you know.

But overall for the most part, Pixels was entertaining. It could have had more fun real life battles instead of an all out attack at the end to cameo in games. If we got even more in depth levels, it would have been great. It was like an advanced Nick Arcade. Just one that probably should have gone for the PG-13 rating, since it probably didn’t deserve PG at all with some of the jokes and language thrown in.

2 out of 4.

Buy It! – This movie is available now on {Blu-Ray} and {DVD}.

X-Men: Days Of Future Past

X-Men, oh X-Men, where art thou X-Men?

This is the seventh film of the franchise. SEVENTH. X-Men: Days Of Future Past. When I first heard about this, I was excited. It was a very ambitions plot and storyline to go for, time travel tends to do that. Couple that with the fact that X-Men: First Class was actually decent meant the series might be headed off in a certain way.

But you know what was terrible? The advertisements for this movie. By having two time lines of cast, we have a shit ton of characters, and Fox decided the best way to advertise it was to give every character its own…thing, whatever. So, magazines would have 30 unique covers, or 30 individual character posters, or whatever. No giant cast pictures, no, just an overabundance of individual character shit.

Here is one of the real reasons this bugs me. Anna Paquin. It was stated a long time ago, in the year of 2013, that she was basically cut from the movie. Then it became a rumor. Then it became true and then changed to say that she would just be a cameo. Just a cameo? And still getting full ad treatment? Boo. That is almost worst than the 47 Ronin ad issues, because she is supposed to be a bigger character.

Finally, in the credits, her name was higher than many other people in the film. Because she is more famous? Than Ellen Page? Fuck that. She was in the original X-Men movies then a shitty TV show, while Page has had a big lucrative film career. It is just nonsensical, and most of this doesn’t matter for the actual movie.

Sentinels
No, but these robots matter. AW YEAH SENTINELS!

In the near future, everything is bad, lots are dead. Mutants. Humans who would give birth to future mutants. The sentinels have destroyed it all. Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page) has an unexplained ability to also let people go back in time with their consciousness to their body and like, change the future. But only for a few days, maybe a week. This is long enough to help their band of mutants survive and run, but not long enough to fix it.

No, they’d have to go back to the 1970’s, before Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) (who’s actual mutant power seems to be very limber leg maneuvers) kills the creator of the Sentinels (Peter Dinklage). But the process to send back a consciousness would tear apart a brain. Unless of course, the brain can heal itself. Hmm.

Enter Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) ready to travel back in time, convince past Magneto (Michael Fassbender) and past Xavier (James McAvoy) to work together, change the future, and fix their stupidity.

Here is where I talk about everyone in the film, but in one giant paragraph. Maybe the new people first? Like, Quicksilver (Evan Peters), Toad (Evan Jonigkeit), Bishop (Omar Sy), Blink (Bingbing Fan), Sunspot (Adan Canto) and Warpath (Booboo Stewart).

Of course we have Old Magneto (Ian McKellen) and Old Xavier (Patrick Stewart), Iceman (Shawn Ashmore), Colossus (Daniel Cudmore), Storm (Halle Berry), Beast (Nicholas Hoult), and of course ROGUE. Just kidding. Bullshit cameo.

Do we get Jean Gray (Famke Janssen), Cyclops (James Marsden), or Old Beast (Kelsey Grammar)? Well, maybe.

Magneto
I will only advertise one character per picture, as per movie tradition.

Yay Sentinels! Like a lot a folks in my age bracket, the Sentinels were one of the first X-Men plots I was exposed to, thanks to the first two episodes of the X-Men Animated TV Series on Fox. Shit, that is where I learned most of my basic plot lines, and why to fear the motherfucking Juggernaut. They were fascinating to see and I love the changes made to them. They were TERRIFYING and kept the viewers on the edge of the seat.

What else rocked? Most of the movie. Sure, some plot elements could have been explained better. But the Xavier/Magneto back story was great, a good continuation from First Class. Speaking of dickheads, Fassbender as Magneto is a huge one, and it was awesome to see. The best part is, you can easily relate to where he is coming from and he isn’t just a mindless villain.

Speaking of even more awesome, Fox’s adaption of Quicksilver was so entertaining. He didn’t have the bigger role in the movie, but whenever he was on screen, you paid attention to him and no one else. They really went all out to make him stand out, kind of a big middle finger to Marvel, daring them to raise the bar in Avengers: Age of Ultron.

To make this long review a bit shorter, here is the quicker analysis: So many characters, but outside of tiny cameos, they all were great and wonderful. Special effects and action was good. Story and plot was good. Holy shit, give me Apocalypse.

Did this 100% fit the continuity issues between a few of the movies? Heck no, but at least it gave it a good try and an entertaining one to boot.

4 out of 4.

Knights of Badassdom

Ah, LARPing. An easy subject to make fun of. I have never LARP’d, because actually LARPing involves having a character, having stats abilities and stuff, and doesn’t necessarily involve just hitting people with swords. I have done the thing where I hit people with swords though.

Movies that feature LARPing generally are just overall parodies of them, never really getting the actuality of it all (like anything nerdy in films). Recently I watched Lloyd the Conqueror and it didn’t trash on the subject. Still probably far off, but at least it wasn’t just making fun of it. I imagine this movie, Knights of Badassdom will do the same thing, but with a bigger budget and bigger stars.

Fun
There is an obvious joke here, but I will be the bigger man and not make it.

Some friends like to role play and have eventually elevated their play to the next level to involve LARPing. After one of their friends goes down with a paintball injury, Hung (Peter Dinklage) and Eric (Steve Zahn) need another member for their team before the big even this weekend!

Which is where they find Joe (Ryan Kwanten), their old friend, wallowing in misery. His girlfriend (Margarita Levieva) just broke up with him. He used to play D&D with them, but stopped. Using the power of drugs and alcohol, they convince him to join their band for the weekend. The rest of their team includes Lando (Danny Pudi), Gunther (Brett Gipson), and Gwen (Summer Glau).

But early in the weekend, Eric accidentally casts a spell from a book he found that unleashes a succubus upon the festivities. Weee, real demons!

Also featuring Brian Posehn for one scene, and Jimmi Simpson as the Game Master. Nerds, every single one of them.

Randoms
In case you are curious, yes, the lightning bolt joke makes it here too.

Arguably, this is some sort of “horror comedy” or “black comedy,” I have heard it described as both. The only issue I have with both sides is the comedy element. I remember a couple amusing scenes, maybe, but most of it was sans chuckles. That sucks! I know most of the actors in this. All of them are amusing in their own way and definitely are “nerds” in terms of roles they play normally, so I believe that they are nerdy in real life as well.

But this film is just disappointing. Again, very few laughs. If there were more laughs, I could forgive the mediocre acting or plot or whatever. Kind of cool fight near the end but it isn’t enough to save it. Definitely a passable movie. I can’t even bring myself to describe it more than what I have done already.

1 out of 4.

Ice Age 4: Continental Drift

Ice Age Fucking 4: Continental Fucking Draft. Much like Madagascar movies, I had to watch a few of these films real quick before seeing the latest installment. I saw the first one a long time ago, but 2 and 3 I never really go to, because I never really liked the first one. Might have just been old bitter teenager phase though, so might rewatch it as well.

Either way. I have been up to my neck in these guys this last weekend, so lets just get straight to it!

Peaches
Marathoning these things could explain why I find the teenage girl Mammoth Peaches strangely attractive.

Manny (Ray Romano) the mammoth, is living the good life. With the help of his “half opossom” wife Ellie (Queen Latifah), he is busy raising his ~teenage daughter Peaches (Keke Palmer). Diego (Denis Leary) the sabretooth is still kicking ass, kind of lonely. And Sid (John Leguizamo) the sloth is still crazy. But at least his family came to visit! Just to drop off his grandma (Wanda Sykes) who is also ‘crazy’.

OH WHAT THE FUCK THE GROUND STARTS TO BREAK APART AND THE SHIT IS HITTING THE FAN. Sid, Diego, Manny, and Grandma Sloth find themselves on a small ice chip floating down the sea, with plans on reaching the rest of the herd at the ‘land bridge’.

They have to get there while being chased by a (geologically quick as fuck) slowly moving massive wall, that uhh, represents something. Peaches wants to fit in with the other teen mammoths, especially cute Ethan (Drake). But he has nasty ass ho friends (Heather Morris, Nicki Minaj), and they all hate other things. So she might have to disown her best friend a molehog named Louis (Josh Gad) to do it, but hey, whatever. I’m sure he will understand.

Back on the crazy ass main adventure, uhh after giant storms, they run into pirates. Because why the fuck not.

Captain Gutt (Peter Dinklage…!) an ape like creature, named for his tendency to rip open animals from their gut to their neck, wants the sabretooth and mammoth to join his crew (on a floating ice, yes). That is how his crew was formed, saving animals mostly, and them wanting to work for him. There is a song and everything. It includes Shira (Jennifer Lopez), a white female sabretooth tiger (yes that means exactly what you think it does). Some sort of bunny (Aziz Ansari), a kangaroo (Rebel Wilson), a large Sea Lion (Nick Frost) and many other smaller critters.

So their big plan involves escaping from them (At every corner), trying to figure out how to get back home to save their families and friends from certain doom. How they’d save them once they get back? Who knows, thinking ahead is for lame people.

Captain Gutt
Arggh, a band of ice pirates, rag tag sailors, scurvy, etc.

Ugh. So uhh, first off, as you may have guessed, this movie is full of bad science. “But it is a kids movie…!” Get that excuse out of my face. That seems to be the go to response when filmmakers would rather be lazy and make a poor movie with little to no value. That is sad though, because the original Ice Age had tons of science facts on their side. It actually took place when there were Mammoths and Sabretooth Tigers and even Humans. Sure, during an ice age too. That was around 18,000 BCE. Well, this movie is arguably a few years later than the first, with the birth and growing up of the mammoth baby. But yet Pangea splits apart in it? Something that began 200 million years ago, but instead is represented as something 20k years ago? That is a few magnitudes off, fuck that shit.

It is a popular notion in education. Get an idea in their head, and every few years, fix it a bit for them until it is actually correct. But why not just always be correct? You know, so the kids don’t feel lied too?

Either way, this movie had WAYYYY too many characters. I left out some pretty big names, because small roles because I was just tired of adding more.

It also did bad on its own self pacing. Would show a few days in time with the main cast, then 5s with the rest of the families. Their story lines being mostly one of a normal middle school drama that we’ve all seen before, and happens the same way every time. I guess they took a cue from Madagascar and decided to get in on that interspecies lovin’.

I’d say the CGI was better than the previous ones finally, but most of it was just ridiculous ice boats floating on random storms and water. And narhwals.

1 out of 4.

Death At A Funeral(s)

Plural? Yes.

I watched Death at a Funeral (British version) the other day, and I realized I wanted to see Death at a Funeral (American version) as well. Obviously the British one came first, but I figured they’d be different enough with the same general plot to do two reviews, but no. They pretty much are the same. Some different jokes, but all the same stuff happens. SO ONE SUPER REVIEW (that counts as two, damn it). Also probably my record for most tags. Two ensemble movies in one. Hooray!

Naked Alan Tudyk
And why not start it off with a naked Alan Tudyk on a roof?

So in both movies, the patriarch of the family dies. The main guy (Chris Rock, Matthew Macfadyen) lived with his folks and is an inspiring writer, which is bad because his slightly younger brother (Martin Lawrence, Rupert Graves) already has made a best seller. Jealousy!

We also have their cousin (Zoe Saldana, Daisy Donovan) is bringing her new fiance to the funeral, hoping her own dad will approve of him. This makes the fiance (Alan Tudyk, James Marsden) nervous, and he takes some Vallium to calm down. But it really isn’t Vallium. Her ex is also there (and trying to win her back…Luke Wilson, Ewen Bremner), now a friend of the family, along with another friend of the family (Tracy Morgan, Andy Nyman) who has the unfortunate job of looking out for the wheel chaired uncle (Danny Glover, Peter Vaughan).

Got all that? Too bad. A few problems go wrong, delaying the actual ceremony, which is perfect for the real main plotline. The midget who no one knows turns out to be the secret gay lover of their dad (Peter Dinklage, Peter Dinklage) with picture proof, and threatens to show everyone unless he gets a nice sum since he was left off of the will. Yes blackmail, and midgets.

I am sure I tagged some people and didn’t mention them. Honestly I lost track. Here is Loretta Devine, who you would have guessed was in the American version without looking it up probably.

Naked White Guys
Somehow, both of these actors naked on a roof was the easiest “same scene” from both movies to find.

So, these movies both feature large ensemble casts, with a few different plot lines so that they can all build up and get crazy by the end of the movie.

But which is better? I have heard from multiple sources that they think the British version is WAY better than the American. They also said this before watching the American though. After watching both though I find that…well they are both okay. I didn’t find one vastly superior to the other. Honestly, I probably would have been fine with either of them if only one of them had to exist!

So watch whatever version you choose, knowing full well that if you choose the British one for any other reason than it being the original, then you are probably a racist.

2 out of 4. (British)
2 out of 4. (American)

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