The Predator

I don’t think I saw the first Predator movie, nor did I see the next one. I did see both Alien vs Predator films though, and of course, Predators, from a handful of years ago.

I think I would enjoy the first Predator movie, it sounds like it is really well made and will have high levels of tension, especially in the end. I will put it on my list. I still know roughly the events of these films, because hey, geek and movie culture.

But to continue the string of very nondescript movie titles. this one is going to be called The Predator, because I guess there is only going to be one. That is some Highlander stealing shit right there. And since it is directed by Shane Black, I can only assume that it will take place during Christmas.

Pred1
Time to hang up the people stockings.

Let’s all head to Mexico! Where there are drug deals, of course! Quinn McKenna (Boyd Holbrook) is an asshole, but he is our asshole. He is also a good soldier and sniper. Sure it basically cost him his marriage, being all soldier-y and out a lot, but he is still a good soldier. And during a mission, a space ship crashes nearby with a scary creature with invisible capabilities.

So he does what any hard working American would do in that case. He steals some of the monster’s equipment and mails it to his P.O. Box at his home city. Thanks to plot though, they go to his home, so his young autistic son (Jacob Tremblay) can find it and mess with alien stuff.

Through other plot, the alien gets captured by secret space force people. We got a real mean dickhead (Sterling K. Brown, who seems to be getting younger in his roles) who wants to unlock their potential. We got an alien biologist (Olivia Munn) who is surprisingly good at shooting things with various weapons. Hell, we have a whole bus load of “crazy” PTSD soldiers that they are hiding away who are going to be dealing with this thing.

But most importantly, this will end up taking place over Halloween. Damn Shane Black, way to trick us.

Also starring Yvonne Strahovski, Trevante Rhodes, Thomas Jane, Keegan-Michael Key, Jake Busey, Augusto Aguilera, and Alfie Allen.

Pred2
Well I guess instead of hanging stockings, they are just hanging Halloween decorations. Makes more sense.

The Predator is basically a trash movie. A movie that feels like an incredible waste of time, and did not live up to any of the expectations that I went in with. And honestly, I didn’t have many.

People tried to talk about what the trailer implied, but I didn’t see it, so I didn’t know where they were coming from. Instead, I just know it is a crap film. Why? Well, this film is basically a comedy. It is very much almost a slapstick comedy. Because we have this group of men with zany personalities (because of mental disturbances) they all have quips and one liners. This means everyone, starting with the guy who is supposed to be the joke maker, all the way down to the more serious characters. It is like they wanted to make The Avengers, but you know, PTSD army folks.

Gosh, the humor was so annoying. At no point could a viewer feel threatened or scared by the predators. When everything is a goddamn joke, it is hard for anything to really draw the viewer in. Tense moments are wasted by jokes and by extremely bad cut jobs. This film moves all over the place, and it is hard to judge how time works. We quickly go from a night scene to an early morning scene, a literal night and day difference, in the final action sequences. If there were a lot of practical effects (/people in suits) it is wasted by the other CGI effects. The kills aren’t too great. And the predator v predator fight is not worth any amount of hype.

AND HOW THE HELL ARE THEY GOING TO HAVE A FILM CALLED THE PREDATOR WITH MORE THAN ONE PREDATOR.

This cannot be the movie people were hoping to get. Somewhere a better film might exist, but really, it needs a plot upheaval and most of it to be re-shot with a different cast. Yeah, we just need a different movie.

1 out of 4.

I, Frankenstein

When I first saw the trailer for I, Frankenstein. I sighed.

I like Aaron Eckhart, technically. Or at least, I liked Thank You For Smoking. My favorite part of The Dark Knight was Two-Face.

But there is an even bigger list of movies that I don’t like him in. Man.

Maybe it is that I only like him when there is a competent director? Yeah, that’s it. Listen, Nick, don’t go to a movie because of Aaron Eckhart being it it. Just let the Aaron Eckhart-ness happen.

Gargoyle
Kind of like letting the erect statue just happen.

So in this story, Victor Frankenstein was obviously a person, and he totally created a man out of dead body parts. He fucking created life. He was scared of it though, so he sent the monster away from the house in rage.

The monster (Aaron Eckhart), in anger, came back, killed Victor’s woman, and got him to chase him into the cold arctic depths, that his puny human body could not take. Silly Victor. While burying his former master’s body, for giggles, he is attacked by a group of demons! Oh no! Some bigger demon, Naberius (Bill Nighy) wants him! He totally takes out a few with his dead man strength, before some Angels show up to take the rest. Angels? No, Gargoyles! Okay!

They represent the Order of the Gargoyles, which wage war on the demons for God. Hmm. Their leader is Leonore (Miranda Otto), with her champion Gideon (Jai Courtney) and they don’t really trust him. He is a slight against God, the only person thought to be able to create life.

Which is why Neberius wants him. He is a man without a soul, which means a demon can take over his body, and he can use science to bring back all of his dead demon buds who died to the Gargoyles, and try to get his world take on. The monster doesn’t give a fuck. He wants to live on his own for 200 years instead, until he is tired of being hunted and wants to fight back.

200 years later? That is modern time! Now Neberius just wants to make this shit on his own, without the monsters help. He has hired scientists to try and recreate the experiment, and the best person for the job is apparently Yvonne Strahovski! Whoa!

Oh yeah, Leonore totally gave him a name. Adam. Because bad symbolism.

Fire
This picture is bad symbolism, because it has none.

I, Frankenstein decided it wanted to go full on “January Movie”. Like, to the extremes. I am so happy that I know what is coming out in February, and basically every week has something that looks pretty good. Some weeks multiple movies! But I can’t wait for this month to be over.

Before you get too crazy, The Legend Of Hercules was probably still a worse movie. So it isn’t that level of bad.

This movie has very very little to do with Frankenstein and his monster. Sure, the main character is identified as the monster, but it only took the “stitched together and made from dead parts” trait, and nothing else from his story line. Have you seen the trailer? Fire effects everywhere, and we learn that is actual fire that the demons turn into when they descend (when they get killed, they get sent back down to Hell). Frankenstein’s monster is known for four things:

Big feet. Dead parts. Bad talking. And being afraid of fire.

Fuck this movie. The action was boring. The soundtrack was maybe the only decent part. Except it never really changed, it was always the same ominous sounding music. The final fight had a cool element to it, but the way they saved the day really didn’t make a lot of sense.

0 out of 4.

The Guilt Trip

Road Trip movies are a tried and true comedy vehicle. By tried and true, I of course mean generally the same thing every time. After Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, you will mostly find copy cat films, and films who just try to out gross one another for shock laughs.”The Guilt Trip actually tries to use this same plot line, but instead feature a man with his mother.

Plane
Oh and they are Jewish. Because those jokes are easy too!

Andrew Brewster (Seth Rogen) is your average middle aged male, assuming average meant FDA biochemist who has spent the last five years designing a new cleaning product that is 100% safe in the household. Unfortunately, because he is a scientist, he is not a people person, so selling his product to big companies is turning out to be a hassle. But he has put all of his time and money in to it, so his drive across the US to the corporation headquarters is his last big hope on making a name for himself!

Before he goes, he starts off in New York, to visit his mother Joyce (Barbra Streisand). Well, she gets all emotional and talks about his lack of a love life, while also mentioning her first true love, before she met his father. Turns out that old lover is a big advertising man in San Fransisco. Maybe, just maybe, he can make it his last stop and reunite his mother with her old fling, while also getting his product out there?

Nah, a son wouldn’t potentially use his mother like that, would he? Would he?! The Guilt Trip also features smaller roles from Brett Cullen, Yvonne Strahovski, Colin Hanks, Adam Scott, and Ari Graynor.

Steak
Also, where are all these restaurants with giant steaks that you can get free if you eat them? I have never seen them, but oh boy would I like to.

While obviously starting out as a comedy, the film quickly transitions into a drama when they find themselves on the road. Both of our main characters have love issues, Andrew has a failing business that can’t even get off the ground, and they have many unresolved issues with each other that they never talk about. By the end, I can honestly say I was tearing up a little bit. Both characters were able to grow through the journey. However, it took a bit longer than I would have liked, even in film time.

Unfortunately, it really wasn’t that funny when it was came time for laughs, which is also how the movie was advertised. Sure, some of the scenes were maybe amusing, put a small smile on the face, but it was pretty average overall. Some of the funnier moments in the trailer were actually not in the movie, but in the extra scenes during the credits. Gotta love it when they advertise things not found in the actual movie!

Overall, most people will find The Guilt Trip to be a pretty poor comedy, which I could agree with. But if you are a sucker for parent/child relationships in the older ages, then you will probably enjoy this film a lot more for its dramatic moments and heartwarming story.

2 out of 4.

Killer Elite

Killer Elite is based on a “True story”. Or an alleged true story. The Feather Men, a novel that came out in 1991 by some “British Adventurer” telling the story of a group of killers called The Clinic. That is all Wiki told me however, and I don’t think I heard “The Clinic” at all mentioned in the movie. Not even sure who they are supposed to be?

Feath Man
But if I had to pick one person to be a Feather Man? I’d pick him.

So some Mercenaries are in Mexico in 1980, killing some people. Jason Statham, Robert De Niro, and two other guys. Statham retires to Australia, but is force to come back a year later when De Niro is captured! According to “The Agent” (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, who I will always call Mr. Eko) he accepted a 6 million dollar mission, but failed is going to get executed. Somehow, the only way to save him is to finish his mission.

He has to find three former Special Air Service (British shit, SAS) members, record their confessions, and then kill them but make it look like an accident. Shit. Thats hard stuff. So he gets the other two guys and they try and do that. Them for the money, him to save De Niro. The actual feathermen are a secret society of former operatives, that look out after their own, lead by Clive Owen. They are gonna try and stop them too.

Oh yeah, an Yvonne Stahovski is the girlfriend of Statham (or Sarah from Chuck) but she isn’t in the movie that much, really.

Killer Elite
But there is lots of everyone else.

So although a lot of the tactics / assassinations, and “plot twists” were interesting, I think the biggest problem was just the ability to really understand what was going on. Name dropping stuff like SAS at the beginning, and going very quick to set up the plot made it harder for me to figure out what was going on. All I really know is that he had to kill these 3 dudes, or else. I mean, hey, that can be enough for you to go. But there was lot of military British stuff, that I just could not understand. Especially since this all takes place in the early 80s.

But other than that. It was more or less well paced.

2 out of 4.