Tag: Johnny Depp

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

It has been six years since we had Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, six years! That was back when my reviews were extremely shitty, not just shitty.

And yet, I still like the original film. The second film pissed me off so much that I didn’t watch the third film. And hey, in these six years, I still have not “gotten around to it”. Fuck the second film.

But again, new people, new pirates, some more Jack Sparrow, and Dead Men Tell No Tales is ONLY a little bit over 2 hours, not a complete marathon like the rest of them. Fine. You have piqued my interest once again, what can you give me? Something good, I hope?

Shit, this just looks like the first movie now…

Before the movie can truly begin, you have to be treated to some weird ass flashback, with a boy named Henry looking for a lost ship. That ship? The Flying Dutchman. On that ship? Apparently an older and crusty looking Will Turner (Orlando Bloom). And this boy is his son, from Elizabeth (Kiera Knightley). I have been told all of this is explained in the third film, but you will be confused as fuck without that knowledge.

Then we get a film really beginning, with Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) and some crew (Kevin McNally, Adam Brown, Martin Klebba) robbing a bank! Also in this same town is an older Henry Turner (Brenton Thwaites), recently arrested for being the only surviving member of his crew. He claims a ghost ship led by a Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem) took them out, and he wants to get Sparrow. Also on this island is a “Witch”, aka a girl who knows some science, Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario), who wants to find Neptune’s Trident thinking it is her destiny thanks to some orphan shit. Oh hey, Henry also wants the trident to free his daddy. And Sparrow wants to not die to a ghost pirate looking thing, great! Team work! Fun!

On that note, I put most of the plot in that one paragraph!

But I left off Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), who is basically a pirate King at this point, rich, glorious, no problems in the world. Until that Salazar gets to him and is about to take him out, until he agrees to help him find Sparrow. Turns out Salazar is not a ghost pirate like one would assume, but instead a pirate hunter who was bested by a young Jack Sparrow!

And yeah, Neptune’s trident, that is the goal this time.

Remember, he is not a pirate ghost, he is a pirate hunting ghost.

The last two pirate movies must have started the same way: “Hey, people liked Turner and Swann, let’s bring them back but with younger actors and the same old Jack Sparrow!” Because hey, we got a young guy that looks like Turner, and a girl in a corset dress, so all the same demographics can be met. These films all feel like the same damn thing now. After they introduced tentacle face as a bad guy in number two, it seems like we need a weird and terrifying supernatural villain for anything to work.

And honestly, this movie was putting me to sleep. Dabbed around the movie were a few interesting scenes and shots, but it was an effects driven film with really poor pacing issues and a lackluster plot. If you are not familiar with the third film too well, the beginning will be quite terrible. I mean, I figured it out quickly, but it still started the film on a slow point. The bank heist scene was very similar to Fast Five, with a more comedic twist.

But the villain was, for the most part, pointless. A stitched together plot as a way of giving us a Jack Sparrow origin, which no one is asking for. What’s worst? Their decision to tell of Salazar’s backstory with Sparrow was just SO. POORLY. PLACED. And interlaced with poor Bardem having to awkwardly growl out his lines as a camera moves around his face, while everyone else is on a boat just probably thinking “what the fuck, why are you doing this right now?” He was monologuing to one person, who also gave no fucks.

And finally, when it comes to poor plot, they just had to make everyone related to someone else it seems. Except for poor Sparrow, who just had to be related to whatever actor they got to play his younger self for a few minutes.

As for the Sparrow character, he really sucked in this movie. I cannot tell if he has always been this bad, but in the first film I thought he was a jerk, but charming and really confident in himself. In this movie, he just felt like a drunk fool the entire time.

Okay graphics, bad plot, bad pacing, bad film. I also have realized that this movie is coming out the same weekend that we got Alice Through The Looking Glass last year. That was bad, this is just not good. But they both have a Depp in common.

1 out of 4.

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them

It has been five years since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 hit our theater screens and ended the Snape is great series. Seven books, eight films, and honestly, it ended it a bit lamer thanks to the split in my mind. But I am over there.

But what if there were more books out there to milk the franchise? I remember when I was a kid when the books were only four volumes deep. My parent gave me Christmas presents, and in them included Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them and Quidditch Through The Ages. Two strange Harry Potter spin off books, one basically just talking about made up creatures, the other talking about a made up sports history. I read them, forgot about them, and moved on with my life.

And now look. Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them is now a movie, a movie based on a book of just made up creatures with no plot whatsoever. Not only that, but it will be FIVE films. And I am okay with it. Mostly because it basically can be whatever it wants to be without getting in anyone’s way. People who read the bestiary won’t get angry that it doesn’t match the book, because there is nothing to match. We can get more magic, without going about it in a weird way, and not involving Potter at all. Awesome. Well done.

Ah, there is a beast right there! I found it!

FBaWtFT is set in the mid 1920’s and in America! Yay America! Our hero is Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), a slightly weird looking wizard with a weirder suitcase. It keeps coming undone, has a broken lock, and of course it is magical. Inside that briefcase he has a large collections of, well, fantastic beasts. They are creatures he has saved or is studying. He has gotten to America in order to bring one of his biggest specimens to Arizona, for its wide open skies and climate.

But things immediately go wrong when one of his creatures gets out. This leads him to bumping into Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler), a Non-Maj (non magic user, american wizard term for muggle). A guy who just wants to get a loan to become a baker. Their suitcases get mixed up, and Kowalski unknowingly lets some more beasts into NYC. They are followed by Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterson), a government magic employee who wants to bring Scamander in for his suitcase and for being undocumented. Needless to say in the mix up, she ends up helping Scamander and Kowalski get the beasts back, along with her sister Queenie (Alison Sudol).

While all this is happening? There is a bad wizard out there, Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) and causing problems. There is also a magical bad creature wrecking havoc occasionally on NYC, who the magic president (Carmen Ejogo) is going to go and blame on Scamander too.

There is also a relevant plot of a anti-witch woman (Samantha Morton) who is using her orphans or real kids (not sure) to spread witch hysteria. She is also mean to the kids, including the oldest and most emo looking (Ezra Miller). Also there is a littler girl who is important (Faith Wood-Blagrove).

Also featuring Colin Farrell and a heavily CGI’d Ron Perlman!

Heavily CGI’d because Ron Perlman plays that suitcase!

Fantastic Beasts has a lot riding on it. It is the first film of a franchise they want to start, and if it bombs or fails to set up the world they aren’t going to get filthy rich! Also, thankfully, Harry Potter fans eat up anything world related regardless of quality, which is why some shitty book like Harry Potter and the Cursed Child* can somehow win best fantasy book on Goodreads.

With that introduction, Fantastic Beasts wasn’t terrible, it just wasn’t amazing either.

The cast was eclectic, but also felt over stuffed. We had four protagonists really, of which Queenie didn’t seem to do a whole lot. Our Non-Maj was funny, but even he didn’t help with the final encounter (despite a conversation with Queenie about how they were all in it together). They didn’t even show him at the same scene, so I am not sure what the point was. Tina was a character that had her backstory eluded to and explained, but she really had the personality of a wet noodle. It isn’t a bunch of exciting leads like it was with Harry Potter.

In terms of twists, there are technically two of them. The one more important to the plot I didn’t see coming, but the other one by the end felt extremely obvious from one of the first real scenes. It was an annoying reveal, given the circumstances. The ending had a few deus ex machina moments, and was extremely rushed given the overall pace of the film. Editing was surely an issue, given that it was over two hours but still felt like it didn’t give all the important details.

On all of those notes, I did enjoy Redmayne as the lead. His character felt different but not over the top. The beasts shown were diverse and fantastic looking. But I don’t appreciate that the answer to “where to find them” is apparently in his brief case. There is no hunting of beasts in their natural habitat at all. Well, maybe one. The visuals were fun, the briefcase gag was used well, and there were a few cute moments.

Overall, I have no idea where this franchise is going, but I am certain soon it will eventually give us a young Dumbledore, so that is fun.

2 out of 4.

* – I haven’t read this one yet. I am assuming it is bad though. Judging a book by its cover. I can do that for books, just never movies!

Yoga Hosers

Ohhhhhhhh Kevin Smith. A man who has embraced the Cartman Whatever, I Do What I Want mentality that so many kids eventually grow into and hopefully out of.

I like Kevin Smith, I do, but almost every time I see his name in the news I cringe. It is generally a rant about something in pop culture and an article is made about that. Kevin Smith doesn’t know everything about everything, as a fan and a person, I understand that. So I’d rather just see articles about upcoming films and work and casting like a normal director.

His films are getting weirder and more specific. They used to speak for a generation and now, backed up by his own words, they kind of just speak for him. He wants to make films for him and him only, the critics be damned. Except I really liked Tusk. I was very worried about Yoga Hosers, given a trailer I saw, but damn did I like Tusk.

I don’t care what he does with his free time (and I acknowledge his films have gotten weaker since he discovered marijuana). I just eventually want to see Hit Somebody, Clerks 3, and MallBrats, damn it.

I did not ask for Smith dressed up as a German sausage, but I can see where he got confused.

Set a year or so after the events of Tusk, we return to our small town and our clerk employees who are now sort of famous. That’s right, because Colleen McKenzie (Harley Quinn Smith) and Colleen Collette (Lily-Rose Depp) helped lead the authorities to finding the missing American turned Walrus, they were in the paper once and their lives are just as uneventful.

Like, you know? They are just sophomores in high school, working a crummy job that Colleen C’s Dad (Tony Hale) got them. And his new girlfriend (Natasha Lyonne) is now their manager, ew yuck. They just care about their instagrams, their yoga (with a private instructor played by Justin Long), their band, and cute guys.

You know like Hunter Calloway (Austin Butler), a senior! And he has invited the Colleen’s to a senior party on a night they are not supposed to work, omg! As long as life doesn’t throw a hockey stick in their plans at least.

The Colleens just want to be normal girls, doing normal things. But un-normal Nazi related things are brewing in their neighborhood and it might just be up to them and their yoga to put a stop to it.

Also starring Jennifer Schwalbach Smith, of course, Adam Brody as a creepy drummer, Harley Morenstein as toilet paper man, Tyler Posey as annoying senior guy, Jason Mewes, Ralph Garman, Haley Joel Osment, and Johnny Depp returning as Guy Lapointe.

They weren’t even supposed to be here today.

When I say critics be damned, I really mean that. Smith refused to screen this film for critics. No pre-screeners for the press, no press copies online or in the mail, nothing. Just people who wanted to give him some money. And there is a reason behind that besides the obvious. At two points in the film, including a major part of the climax, are anti-critic. They go decently hard into and its the reason for the bad events in the film.

And, I dunno, am I supposed to care? This isn’t the first time there have been jokes about something that has represented me in a film. If a film makes fun of men, or white people, or nerds, or teachers, or geologists, I don’t rail against it and call it trash. If it is done in a funny way, I will find it funny, laugh and move on.

They were done in okay ways, but given the director’s actual statements, it makes it just come out as childish.

Related, the film is entirely childish. It doesn’t mean there aren’t amusing parts. Oh no, I laughed at a few. And I laughed at some small bit parts just for a quick joke. But the film is also all over the place. The trailer that turned me off so long ago? It was one part of the movie and that part took a long time to get to. The ending included a cool creation, but its demise wasn’t worth the time invested to get there.

But you know what? Johnny Depp as Guy Lapointe is still one of my favorite things ever. I will watch 10 more of these Canadian Smith films just to go on his adventures. Lapointe is Depp’s best work in years and that is why Yoga Hosers is worth a watch. Too bad it is out of all theaters by the time this review comes out.

2 out of 4.

Alice Through The Looking Glass

Let’s take a time machine back six years ago. The world was different, because not everything was in 3D. Only a few films tried out 3D, thanks to Avatar being the cash cow and visually stunning film that it was. This is when people still thought 3D was actually kind of cool if done right.

Then Alice in Wonderland came out, and it made a shit ton of money. Why did everyone rush to see it? Well, I guess Johnny Depp was a bigger deal six years ago, sure. But because it was released in 3D, so everyone went to see it thinking it would be as pretty as Avatar. It wasn’t.

And say what you will about the plot of Avatar, its story was miles better than the pile of refuse that they gave us with Alice in Wonderland. You would think making it into a bad story would be impossible, given the book. But no, instead they made a sequel to the original Alice in Wonderland, setting this one many years later, with Alice returning to Wonderland with a whole mess of new and awkwardly similar problems. It gave me problems, most of all calling the movie Alice in Wonderland, when it was a sequel to Alice in Wonderland. That is confusing.

But hey, Disney is on a live action kick. So they figured, let’s do a sequel. Alice Through The Looking Glass. This one will probably no be based on the book either, since it is a sequel to the surprise sequel. So who knows what they will fill it with hoping to be edgy. Let’s just say I am going in assuming the worst here, and that is based on a lot of precedent.

Clay? Rust? Red lava? Earthy minerals? Who cares, I am barely a geologist anyways.

The sequel takes place years after the original, Alice (Mia Wasikowska) is now a free girl, roaming the seas the captain of her own sailing vessel like her dad. She is exploring the new world and making trade agreements! It is actually quite fun. Unfortunately, when she gets back she is in a pickle. Hamish (Leo Bill), the man she turned down now runs the company. Her mom (Lindsay Duncan) has traded away the bill of her house for money, and the only way to get it back is for Alice to give up her boat and take a respectable job for a woman.

So, in the chaos, she runs through a mirror, following Absolem the butterfly (Alan Rickman) and returns to Wonderland! But things have changed. The entire gang is still friends, but the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) is now the Sad Hatter. He believes his family, killed by the Jabberwocky a long time ago. It is obvious what Alice must do. If you thought look for his family, you were wrong. No, she clearly should go back in time, save them from the Jabberwocky, and bring them to the present to make him feel better. Yeah. That.

But time is a person (Sacha Baron Cohen). And grabbing the Chronosphere can cause a lot of issues. But she does it anyways, because friendship and sets off on a journey to the past to fuck shit up.

The Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter) and White Queen (Anne Hathaway) return, Leilah de Meza with and Amelia Crouch playing their past selves. Rhys Ifans plays the Mad Hatter’s dad and Ed Speleers are regular unimportant dude.

Also returning, the voices of Tweedledee / Tweedledum (Matt Lucas), Bayard (Timothy Spall), Thackery (Paul Whitehouse), Cheshire Cat (Stephen Fry), Mallymkun (Barbara Windsor), McTwisp (Michael Sheen), and introducing Wilkins (Matt Vogel), a robot.

Time is a lot of things, and you will hear every last time pun I do decree!

First of all, Eye in the Sky is Alan Rickman’s real last film. This one is just voice work, and I swear, he maybe had three lines and no close ups. This does not get to count as his final film, I won’t allow it.

As for the actual movie, if you missed it this one deals with TIME TRAVEL. Time Travel is a scary subject matter. It is powerful and can make or break a movie depending on how it is adapted. I am not going to argue one theory of time travel is better than any other, because that doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is that a film is consistent with their version of time travel. Alice Through The Looking Glass cares not at all, changing the rules on a whim, and makes an incredible hard to follow film without a satisfying reason for making it overly complicated.

This line might be a slight spoiler, because I just want to explain their time travel. Alice finds out that no matter what she does, she can not change the past, the events still occur. That is the time travel they have set up. Until later on in the film, a character is totally able to change the past. Fuck.

Alice goes back in time to three different locations. Why? Because the oceans of time are chaotic and once she learns information, she tries to go to a different time line to change different things. The plot is moved forward by consistently bad decisions from Alice, whom is supposed to be a strong smart female lead. Not only that, because Alice seems to make the same bad decisions, her actions feel repetitive and the films seems to drag when there are easy solutions everywhere.

The ending is an incredible mess. Wonderland is falling apart because of two separate events that somehow produce the same results. But it doesn’t make sense for them to do the same thing. I will try and explain it out without spoilers.

Chess? Smart?/
I hope you passed algebra.

For most of the film, Problem A is happening thanks to Alice and the world is slowly falling apart. Much later in the film, Problem B, a completely different problem occurs and actually sets about the end of the world. Problem A is seemingly forgotten about. However, once Problem A is “solved”, thanks to our protagonist remembering it, it somehow undoes all of the damage of Problem B. The issue with that is there is no justification whatsoever that it should work like that. There are no mentions earlier on that if Problem B happens, it can be fixed by X. On top of that, there was no reason for Problem A to even continue late in the film, except for the fact that Alice becomes incompetent.

Finally, Alice is seen as a strong, independent woman, which is mostly true in the real world scenes where she is chased by pirates, but they reduce her to a bumbling fool in Wonderland. All of her positive traits seemingly vanish just to move the plot forward. On its own, I guess it is okay for a character to be stupid, sure.

The real issue here is that her character does stupid things, but she is still being lauded as a smart and capable heroine the entire film. To me, that seems almost more dangerous than just having a weak lead. What we need in films are actual strong female characters, not weak ones that they tell us are strong with us supposed to them at their word.

This is a bad movie and one I cannot believe was green-light by Disney. The 3D is pointless, the visuals are only great in a few places, the acting is so-so. The plot is a mess, breaks its rules (which breaks story telling rules and shouldn’t be seen as a compliment to the Madness of Wonderland), and most of the events happen thanks to stupidity and not for good plot reasons. The only thing I enjoyed was the excessive time puns and Cohen as Time.

0 out of 4.

Black Mass

Johnny Depp is the type of guy who is always working and trying out new bizarre characters. It gave him some early fame but lately people are getting tired of him. Mortdecai gets to be one of the worst films of the year, as people assumed it was just a mustache obsessed Johnny Depp playing Johnny Depp.

But then there was Black Mass. Based on trailers and word of mouth, we were told this would be Depp acting, playing a real character, and not the same old shit as before. Something new by technically making him play a more normal role! A sadistic mean and manipulative person, but a real guy nonetheless. No super annoying quirks, no autism, just a dude who didn’t mind killing people.

The acting was supposed to be so great that people were going to remember how great Depp could be when he gives a shit. I am sure he gives a lot of shit when doing his latest Burton film, but after awhile, it just looks like he has no more cares left in the world and he would rather just sit there and shit money. (Assuming they don’t flop, which they have been as well!)

That’s the face I make when I shit normal things. Can only imagine other objects.

Black Mass is the story of James ‘Whitey’ Bulger (Depp), America’s Most Wanted criminal for a long time. You may have heard about him for many reasons. Or maybe you watched the documentary (or read my review of), Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger, which was out a year or two ago on Netflix. It went over his crimes and the trial once they eventually caught the guy (spoilers), while the film version specifically only talks about his crimes for the most part until he started to hide elsewhere in the USA.

Like most crime movies, this one also takes place in the scariest city in the USA for people who like grammar, Boston. Bulger and his gang (some members played by Rory Cochrane, Jesse Plemons, and W. Earl Brown) are criming up the streets and kicking butt. They basically control all of South Boston. But there are rivals, and there are conflicts of interest.

You know, like John Connolly (Joel Edgerton), when he returns to Boston, his home, but now a member of the FBI. He is friends with Whitey, despite the mostly common knowledge of his criminal activities. Eventually he convinces Whitey that he should become an informant, because there are other bad people out there who he can rat out to get them in trouble. Doing so, that would allow him to gain even more power on the streets, having the FBI in his back pockets. Oh hey, Whitey’s actual brother (Benedict Cumberbatch) is also part of the Massachusetts State Senate. Pretty sneaky stuff.

This becomes a win win. Whitey gains gang power, and the FBI catches a lot of bad guys. It isn’t until things get more and more violent that some people out there begin to get fidgety and want to bring in Whitey as well, because something very sketch is going down with his relationship with the FBI.

Also featuring Dakota Johnson, Julianne Nicholson, Adam Scott, Kevin Bacon, David Harbour, Peter Sarsgaard and Corey Stoll.

A gangster, an FBI agent, and a David Harbour walk into a restaurant…

I had a BlackWeek on my website, and I was most upset that Black Mass came out so much later than the other Black films. I was excited to see Depp back in greatness, although I think his role from Tusk and Yoga Hosers is actually pretty sweet.

And then I watched Black Mass and it all felt unoriginal. Just because I watched a documentary about Whitey doesn’t mean I remember a lot about him. The only thing I really remember was him being a rat and getting the other gangsters in trouble while he got away for decades. Black Mass should have been a nice companion piece to the documentary, giving us intense recreations of some of his worst work and making Whitey seem like a real person.

Even though I didn’t know about his individual crimes, the reason it felt unoriginal is just that it felt like every other gangster movie before it. Sure, plot wise it had the original true element of actually working with the FBI, because the real life plot is so silly no one accept it as something plausible in a fictional film. Stylistically, it felt the same. Elements of the film seemed to be bad recreations of Goodfellas.

Yes, the acting was there. Depp, Edgerton, Sarsgaard all did wonderful jobs. Cumberbatch sounded funny and I wanted more scenes with him because of it.

But I would hope that the film didn’t feel like the gangster films of the past and tried to make a truly unique experience for this real life story. I guess I could also be biased, because I also have recently seen Animal Kingdom (with Edgerton), and it was definitely a unique gangster film.

1 out of 4.


I wanted to see Mortdecai. Really I did, when it came out. But something came up and I wasn’t able to go to the screening.

So I went home and waited. I saw as the pages and pages of reviewers and critics talked about how bad the movie was. What? How can this be? I liked the trailer. I thought it would be amusing. But I still find some of the more quirky characters that Depp plays to be quite endearing.

I was even more excited to find that the movie was rated R. So it wouldn’t be some just zany family movie, “Oh teehee, look at my moustache!” or anything. We might get more creative and raunchy jokes.

So I waited even further. Still with the hope that maybe everyone would be wrong about Mortdecai, in my head. Much like they were wrong about The Lone Ranger.

Rumor has it that Depp literally sexually assaults all of the viewers of this movie.

Charlie Mortdecai (Johnny Depp) is an eccentric rich man. Or at least, he used to be rich. They are on their last legs and just putting up a false front now. He also has decided he wants to grow a mustache. It is a tiny thing. But all of his family in the past had them, and he wants one now! This mustache is more of the main plot than the art aspect of it all.

His wife, Johanna (Gwyneth Paltrow) hates the mustache and more or less refuses to interact with him throughout the film because of it.

A famous painting is stolen from a home by Emil (Jonny Pasvolsky), that is then stolen from another thief, and everyone is up in arms over it. So Inspector Martland (Ewan McGregor) comes to Mortdecai for help, due to his art knowledge. And yeah. You know. A comedy heist-esque movie about finding a painting and other secrets. Mortdecai also has a loyal man servant, Jock (Paul Bettany), who is great a sex and making sure Mortdecai doesn’t die.

And of course there is Jeff Goldbloom as an Art guy with his nymph daughter played by Olivia Munn. And Paul Whitehouse is in this movie, but I was sort of unsure of what his overall role was. Besides an art enthusiast/collector.

Slick Back Hair
Ewan bringing back a pseudo mullet. I can’t say I approve. 😐

Fuckkkkkk. January movie gonna January I guess. Like I said, I thought it looked amusing. I thought it could have been great. I figured it would have earned the R rating, but it felt like a regular PG-13 by the end of it. Shit, outside of Mortdecai’s desire for sex and the sex references to his man servant, it felt like it oculd have been PG.

But that is also because I don’t remember a lot about it. At all. I just watched it and I am sitting wondering why I kept going. It wasn’t funny, it wasn’t sexy, it wasn’t even too original. Art movies in general tend to e pretentious sorts of things, and I believe it was attempting to mock that pretentiousness, but fuck even that failed.

I think I am mostly disappointed in the all-star cast giving me this overall dud. Maybe one recurring joke throughout made me amused, which involved Jock continually getting injured. But that is it.

Mortdecai is 107 minutes long, making it roughly 115 minutes of your time wasted. Added in extra for bathroom breaks and time thinking about actually w atching it.

0 out of 4.

Into The Woods

Yay yay musicals! If you are a long time reader, you know I really like musicals. Which is why I am finally having a musical theme week. Yay Musical Week!

Into The Woods decided to be a musical coming out on Christmas Day. The last time that happened was two years prior for Les Miserables which I absolutely loved. It was also my first real attempt at watching it, outside of listening to a few songs ahead of time. I loved the shit out of Les Mis.

But going into Into The Woods, I knew a lot more about it ahead of time. I saw a performance of it from college actors, which I guess is above community theater and high school actors, but still not great professional people. And you know what? I down right hated it. It took a lot of familiar stories, intertwined them, gave us their endings, and that was the halfway point. The second half was all new material, it felt super awkward, it got darker and more metaphysical, and it dragged on an on. So yes, I thought it was too long. I thought there was only four or so unique sounding songs, everything else kind of melded together and by the end, it was as if everyone got a long slow ballad, one right after the other.

I guess you can say I was not at all looking forward to this movie. But hey, the fact that it was only a little bit more than two hours definitely helped ease it in.

One of the biggest changes is that the cow was played by a real cow. Boooo.

Classic fairy tales go into the dark woods, because the woods were the scariest parts of Germany. This was Pre-Nazis, post Lutherans, I think. So it makes sense.

Like who? Well, Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford) needs to bring food to her grandmothers house, in the woods. Jack (Daniel Huttlestone) was told by his mom (Tracey Ullman) to sell their milkless cow in a nearby village, on the other side of the woods. Cinderella (Anna Kendrick) wants to go to the three day ball on the other side of the woods, but she has to get past her step family (Lucy Punch, Christine Baranski, some other chick).

And there is also the Baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt) who cannot bare children. Turns out, a neighboring witch (Meryl Streep) put a curse on them. So now they have to go into the woods to get ingredients over the next few nights to fix that with a potion!

And surprisingly, that is most of the plot you need to know. We’ve got princes (Chris Pine, Billy Magnussen), girls with long hair (Mackenzie Mauzy), and wolves (Johnny Depp)! Shit, I bet the woods even have more secrets than the Library of Alexandria.

Baker's Wife
The biggest secret is what is real name of the baker’s wife? Can she not have an identity outside of her relationship?

So for those big fans of the musical, there were changes made of course. This is a PG movie because Disney is involved, you aren’t going to see everything you saw in the musical. Like most of Rapunzel’s story line. The second Agony song. No sex is had in this movie. And the sexy times are subdued.

But the only thing I really was sad to see missing was the Agony song reprise, because like the college school production, it was my favorite part. In the movie, it is probably even better as the two princes ham it up and I was laughing hard the entire time.

I do feel like the beginning of the was extremely quick and just kind of threw you into all of the plots far too fast. (Some of these complaints would be complaints with the actual broadway version. I am not reviewing how close they are, just how I feel watching the movie). So that was awkward. I thought I saw some sound editing mistakes, which is one of the hardest parts about a musical to make sure to get right. I also have a problem with the ending, that seems to just whimper and finish instead of an awesome musical bang.

But throughout the film it is definitely entertaining. My favorite would be Blunt (who had an excellent year). I didn’t know she had such singing chops, but she played a great character. I have heard Corden sing before, and it was okay. He was better in this movie than his other recent roles. I was also surprised with the singing voice of Chris Pine, so much that I don’t trust it. And Lilla Crawford, a little girl, had a surprisingly powerful voice as well.

Overall though, Into The Woods is a decently good time. Still has its bleak and sad moments and it may be one of the best musicals of the year, but this year was a bit weaker in that genre. At this point, I would say I enjoyed Muppets Most Wanted more, and probably Begin Again had better music. Despite that, the music has now been stuck in my head for several days, so I will most certainly get a soundtrack as soon as I can and listen to half of it over and over again.

3 out of 4.


With Tusk, we have the first “crazy idea” from Kevin Smith‘s SModcast to be made into a movie.

Maybe inspired by The Human Centipede, maybe their own twisted version of a film, who is to say. Personally, if I was to make a Walrus inspired movie, I’d make it off of this very famous Betty Boop episode. But this is just the start for the Smith planned Canadian Horror trilogy. The next film to be Yoga Hosers, and then Moose Jaws, all set in the same universe. Not to be confused with Anti-Claus or Clerks III, very different projects.

Basically just saying that he is pretty busy and he put out Tusk remarkably fast despite all of the projects going on.

One would say Smith is masturbating his film credits now.

Wallace Bryton (Justin Long) has a Walrus like name and a walrus like mustache. I don’t know if that is relevant. He is a podcaster as part of the Not-See Party, where Wallace goes around the US and interviews weird people or internet famous people (aka weirder people) and his co-podcaster Teddy Craft (Haley Joel Osment) doesn’t! Apparently they are super famous at this podcasting. No idea where they got this idea for the movie though.

Wallace heads up to Manitoba to interview a kid who cut off his own leg on accident. Sure they made fun of him hardcore, but the kid wanted an interview, so he is going to give them an interview. But when circumstances go wrong up there, he has to find a new guy to interview and stat. Or else he came up to Manitoba for no reason. Yuck. I mean, he left his girlfriend (Genesis Rodriguez) behind too! So he sees an advertisement in a random bathroom, an old man with a lot of interesting stories to tell. He offers a room in his mansion just for someone to listen.

So sure. He could be interesting. He won’t stay in a room, just an interview. But surprise! Howard Howe (Michael Parks) drugs him and keeps him prisoner, lying about things that begin to happen to him and as to why he cannot leave. And I don’t know why I am making this suspenseful. He is going to try and turn Wallace into a fucking Walrus and turn his mind into an animals. Yeah. He will do it too. Just you watch.

Unless, of course, Guy Lapointe (Johnny Depp), a French Canadian Inspector who has been on Howe’s trail for years can help find him first.

Justin Long actually wanted to make a movie based on his Brandon character from Zack and Miri Make A Porno.

Most people know in a movie, as an actor, you never go full Walrus. Well, Tusk went full Walrus and more.

First off, hats off to Mr. Long. He didn’t half ass anything about his character. He gave a 110% and despite the ridiculousness of his role in this movie, he was super hardcore about it. Michael Parks was downright creepy and twisted. Genesis Rodriguez is not someone whose name I really would ever remember, but even she had at least one fantastic scene halfway through, giving her own monologue. JOHNNY FUCKING DEPP IS IN THIS MOVIE. And he was great. You will have a hard ass time recognize him or his voice. It literally may be his most well acted role in years.

And the walrus. Holy shit. The walrus was one of the most disturbing abominations against everything holy that I have ever laid my eyes on. And at the same time, it felt a bit believable. “Believable” being a strange word. It was both horrifying and comedic at the same time, but I think I just had to laugh not knowing what else to do with all of my emotions.

Tusk could have been a train wreck. It could have just been a long joke by a couple of potheads that no one would actually want to watch or see. But it was surprisingly unique and not a low budget shit fest. I am surprised. I really am.

3 out of 4.


Yay Sci-Fi movies. I hadn’t heard a lot about Transcendence, outside of seeing the trailer only once or twice. But it looked cool! Even better, it isn’t based on a book and doesn’t star Tom Cruise. I don’t hate him, he just is in a lot of Sci-Fi films lately, and I demand diversity.

Sick Depp
And all of these white people fill my diversity quota.

Transcendence takes place in the not so distant future. Let’s say, tomorrow or so. A.I. has gone a long way in the last day, and there are many companies trying to make a self-aware computer system. The most famous of these individuals is Will Caster (Johnny Depp), who is almost a celebrity, but not one who really wants it. He just wants a happy life with his wife, Evelyn (Rebecca Hall).

But a terrorist group strikes. They don’t like this A.I. progression. They think humans need to watch out for that shit. That shit is weak, they say. So an attempt is made on Will’s life and it is basically successful. He has about four weeks left, decides to give up the A.I. research and live his life with his wife. But she says fuck that. No. She is going to put his consciousness into their A.I. system to save him. After all, brains are basically just a series of electric impulses right?!

So she gets their other smart friend, Max (Paul Bettany) to help make code and lots of data, and yay it works! Max is freaked out instantly, but not Evelyn. She has saved her husband. They quickly hook him up to the internet in order to provide more power, and then eventually he becomes a threat to the world. Yay!

A few other people in this movie, I guess. Cillian Murphy is a FBI detective, Morgan Freeman is another A.I. genius. Kate Mara and Falk Hentschel play A.I. terrorists, and Clifton Collins Jr. plays a handy man, more or less.

Why does he look so bewildered? Because Morgan Freeman doesn’t understand technology, or his role in this film.

The only reason I am having a hard time writing this review, is because I am having a hard time figuring out where to begin with the list of things bad with this movie.

The idea behind it is not a bad one. It can be a great plot. The problems with the story come from how vague everything is. The trailer sets it up to be a very smart movie, but it ends up being a dumb movie about alleged smart things. Maybe afraid of people picking it apart, they went the extremely vague route for all parts of the science. Now, everyone can be pissed off at them for the same reason!

The flow of time is really weird in this movie. Apparently two years pass without any of the pissed off people doing anything about it. Really?

Acting wise, no one seems to care too much about this film, everyone collectively sailing it in. I guess Rebecca Hall is the only one with emotions in the movie, given her situation, but the robotic feeling from everyone’s a pain. I can’t remember, but Kate Mara might only have five lines in the entire movie.

The issues with the bad science means that the ending doesn’t make a lot of sense. They know how to fix it, but again, it’s hard to know why since everything is so vague. Speaking of vague. There is a point right at the end, where the computer says he only has enough energy for one of the two things. If I told you, it would be a spoiler. But if you heard it, you too would know that it doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Fuck. TL;DR This movie is senseless.

1 out of 4.