Spiderman Far From Home: Third Times a Charm

What I love about the Marvel universe is that they have always know how to keep things light. While DC is dark, brooding and ultra violent. Marvel remembers to serve up its end of the world level violence with light hearted jokes and an ability to laugh at itself too. Spiderman Far From Home is no exception. Pre-credits we are introduced to Nick Fury, Agent Smulders, and Mysterio.

After the credits we are treated to a memorial of those who have fallen: Iron Man, Capain America. The Black Widow and Tony Stark. Done so well I thought they were seriously dedicating this movie to the characters they killed. But wait for it, it, there’s a reason. And it is good and funny!

This movie of course, continues one year after the end of Avengers Endgame. The return of the dead has been called the Blip creating it’s own unique set of story lines for the world to deal with. Peter Parker after going through so much in the last adventure just wants a vacation. Unfortunately, Mysterio needs his help defeating elemental monsters that are appearing in our world and trying to destroy it. There is of course a struggle of conscience, a plot twist, and the ultimate question of who will be the next Iron Man.

First off I love Zendaya’s MJ. She is Sassy and dark with out being stereotypical goth. She’s just smart and quirky. Their romance is done well without being overbearing.

Tom Holland does a fantastic job playing a Spiderman who isn’t afraid to be a hero, but is afraid to be the world’s hero. It is easy to make Spiderman a whiny bitch. That’s a common problem in many of the other iterations before this. These current movies do a great job, by one keeping him in highschool, two making him funny but not whinny, and three making him earnest but not obnoxious. It’s a hard balance between awkward teen and annoying wiseass no one really likes. We care about Peter and want him to make the right call. Even when he doesn’t, however; you get it and just want yo see him fix it. Cause you know he will.

When Mysterio finally uses his powers it is great. You found yourself thinking how can you possibly fight this. The final battle was worth watching! And the answer they come up with as to who will take Starks place is well done.

I think this movie is worth the theater trip. Fair warning, pee before it starts so you can stay for the two scenes in the credits.

Spiderman Far From Home (US release date 7/4/2019)

Director Jon Watts

Writer Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers

Cast Tom Holland, Marisa Tomei, Samuel L Jackson, Jake Gyllenhaal, Jon Favreau, Jacob Batalon, Zendaya

Trailer https://youtu.be/Nt9L1jCKGnE

Yesterday: Nearly a Perfect Hit!

In my home growing up, the Beatles was part of my musical education. My parents, being hippies, introduced me to the Beatles, the Steve Miller Band, and John Taylor. Not only did I have Sgt Pepper Lonelyhearts Club Band on record, but when it was rereleased in theaters we went to see the movie too. Every year I watched the Yellow Submarine on TV. They were two of my favorite musicals growing up, aside from Grease of course. So yeah, I was excited for this movie.

So what did I think? For starters, Himesh Patel is a standout. Not only does he do a fantastic job acting in the movie, his facial expressions are perfect, but his singing is great. He gets the emotional tone of each song spot on. While yesterday was poignant, Help Me was a cry of frustration and desperation. Then at the same time you get moments where you see he knows nothing about the songs except the words and melody. Why? He didn’t write them.

The twist in the movie are genuinely unexpected but fit the story line beautifully.

Ed Sheeran does a great job portraying himself. Unsurprisingly Kate McKinnon is awesome. I adored his parents played by Sanjeev Bashkar and Meera Syal.

The only part of the story I could have done without is the romance between Jack and Ellie. Are we really supposed to believe that this woman who has been his biggest fan and supporter since the 6th grade suddenly finds she cannot support him when he becomes famous? Of course this movie is written by a man because they cannot write a good role for a woman. I would have believed it if she had realised the songs weren’t his on her own, found his behavior suspicious, or just got fed up and said “I can’t keep waiting for you to love me so bye” and made a clean break. Instead their entire love story is that he must choose between success and her, even though until now she’s the one who has been pushing him to pursue his career. I liked the moral delimea about taking credit for the songs. But the love story needed major rewriting. I did not mind how it all ended up so over all I say finish reading and go get your tickets.

Yesterday (US release date 6/28/2019)

Director Danny Boyle

Writers Jack Barth. Richard Curtis

Cast Himesh Patel, Lily James, Mira Syal, Kate McKinnon, Ed Sheeran, Joe, Fry, Sanjeev Bhaskar

Trailer https://youtu.be/HY0GBmOxyYY

Annabelle: Doesn’t Bring Home the Scares

I wanted more scares! Let’s face it dolls are creepy AF! My husband and daughter won’t let any be kept in our bedrooms, I have a few from my granfmothers. So they live in the livingroom. My first experience with the idea of scary dolls was the 1987 movie “Dolls ” by Stuart Gordon. Stupid creepy.

This movie, part of the conjuring universe takes place one year after Annabelle is taken home to Ed and Loraine Waren house for safe keeping. The babysitter has a friend over who let’s Annabelle out.

There is a SLOW build to scares and the final pay off. It involves children and is supposed to be based on real life events. There are some good comic moments, a few well done camera angles and one ghost that is legitimately gave me a good scare. Otherwise no one in my theater was jumping. No one was talking on their way out. You’d think we had just watched a drama. I hate to say this again, but watch this one at home! The series is definitely losing it’s gas.

Annabelle Comes Home (US release date 6/36/2029)

Director Gary Dauberman

Writer James Wan and Gary Dauberman

Cast McKenna Grace, Madison Iseman, Katir Sarife, Michael Cimino, Vira Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Samiara Lee

Trailer https://youtu.be/bCxm7cTpBAs

Men in Black International : What a Let Down

Let’s just say this movie is not going to jump start the series. While it is an OK movie it did nothing to wow me, and at times I was definitely bored. Hemsworth and Thompson while playing well off each other just are not able to carry this movie. You immediately know the big twist at the end so there is literally no surprise. They try to make you look one way but it is just too obvious what is really happening. With three writers you think they’d have a better script but I tend to find the more writers, the more cliches. By the time the movie went to Marakesh for the 2nd time I was ready to leave.

I will give props to the special effects designer who created the digital protagonist alien played by Lauren and Larry bourgeois where work they were kind of cool. They were not your typical plastic looking blob thankfully, but a nebulous electrical cloud like creature. Save yourself the money and check this movie out on the small screen or better yet just don’t waste your time.

MIB International (US release date 6/14/2019)

Director: F. Gary Gray

Writer: Matt Holloway, Art Marcom. Lowell Cunningham

Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Kumail Nanjiani, Rafe Spall, Emma Thompson, Liam Neeson

Trailer: https://youtu.be/F3lJwV7ZIIk

The Dead Don’t Die, They Just Play It Very Dry!

This movie is definitely not for everyone. Its humor is slow, dry and relies on fans of the genre. But to those who love classic horror films and have a quirky sense of humor, this is your next cult classic. While I laughed readily many times at this film I had a few problems with it. Overall though I will say it was very well done and left me feeling very happy I got to see at least 9ne good movie today!

First the good things about this film, Bill Murray and Adam Driver are a great pair. They do black humor with such a straight face and under stated performance it was beautiful.

There are beautiful scenes that are an homage to classic zombie films and fifties horror films that I grew up watching on late night TV. Scenes of empty American towns and nature going crazy were not just a commentary on modern politics (it was) but also a nod to those classical that came before.

What I had a problem with. So jokes really date the movie. The MAGA hat joke, while cute, dates the movie and is just an easy, low shot.

The narration was not bad but at th end it became soooooo on the nose it assumes the audience is too dumb to get the point. I was actually a bit offended.

Overall I’d say this is a curl up at home movie. While I love to support independent films, this one was so nitch it will only appeal to a select audience. If you love quirky, odd, dry humor than this is the zombie movie for you. Other wise try something else.

The Dead Don’t Die (US release date 6/14/2019)

Director/Writer: Jim Jar Musch

Cast: Bill Murry, Adam Driver. Tom Watts, Chloe Sevigny, Steve Buscemi, Danny Glover, Taliyan Whitaker, Jahi Di’Allo Winston

Trailer: https://youtu.be/bs5ZOcU6Bnw

Rocketman: A Theater Must See!

While I love Elton Johns music, I have never known much about his life. I am not one of those people who follows the lives of stars and knows everything about them. Their is nothing wrong with those people, its just not my thing. It’s kind of like going out to dinner, I just want to eat my food, I don’t want to meet the chef. Only that has changed a lot since current events, and now if the chef turns out to be a major ass hat, I go to another restaurant. Anyway, so I never knew much about Elton John and went to this movie blind.

So apparently did a few of the other people in my audience. The movies opens with the line “My name is Elton Hercules John and I am an alcoholic and cocaine addict and…” So you see this is about the sex, drug and Rock and roll years. Not the good times, but the times that make the music great!

Everyone loved the movie. You can’t help it, the music is infectious and the acting is amazing. Taron Egerton looks so much like Elton John that at the end of the movie as they transition from the actor to an actual EJ video its hard to tell. Richard Madden is a complete and believable hateful bastard as Reid Johns abusive boyfriend/personal manager and Jamie Bell is fantastic as Bernie the one who wrote the lyrics for all of those songs we love so much. The performance I absolutely loved the most though was of Elton Johns mother by Bryce Dallas Howard. She projected such longing and disappointment in his younger years and such apathy and disapproval in his later years. The mother is always blamed they say, but sometimes there is a reason.

As with his concerts, this movie is a visual spectacale stimulating our eyes as well as our ears. Beyond the costumes, the sets, clothes and dances all help to tell us the story of Elton’s life. For example if you watch the dance they do while Reggie is singing “Saturday Night’s Alright” while he is a teenager. You will see him moving through different cultures enjoying music and dances, but never participating. Always hanging back. Always on the outside. Everything in this movie is a deliberate and a part of the story. It a beautiful way to share a life worth telling. Thank you Elton John for sharing your story with us. If you want to see this movie go see this movie in the theater where you pick up on everything, the small screen and sound system will not do it justice!

Rocketman (US release Date 5/31/2019)
Director Dexter Fletcher
Writer: Lee Hall
Cast: Taron Egerton, Jamie Bell, Richard Madden, Gemma Jones, Bryce Dallas Howard
Production Company: New Republic Pictures, Maru Films, Rocket Pictures, Paramount Pictures
Preview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3vO8E2e6G0

Godzilla King of Monsters: Why do Americans Keep Trying?

Full disclosure, I grew up on Godzilla movies and have a soft spot for this genre, but Why oh WHY do American’s think they can make these movies? They just keep screwing up! First the Matthew Broderick debacle! What the hell was that one about? Now this series, and while it has made over a billion dollars worldwide for the studios I can help but feel they SUCK!

First we had the 2014 Godzilla movie that did not contain Godzilla. It was so focused on the human story that it panned away from every fight Godzilla had, barely showing any action. We got plenty of shots of the damage the Kaiju caused, but what good is that. In fact the movie was so bad I completely forgot everything about it and had to re-watch it just to write this much about it. And I had seen it twice before!

Next is the series is Kong Skull Island from 2017. This was an OK movie with a really cool looking Kong, but the story line really failed. Huge plot holes and some drag in the middle, I could not watch this one a second time. Sorry guys I tried and got too bored, and this one has giant spiders!

Then we come to our feature Godzilla: King of Monsters. While this movie definitely has more Godzilla (YEAH), it also has more of everything being two hours and two minutes long. I actually checked my phone a few times during the movie because it is too damn long. Learn to edit people! There was a lot that could have been cut. The Kaiju are now environmental warriors, this is Eco-terroism at its finest, what a crock! Sorry if I”m spoiling anything but this script was utter shit! I can’t begin to point out the holes or ridiculousness because it was garbage! While there may have been moments I enjoyed, Yes Ken Watanabe was great, Millie Bobby Brown did a fantastic job and is rising star. For a child actress she brought emotional depth to her scenes as she struggles with what her parents have done and the consequences of their actions. But it just wasn’t enough to make me care about everyone for the whole movie. I am a big baby and cry at most things I watch, I never shed a tear because I could not become emotional involved in a movie that never got me to give a damn.

I liked the monsters fighting and I loved Mothra, I have always loved him and seeing him fight was great, but the family crap got old fast and the twist there were too predictable. Every “twist” I had written down in my notes way before they happened, not a single surprise. Its one thing to make a two hour movie, it’s another thing to make one that feels like a two hour movie. Wait for this one to come out on a streaming platform so you can pause it. And then you can watch it just before, wait for it, Godzilla vs. King Kong the final installment in this four part series! If you want a better Godzilla movie watch

Godzilla King of Monsters (US Release Date 5/31/2019)
Director: Michael Dougherty
Writer: Michael Dougherty, Zach Shields
Cast: Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown, Ven Watanabe, Ziyi Zhang, Bradley Whitford, Aish Hinds, O’Shea Jackson Jr.
Cinematography – Lawrence Sher
Production Company – Legendary Pictures
Preview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B12REtkl2KY

The Perfection: I ate my lunch while watching and was just fine!

So I heard the hype about this movie and thought I would check it out. “Movie so gross it will make you vomit!” This is just hype to get you to watch the movie. While the movie has some violent and graphic scene I have seen much worse. I don’t particularly like gross out horror, but in this instance the violence fit the script. It was at no point done just to see how much they could get away with, until the very end scene that is. That one they could have cut. Then they would have had a perfectly acceptable movie. While not an award winner, it was mildly entertaining. Some people might find it triggering as it deals with child abuse and child rape.

This movie suffers from not know what it wants to be so it tries to be everything, a psychological thriller, a horror movie and a drama. In the end it never achieves anything fully. The acting by Allison Williams and Logan Browning is superb but they end up with a cliché ending and bizarre end scene that just makes no sense. Up until then I am following along with the movie and willing to let them drag me along. Even though I question what’s the end game the whole time. I guess the writers did not know either because it is obvious the whole time there is no way for this to end well for anyone.

As with most Netflix movies the special effects are not as good as blockbuster theater movies. Body damage aside, digital effects have that plastic look (Green, yellow vomit with slightly glowing maggots) and shadows are off. Otherwise its watchable. I’d say there is plenty else to watch if your looking for a good movie. However if your like me, some times you’ve seen everything and you just want something new. If that’s the case, this a fair few hours that you don’t have to pay the theaters to see. The twist aren’t hard to spot, but if you’re watching it while cleaning you might have to back it up occasionally. I’ve watched it once, but I won’t be doing it again.

The Perfection (US release date May 24 2019)
Director: Richard Shepard
Writers: Eric C Charmelo, Richard Shepard, Nicole Snyder
Cast: Allison Williams, Logan Browning, Alaina Huffman, Steven Weber
Production Company: Miramax, Capstone Film Group
Preview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q57D6kF5B1k

Booksmart: Smart Girls can be Fun Too!

Another ‘Chick Flick’ touches a nerve. This time however, it is in the most delightful of ways! Booksmart took me back to those awkward, delicious moments in high school that only the truly young and unfettered teenager can experience. I recognized everyone in this movie, done with just a slight bit of movie flare to make them iconic, but not a joke or unrelatable. Yes everyone was a troupe or stereotype, but I also knew a lot of these troupes too. I would have liked to see a few of them turned on their heads, but the movie did a great job of hitting its comedic notes and not going so far I was too uncomfortable to laugh.

While Molly and Amy chose to rise above their peers and focus on academics so they could get into good schools, their peers were busy having fun, getting a life and also getting into good schools. Me I was more like Gigi in school or T ripple A, that weird girl everyone ridiculed and made up rumors about. The only thing missing from this movie was sexual assault but hey, it’s a comedy so let’s keep it light, right!

Let’s unpack some of this movie shall we? Molly and Amy’s confidence ruled. While I played at being that confident and was really chicken shit inside, they thought they were the shit! They felt their superiority fully, which is filmed so well in the opening scene as we watch them strut to a rhythm only they can hear. Who needs music when your awesome! This scene is edited beautifully as it goes from fun – with music – to awkward – silent – and we see them in reality.

Could they be faking it? I was good at it, I had everyone fooled. I remember one mourning during my weekly “Skip Breakfast” at the bagel shop. I ran into a senior who joined me. As we talked he admitted he had liked me for a while but was always afraid to ask me out. I walked to school looking so angry he was afraid I’d bite his head off if he stopped to talk to me. And considering I put my cigarettes out at the school door, it was obvious I did not give a fuck what anyone else thought. I really had them fooled, because I definitely cared what everyone thought. I just hated school and figured most of the people in it hated me. Were Molly and Amy the same?

On the Last day of school Molly’s world is shaken as she overhears a group of kids talking about her in the coed bathroom. (Same thing happened to me in my middle school Library, only it was my friends and it was devastating) Molly handled it like a boss and confronts them only to find out that instead of being superior to these people she is just like them. They are going to good schools too, Tripple A is even going to Yale! Only instead of spending all of high school studying and ignoring fun, they partied and acted like teenagers too. Freak out in 5-4-3-2-1.

The cinematography by Jason McCormick is fantastic at this point! The ‘water balloon’ shots are absolutely beautiful. I adore the time lapse face shot, the use of framing and color. I love the way the entire movie is shot, but this was my favorite scene.

When Molly comes back to reality she decides that they must party on this, their last night of high school. Thus the premise of the movie and so the festivities begin.

While some of the humor is crude, it is done with a restraint that Super bad lacked. Those dramatic scenes in the movie serve to give this film a vulnerability it needs. At times I laughed so hard tears came out. At other times I worried if their friendship would make it. While I agree that it is relying on a traditional story line, it is told with skill, sensitivity and humor that comes right up to the line. I went to a 4pm showing so the crowd was older. The couple next to me was much older. I loved their response at the end when the lights came up at the end. The wife sat silent and the guy said, “Well I thought it was funny.” Me too. If you need something to take you mind off a few things and just laugh, this is a movie to see.

Booksmart (US Release date 5/24/2019)
Director: Olivia Wilde
Writers: Susanna Fogel, Emily Halpern, Sarah Haskins, and Katie Silberman
Cast: Kaitlyn Dever, Beanie Feldstein, Jessica Williams, Jason Sudeikis, Lisa Kudrow, Skyler Gisondo, Molly Gordon, Billie Lourd
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzE8kz8iGTM

The Hustle: Fails on all Fronts!

Why, just why? If you want to see Dirty Rotten Scoundrels just watch the original 1989 version because this was just not worth seeing! All they did was flip genders and update the con for the times. While Rebel Wilson is a phenomenal actress the script the gave her just did not bring the laughs. Steve Martin got more with less. During his scenes as the imbecile brother he had iconic moments that my husband and I will still quote to each other and I saw that movie as a child. This time I mildly chuckled, if that. Anne Hathaway slept through the entire movie. I don’t know what has happen to her. She was a great actress in her teens and has just gotten hammier and hammier. All I can say is she has finally proven definitively it is possible to give nothing and overact at the same time. Script wise the jokes they added to the movie, added nothing. If you want to empower women, write original scripts that are actual good. And maybe have a woman write or Director!? Please don’t waste your money or your time and see this movie. I’m sorry this is coming out a week late, Hopefully I saved a few of you from a mistake.

The Hustle (US Release Date 5/10/2019)
Director: Chris Addison
Writers: Stanley Shapiro, Paul Henning, Dale Launer, Jac Schaeffer (Lone Woman writer involved
Cast: Anne Hathoway, Rebel Wilson, Alex Sharp, Tim Blake Nelson, Ingrid Oliver
Production Company: MGM
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_j5hwooOHVE