Movie Review: Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice – After the Opening, it all Goes Downhill.

hero_Batman-v-Superman-Dawn-of-Justice-2016

God, the comic geeks must have spooged themselves when they learned that finally, all their ‘batman v superman’ arguments were coming to the movies. I never got that. To me Batman Versus Superman is the same as the ratio of ghosts to snork berries; nonexistent.  But, with the intent of becoming the wet dreams of 13-year-old boys everywhere, director Zack Snyder and screenwriter David S. Goyer put this together.

And now it’s time for a rant. How many times have I said “too many Superman movies”? How many times have I said “too many Batman movies?” So what do they do? Put them together. And, as if they’re making fun of me, they stick Ben Affleck in the lead.

That’s it. I quit. <typing stops abruptly, sound of footsteps, door slams>

Ok, not really. But that’s the kind of abrupt change of attitude you can expect from this newest DC adaptation. Dawn of Justice peaks in its opening sequence, a slow-motion, Sucker Punch-esque dispatching of the Batman origin story in three minutes or less, which sets the stage for the introduction of an older, broken, kinda fat Batman (Ben Affleck), who engages in increasingly violent and futile attempts to clean up Gotham City. The rest of the introductory character work sees Superman (Henry Cavill) grappling with public criticism over his actions in his last cinematic outing and the young Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) attempting to build a weapon capable of stopping Superman.

cdn.indiewire.psdops.com

After the opening, it all goes downhill. I have to admit; I didn’t hate Ben Affleck in this. He makes a passable Batman. Henry Cavill came across better as Clark Kent. Jesse Eisenberg was almost embarrassing as Lex Luthor. It felt like he was doing an impression of Heath Ledger playing the Joker. Watching Jesse Eisenberg, I wasn’t entirely sure if he’d ever heard of Superman.

Now me, I’m not a person who has a big problem with violence. Heck, I love everything by Quentin Tarantino and he’s turned violence into an art form. But this movie seemed to be rushed in order to get to the next violent fight scene. The characters become completely interchangeable and really, you stop caring about who wins. The problem is there really are no stakes. This is such an obvious cash grab; we know that they’d never kill off anything they can franchise. Hell, if a spork tested well with a focus group, they’d give it a franchise. And I’d watch the Adventures of Sporky just like everyone else.

Batman-V-Superman-Dawn-of-Justice-Impresses-at-Box-Office-Early

It’s not worth the watch, but it’s inevitable. It’s one of those bad blockbusters that everyone will go to, but eventually forget until the next one gets spit out by the studio.  They’re raking in garbage bags of money and we’re watching what they tell us to.

I’d say if it’s a choice between this and a Trump rally, I’d go with the Trump Rally. While the Trump Rally will be violent, at least Ben Affleck won’t be there.

WE GAVE IT: 2 Stars – Watch the Official Trailer and Official Movie Poster below!

2 Stars

[youtube id=”eX_iASz1Si8″ width=”740″ height=”416″]

08d16d4567f303c46f16a66041eca2f620352f4b

Movie Review: The Perfect Match – A Solid C-Plus Effort that is Safe First Date fare

hero_The-Perfect-Match-2016

As eager to please as a never married woman with a ticking biological clock who’s approaching 40, the perfect match is the perfect cliché of “can a happy bachelor ditch the one night stands to find true love?” Of course, when it comes to ‘rom-coms’ the answer is “absolutely!” and not, “he’ll probably be hitting on nurses in his nursing home in 40 years.”

In The Perfect Match, Charlie (Terrence J) uses his unmatched charm and looks to sleep with the most attractive women in L.A. Worried that Charlie will never open himself up to a loving relationship, his friends Rick (Donald Faison) and Victor (Robert Christopher Riley) challenge him to date only one woman for the weeks leading up to Victor’s approaching wedding. Charlie accepts, and immediately pursues Eva (Cassie Ventura). Upon first meeting, Charlie reveals he only has short-term relationships, while Eva tells him she’s only been in long-term ones, but is looking to switch things up and have more fun. As you can probably guess from here, Charlie finds himself falling for Eva, proving his friends right.

The-Perfect-Match-Movie-Donald-Faison-and-Dascha-Polanco

I will say this movie is what it is. It’s the standard rom-com theme. I mean, what do we love more than a bachelor we can reform, right? So it’s a safe bet that this makes a good, if not entirely unique, story. The story takes a unique twist in the end, but for the most part, remains formulaic and predictable.

As if to make up for the predictable main plot, The Perfect Match is bogged down with a slew of uninteresting B-stories. Each member of Charlie’s friend group has his or her own bit of turmoil we explore in depth: Rick and Pressie (Dascha Polanco) are trying desperately to have a baby; Victor and Ginger (Lauren London) aren’t seeing eye to eye on how much money to spend on their wedding. On top of that, Charlie is trying to sign French Montana (who appears as himself) to his agency in connection to some new app he’s developing, and Charlie’s sister Sherry (Paula Patton) is confronting him about never coming to terms with the death of their parents. Oh yeah, both of his parents died in a manner that is never explained.

THE-PERFECT-MATCH-01

The attempt to make the story more interesting with more plots just means that the story of the two main characters gets lost entirely. This was a mistake, as I think the two leads were compelling enough to carry it on their own. I think if they’d just left it at that, it would have been a comfortable movie, though not groundbreaking. It doesn’t look like that was what they were going for.

So it will make your head spin, but it’s still light entertainment. This movie is a solid C plus effort that is safe first date fare, if not entirely original. A compelling cast makes it worth watching, if you just want to watch attractive people have drama. You won’t be any smarter for it, but it’s still a way to waste an evening.
WE GAVE IT: 3.5 Stars – Watch the Official Trailer and Official Movie Poster below!

4 stars

[youtube id=”vKCFkFaIwU0″ width=”680″ height=”383″]

 

large_large_mQlBDijs1t67TXqr9Ze3DyEzDFl

Movie Review: Zootopia – Earns Every Bit of the Critics Praise

videothumbnail_zootopia_officialtrailer_disney_a4d0f4ce - 22MAR2016

It’s very rare that you see a movie that manages to universally please critics the way the Zootopia has. I have to say I’m a bit surprised, as Disney’s latest effort earned its praise.

Judy Hopps (voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin), a bunny, grows up on a carrot farm with her conventional parents and 225 bunny brothers and sisters. Showing large reserves of empathy and kindness, she springs into action when a bully turns aggressive in a schoolyard. Judy’s mother and father are taken aback when she decides to leave for the city to become a cop. At the police academy, this tiny rookie has trouble with physical prowess exercises but through her immense will power and wit eventually graduates at the top of her class. Eager to hit the streets and do her law-and-order thing, Judy is disappointed when Bogo (Idris Elba), police chief, orders her to hand out parking tickets. Still wanting to prove that she is better than any other rookie on the force, she writes 200 tickets before noon. Eventually, Judy gets the chance to shine when she’s allowed to investigate the mystery of a missing otter, with the help of conniving fox Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman).

ZOOTOPIA-01 - 22MAR2016

The unique storyline is both adorable and complex enough to create something new and fresh. This is not a premise I’ve seen before, that I can say for sure. Despite that, it works. It’s clever and cute and smart enough for adults to enjoy too.

The message is subtle, especially for a Disney film, in that it makes Judy’s abilities not about her strength or athleticism but instead her cleverness and determination. It’s a good message for kids that they don’t try to nail us over the head with.

Of course, it’s Disney so the computer generated animation is flawlessly executed and adorable. In that department, Disney rarely strikes out. It’s worth seeing in 3D, as it’s a good looking film with lots of creative and imaginative scenery.

zootopia_still_6 - 22MAR2016

The creativity comes into play with the creation of Zootopia, the mammal centric city where predatory instincts are gone and animals live like humans. You can see a spark of Disney’s old school imaginative style in this film.

Also, it’s smart enough for adults to enjoy too. The screenplay writers threw in a few clever quips just for mom and dad, making this an animated feature that the whole family can enjoy.

This is a clear hit and a clear winner for Disney. This animated film has the intelligence to keep adults audiences watching, with all the same appeal of Disney for the kids, so they can also cash in on the merchandising. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that a film starring a bunny came out so close to Easter.

But Disney’s goal of world domination through movie revenues aside, this is a fantastic film that is sure to be fun for the whole family. I’d call this one an absolutely worth the watch, regardless  if you have children or not.

WE GIVE IT: 4.5 STARS!

four and a half stars

[youtube id=”bY73vFGhSVk” width=”680″ height=”383″]

zootopia-movie-poster

f

4

Movie Review: 10 Cloverfield Lane – Well Done, Rare to See Such Dimensional Characters in a Horror Film

hero_10-Cloverfield-Lane-2016 - 18MAR2016

Fans of the original Cloverfield have been eagerly awaiting a sequel, but that’s not what this is. It’s in the same sci-fi genre, but they didn’t tack on the often cash grabbing #2 to the title for a reason. This is more of a spiritual successor which is also a psychological thriller. And it’s fantastic.

The film starts with a young woman waking up after a terrible accident to find that she’s locked in a cellar with a doomsday prepper, who insists that he saved her life and that the world outside is uninhabitable following an apocalyptic catastrophe. Uncertain what to believe, the woman soon determines that she must escape at any cost.

10-cloverfield-lane-is-probably-not-a-sequel-and-that-s-okay-800537 - 18MAR2016

Why? Because John Goodman is scary as fuck! I did not think he had it in him. I’ve always kind of seen him as a lovable John Candy type, but he takes creepy to a whole new level in this and rocks it. When he initially meets the girl, he’s literally a guy who has her locked in his basement, warning her to not go outside. He comes across as so nuts that even though Cloverfield is in the name, you start to wonder if he’s just insane. Plus, there’s a subplot involving the mysterious disappearance of Howard’s teenage daughter that leaves you a bit concerned as to his credibility.

Created and filmed in near-total secrecy under the title “Valencia,” this character-driven, tension-filled tale of terror was written by Josh Campbell, Matthew Stuecken and Damien Chazelle and directed by Adams’ protégé, rookie Dan Trachtenberg, to elicit as much apprehension as possible. The palpable dread is amplified by Jeff Cutter’s cinematography and composer Bear McCreary’s forboding score.

This is an extremely well done movie that uses every single available resource to its fullest. It’s rare to see such dimensional characters in a horror, but these characters had to drive the movie, as much of it happens in a bunker.

1035x668-CE-00792R_02 - 18MAR2016

I’m glad that this wasn’t Cloverfield 2. This movie deserves to stand on its own. It doesn’t have the same effect of Cloverfield, but it’s still a strong contender for a great classic horror that’s well plotted and well made. This is an intelligent movie that’s also a commercial success. Audiences have pushed it to number 2 in the box office, ensuring another great success for the Cloverfield brand.

This is worth going to the theater for, though it’s probably a bit scary for kids. The last thing you want is them worried that John Goodman is under their bed. So probably best for teens and up when looking at audiences. It’s well written enough to please critics, while exciting enough to delight the average movie goer. They packed a lot of tension into such a simple film, and it’s particularly unsettling because you’re as confused as the main character. Is John Goodman evil, or is the world a radioactive wasteland? It’s a question that will keep you guessing until the end.

Absolutely worth the watch. This movie is one that should not be missed, though it might give you nightmares about John Goodman for years to come.
WE GIVE IT: 4.5 STARS!

four and a half stars

[youtube id=”saHzng8fxLs” width=”680″ height=”383″]

10cl_poster - 18MAR2016

f

4

Movie Review: Whiskey Tango Foxtrot – Like a Stylish Documentary with no Narration and No Insight.

hero_Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot-2016-2

The more movies that Tina Fey makes, the less I like her. It’s not that Whiskey Tango Foxtrot was bad. I’d say it was a middle of the road effort. I just think like with many things Tina Fey put out recently, it could have been better.

In this, Tina stars as journalist Kim Baker, who takes a change of career covering the war in Afghanistan in the early 2000s. The movie is based on Barker’s own memoire about being a correspondent in Afghanistan when the world’s attention had already turned to Iraq.

While I often complain that many Hollywood movies based off of memories go too far off script (American Sniper, anyone?) my main complaint in this one is it didn’t seem to have a script. It felt so disjointed, like a series of vignettes with no unifying theme, other than ‘war sucks’ and ‘no one cares about Afghanistan anymore.’

all-photos-handouts-860x450_c

Well, I’m sorry journalists, but by the time Iraq came around, I was all warred out. Sue me.

Even Tina Fey’s talent can’t really make this live up to the hype that it got. It really just feels like a war correspondent’s diary where they complain about all the scary work they do, while everyone ignores their stories to blow up the internet with pictures of Kim Kardashian’s ass.

While this movie is seeing some early good reviews from critics, I have to say that its far more likely due to Tina Fey’s likability rather than the likeability of this movie. It’s not a particularly hard hitting film for such a topic, which is fine. If you want to parody, go with parody. If you want to be serious be serious. It feels like they were going for half and half ala MASH but wound up with a mishmash.

Terrible jokes aside, it’s a clichéd movie about a journalist in a war zone learning about themselves at the same time they can’t learn that the American public has the attention span of baby goldfish. It doesn’t matter if you’re covering Godzilla attacking the Empire State Building, we stop paying attention after awhile.

It just felt like there was no real point to this movie. Much like Bakers “white lady reason for being there” this movie feels like a halfhearted effort to put out a female empowerment/self-discovery movie.

56d744666adda_image

It fell flat for me, despite Fey’s best efforts. Even her character seemed poorly managed, transforming overnight from a wide eyed new kid on the block to a hard bitten journalist is a bit far-fetched. You’d assume that anyone electing to go to a war zone would be a bit worldly to start.

This is more of a watch it at home because you love Tina Fey movie. With no real point, and such a disjointed timeline, this movie felt like a very stylish documentary with no narration and no insight. Yes, the war in Afghanistan sucks. What are we going to do about it? I’m sorry, but I don’t think the message we should be getting from Afghanistan is “it’s a great place for middle-aged white chicks to find themselves.” Seems irresponsible.

WE GAVE IT: 2 Stars – Watch the Official Trailer and Official Movie Poster below!

2 Stars

[youtube id=”dxAcIWDi8ps” width=”740″ height=”416″]

large_large_22G22rdZsMDO7khe4Ue3G2uwOaw

Movie Review: Risen – A Religious Film with the Intelligence to go Mainstream

hero_Risen-2016 - 25feb2016

While generally, I don’t go for religious films, I have to admit that Risen gave me a strong appreciation for when the drama and the bible, is done right. This is a low key film with a strong, authentic feel. It’s a no-nonsense approach to the subject, without too much sentimentality.

We start at the end of most movies about the crucifixion of Jesus. In this case, he’s has already been crucified and the movie is actually about a Roman named tribune Clavius (Joseph Fienne), who was tasked by the Pontius Pilot (Peter Firth) with handling Jesus’ burial and the subsequent investigation when Jesus goes missing. In the first half, its free of any overt piety, instead focusing on Clavius’ skepticism and belief that the explanation for the disappearance can be found in the physical world rather than the spiritual one.

Then, as he discovers the truth, this movie takes an inspirational turn that can be enjoyed even by the secular. It’s a movie about the growth of Clavius from gruff skeptic into believer. It’s not shoved down your throat or preachy, like many religious movies can get. Instead it unfolds in a way that is organic and believable.

I think the choice to focus on after the crucifixion was a great one, as this area is so rarely covered when we deal with bible based tales. In this case, it worked out extremely well and manages to be a religious film with the intelligence to go mainstream.

Fienne was particularly good in his jaded role, and his simple deadpan delivery really plays like he’s a man who’s lost all hope in life. Despite that, he still manages to be likable.

The key here is that the makers exercised restraint. They went with show over tell, giving us a rich story, complete with an excellent cast, who trusted the audience enough to know they’d be able to get the gist without having it spelled out for them. So many movies with a religious slant underestimate the intelligence of the viewer and this is definitely not one of them.

file_607174_risen-trailer - 25FEB2016

The scenery and makeup were also believable, blending into the movie rather than standing out. It’s a movie that manages to be both gritty and visually appealing at the same time. It’s a more sedate scene in order to match a more sedate tale.

Just saying, not your kids Veggie Tales.

All in all, it’s a well done effort that’s well rounded in both cast, story and setting. While it does cover faith more than some might like, it’s something I expected in this particular film. That’s because it’s possible to get its message without feeling like you have to sign on for the whole Jesus experience.

All in all, worth the watch. This oblique, nearly clinical look at the crucifixion of Jesus, followed with a slight faith based overlay, creates the best when it comes to religious films. While not for everyone, I can say I appreciate that it’s an excellent effort. While not exactly for kids, it’s still a good one for older teens and parents alike.

 

WE GAVE IT: 3.5 Stars – Watch the Official Trailer and Official Movie Poster below!

4 stars

[youtube id=”xxgm2TJr2m0″ width=”680″ height=”383″]

risen_poster - 25FEB2016

Movie Review: The Finest Hours – You Stomach Will Hurt With Tension Even Though You know The Ending

What’s with all these ‘disaster at sea’ movies coming out lately? Is there some kind of nautical trend that I’m not aware of? I have to admit, I’m not a big ‘sea adventure’ fan unless the movie involves pirates. But despite a significant lack of pirates, The Finest Hours did ok in my book.

The Finest Hours stars Chris Pine as Bernie Webber, one of the members of the Coast Guard who attempts a rescue of a tanker in the middle of a nor’easter. The story is based on a true story that occurred off the coast of Cape Cod in the 1950s.

It’s actually a pretty well researched subject, with everything that happened a matter of public record. It’s about a true-life US Coast Guard rescue mission off Cape Cod in the winter of 1952, when an oil tanker sheared in two and a small crew from the Chatham station went searching for survivors in a tempest that came close to claiming their lives.

The_Finest_Hours_26 - 12FEB2016

Director Craig Gillespie and his screenwriters, Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy, and Eric Johnson did an excellent job of capturing the time period and the atmosphere. It’s a stiffer, dreary, almost clinical approach to the events, which isn’t terrible in and of itself. They also gave the characters some realistic backstories, making the focus of this movie the rescue and not the rescuers.

The plotline is kind of confusing but the makers did make an effort to simplify it for audiences. The characters were pretty well developed with Kasey Affleck being the most compelling in my book. It’s a thrilling movie with some excellent, terrifying CGI. It’s a movie that will make your stomach hurt with tension, even though you know how it ends.

I like the way the screenwriters respected the facts and didn’t try to go off subject on us. It appears that there’s less embellishment and more simple artistic license making this movie better.

finest-hours-movie-trailer-poster - 12FEB2016

As far as the actors go, while the roles were a bit clichéd, they kind of help keep things straight. This movie again, isn’t about the characters. The hero is played by Chris Pine, as one of those enthusiastic new recruits types with a super sweet fiancé, Miriam (Holly Grainger). Their chemistry was good and Pine played his part true to form. But to me, it’s Casey Affleck that really steals the show. He plays one of the most compelling characters, the near-mute outcast of the crew and he does it with such depth, you forget that a dude that good looking would never be an outcast. Seriously, Casey Affleck made me forget he was hot.

While it’s not my genre, I can absolutely respect the movie for what it was. While sometimes a bit convoluted in the details, it’s still a good retelling of some real life events. It’s compelling and suspenseful, though it does drag in a few places. They put together a movie with great special effects, and for that alone should not be missed. This is one that’s worth the watch, even if you prefer your sea movies with pirates.

Although pirates would have made it better, just saying.

WE GAVE IT: 4 Stars – Watch the Official Trailer and Official Movie Poster below!

4 stars

[youtube id=”BQmllwTKtqU” width=”680″ height=”383″]

finesthourgallery - 12FEB2016

Movie Review: Kung Fu Panda 3 – Cute, Fun, and Intelligently Made

KFP3_MeiMei2

Here’s something I’ve only said about a few third franchises in a chain; I loved this. This is a really good, really clever storyline that unfolds pretty organically. I mean, haven’t we always kind of known Po was adopted? His father was a bird, for Christ sakes.

Well, that loose end gets tied up in Kung Fu Panda 3, where we meet Li (Bryan Cranston) Po’s (Jack Black) long lost dad. The two connect and Po gets to meet up with a whole world of pandas. All is good, until the evil yak Kai (J.K. Simmons) begins challenging Kung Fu masters across the land, and Po had to train an army of Pandas to fight.

I absolutely loved that they managed to take this in a new, fresh direction without forcing a plot point. It really was a very well done story that’s complicated enough to be intriguing, while simple enough for younger viewers to follow. The writing was phenomenal and there are more than a few laugh out loud moments.

1280x720-S9X

Of course, the animation continues to be excellent and adorable. It’s the caliber of animation that’s expected to come from a DreamWorks/Disney effort. Everything about the movie is visually appealing and it would have gotten marks for that alone if the screenplay was crap.

But the screenplay wasn’t crap. It was pretty damn good. I loved the addition of Bryan Cranston, easily one of my favorite actors, and he has a great ‘dad’ voice. He helped to take this movie to a new dimension.

This movie deserved to be the one to beat out The Revenant at the Box Office. It’s just what we need to recover from that movie anyway. It’s cute, it’s fun and it’s intelligently made. This sequel was written with the same care that an original would have been and that made all the difference. It’s rare to see a number three that isn’t a shameless cash grab, and this clearly isn’t. It appears to still be a labor of love for those involved.

Kung-Fu-Panda-3-poster

If that’s the caliber they keep producing, they can keep putting out one Kung Fu Panda after another forever and never have a straight to video run. Of course, that isn’t really sustainable, so while I enjoyed this movie, I have to say that enjoyment is bittersweet because I’m sure any future Kung Fu Panda movies will come up lacking when compared to this one.

It’s a fun, uplifting movie that’s tied into a neat storyline and will be difficult to beat for any future animated features. Of course, I’m not aware of any coming out soon, so Kung Fu Panda may reign at the box office for some time. This is clearly a collaborative effort, from the artists at DreamWorks, to screenwriters Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger, as well as Yuh Nelson and her co-director, Alessandro Carloni, who collaborated to deliver a terrific, well-paced storyline for Po and his companions.

If you have kids, this one is worth the watch. Heck, it’s one that’s worth the watch even if you don’t have kids.
This is absolutely worth the watch, though you may want to get comfortable. You’re going to be there awhile.

WE GIVE IT: 4.5 STARS!

four and a half stars

 [youtube id=”fGPPfZIvtCw” width=”680″ height=”383″]
kung-fu-panda-3-poster-full
f

4

Movie Review: 50 Shades of Black – Too Messy, Too Disorganized and Just Plain Not Funny Enough

920x920

Don’t get me wrong, 50 Shades of Grey is a movie that was ripe for parody. The problem is the original material is already so bad, it was a parody of itself. But Marlin Wayans tried, and wound up with a movie that was too messy, too disorganized and just plain not funny enough to be an enjoyable parody.

I think one of the big problems was Wayans had ADD. He seems unable to just contain a parody to one movie, the way a parody should be contained. Instead, he felt the need to shove in stuff from Magic Mike, Whiplash…and Zero Dark Thirty? Come on, I know it’s parody, but pick a movie, or at the very least, a GENRE and stick with it.

The movie is exactly what you’d expect from a Wayans movie; tons of dick jokes, homophobia, homo erotica and more than a few gross out gags. I’m sure teen boys will find that stuff great.

Fifty Shades of Black 07FEB2016

But what annoyed me the most was there was actually some clever, original stuff thrown in there, from Hannah’s butt implants, to Black reading aloud from the actual book in a mocking tone, to Hannah whipping Christian, declaring “this is for Kerry Washington in Django Unchained, and Lupita Nyong’o in 12 Years a Slave …” there were a few moments that actually made me laugh out loud.

Which is why it was so annoying to see the majority of it tied up in those stupid, adolescent jokes. Every now and then, the movie will slip in a gem and remind you of what parody is supposed to be. This movie has the set up, and the potential to be hilarious, but instead, it looks like this was a phone in job, aimed at an undiscerning all male—and teenage—audience.

Remember back when Wayans used to make good parodies? Like the first Scary Movie, and…and…yeah, that was about it. He should do that again. Not another Scary Movie, I mean. Please God, no. He should take one movie, stick to the script and make it funny, rather than use the script as an excuse to tie in unrelated movies and jokes.

Fifty Shades of Grey

Just having Morgan Freeman read the book on tape over a black screen would have been funnier than this.

The literary market is already chock full of spoofs on 50 Shades of Grey. I think adapting any single one of those novels that followed the true parody formula, would have been better. This feels like a slapdash attempt to fill a filler movie with more filler.

Because that’s what 50 Shades of Grey was, sex scenes with filler story in between those sex scenes. It feels like it was just written on the fly, like I’m watching an improve sketch. Improv was over in the 90’s. It’s time to move on.

I wanted to like 50 Shades of Black, simply because I didn’t like the book (or the movie) and was hoping I’d see it really get skewered, with the mean spirited humor you’d find in a Celebrity Roast. Instead, what I got was humor the style of a celebrity roast…where none of the good guests show up and The Situation is hosting.

As a result, I have to say not worth the watch.

WE GAVE IT: 2 Stars – Watch the Official Trailer and Official Movie Poster below!

2 Stars

[youtube id=”J1pOTTcdRO8″ width=”740″ height=”416″]

50-shades-of-black

Movie Review: The Boy – An Elevated Horror Flick with a Chilling Premise and a Few Gimmicks

fd5a2da22f9b7d2e_the-boy-BOY_092_DF-10870R_rgb_xxxlarge

The Boy is a big movie for Lauren Cohen, in that she’s trying to transition from TV to movies. In that, I think she made a good choice in going with this relatively sedate, more mature horror movie. While it’s a middle of the road effort, it was a good opportunity for Cohen to show her movie star skills.

Greta (Cohan) is a young American woman who takes a job as a nanny in a remote English village, only to discover that the family’s 8-year-old is a life-sized doll that the parents care for just like a real boy, as a way to cope with the death of their actual son 20 years prior. After violating a list of strict rules, a series of disturbing and inexplicable events bring Greta’s worst nightmares to reality.

7762f04004d0363f_the-boy-BOY_356_DF-10912R_rgb_xxxlarge_2x

While it sounds silly, it’s actually a pretty chilling premise. To anyone old enough to remember when Norman Bate’s mother is revealed to be a corpse in a rocking chair, this movie has that kind of feel to it. Despite a premise that might sound silly, it’s actually quite sophisticated. This is no Chucky.

A lot of the credit is due to Cohen, who was poised to elevate this movie. She’s no scream queen, but instead reacts in a real, dimensional way as the tension builds. Her reactions are more realistic than most horror heroines and she stays composed throughout. She is the real stand out star in this.

The problem is with a movie that presents itself as sophisticated, I expect more psychological scares than I do jump scares. Jump scares are for kids watching Paranormal Activity 45…or whatever sequel they’re up to now. They don’t belong in a movie like this.

Cohen makes this movie far more credible and far more dramatic than it deserves to be. Without her, this would have been a silly, forgettable effort. With her, it’s elevated to a higher level. Despite the fact that she’s clearly used to excellent writing, she’s an actress who knows how to work with bad writing and I imagine that we’ll see a lot more of her in years to come…though I highly doubt The Boy will get a sequel.

08b39b87bc5090ba_BoyTop_xxxlarge

It’s a quiet movie, in that there are only a handful of speaking parts and for the most part, the movie is about Greta and the doll. During those times, Greta is the person who drives the tension. She’s the one that makes you build up for the big scare.

There are a few clichés to be seen in this one, like the chilling sound of children laughing, or a very unsettling mirror reflection, but they’re not terribly done, making older material seem a bit fresher.

All in all, it’s a middle of the road effort. If you’re dying for something scary, you could do worse than this. While it’s heavy on jump scares, it’s an elevated horror flick that might make you willing to overlook that tired gimmick. If that’s the case, this is worth the watch.

WE GAVE IT : 3 STARS! Watch the Official Trailer and See the Official Movie Poster below

stars

[youtube id=”XGbB9UQ6r1g” width=”633″ height=”356″]

286527

c