Monthly Archives: March 2018

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Movie Review – Hot Fuzz

Category : Movie Review

Director: Edgar Wright

Starring: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost

Year: 2007

It’s been almost 11 years since Hot Fuzz, Simon Pegg’s & Edgar Wright’s 2nd foray into the wacky, comedic, destructive world they created with Shaun of the Dead in 2004, and later added to with The World’s End in 2013.  Pegg became a certifiable star, with the M:I movies and the Star Trek franchise, while Wright recently wowed some audiences with Baby Driver.  Point is, they’ve had their fun in the past and have proven to be true talents in the present.  Hot Fuzz is a bit of a spoof and a jumping of the shark, but done just cleverly enough to make us forgive the insanity.  It’s British to the core and hilarious throughout, as entertaining a cinematic experience as you are likely to have.

Sergeant Nicholas Angel is an exemplary police officer, one of London’s finest, but he’s making the rest of his squad look bad.  He’s professional to a fault, takes his missions more seriously than his relationships, and has just been reassigned to the country where he’ll be a very big fish in a very small pond.  His new fellow officers are absolutely terrible, not taking anything seriously, never following protocol, and making a joke out of Angel’s love for upholding the law.  His only friend in this new home is the police chief’s son Danny, a tried and true companion, but an extremely bad policeman.  Nick & Danny will be tasked with unraveling a series of mysterious murders in a town that has almost zero crime, a statistic that is as suspicious as the seemingly perfect townsfolk themselves.

Pegg & Wright are a great pair of screenwriters, Pegg starring, Wright directing, both adding personal touches until the comedy is just right.  It’s sometimes over-the-top, often juvenile, but for some reason I never mind; maybe I’m forgiving of the British because their accents are so cool.  But seriously, the comedy works when it shouldn’t and really works in moments that are laugh-out-loud uproarious.  The action is also well-placed and well-paced, except perhaps at the very end, when it takes one too many liberties.  And then there’s the cast: Pegg, Frost, Martin Freeman, Bill Nighy, Steve Coogan, Timothy Dalton, Jim Broadbent, Paddy Considine, Rafe Spall, Olivia Colman, Karl Johnson.  Pretty impressive, and there are also some surprise appearances and voice-overs to boot, sprinkles on the tasty cake that is this ultra-enjoyable movie, one that I would be happy to re-watch a hundred times.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆



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Movie Trailer – Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Category : Movie Trailer

Director: Marielle Heller

Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Richard E. Grant

Release: October 19th, 2018

I am not a Melissa McCarthy fan, but this is a film I can get behind.  It’s not a stretch to say that she might be in Oscar contention.

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Movie Trailer – Sun Dogs

Category : Movie Trailer

Director: Jennifer Morrison

Starring: Michael Angarano, Melissa Benoist, Xzibit

Release: April 6th, 2018

I have really liked Melissa Benoist in the limited amount I have seen her, but this movie looks silly.  This director is a first-timer, Angarano isn’t a good actor, and then there’s Xzibit; come on guys, be serious.

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Movie Trailer – 6 Balloons

Category : Movie Trailer

Director: Marja-Lewis Ryan

Starring: Abbi Jacobson, Dave Franco

Release: April 6th, 2018

I don’t doubt Abbi’s talent, but I do doubt Dave’s ability to play this role as seriously as it needs to be played.  He simply isn’t good enough, he’s shown us that, and this Netflix movie won’t be the correct vehicle for this subject matter.

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Movie Trailer – Adrift

Category : Movie Trailer

Director: Baltasar Kormakur

Starring: Shailene Woodley, Sam Claflin

Release: June 1st, 2018

Is this what we’ve been waiting for from Shailene Woodley?  She caught our attention in The Descendants, she went YA in the Divergent series a la Jennifer Lawrence, she tried a couple sappy tearjerkers, but then failed to wow us in her first adult role in White Bird in a BlizzardAdrift might be her chance to impress us with a talent that’s obviously been there right beneath the surface.  I think she’s ready for her moment.

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Movie Review – A Wrinkle in Time

Category : Movie Review

Director: Ava Duvernay

Starring: Storm Reid, Deric McCabe, Levi Miller

Year: 2018

My daughter is 8, and when I went to the theatre with her to see A Wrinkle in Time, I knew that I was mostly going for her.  This was a film I wanted her to see, not only because she enjoyed the book, but because I knew the messages she was about to receive would be important ones.  A parent can tell their kid every day that they are proud of them, that they can do anything, but sometimes it takes a movie, a book, a friend, a magic moment, for that lesson to sink in.  Ava Devernay’s version is a broadcast to the young; that they are special, that they are strong, that they can change the future, that there is beauty in this weird world, that faults don’t have to be defeats.  All this I wholly support, I only wish I had more positives to share with you.  Other than the CGI, there are none, and when I watched the movie as a critic instead of as a parent, I saw cinema that was shockingly bad.

Meg Murray’s father went missing four years ago, and she has never been able to move on with her life.  He was a scientist, a man obsessed with changing the way humans thought about time, space, and reality.  His experiments led him to some amazing discoveries, but they also whisked him away to another part of the universe, a place from which he could not return.  Now Meg is alone with her mother and little brother, a broken family who can’t put the pieces back together, Meg turning more and more inward until she begins to hate the world outside herself.  Her brother, Charles Wallace, is a genius, and when he introduces her to three women who he calls the Mrs., they both understand that their former life is about to dramatically change.  They begin a journey to find their father, along with a new friend named Calvin, traveling to places that they never could have dreamed of and seeing things that defy convention.

I would spend more time on the positives  before I got to the negatives, but I need to save space for all the things that are terrible about this movie, because the list is long.  But I would like to reiterate that there are reasons to go see this film, especially for kids, and especially with their parents, because they should hear what Ava has to say and we should be there to support them.  Speaking of Duvernay, she has only directed a few features, and only one is a drama that got any sort of attention; Selma.  Not only is that an excellent film, but she sculpted it expertly, though she received very little credit for the great work she did.  I’m excited for her career, it’s important that a black woman is becoming a household name out of white male Hollywood, but this movie is simply a bad showing that offers almost nothing else.

The kids are terrible, even understanding that they’re just kids and that they can’t be compared to seasoned actors.  Meg is constantly pouting, Calvin just stands there awkwardly most of the time, and Charles Wallace can’t help but use the annoying voice with the high vocabulary that we’ve seen a million times and which has bothered us every single one.  Then there are the Mrs., and they are even worse.  Oprah can’t act, Mindy seems like she was dropped on the set without her script, and Reese is distractingly chipper.  The side actors I didn’t mind, but they were all too infrequent to make a difference: Chris Pine, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Zach Galifianakis, Michael Pena, Andre Holland.  The entire film was like an episode of Wishbone, but far worse, like they gave millions of dollars to PBS and asked them to adapt a sci-fi book in four days.  The action was silly, the dialogue was abysmal; I really think A Wrinkle in Time might be one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen, at least one that had an actual budget, cast, and director.  Everything went wrong, and if it weren’t for the underlying importance to the tale, I’d be inclined to give this version negative stars.

My rating: ☆



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Movie Trailer – Avengers: Infinity War #2

Category : Movie Trailer

Director: Anthony & Joe Russo

Starring: All the Avengers & all the superheroes

Release: May 4th, 2018


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Movie Trailer – Life Itself

Category : Movie Trailer

Director: Dan Fogelman

Starring: Oscar Isaac, Olivia Wilde, Olivia Cooke

Release: September 21st, 2018

Oh god, stop!  Stop please, you awesome actors in terrible movies!  I was almost tricked, almost, but then I got to the end of the trailer and I realized that this film will be horrible.  You guys are too good to be doing things like this; please don’t anymore.

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Movie Trailer – Axis

Category : Movie Trailer

Director: Aisha Tyler

Starring: Emmett Hughes

Release: 2018

This trailer looks terrible and the movie is probably a ripoff of Tom Hardy’s Locke anyway.  And then you notice that the director is Aisha Tyler, trying her hand for the first time.  Hard pass.

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Movie Review – Ladyhawke

Category : Movie Review

Director: Richard Donner

Starring: Matthew Broderick, Rutger Hauer, Michelle Pfeiffer

Year: 1985

Not to be confused with Lady Bird, Ladyhawke is the exact antithesis of that phenomenal film in every single way.  First and foremost, because it’s awful, and that’s really all you need to know about it, but I’ll dither along anyway, why not.  It’s 80s fantasy, it’s Ferris Bueller, it’s pseudo-comedy, and it’s bad; you’ve been warned.  Ladyhawke might actually be one of the worst 80s movies I’ve ever seen, and that’s saying something, not because I’ve seen so many (which I have), but because that was a decade to experiment, to make goofy cinema, to explore, to cast Matthew Broderick in everything.  He’s so darned cute, but even he couldn’t save the day, and the resulting feature film is more something you’d make up in your garage to kill time than something any sane person would ever think belonged on screen.

Young thief Phillipe Gaston, aka the Mouse, has tested his luck one too many times and now finds himself in the dungeons of Aquila, a city ruled by an evil and all-powerful Bishop.  Through cunning, and with a little help from God perhaps, he escapes, only to be hunted down by the Bishop’s men.  But again the sun shines of Phillipe, as he is rescued by none other than Captain Navarre himself, a disgraced but awesome knight.  He wants the Mouse’s help in getting past the gates of Aquila, since Gaston is the only man who has escaped and lived to tell the take.  Navarre travels with a hawk who is not all she appears to be, both of the strange companions cursed by a dark spell that they seek to reverse by killing the Bishop in his own cathedral.

I will always love Matthew Broderick for Ferris Bueller, but I’m sorry I watched him in Ladyhawke.  This actually came out a year before, when he was famous from War Games (John Wood was a good guy that time) but had yet to team up with John Hughes, but you can see the natural charisma that 80s directors loved; it just didn’t work in medieval France.  Hauer didn’t work either (he was coming off Blade Runner), neither did Pfeiffer (she was a hottie on TV at the time), and it seems like all Donner did was grab up chic items without wondering how they would work together or if they had any real acting skill at all.  You’d think he’d know better, he’s been around the block: The Omen, Superman, The Goonies came out the same year, Lethal Weapon & Scrooged a few years later.  Maybe this just isn’t his genre, because nothing went right.  The dialogue is dumb, the action is ridiculous, the story it throwaway, the music is cheesy; I understand cult classics, but I have no idea how/why this is one.

My rating: ☆