Category Archives: Movie Reviews

Baby Driver’s Got The Beat!

Baby (ANSEL ELGORT, front right), Bats (JAMIE FOXX, front left), JD (LANNY JOON, back right), Eddie (FLEA BALZARY, back left) wait in the car in TriStar Pictures’ BABY DRIVER.

I can imagine the pitch for Baby Driver, ‘It’s a coming of age story about this young guy who’s the best getaway car driver ever – because he has tinnitus and listens to music to drown it out. When he falls in love with a diner waitress, he wants out.’

When you strip Baby Driver down to its most basic, that’s the essence of it. That’s what it comes down to – and it works beautifully.

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Transformers: The Last Knight Is Not a Good Night!

Mark Wahlberg plays Cade Yeager in TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT, from Paramount Pictures.

Transformers: The Last Night is either action or exposition and on so many fronts it has trouble keeping itself straight – let alone letting the audience do so.

I’m going to be completely upfront here: my inner 12-year old was bored; my outer 65-year couldn’t doze off because the movie was too loud, and I finished my big drink with more than half-an-hour left before the closing credits (and a rather unintriguing tag) began to roll.

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Rough Night Almost Overcomes Rough Start!

(L to R) Scarlett Johansson, Jillian Bell, Ilana Glazer, Zoe Kravitz in Columbia Pictures’ ROUGH NIGHT.

Rough Night is an R-rated comedy that starts slowly and gradually picks up speed until the last thirty minutes finally become the laugh riot the trailers suggested it would be.

It’s not quite enough to endorse the movie, but it definitely comes close.

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The Mummy Moves Mildly Towards a Movie Universe

Nick Morton (Tom Cruise, right), attempts to save mysterious archaeologist Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wallis) during a plane crash in THE MUMMY.

The Mummy is the story of Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella), an Egyptian princess once primed to ascend to the throne, who is wronged and denied her seat of power. Vengeful, Ahmanet signs a pact of blood with the god of death Set to reclaim what she believes is her rightful position. While powerful yet accursed, the princess is thwarted and buried with the warning of her evil to any who might one day uncover her tomb. Continue reading The Mummy Moves Mildly Towards a Movie Universe

The Mummy Is the Best Part of The Mummy!

SOFIA BOUTELLA as Ahmanet – “The Mummy.” Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures.

The Mummy – the first entry in what Universal Pictures is calling Dark Universe – gives the new universe a pretty shaky start.

Despite Alex Kurtzman showing some skill at juggling character and plot arcs, and keeping things moving forward at a good pace, he can’t overcome the clunky script (six writers involved at story and script levels), lack of genuinely witty banter and a horrendous misuse of Tom Cruise.

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Wonder Woman Is a Wonder? Too Easy, But Accurate!

GAL GADOT as Wonder Woman – Photo by Clay Enos/ TM & (c) DC Comics/Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures. 

How long has it been since we’ve seen a brilliant, completely unironic superhero movie? 2011’s Captain America: First Avenger. Before that? Probably Richard Donner’s Superman: The Movie (1978)/Richard Lester & Donner’s Superman II (1980).

To that remarkable (and remarkably short) list we can add Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman.

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Wonder Woman: Wondrously Worth the Wait

Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) faces off against foreign enemies upon a World War I battlefield in WONDER WOMAN

Wonder Woman is the story of Diana Prince (Gal Gadot). On a hidden island of Amazonian warrior goddesses, Diana has trained since a child to be the strongest and fiercest. Should Ares, the vengeful god of war ever reemerge, Diane will be poised to challenge his spite and wrath. Until then, Diana’s people are hidden on Themiscyra in the hopes that they may lead a peaceful existence. Continue reading Wonder Woman: Wondrously Worth the Wait

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales – Bits of It Are Entertaining!

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales – Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) and the Black Pearl in a Bottle – Photo courtesy of Walt Disney Studios.

The opening sequence of Dead Men Tell No Tales finds young Henry (Lewis McGowan) rowing out to sea, tying a bag of rocks to his leg and plunging into the sea – where he lands on the deck of the sunken Flying Dutchman and we learn that he is the son of Will Turner (Orlando Bloom).

From there we shift to Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) and his crew robbing a bank – an effort that takes a hilarious path.

It’s a true pity that the rest of the movie couldn’t have been as inventive.

Continue reading Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales – Bits of It Are Entertaining!

Baywatch Swims Just Fine!

BAYWATCH – (L-R) Dwayne Johnson as Mitch Buchannon and Zac Efron as Matt Brody – Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures.

Maybe it’s just the mood I had going into Baywatch (looking for a laugh or two after a day of packing up to move), but I quite enjoyed Baywatch.

I only ever watched a couple episodes of the TV series, but the movie seemed to hit every one of the major parts of the show – slo-mo Baywatch babe; overly earnest Mitch Buchanan; plucky comic relief (who’s so quick to melt down when his crush is around that he doesn’t realize that she’s into him from the beginning); totally inappropriate investigation of suspected criminal activity; lots and lots of beautiful beach people.

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Dead Men Tell No Tales: Pirates of the Caribboring

Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) finds himself yet again on the run in PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales opens with a flashback picking up from the ending of At World’s End. Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) has become the captain of The Flying Dutchman, with its accursed souls bound to the immortal vessel. Henry Turner, Will’s progeny, having found his way aboard, promises his father that he will find a way to reverse the anathema. Continue reading Dead Men Tell No Tales: Pirates of the Caribboring

Everything Everything Is Barely Anything!

EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING – AMANDLA STENBERG as Maddy  – Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Picture

Maddy Whittier lives in a house that, like the Mars biosphere training facility, is completely sealed off from the rest of the world – because Maddy has Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID), making her essentially allergic to almost everything.

When Olly Bright’s family moves in next door, he notices her looking out her window and is intrigued.

Based on the novel by Nicola Yoon, Everything Everything is a story of first love/coming of age/indomitable spirit.

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