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Not as good as the Dark Knight, but like that movie this one can appeal to more than just the core comic book audience.
"The world is not the same as it was." In the future mutants are scarce and Logan (Jackman) is trying to hide from the world while caring for an ailing Professor X (Stewart). When someone finds him and asks for help he does his best to ignore them, but then he sees something that changes everything. Now Logan, Charles, and a girl are trying to find their way to Eden and finally find a peaceful life. This is one of the best comic book movies I have seen. The fact that this is R rated really helped the movie. The brutality and in-tenseness of the violence really helps you get fully invested in the film. My big hit against the Marvel/Avenger movies is that there is never any real drama and they are all cookie cutter and repetitive. The new X-Men series has continued the standard started by the Nolan Batman saga in that it is possible to make a comic book movie when the characters have real depth and emotion and a gripping adult story line. This movie contains all of that and more. You almost forget this is a superhero movie, and that is a good thing. The movie is brutal and very bloody, but again it really adds to the feel and the movie needs to show that Logan has changed. The previous stand alone Wolverine movies have not been good at all, but this one more than makes up for them. This is a movie I highly recommend whether you are a comic book movie fan or not. Overall, not as good as the Dark Knight, but like that movie this one can appeal to more than just the core comic book audience. I give this an A-.
The Great Wall (2016)
This is a movie that many people will probably like, but for me it was just a mistake in Damon's career
"Trust in each other in all ways at all times." William (Damon) and his partner are searching the Chinese countryside looking for black powder to take back to his city. One night they are attacked by a strange creature and then captured by an army. While they are being told of their punishment the army is attacked and William steps in to help defend the wall. This act of courage catches the eye of the generals and William changes from being an outlaw and a thief to a defender and leader. This is a movie that is hard to talk about. The premise isn't all that terrible, but the movie is so over the top cheesy that all of the drama is lost in the laughter. The best part about the movie is that it moves quick and there is a lot of action. On the other hand, the action and the creature battles are the cheesiest parts of the movie. This is a movie that many people will probably like, but for me it was just a mistake in Damon's career. Overall, it's a good thing the movie moved quick because it would have been hard to watch otherwise. I give this a C.
Get Out (2017)
This is a movie that is one that needs to be seen, talked about and understood in ways that horror movies usually aren't
"I told you not to go into that house." Chris Washington (Kaluuya) and Rose (Williams) have been dating for awhile and Rose is finally ready to introduce Chris to her family. Almost immediately Chris feels something is strange with the family and the longer he stays the more bizarre and terrifying things become. This is one of the most disturbing movies I have seen in a long time. There are horror movies and then there are movies like this. This movie is very real that's what makes it disturbing. The movie deals with race issues in a way that may make some people uncomfortable, but that's the point of the movie. This is a movie that is one that needs to be seen, talked about and understood in ways that horror movies usually aren't. This is not just a horror movie it is an important film that I recommend. Overall, disturbingly real and that's what makes it a horror movie. I give this an A-.
A rare sequel that is really good, worth watching and one that I can surprisingly recommend for fans of the series.
"Having a vision doesn't mean you know what that vision means." Julia (Lutz) is trying to adjust to her boyfriend Holt (Roe) leaving for college. They would talk every night but suddenly all communication stops. After receiving a strange call Julia drives to find out what happened to Holt. What she finds is a group of students trying to break the curse of Samara. After Julia watches the tape things change and she sees visions that convince her she is the one to end the curse once and for all. This is a movie I have to admit I had pretty low expectations for. I thought the original was a better movie but the second one scared me a little more. The fact that the recent sequels that have come out years after the previous ones haven't been good is one of the reasons I was expecting to not like this. That being said, I actually liked this more than I expected to. My girlfriend and daughter did scream a few times watching this so there were some scary elements but the thing that surprised me was that the story actually carried the movie. It was interesting and kept you guessing and interested the entire time. Not many horror movies can do that and the ones that to really stand out. Overall, a rare sequel that is really good, worth watching and one that I can surprisingly recommend for fans of the series. I give this a B+.
The Comedian (2016)
It won't win any awards or become a De Niro classic but this is one I could watch a few times and not be bored
"My dad used to love your TV show. We've watched every episode." Jackie Burke (De Niro) is an aging stand-up comic who is trying to regain his glory days. When he gets into a fight with an audience member he is sentenced to jail and community service. While doing his work he meets Harmony (Mann). The two begin a relationship that has surprising results for everyone. This is a movie that I wanted to see mainly for the cast, and was not disappointed. The movie itself is very good but not amazing, but the acting in it is just great. Seeing De Niro and Keitel together again is great and Devito and De Niro have great chemistry together. This is a movie that is just plain fun to watch. It won't win any awards or become a De Niro classic but this is one I could watch a few times and not be bored. Overall, one of De Niro's best movies in a while and one that I do recommend. I give this a high B.
McConaughey really transformed for this role and he was good but the pacing really hurt this movie quite a bit
"The last card you turn over is the only one that matters." Kenny Wells (McConaughey) is a prospector struggling to survive. After being turned down from everyone he decides to risk it all on a dig in Indonesia. He enlists help from Michael Acosta (Ramírez) and together the two find one of the biggest gold mines in history. The two soon realize that finding the gold was the easy part, what happened next was the real struggle. This is a movie where expectations played a huge part in how I felt about it. I went in, without watching a preview, thinking it was going to be like an Indiana Jones action movie, and it was not. The movie did have some interesting aspects and the end was great, but the movie really, really, really drug throughout to the point of me losing interest a few times. McConaughey really transformed for this role and he was good but the pacing really hurt this movie quite a bit. Overall, a decent movie with a good story but just a little too slow to get fully involved in. I give this a B-.
Underworld: Blood Wars (2016)
Not as good as the previous one but still one that I enjoyed and one I recommend if you are a fan of this series.
"There is no beginning. There is no ending. There is only becoming." Selene (Beckinsale), after losing her child, is bent on finally ending the Vampire/Lycan war once and for all. When she is double crossed it is up to her and David (James) to lead the fight and bring peace to the world once and for all. This is a series that is a little like the Rocky series in a way. By that I mean the first two movies were really focused on telling a story and character development. The later sequels were action focused and going for straight entertainment and fun rather than story based. This is not necessarily a bad thing and there is enough story to keep the movie going but this is another sequel that puts the action front and center. The movie is entertaining and a very worthy, and possibly final, addition to the series. Overall, this is not as good as the previous one but still one that I enjoyed and one I recommend if you are a fan of this series. I give this a solid B.
Mean Dreams (2016)
Nothing mind blowing or amazing but this is worth a watch and I liked it more than I expected to
"She needs help. I gotta do something." Casey (Nélisse) has just moved into town and finds a friend in Jonas (Wiggins). The two begin to spend an awful lot of time together against the wishes of Wayne (Paxton), Casey's abusive dad. When Jonas tries to help Casey a series of events occur that alter the lives of all three involved. This is a movie where, going in, I thought it had the possibility of being very slow and drawn out. I can't say I was completely wrong but it did move a little quicker than I expected and did have a story that kept me engaged the entire time. There were a few surprise aspects in this, but for the most part it was pretty predictable. The real reason to watch though is for Paxton. He plays a character so unlikable and it really adds to the tension of the movie as you are almost willing the kids to get away from him. Overall, nothing mind blowing or amazing but this is worth a watch and I liked it more than I expected to. I give this a low B.
The Marine 5: Battleground (2017)
Full of action that tries to have an important and meaningful story but ends up being a little cheesy
"I'm sorry I called you down here. I'm sorry any of this happened. I was just trying to protect my daughter." Jake Carter (Mizanin) is adjusting to life outside the Marines and is working as an EMT. When him and his partner go to check out a call they find something much more than just a man in health trouble. This is a movie that gives you what you want, and doesn't try to be more than it is. This is a very good 15 minute story idea that is drug out into a full length movie. The moral and character issues the movie deals with are kind of glossed over, but that isn't that surprising in a movie like this. The movie is full of action that tries to have an important and meaningful story but ends up being a little cheesy and makes you wonder why they are helping this person. All that being said, no one watches those movies for the story and plot so if you are looking for an exciting action movie this is one for you. Overall, exactly what you are expecting. Nothing more, nothing less. I give this a B-.
La La Land (2016)
I went in expecting to be bored and hate it and ended up actually liking and that is a sign of how good this movie actually is
"City of stars are you shining just for me?" Mia (Stone) is an aspiring and struggling actress who spends her time in between auditions working as a barista. When she walks into a restaurant and hears Sebastian (Gosling) playing piano the lives of both become entwined. Now, both are struggling to make their dreams come true while at the same time supporting each other, but somethings don't go as smooth as you hope. This is a movie that had everything going against it for me. I was not in the mood to watch it, I usually don't like movies that have this much hype behind it and I was expecting wall to wall singing and dancing and sat down expecting to be bored and uninterested. I'm not sure if it was those expectations or not but I ended up liking this much more than I expected to. In case you're scared, the movie is not wall to wall singing at all and is like Chicago in the way that the musical numbers are large and full out, but placed sporadically and in ways that actually make sense (after the opening). This is not a movie that will convert non-musical fans into theater lovers, but at the same time it won't offend those that hate them either. This is a movie where I can see why it won the awards and Emma Stone did do a tremendous job in this very intense part. Overall, much better than I was expecting, I went in expecting to be bored and hate it and ended up actually liking and and that is a sign of how good this movie actually is. I surprisingly give this a B+.
Easily Shyamalan's best movie since the Sixth Sense, and unlike that one, this is one you can watch more than once
"We are what we believe we are." Casey (Taylor-Joy) and her friends are having a fun day hanging out and shopping, then they are kidnapped by a man (McAvoy) with 23 distinct personalities. While the girls are trying to find a way to escape the kidnapper is on the verge of releasing a 24th and even more dangerous personality. This is a movie that is just flat out tense and good. The movie isn't straight horror as much as psychological and disturbing. The movie itself is almost a must see, but the real reason to watch is for McAvoy's performance. It's one of the best ever put on film. Being a Shyamalan movie I was trying to predict the crazy twist ending that he is known for, and of all my guesses I wasn't even close. That is the sign of a good movie. Overall, easily Shyamalan's best movie since the Sixth Sense, and unlike that one, this is one you can watch more than once. I give this an A.
A movie that I really had fun watching and one that can be watched multiple times
"He knows the players. He knows their methods." Vincent (Foxx) is a Vegas cop who has connections to the criminal underworld. After his son is taken from him Vincent is forced to deliver his cache of drugs to the kidnappers or his son will be killed. Thinking she is doing the right this I.A. agent Bryant (Monaghan) steps in the middle and takes the drugs into evidence. Now it is a race against time for Vincent to find his missing stash and save his son. This is a movie that easily could have gone generic and cheesy but because of the acting it never did. The movie is tense and exciting but you are able to stay one step ahead of it which hurts it a little. On the other hand this does feel like more than just a "bad cop" movie, which helps it. Overall, a movie that I really had fun watching and one that can be watched multiple times. I give this an A-.
Nothing all that original or fresh but it is fun to watch and a good way to spend a few hours
"I need $200,000. You can have the rest. I just need you yo do something for me." Casey Stein (Hoult) has gotten mixed up in a drug smuggling ring and his girlfriend has been taken. Now he is stuck between kingpins Hagen (Hopkins) and Geran (Kingsley) with only one option. Steal from one and ask for help from the other. Casey is now left to wonder if he chose wisely. This is a pretty intense and exciting movie but at the same time really toes the line between generic and original. There is enough in here to make it seem fresh and new and keeps you interested, while at the same time being just predictable enough for you to stay one step ahead of the movie. Normally that's a bad thing, but when it comes to these B action movies excitement is the goal. This one does have that. Overall, nothing all that original or fresh but it is fun to watch and a good way to spend a few hours. I give this a solid B.
The Space Between Us (2017)
very much worth seeing and one of the best date movies that has come along in a while
"My father's somewhere on that thing, Earth." Nathaniel Shepherd (Oldman) has finally seen his dream realized and the first crew has been sent to inhabit and colonize Mars. When one of the women that was sent gives birth to a son on the planet heirs worried as to what will happen to him. He has been trying everything he can to hide what happened from the world, but when Gardner (Butterfield) decides he wants to visit Earth to find his father it becomes a race against time. Nathaniel must find him before its too late. This is first and foremost a very good movie. The movie was just a little too predictable for me but did have enough twists and the ending wasn't 100% what I expected. Even though the movie is science fiction there is still a large element of reality and nothing that was discussed or shown seems that far fetched. That element of reality really added to the impact of the movie. This is a sci fi love story that I really enjoyed and do recommend, even though it did tend to get a little cheesy in some parts. Overall, very much worth seeing and one of the best date movies that has come along in a while. I give this a B+.
A movie that is easy to see why it was nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars, while at the same time easy to see why it didn't win
"I'm not from Calcutta. I'm lost." When Saroo (Patel) was a young boy he became lost in the city of Calcutta. After falling asleep on a train he wakes up thousands of kilometers away with no idea where he is or how to speech the language. He is eventually adopted by Sue Brierley (Kidman) and her husband and starts his new life. Unable to forget his past, Saroo finally decides to seek out his home, mother and brother. This is a true story that is full of emotion and questions. Patel's acting in this is amazing. This is a movie that you really find yourself sucked in and rooting for Saroo to find his answers, while at the same time feeling a little bittersweet when thinking about his adopted mother. This is a movie where there isn't really a whole lot to talk about since the movie is basically just him looking for his family but that doesn't mean its boring at all. I did like this. Overall, a movie that is easy to see why it was nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars, while at the same time easy to see why it didn't win. I did enjoy this, and if you are in the mood for it this is definitely one to watch. I give this a B.
Hidden Figures (2016)
Very uplifting and inspiring and one that I do highly recommend. One the family can, and probably should all watch together
"Look around. We are already living the impossible." Katherine Johnson (Henson) is one of the smartest mathematicians in the world. She works as a computer for NASA at the height of the space race. Needing to answer back after Russia sent Sputnik into space the US is readying to send a man into space, but are struggling with finding a way to bring him home. It ultimately took a group of unlikely employees to accomplish the mission and show the world what America is capable of. This is a movie that I have heard nothing but good things about since it was released. When a movie is talked about as much as this and in such a positive light it is difficult for it to live up to the hype, usually. This one came close. I will admit this wasn't really what I expected though. I really expected this to focus more on the racial tensions that the women went though. While that did play a large part in this it seemed that that aspect was an afterthought. I'm not saying that's a bad thing though. The movie seemed to focus more on Johnson and the others proving themselves through her job to the point of being needed, regardless of gender or skin color. That is a lesson everyone needs to learn. As for the movie itself. It is very uplifting and inspiring and one that I do highly recommend. One the family can, and probably should all watch together. Overall, I can easily see why this was up for best picture and I do highly recommend this. I give this a high B+.
The intense religious aspects are sadistic and the interaction between Liz and the Reverend are enough to give you chills
"Many people believe that God does not approve of violence. They have not read their Bible." Liz (Fanning) is a happy wife and mother living in a sleepy little town. Things begin to change when a new reverend (Pearce) shows up. Liz senses danger but no one is believing her and when something terrible happens Liz is left trying to clear her name, and forget her past. This is a movie that is just flat out disturbing. Fanning does a really fantastic job of acting in this but Pearce just steals the movie. His character is so terrifying, without being over the top. The scariest part is that there are actually people like him today. This is a movie that is hard to watch. The intense religious aspects are sometimes sadistic and the interaction between Liz and the Reverend are enough to give you chills watching this. This is a good movie and worth seeing, but because of the content and the feel it is one that is really hard to recommend. I give this a B.
The Bye Bye Man (2017)
This is a movie that I'm sure many people will love and be terrified of, but this is one that I really struggled to get into
"Don't think it. Don't say it." Elliot (Smith), his girlfriend and his friend John (Laviscount) have all just moved into a new house and are starting to settle in. They begin to notice and hear strange sounds almost instantly. When Elliot discovers a night stand with writing on it he unlocks a terror, long hidden, with the power to destroy the lives of everyone. This is a movie, based off the preview, looked like a horror version of Beetlejuice. If it actually was that I would have liked it more. This movie had everything set up for something scary, then it just became a little too repetitive and a tad too cheesy for me to get fully involved in. This is a movie that I'm sure many people will love and be terrified of, but this is one that I really struggled to get into. Overall, a movie that tried so hard to be scary but just fell short. I give this a C+.
Running Wild (2017)
This is a pretty good family movie that talks about deeper aspects than the Hallmark movie I was expecting
"In ninety days you're going to lose everything." Stella Davis (Pham) has recently lost her husband and is in danger of losing her ranch. Looking for ways to raise money she decides to try and tame a herd of wild horses on her property and sell them. Needing help she begins to work with convicts in a rehabilitation program where they work with the horses. Things are going great until Meredith (Stone) shows up and tries to convince everyone what Stella is doing is a danger to the horses. This is a movie I wasn't expecting anything out of at all. I was thinking it was going to be a cheesy hallmark type movie. There's nothing wrong with movies like that, they just aren't my thing. While this film did have shades of that for sure this was much much better than I was expecting. It brought up some very interesting ideas and it made me think, which is something I wasn't expecting to do watching this. Overall, there are a few swear words in this but besides that this is a pretty good family movie that talks about deeper aspects than the Hallmark movie I was expecting. I liked this and surprisingly give this a B+.
Office Christmas Party (2016)
Extremely disappointing and like Ghostbusters the cast seemed set up for failure even though they did all they could
"If by some miracle you can close Walter Davis and his 14 million dollar account, your jobs are safe." Josh Parker (Bateman) is having a tough morning and things get worse when he gets to work. Carol (Aniston) the CEO of the company he works for has given him and his boss/her brother Clay (Miller) an ultimatum. They must either close the deal on a $14 million account or lay off 40% of the staff. Seeing no other option they decide to invite the person they are trying to convince to a Christmas party, what starts off as a simple office party soon gets out of control. This was a movie that I was looking forward to. The cast is great and everyone of them are hilarious on their own. T.J. Miller, Jason Bateman, Kate McKinnon...how can things go wrong. The answer is...this movie. The best way to describe this is nu comparing it to the new Ghostbusters. The dialog and interaction between the characters is great and funny, but the actual story and plot is so uninspired that it quickly lost me and I became bored with the entire thing. The funniest part of this movie is Bateman and Miller shopping in the beginning because of the way they interacted. The rest, is just...not good. Overall, extremely disappointing and like Ghostbusters the cast seemed set up for failure even though they did all they could. I give this a C.
Patriots Day (2016)
Don't let the fact that you already know what happened dissuade you from watching this. I highly recommend this
"Two people took many days and weeks to plan out hate but love responded in an instant." Tommy Saunders (Wahlberg) is a Sargent in the BPD. He is assigned to the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon. As the race is winding down the unthinkable happens and Tommy is right in the middle of one of the worst terrorist attacks in history. Now, with little evidence or leads Tommy, the FBI and every cop around conduct a manhunt to try and catch those responsible. For some reason I was not really looking forward to watching this. I think one of the reasons may have been the fact that it is still too close to the actual events and I remember watching it unfold on TV so I didn't think this would be that interesting or new. That being said I couldn't have been more wrong. The fact that this story is less than 4 years old really worked for it because it really milked the events prior and it felt tense, then once the bombs went off the pace really picked up and even though you know how it ends you are still tense and on the edge of your seat. I have said many times that there have been movies that are still able to pull off tenseness and excitement even though you know the entire story. This is one of those movies. Don't let the fact that you already know what happened dissuade you from watching this. This is much better than I was expecting and highly recommend this. Overall, tense and exciting. I really really enjoyed this and was engrossed the entire time. I give this an A.
This is Scorsese's new Kundun. There are people who will enjoy this, but this is defiantly not a movie for everyone.
"We will not abandon our hidden Christians who live in fear." Rodrigues (Garfield) is a Jesuit priest who, along with his fellow priest has just received word that their mentor Ferreira (Neeson) has traveled to Japan and committed apostasy. The two travel to the country to not only find their friend but also to support and spread Catholicism. What they find is torture and abuse and a land that will test their faith in ways they could have never imagined. When I saw this movie was coming to Blu-Ray my first thought was, how did a Scorsese movie come and go without me hearing about it? After watching it I can see why. I'm not saying this is a bad movie at all but its just agonizingly slow in many parts and just a little too long. Length of a movie doesn't usually bother me because my two favorite movies are The Godfather (almost 3 hours) and JFK (directors cut is over 4) but this one felt longer than the 2 hours and 40 minute run time. The story is very good, the acting is great and the movie is beautiful and very well made, but it was one I really struggled to get into. This is Scorsese's new Kundun. There are people who will enjoy this, but this is defiantly not a movie for everyone. Overall, great acting, directing and story but one that I really struggled to get into. I give this a B-.
Why Him? (2016)
Not a movie that will have you laughing out loud the entire time and it is predictable but it is very much worth seeing
"I'm not going to ask Stephanie to marry me unless I have your blessing." Ned's (Cranston) daughter has invited her family to California for the holidays. She is ready to introduce them to her boyfriend Laird (Franco). Things immediately start to go wrong and it doesn't take long for arguments and fighting to begin. This is a movie I wasn't all that excited about. The previews looked decent but just didn't seem like my kind of movie at all. That being said I will admit that I did really like this. This is not a movie that will have you laughing out loud the entire time and it is extremely predictable but that doesn't take away from the fact that this is still a funny movie that is very much worth seeing. There really isn't a whole lot to say about this movie other than that. Overall, funny with a good message and a movie that I recommend. I give this a B+.
Don't Kill It (2016)
Nothing that I would say rush out and see but I have to admit this was much much better than I expected and actually kind of fun
"Your town is in real danger. I'm here to help." A small southern town has experienced a string of bizarre murders. The police are stuck and have no idea what is happening. Jebediah (Lundgren) arrives with his solution to the problem, but is arrested and ignored. When he finally convinces those in charge what they are dealing with he teams with Agent Pierce (Klebe) to rid the down of an unimaginable terror. This is yet another cheesy B horror movie that has one thing recent movies like this don't...fun. This movie isn't anything amazing at all but it did keep me entertained the entire time. This movie is a lesser version of Fallen, but never gets boring or feels too slow. Lundgren movies are usually mindless, repetitive and boring. This one, however, knew what it was and didn't try to do or be too much. Overall, nothing that I would say rush out and see but I have to admit this was much much better than I expected and actually kind of fun to watch. This is worth checking out, surprisingly. I can't believe this but...I give it a B.
Miss Sloane (2016)
This is one of those movies where the ending really makes the movie and rewards you for sticking through the slower parts.
"Lobbying is about foresight. It's about making sure you surprise them and they don't surprise you." Elizabeth Sloane (Chastain) is one of the most sought after lobbyists is D.C. She is approached by the president of a gun lobby with an idea to increase the women vote. This sets off a chain of events that begins with her leaving her agency, lobbying against the gun bill he proposed and ultimately ending up under investigation by the Senate. This is a movie I was excited about because I am huge into politics and love seeing how things work. This movie really had shades of House of Cards in the way that the main character is someone that seemingly plays everyone off each other for her own benefit. The movie does seem to move slowly in a few parts, but at the same time it seems deliberate and allows the events to sink in. This is one of those movies where the ending really makes the movie and rewards you for sticking through the slower parts. Overall, a movie that shows the (I assume) real side of lobbying. Chastain is great in this and I really enjoyed this quite a bit I do recommend this but this isn't a movie for everyone. If you liked Ides of March or Our Brand Is Crisis you will most likely enjoy this one as well. I give this a B+.