These aren't all the movies I've watched, they're just often ones that I felt enough about to review. That's not all good or bad. There are movies I liked more or less, but they were just expected, and something that I didn't seem to be motivated enough to write on. One of my favorite movies was 6th Sense, but I wasn't going to say anything about it, because of spoilers.
We went and saw 10 Cloverfield lane. On Rotten Tomatoes it was getting a 90/84% -- so the kiddies and reviewers really liked it. I liked it, but it had Hitchcockian pacing. My wife didn't at all. One reviewer summed it up perfectly, "If Hitchcock had ever directed an episode of The Twilight Zone, it might have looked something like this." I could tell you more about it, but it would all be spoilers. So this a movie best to watched without any taint.
One of the best movies, I've seen all year. (I caught this on HBO in 2017).
It's a bit of a downer, using tragedy to remind people of what's important in life -- but the messages are beautiful and on-target, if you can handle a movie that's showing the human spirit through the trials that life (and death) throws at it, and a child's shock and frustrations at the powerless of human condition.
Bored on a Saturday, wife is flying, why not get a hot dog and catch a flick? Did I mention it was a bad flick? It wasn't supposed to be, but it worked out that way. Rotten Tomatoes gave it an 97/87, so I figured something fresh and interesting, in the suspense/thriller/horror genre. Yeah, not-so-much.While it was reasonable acted, shot, and so on... the premise of the dumbest people alive, kind of ruined it for me. There's no way to kvetch on this one without spoilers, so if that matters to you, stop here.
Reviewers seemed to hate it (11% approval). But it was much better rated by viewers (36%). And I thought it was about as good as the Star Trek movie. Not as good of action, or even pacing, but the story was much more unique. And made some effort to be original with their view of Tech Advances, and coming up with original lines. That isn't to say it was great, it was barely good. But it was a watchable way for Will Smith to help his son advance his floundering acting career, that seems to be going nowhere.
A completely predictable, but not unwatchable super-spy movie.
You've seen the story line so many times, you know it by heart. Mitch Rapp loves his fiancé, who is killed by terrorists in front of his eyes (if this is a spoiler, you haven't watched the trailer). So of course he decides to become the baddest mo-fo in the world to get them back. You can practically hear "Eye of the Tiger" playing, while he's doing one-handed clap pushups and beating people up in his MMA classes. Then CIA Deputy Director is impressed by his moxy, and so brings him into a super-secret double-good special ops group, under the tutelage of Stan Hurley (Michael Keaton). And you know Stan is good, because he doesn't fear liability lawsuits when he disregards all common sense safety practices, like playing with live ammo and real knives. Lastly, they're going after a super-duper good ghost, who has to be Hurley's ex-protige.
Ant-Man and the Wasp, is the long anticipated sequel to Ant-Man (2015). I'm not sure who was really waiting with baited breath, but I'm sure some fan was. These are silly, zany super-heroes with an absurd abilities: to shrink and grow and most fights involve a lot of both in something that makes other super-hero movies sedate and followable in contrast. They aren't bad, and you know you're getting a lot of slapstick type super-hero stuff, with a screw-up super-hero and his sides cracking one-liners: but sometimes movies are just an excuse to get out of the house.
Animal Farm or the inverse, what happens if the producers stop producing. Ayn Rand never believed in saying in a sentence, that which could fill a chapter, and the movie follows suit by taking a Trilogy to fill out a 90 minute storyline. Not as bad as the Hobbit at that, but it's certainly not an action flick.
Infinity War is a superhero film based on the Marvel's superhero team the Avengers. It's either really pretty good or pretty bad, depending on how many of the other 19 Marvel films (and TV shows), you've seen. I'm glad I saw it, my wife felt completely ripped off: she hadn't seen all the other Marvel films, and was constantly, "who is that", "what's that ability", "why isn't Cap'n America in Red, White and Blue", and so on. And it was a 2 1/2 hour long continuous fight scene, with a couple separate simultaneous adventures thrown in... but the graphics, visuals, fights, and so on were glorious. One of the most expensive films ever made (≈$400M), it's really part 1 of a 2 part epic, which you figure out at the rather abrupt end.
The first Marvel film of 2018. I was almost scared off by the SJW's and BLM types ranting about how groundbreaking this was, or saying retarded things like the first Black Superhero film (other than all the others). The more they hyped it, the more I wanted to skip it over concerns it was going to be filled with Afrocentrist stupidity.
But I did see it, and despite having a bit of Superhero burn-out, it wasn't bad, and slightly fresh and only a little shallow. I thought it was definitely in the top 1/3rd of Marvel films, about equal to Thor: Ragnarok. Though Black Panther took itself a lot more seriously than funny.
This is kind of the opposite of your normal kids coming of age and seeking to get laid films of yesteryear. Instead of boys going on an adventure seeking to get laid -- this was 3 teen girls making a sex pact to lose their virginity on prom night.... but this movie really isn't about them. It's more about their incompetent parents trying to cock-block their plans, which is why all the promotional posters have a rooster next to the title "Blockers". Yeah, as subtle as the movie. The movie had its moments, unfortunately most of them were in the trailers. Watchable, and funny in spots... but you could miss it, and not really miss much either.
Book of Henry is not everyone's "cup of tea". Basically, a precocious genius Henry (and his younger brother, Peter) are being raised by their perpetually self-absorbed and immature Mom (Susan), when Henry witnesses the symptoms of abuse, he decides that since the system is broken and unjust, that he'll create some of his own justice, and sets in motion his rube goldberg perfect crime.
Being that I was a genius kid (who held myself back in school because I too felt that socialization with kids my own age was more important that "academic accomplishments" as measured by a system that I felt wasn't very fair or wise), and I also had a somewhat self-absorbed Mom, was on the receiving side of abuse (and so had an over-developed sense of justice): thusI could relate to the teasers on this movie. While is was getting only 25% approval from reviewers, it was getting 71% by audiences (and I tend to associate more with audiences than reviewers): so I went to see it. It was interesting. I liked it more than most will, but that still puts it as barely better than half the movies I'll see this year. And that, only because it was at least somewhat original, despite how hackneyed everything felt.
Rented two movies this weekend. I picked Capt. America -- wasn't bad for a Alternate Universe Steam-punkish Super-Hero flick. You have to like the genre, but if you're looking for a Buck Rodgers type retro-futuristic super-hero / alternate universe kind of film, you'll like it. If that doesn't sound appealing, then save your redbox money and watch something else. For me, it was worth every penny of the $.99 spent, but not a penny more.
Black Panther (2018) which was also the obviously Black Justice Warrior).
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was a classic movie done in 1971, with Gene Wilder. (Technically, it was Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory -- but the book was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, so that's what most people know it as, even if wrong). Just to cut to the chase, this is a classic, and while a bit creepy and weird, it is seared in my memories from youth, and so it's cemented in nostalgic feelings of love for my childhood.
If you liked Deadpool, you will like Deadpool 2. Sequels are never as "fresh" as the original, but you're going to watch them for more of the same, and that's what you get. Lots of snark, dark humor, occasional talking to the camera, fast talking and fast action, with hysterically inappropriate humor that appeals to the 14 year old boy in all of us. Loaded with adult innuendo, language, and so on, if you want 2 hours of immature escapism, this movie is for you.
Dinesh D'Souza's latest movie is "Death of a Nation". And it perfectly exemplifies the bias in movie reviewers. Rotten Tomatoes Score: 0/90. Not a single reviewer liked it, 90% of the audience does - and that shows how of our touch or biased the reviewers are. Remember, this is the first of his movies to open in over 1,000 theaters, and his documentaries easily out-earn most (usually putting him in the top handful of documentaries of all time).
Abortion issue you come down on, and whether you support Roe v. Wade or not (I'm pro-choice myself), this was a fascinating story on how much the "abortion at any cost" crowd allowed, in the name of their agenda. Since I value truth more than a political agenda, I found it very worthwhile, I suspect many that put their agenda above bad behavior will hate the movie.
In a crime-ridden Detroit neighborhood, that has converted a white working-class neighborhood into an Asian (Hmong) enclave, a grumpy and recently widowed old Korean War veteran and hold-out Walt Kowalski (Clint Eastwood) confronts a troubled Hmong teen attempting to steal his prized Gran Torino: the car that represents his happier days working on the Ford assembly line. Walt is dealing with lingering resentments, a willingness to hurl racist epithets, and yet the old dog is willing to learn new tricks, and expose his humanity to those that treat others well and a community that treats the elderly with a certain respect. And he shows everyone what it means to protect your country and community from wrong-doers: while being wise enough to know the difference between little wrongs and big wrongs. It's touching, a little slow, but has a great message, and I feel like a better person for loving the film.
Saw it. Meh. I was expecting something between kick-ass and born identity. Right idea, but a lot slower and nothing vaguely related to a surprise. I wouldn't rate it as bad, and I don't feel ripped off for my $7. But I think the reviewers definitely mismanaged expectations. It got 77/66 on Rotten Tomatoes, and I think the 66 was a little high. I would have been perfectly happy to wait for video or see it on a plane going somewhere. A friend summed it up as: "I was looking forward to a 17 year old kicking ass and raging all over the place. Instead they spent over half the movie being all touchy feeling and focusing on the 'plot'. Normally, that wouldn't be bad, except there was no plot." The first 20 minutes were definitely the most entertaining.
I wasn't that interested in seeing the new live-action Disney Jungle Book: the original books being creepy and dark, with singing. But it was all the rage in India,so I checked Rotten Tomatoes and it was a high 95/92% approval, and I figured, I might as well see it, for social value. It was over-rated, but not bad.
This got 27/75 on Rotten Tomatoes. I agreed with the viewers more than the reviewers on this one. Some of the movies the reviewers love are mediocre, and then ones like this, that I thought was pretty good, they pan.
I caught this on regular TV, and it seemed like an attempt at an intelligent action flick (as far that can go). You didn't know who you wanted to win, but in some ways that made it a bit deeper than most action flicks.
The Mummy got lousy ratings at 16/43 (Reviewers/Viewers) on Rotten Tomatoes. While I wouldn't exactly call it good, I'm not sure it stank quite that badly either. It sort of the opening salvo in Universal's, "The Dark Universe", which is basically Frankenstein (+Bride of), Wolfman, Dracula, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Creature from Black Lagoon. All the old horror film classics. This one tries to modernize the story, and use a big action name (Tom Cruise) as a douchebag (not a stretch). But there while it was horrible, there was a lot for snowflakes to get offended by.
I was never a fan of the Ocean's series, partly because I'm not a caper-heist movie fan (too much artificial complexity), and most ensemble films substitute star power for good writing, acting and plot. Plus, it had George Clooney, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, the trifecta of clueless-but-sanctimonious douchebaggery. So the Ghostbuster's Girl-Power remake of THAT wasn't high on my priority list for films I gotta see. But my wife wanted to see it, and she sees enough of my stupid movies that a little quid pro quo was in order.
Maybe it was my lowered expectations, but I really liked it. It was far better than the others, though that's a low bar. It was one of the better heist movies I've seen, probably because it didn't go over the top with an elaborate 400-stage, everything has to go perfect, sorta bullshit complexity that is crammed into most. There were whiffs of that, to keep the heist-plot pages filled and continue the genre... but a lot was leading up to the theft, or afterwards, and that played better for me. And while it had some plot holes with over-complexifying a snatch a grab, the holes weren't as in-your-face as in the average episode of The Walking Dead. So I liked it better than some other recent films I'd seen, such as Avengers: Infinity War. It was mostly just a heist film, with a few twists -- where criminals are the heroes, and James Corden plays himself as carpool insurance investigator. There were a few subtle undertones of Girl Power, without beating you over the head with it. While it's not deep, it was an afternoon of escapism.
This movie wasn't worth its salt (despite the 62/59 it got from Rotten Tomatoes). Sometimes it's the little plot devices that annoy in movies like this, in this move it's all of them. More cliche's than a Piers Anthony book. Less depth than a playboy centerfolds interview. The ham-handed dialog of an Arnold movie: without the humor. If Mystery Science Theater 3000 did action flicks, they would pick this one to pan. It probably wasn't the worst movie of 2011, but it would take work to guide low enough where people would come out thinking, "it wasn't THAT bad'.
Searching is a 2018 American thriller film that came from the Sundance Film Festival (Jan 2018), and went into limited release (like only 9 theaters?) recently, and will be one of the most memorable movies of the year for me. As a thriller it's pretty good (not great) story about a father (John Cho / Harold of Harold and Kumar), trying to find his missing teenage daughter, with the help of a police detective (Debra Messing). What makes it fresh and interesting is that it's a story about a Dad learning about his daughter through her social media and computer accounts, and is shot from the point-of-view of watching someone's life play out via Social Media. So everything is seen through the computer screens/windows or smart phones (video chat, video and news clips, search results, and so on). This isn't as disruptive as one might think, at least for people that are used to doing this stuff regularly. I'm not sure I'd want every film shot in this style, for but this one movie it worked well for me, and my wife -- and wasn't disruptive or disjointed at all. It made it fresh, with good enough acting and story to get a 91/86 on rotten tomatoes -- and I felt it deserved more than that, just for a unique take on a well worn genre, as well as the messages contained within.
I went and saw "the Accountant". Rotten Tomatoes gave me low expectations with a 51% reviewer rating, but the 86% audience score gave me some hope that it wouldn't be horrid. It was a completely watchable semi-action thriller. In fact, it's probably the best Assassin with Aspergers film you'll see all year. Think Rain-man meets The Professional, without the academy award performances, and half the intensity, and a little more shlock and clichéd.
Really good movie, better than the 66/85 on Rotten Tomatoes (in my opinion). Best of this list of 2011 flicks, by far.
Some people got bent about the cliche's of white family saving a black kid, or the black kid turning out to be a star athlete. (Playing to some stereotypes). And there is that. But this one is more or less a true story. Race is a part of the story, mostly in overcoming different worlds -- but it's more just a human interest story about how people from dramatically different realities can impact each other (in good ways).
This isn't about a basketball legend, it's an introspective about the origins of faith and religion (specifically Christianity). The Shack is a story about loss and suffering. It is about the arrogance of holding on to anger/resentment, and judging others (or judging God) with your partial understanding of everything around you — it is a reminder about letting go and forgiving. Good people die. Bad people sometimes get away with it. Most people have burdens you can’t understand. Stop judging: resenting others for their flaws and failures is a waste of both your time. Accept who they are (warts and all), and either let them in, or avoid their toxicity — but pick a path and move on. While I'm an atheist, I liked the messages.
Went and saw this (rode over). Wasn't horrible. Wasn't deep or great. Lots of backstory, and really predictable dialog -- but I didn't go expecting the 6th sense or anything. And actually the lack of over-action throughout the entire movie made it better than some crazy, flying place-to-place non-stop movies that just tire you out. It will keep the kids entertained. So for pretty fluff, with some action, it was good. I don't know if I'd give it the 77/76 it got on Rotten Tomatoes, but if you want a super-hero movie, it probably won't be the worst one you'll see this year.
We went and saw Tower Heist: surprisingly, not horrible
Amusing, cliché, and about as believable as Beverly Hills Cop, but some funny lines and entertaining.
Better than the movie of the week on TV. (A lot better than Red State was). If you go to a matinee with low expectations (as I did), you'll walk away feeling you got more than your money's worth.
Rathergate fiasco. So in sympathy for their compatriots (liars in the media), Hollywood far lefties ganged up to try to distort history with 2015 propaganda film name "Truth", (ironically, I assume). Of course it starred far-left Robert Redford, and tried to make Rather/Mapes sympathetic victims that got caught in technicalities of journalism, and not the sell-outs to their professions that they were. Dan Rather loved it, claiming, "I think it's the best thing that's ever been up on the big screen". Everyone else thought it smelled like a New Delhi outhouse in summer. It only cost around $15M and still managed to lose money.
Unplanned is a prophetic name, as I had no real intentions of seeing it. But after Twitter blocked them (since removed), music labels wouldn't license songs, most TV stations refused their benign advertising, and it was unfairly given an R rating. Later Google "Accidentally" mislabelled them as "propaganda", how does a non-genre accidentally get added anyways? And Canada banned it via their theater monopoly. I knew I had to see what was the Citizen Kane of our day. (Remember the studios/powerful tried to block Orsen Welles from telling the Hurst truth as well, even in allegory form). Here, take my money! Gosnell last year and Unlplanned this year are probably the most important movies of the year, not because I agree with everything in them (I'm pro-choice), or they're the best production (they aren't), but they tell powerful, mostly true stories that the rich, powerful and intolerant want to suppress. And if you hate bullies, you want to see the little guy succeed, even if you're not 100% in agreement with their message. That and it's a pretty good story, and I want to see the best arguments the other side can make to challenge myself/my beliefs -- so whichever side you're on, you should see it to be informed. But of course, that view is not for everyone.
If you're looking for a slowly paced, poorly supported documentary that trashes the American School system with all the lack-of-balances of "An Inconvenient Truth" director can muster, then this will be the best option for the year.The premise is the failure of the American school system, as told from a far left-of-center director, which will go for tugging at the heart-strings (and person interest stories), instead of offering facts and data to support them.
I did my husbandly duty of seeing the chick-flick (romantic comedy) with my wife... and it made Something about Mary or a Kevin Smith dialog seem G-rated. Funny movie, with some real hysterical lines, and quite a bit better than I expected... but very adult shock-humor type jokes.
Plot, with the help of her man-whore neighbor, the lead character (Anna Faris) browses back through the past 19 mistakes she's made (failed relationships) and ponders if she missed, "the one". It works, if you like the crass humor genre.
The movie poster sums up the premise: yesterday everyone knew the Beatles. Today, only aspiring musician Jack Malik remembers their songs. What does that mean about fame, art, and what does it say about pop-culture? Every year or two (or three) a movie comes along that hits all the right notes for me (pun intended), this was one of those movies. I went in only vaguely hearing about it, and fell in love with the film. It's not that deep, fairly predictable, syrupy and even clichéd in a few parts.... but it just the right tone, twists, and characters. I walked out feeling better that finally something that came out of Hollywood this year that didn't feel derivative or a sequel... even if It was a throwback film that borrowed from a dozen movies/books before: it still felt like an up-to-date sleeper film of the year.