Movie Review

Movie Review - 'The LEGO Ninjago Movie' Resorts to Derivative, Sloppy Storytelling

The Lego Movie did a great job establishing a classic hero’s journey while at the same time ruthlessly making fun of it. Even though it was a kids movie, it understood its narrative structure, stuck to it like glue, but also played around a bit and let the story breathe. You never once thought, “Oh, now we’re in the relationship-building scene.” It knew its boundaries but also knew when to cross the boundaries. And despite its ADHD pacing, it worked. The LEGO Ninjago Movie, on the other hand, really has no idea what it's doing. It's sloppy and rushed story tries a little too hard to hit all the right beats but fails spectacularly. The storytelling...

Movie Review - 'Kingsman: The Golden Circle' Is a Big Step Backward.

When Matthew Vaughn left the X-Men franchise after the roaring success of X-men: First Class, you could say I was puzzled. He single-handedly brought back a dying franchise to life. Why would he abandon a good thing? It didn’t make sense. Things got even more strange when it was announced later he’d adapt, write and direct an obscure comic book into a movie called Kingsman: The Secret Service. At the time, I figured no one would care and the movie would end up a flop. Of course, I was incredibly wrong. Vaughn figured out how to pull a rabbit out of his hat again and turn an obscure comic into a breakaway movie hit. The beauty of the first movie was its reckless...

Movie Review - 'Cars 3' Desperately Tries Not to be Cars 2

cars 3 If you haven’t been brought up to speed over the last eleven years of Cars history, I’ll help you out. The Cars movie only exists to sell toys. And if you’re parent, it’s likely you know this pretty well by now. Pixar makes bank selling Lightning McQueen and Mater toys. However, as a film franchise, it’s one of the worst Pixar properties in their long and successful film history. Of all their movies, Cars 2 is the only critically panned Pixar film to date. Usually, when a sequel gets panned,...

Movie Review - 'The Mummy' is a Hollow Soul Wrapped in a Fun Adventure

the mummy movie Many who hear the title The Mummy likely think of the 1999 Brendan Fraser movie, its two sequels, and that spinoff with The Rock. This is not that movie. We all know Hollywood loves trends. Endless sequels, remakes, reboots, and breaking up movies into parts, have all been the bread and butter of the industry. The Mummy directed by Alex Kurtzman and starring Tom Cruise hops onto one of those bandwagons (remake) with one additional one. It’s part of the “Dark Universe.” With the outstanding success by Marvel Studios, cinematic...

Movie Review - 'Captain Underpants' Overflows with Potty Humor, Delighting Kids and Ignoring Adults

captain underpants When I was in third grade, I really wanted to see the movie Blank Check. My parents, on the other hand, weren’t so thrilled. Eventually, I convinced them to rent it for me and I loved it. As expected, they didn’t. Honestly, in my childhood mind, I didn’t understand why. But then I re-watched it this year and it all made total sense. Blank Check is geared entirely to kids in every way imaginable with no logical reasoning built into the story whatsoever. And who remembers Blank Check? No one. Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie ultimately makes the same mistake as ...

Movie Review - Despite a Familiar Plot, 'Alien: Covenant' is a Worthy Installment

danny mcbride katherine waterston Alien has always been one of those hallmark, eye-opening sci-fi movies, not just for its frights but also how it stretched the genre. It’s been decades since the first movie hit theaters and now we’ve had multiple installments. Of those movies, I would argue only three are good: Alien, Aliens, and Prometheus. All the others are either bad or just plain awful. Alien: Covenant essentially improves on the flaws of Prometheus, uses a tried and true formula that works,...

Movie Review - 'Gold' Fools Everyone with Sloppy Storytelling

If you take a 1000-piece puzzle, put it in front of a small child and watch said child put it together for two hours, that’s what it’s like to watch the movie Gold. It’s not too often I see a movie starring big name actors like Matthew McConaughey, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Edgar Ramirez that is horribly pieced together and where the storytelling fails at almost every turn. And that’s a shame because Gold is on my list of most anticipated movies of 2017 and that anticipation died at the end credits. While McConaughey fully commits to the role, gaining weight, putting on fake teeth and a bald...

Movie Review — Row the Boat, Please: 'Manchester By the Sea' is Good, But Too Slow to be Great

manchester-by-the-sea-casey-affleck-lucas-hedges-promo Though it ain't Jimmy Stewart finding life's true meaning is in the small pleasures, it's not that far off. Manchester By the Sea is a grim tale — we see Casey Affleck as Lee grinding it out as a maintenance man for a Boston slumlord, not much going right for him. His daily life consists of getting hammered after a day of drudging work before collapsing in his one room, cell-like apartment. Casey is obviously damaged, and though we...

Movie Review -- Why Not See 'Why Him?' This Holiday Season?

why him movie review

It’s no wonder why James Franco has the wrinkles of a smile burned into his star-studded face; he’s played more stoners, scoundrels, and screwballs with an insatiable grimace than anyone can count by this point, and he’s hilarious at doing so. His role as Laird Mayhew in the typical “father v. fiancée” formulaic comedy is the most recent installment to this repertoire of character-types – in fact, it is perhaps his latest and greatest addition. The strength of his performance comes not only from his surprisingly well-developed character; it also stems from how the other cast members...

Movie Review -- Make Way, Make Way! 'Moana' is Calling You!

moana movie review

It is no secret that a multi-media conglomerate such as Disney can turn out successful films one after the other. However, there is something to be said for the development and progress the production company has made in its endless bounds towards a more inclusive and culturally rich repertoire. Moana, the latest installment in the Disney princess movie franchise (although that in itself is up for debate, as the film's title character will object) is a credible marker in the strides Disney had made – from the gorgeous production design to the catchy tunes that will most likely be playing on repeat, the film reminds us of the wonderful...