Rocketman (2019)

This Week: Rocketman

IT’S A MUSICAL?!?

Now, I KNEW this was going to be flooded with Elton John songs, but I expected something similar to Bohemian Rhapsody, where the songs were performed in rehearsals and concerts, but nope, goes full on song and dance!

And it is fantastic! . . . if you like Elton John songs, that is. If you don’t, then I don’t know why you would be seeing this movie.

Also, keep in mind that this is Elton John, so there is a man on man sex scene, which I can tell you is not at all uncomfortable to watch on a giant theater screen while crammed into a seat between my wife and my mother.

Ooo, two gifs, I like it!

Because I know less of the history of Elton John than I did of Queen, I don’t know where the historical inaccuracies are. Fortunately we have the INTERNET TO HELP US!

Go look for them if you care, I don’t.

There was fun fact, John Reid was played by Robb Stark in this film. John Reid ALSO appeared in Bohemian Rhapsody, played by Littlefinger. Maybe when we get the Michael Flatley story, John Reid can be played by Jojen Reed!

Or someone else. I dunno, I needed to research this joke more.

(Researches Scottish GoT actors)

F***! Should have gone with Podrick. Oh well, too late to rewrite it now.

Anywho, I highly recommend this one. Definitely best movie that I’ve seen as a married man.

Which does not bode well for the King of All Monsters.

Next Week: Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Men In Black: International (2019)

This Week: Men In Black: International (2019)

I kind of liked this one.

Like everyone else, I loved the first Men in Black. I even enjoyed the second. I thought the third one sucked. I mean, everyone tried their best, but the story was lame and I just didn’t care for it.

The villains in this one were AWESOME looking. They are basically cosmic entities. Walking universes.

There is a big twist at the end, but you see it coming from lightyears away.

This movie is fine. However it doesn’t have the same charm and uniqueness of the original Men in Black. It is a decent movie by itself, but it is a franchise limping along simply to keep the rights from reverting back to Marvel.

2 more movies left.

Tomorrow: Rocketman

The Secret Life of Pets 2 (2019)

This Week: The Secret Life of Pets 2 (2019)

So this movie is just an excuse to have cute things on screen for an hour and a half (roughly). There are three major stories that all kind of come together at the end.

In the first movie it was just one major narrative that kind of flowed through each of the characters. This one ignored that style and just plopped three different stories down.

Ultimately it is kind of a drop off from the first movie. It seems like a lot of the various pets that made an appearance in the last film just kind of dropped off. The rocking dogs are gone. The bird appears only to get briefly eaten. Duke gets full on relegated to a background character, just there for punchlines. It misses a lot of the heart that was in the first film. But the film is cute. It also still has plenty of humor.

All in all: Cute. Not an progressing the franchise, but cute. I recommend waiting for home release.

3 more movies til back to current!

Next Week: Men In Black: International

Aladdin (2019)

Considering the last thing I posted was John Wick, I guess this would be most appropriate:

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So where did I leave off. . .oh yeah:

This week: Aladdin (2019)
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So I haven’t been watching the Disney Live Action Remakes.  God, if I thought of it ahead of time, I should have done a “WE’RE DOING IT LIVE!” Disney Marathon prior to watching Aladdin.

The only other Live Action Disney Remakes I saw were Cinderella and Malificent(which I’m not sure counts since they left out all the songs and got the story wrong).  Cinderella was okay, but kind of underwhelming.  I keep meaning to see the other Disney films, but for one reason or another have not brought myself to watch them.

I don’t think any of them look particularly bad, but I guess I just am meh on them.

Aladdin is a decent movie, the only problem is that you are sitting there the entire movie comparing it to the Animated movie you already know and love.  It makes a point to redo everything simply so it doesn’t do the same thing.  It is like a singer taking a song you know and changing up the pace and trying to make it their own.  It’s nice, but the entire time you are trying to keep pace with the song in your head that you already know and now your timing is off.  It doesn’t make the new version bad, just not what you are used to and you end up not caring for it.

Gonna move into spoiler territory.  Bring protection.

*SPOILERS*

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So we all know the basic story, Aladdin is a street rat who runs into the Princess in disguise and then ends up helping Jafar recover the magic lamp, but curse his sudden but inevitable betrayal. Then Aladdin finds out the lamp has a Genie and he wishes to be a prince but Jafar steals the lamp and then gets tricked into the wrong wish and itty bitty living space.

So I will give some thoughts on some of the changes made while adapting the movie to live action.

Apparently the reason Aladdin is a poor street rat is mainly due to installing hide away stairs leading up to his pent house. Seriously, he pulls a lever and wooden beams slide out of the wall to form a staircase.

While all the singing in Aladdin is good, it looks weird while Aladdin is “running” away from the Guards. Sadly live action just doesn’t easily lend itself to the fluid grace that animation does.

Oh and Jasmine gets her own song. It’s a good song, but a jarring change of pace from the rest. Hell, she even pauses the movie and snaps everyone around her out of existence Thanos Style in order to have her music video moment.

She then calls bulls*** on Jafar’s first wish. Jafar wishes to be Sultan and Genie uses his ULTIMATE COSMIC POWER TO . . .switch hats? And the guards just go along with it. Until Jasmine has her Zack Time Out and then decides to point out that he ISN’T the true Sultan.

This works for about 5 seconds until Jafar makes the sorcerer wish. Which ACTUALLY works. Until Aladdin outsmarts him with the “make me a Genie” wish.

Genie also has his own love story. While Aladdin is making awkward moves on Jasmine, Genie is making equally awkward moves on her Hand Maid. We know it works out because they open the movie with them on a boat with a couple of kids.

Sadly they didn’t do an after credits “made you look!” So that alone makes the whole movie a failure.

So I got about 4 movies in my backlog, plus all the Dark Universe films to get back to.

Next “Week”: The Secret Life of Pets 2

John Wick: Chapter 3: Parabellum (2019)

This Week: John Wick: Chapter 3: Parabellum

This is all happening over the course of a few weeks. Seriously.

It’s been 5 years since the first film, but I don’t think all the corpses from the first film have been found and disposed of yet by the end of this film.

That is a LARGE murder spree in such a short amount of time.

The trailers mention how John needs a lot of guns, but hell, he uses just about anything! Guns, knives, hatchets, dogs, bare fists, his belt, a GOD DAMN HORSE! He straight up slaps a horse and has it kick a guy to death. TWICE!

There is just an insane amount of violence and murder in this film.

Oh and we get proper ninjas. Seriously, you are watching a scene and the background just comes to life and kills people. PROPER. F***ING. NINJAS!

One of the downsides is, that like Chapter 2, it is more setting up another film than being its own film.

The first film existed on its own and although the mythology and the world building was there, it was a self contained story that could exist without sequels. This movie is just another middle to a longer story.

But my god is it entertaining to watch.

Next Week: Disney’s Brightburn. James Gunn’s reimagining of the classic Arabian tale, but instead lets pretend Aladdin is a psychopath who wants to kill everyone.

Or

TemplarKnight gets Married.

John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)

This Week: John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)

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So, I never saw this movie in theaters.  I held off watching ANY promotional material for John Wick 3 because I was waiting to watch John Wick 2.  I really do not know why I have waited THIS FREAKING LONG to watch John Wick Chapter 2.  I’m pretty sure this was back during the dark times when I just couldn’t make it out to movies as much as I wanted to.  Hell, I still think I’m in those dark times, but I generally manage to make in enough movies to keep things interesting.

Seeing as this movie has been out for 2 years, spoilers.

So we pick up RIGHT where we left off from the first movie where we remember, “Oh yeah, he never DID get his car back, did he?”

The brother of the Russian mob boss from the last film still has John Wick’s car.  He is describing in great detail how unstoppable John Wick is.  When his underling suggests, “How about we just give the car back?”  And he scoffs at the idea.

John Wick arrives, gets in his car, and drives away.  But one of the Russian’s goons crashes into him.  So after getting into a thrilling car chase, John Wick comes back, kills almost all of the Russian’s underlings, walks into his office, has a drink, and declares peace.

Yeah.  You coulda just given him the car back and called it done.  Enjoy posting new Goon postings on Monster.  Is Monster still a thing?

So John goes home to retire again.  Before the concrete even dries, a new douchebag shows up with more mythology.  John apparently used a “marker” to do the impossible task mentioned in the last film.  This binds him to the villain of this film.  He wants John to kill his sister, to get him a seat at the High Table.

John turns him down, and gets his house blown up.  AND HIS DOG IS KILLED AG- nope, wait Dog lives.  And this dog is REALLY well trained.  He follows without a leash, sits when told to, and instantly bonds with the concierge at the Hotel.

We see John go abroad and meet the Italian version of the Hotel.  We then go through a fun little montage of John getting new guns and knives, layouts of the grounds where his target will be, and one of the bulletproof suits from Kingsman’s Tailors.

John then storms the building where the target is, appears out of nowhere behind the douchbag’s sister, and they have a nice little chat before she. . .cuts her own wrists?

All that planning and he didn’t get to use any of his toys.  John: Eh, what the hell, I bought the bullets, might as well use one. (Shoots her as she dies)

Well, he ALMOST doesn’t have to use any of his guns.  Her body guard recognizes him before he leaves, so he ends up having to shoot his way out of the concert.

The villain turns villain and decides to try and kill John Wick.

Dude is not paying attention.

John manages to escape THAT murder attempt, taking a LOT of goons with him.  So Douchebag Villain puts out a $7 Million open contract on John Wick.  John manages to make it back to New York and continues to have a bad day, with random hitmen trying to cash in.  He kills them all, of course, but takes his bumps along the way.

The fight with the Villain’s Sister’s Bodyguard is pretty interesting.  At one point they are walking through a subway station and taking random pot shots at each other while trying to look inconspicuous.  It is HILARIOUS.

John ends up getting the better of him in a knife fight and leaves him on a train to die.

John then pays a homeless man to get him to Laurence Fishburne.  Laurence Fishburne is the leader of an army of homeless people.  Who are packing.

Y’all better start carrying spare change to give away.

John convinces Laurence Fishburne to give him a gun and safe passage to where the Villain is.  Laurence gives him a gun with 7 bullets.  One for each Million on the contract.

John Wick shows up at the Villain’s gala, and after another spectacular amount of violence, the villain runs to the Hotel seeking safe passage.  John shows up, gets his dog back, and decides to just shoot the villain in the head, right in the lounge.

Ian McShane declares John Wick excommunicated.  We get a pretty cool scene where Ian McShane demonstrates his control by revealing that everyone in the park is working for him.  They all stop at the same time, then walk away.  John declares that ANYONE who comes after him will die.  Ian McShane says that is true.  Then Ian McShane burns John Wick’s membership card.

So the third movie is now set up.  Should be fun.

Tomorrow: John Wick: Chapter 3: Parabellum

John Wick (2014)

Originally Posted October 24th, 2014

This week: John Wick.

Keanu Reeves kills the f*** out of a bunch of people because they stole his car and killed his dog.

Although it is fun, there is no new ground covered here. If you’ve seen the trailer, you’ve seen the movie and can guess the outcome.

If you want a straightforward shoot em up, feel free, but I would say save your money and see it when it comes to netflix.

Next Week: Before I Go to Sleep or Nightcrawler. Unless of course something else pops up.

Update: Okay, my original review did this movie a GREAT disservice.

I loved this movie, and I’m not sure where my head was at the time. I believe I was trying to get into a reviewer mode where yes the fight scenes were cool, but how would the average critic handle this?

I dunno, I think I just assumed at the time that most people would blow this movie off as a mindless action flick.

I have since learned that I know jack all.

I loved the worldbuilding that went on in this film. The Hotel where assassins stayed and the clean up crew.

The smartest cop in ALL OF CINEMA, who knows when he is out of his effing league and decides to just walk away.

This movie is really well done and I generally recommend it to everybody.

Which has me wondering why I haven’t seen the sequel yet? Well, John Wick 3 comes out tomorrow night, so maybe I should get going on that.

Tomorrow: John Wick: Chapter 2: The Dog Did It.

Pokémon: Detective Pikachu (2019)

This Week: Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019)

When trailers for this initially came out, I was convinced this was a College Humor/Funny or Die video. A fake trailer that we would never actually see a movie for.

I’m still not convinced this isn’t all a prank. I half expected the ending credits to say, “April Fools!”

This movie does a pretty good job bringing Pokémon to life and putting them into the real world. It is pretty neat to see the various Pokémon in a “real world” setting.

As far as the rest of it goes, it’s just okay. The plot is fairly simple and predictable. The twists can be seen a mile away.

They never really explain why Tim can understand Pikachu outside of everyone else.

There isn’t really anywhere to go from this movie. As much as I would like a Smash Bros Cinematic Universe, I think it is unlikely.

Wow, I can post a review without spoilers!

Next Week: John Wick 3: A Dog’s Journey. John Wick’s dog keeps getting killed and coming back as a different dog.

Avengers: Endgame (2019)

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This Week: Avengers: Endgame (2019)

I am just sitting here, staring at the screen that just has “This Week: Avengers: Endgame (2019)” written on it.  I’m not sure what I can write.

I have been watching these movies since 2008.  Midnight showings for almost every one of them.  Over a decade of dedication.  This movie is the capstone.  The Russo Brothers stated that you only need to watch 2 movies to see this one.  Civil War and Infinity War.

The Russo Brothers lied to you.  I would say the only movie you don’t need to see is Incredible Hulk.  I spent the last week watching EVERY marvel movie and it fully prepped me for everything.  Save for one thing I had to look up, but it was one of my guesses.

This movie is literally the culmination of everything since 2008.  If you go in not having seen any of the MCU movies, you are very likely leaving stuff on the table.

It is good, it is long, it is worth it.  I would say if you need a bathroom break, it is in the first hour.  After that, I would say walk away at your own risk.

Spoiler warnings:

 

This movie is extremely satisfying.  Almost everything we wanted to see in over a decade of Marvel movies, we get.

This movie is long and it stretches its legs on its length.  Several of the Marvel movies are long.  Infinity War was 2 hours and 40 minutes.  This is only about 20 minutes longer, but there is a world of difference between Infinity War being long and Endgame being long.

Infinity War was a building story all the way to the end.  You couldn’t really walk away.  It’s like a choreographed dance. Every step lead perfectly to the next one.

Endgame maintains this set up for about half an hour, then the dance is over and everyone just sort of mulls around for about half an hour or so until they decide to dance again.

Captain Marvel shows up, saves Tony from Space, and then everybody tracks down Thanos.  Thanos apparently destroyed the Infinity stones and nearly died in doing it.  Then Thor takes Thanos’ advice and goes for the head.  Thanos is dead, but half the universe is gone for good.

We cut to 5 years later and everyone is dealing with the fallout of the snap.  Some people try to rebuild, some people give up, and some go in an entirely new direction.  A good deal of the first hour is just establishing where everyone ended up following the fallout.

Then a rat brings Ant-Man back.  Really?  Everything that happens in this movie is entirely dependent on a rat “accidently” activating a quantum vortex manipulator.  I wonder how many futures Doctor Strange saw that the rat got hit by a rat trap.  Or get thwarted by the Great Mouse Detective.

After Ant-man returns and mentions he has a time travel idea and we go and find the Avengers who aren’t still living at the compound.

2 of the Avengers have DRASTICALLY changed.  And they remain that way for the rest of the movie.  I am just generally not a fan of reducing heroes to jokes.  Ultimately when everything is on the table, they man up and are the heroes we know and love, but I could have done without the permanent changes for comedic effect.

So they all jump back in time to the old movies and do a really good job tying in the old movies.  Though I don’t quite follow how their time travel rules work, but they can basically go back and do whatever without creating another timeline or wrenching the universe apart.  That’s convenient.

The scenes in the past are actually awesome as hell.  I have nothing to say about them that is worth spoiling.

They undo the snap, and then Thanos circa 2014 shows up and blasts everything to hell. . .but manages not to kill anyone.  Then the rest of the movie plays on in awesomeness.

One thing I’m not sure I feel about is Spider-man.  Spider-man returns along with everyone else in the Snap and helps participate in the War.  And Spider-man activates Instant Kill.  He’s fighting Thanos’ mindless mutant monster things, so it might be okay, but I’m not sure how comfortable I am with Spider-man actually killing.  Most of the Marvel Heroes I am totally okay with killing these things because their moral code does not prevent them from killing enemy combatants.  Spider-man’s does.  He won’t kill people if he has any other choice.  He has killed people by accident and once or twice directly, but he wouldn’t activate Instant Kill.  I think the Russo Brothers saw this gag in Homecoming and wanted to flesh it out in Endgame.

So there is actually a very low death count in this movie.  One death, that happens towards the middle, I didn’t care for.  It just felt like the wrong way to go out.

In the end we get another death and a parting of the ways.  The death saved the world and was a fitting end to the character.  I actually was tearing up a bit as they went.  The parting of the ways also was very fitting and I was happy to have their journey end that way.  They deserved it.  It was reminiscent of Furious 7.  We knew the character was leaving, but wasn’t sure how.  And since they didn’t die in the massive war, they had to back out of the action somehow.

So there is a funeral at the end of the movie.  It pans over a TON of characters that we have seen over a variety of marvel movies.  Then it pans over this one kid.  And nobody has ANY idea who this kid is.  Seriously, on the car ride home, I just suddenly turned to my fiancé out of nowhere and go, “Who the hell was that kid?” And even though we had mentioned NOTHING up until this point, she responds, “I have no idea, I was going to ask you that!”  So we looked it up and apparently it is the kid from the dead character’s third movie, now all grown up.

Despite all the spoiler warnings, I am REALLY trying to avoid just plopping out “Snape kills Dumbledore” level spoilers.  I already heard someone is out there sharing gifs of the finale cut into gifs of a blonde Wonder Woman shaking her ass.  Don’t look at anything until you have seen the movie(he says LONG after the spoiler tags).

As I said, the movie is long and honestly it could have cut a decent amount to get a more flowing narrative, but this takes place just after the universe got cut in half.  Hope is gone.  So we have the scenes where people are just collecting themselves after the fallout.  This movie is a 6 part series instead of a one shot.  It doesn’t have to keep the tempo up to keep everyone around.  It paces itself and takes its time.  It starts a little slow, but once it gets to the third act, everything is full steam ahead.

So I did 22 movies, 22 reviews, in 7 days.  Wow.  Guess I should probably get back to that Dark Universe thing then, huh?

Next Week: The Long Dolls Intruder.  Charlize Theron buys a home from a bunch of deformed toys who terrorize her when she doesn’t keep the house how they want it.

 

Hellboy(2019)

This Week: Hellboy (2019)

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Fun Fact: I briefly thought, “I need to look up the year this came out so I can differentiate it from the Ron Perlman movies.”  It came out this year.  The year of our Lord 2019.

Sometimes I think I need to return my college degree.  Clearly I scammed people to get it.

Anywho, HELLBOY!  I really enjoyed this movie.  It has creepy imagery and is an action spectacle.  I think David Harbour does a great job as Hellboy.

I do have a couple of issues with the movie:
1. Although the movie does a great job in visual effects for most of the movie, there is a scene where Hellboy is fighting 3 giants and it just looks awful.  It seriously like Hellboy is just running in place in front of green screen for a part of it.  Hellboy also “clips” through one of the giant swords at one point, like it was a rushed Ubisoft game.
2.  They build up Hellboy as one of the world’s best paranormal investigators.  They even demonstrate that he is very clever in dealing with certain paranormal threats, such when Hellboy banished Baba Yaga to an alternate dimension as a way to defeat her.  The problem is that they don’t really use this in the movie.  Hellboy pretty much just acts like a red Hulk and just throws himself at a problem and hopefully manages to punch or shoot it into a solution.  I don’t know how it is in the comics, but I would have liked to see a bit more than, “Punch or Shoot to win.”

Otherwise, I think it is a pretty good movie.  I don’t think I’m going to try comparing it to the old movies, because that way lies madness.  I would like a sequel, but I think behind the scenes problems and lackluster rotten tomatoes score might hinder that.

Next Week: The Curse of Teen Spirit.  A Mexican ghost enters a cut throat singing competition.