Bad Boys for Life
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In Troop Zero, based on the play Christmas and Jubilee Behold The Meteor Shower, during the 1970s' young astronomy-nut Christmas Flint (McKenna Grace who played the Warrens' daughter in Annabelle Comes Home) decides to form her own Birdie Scouts troop in order to enter a talent show and win the opportunity to have her voice recorded and shot into space.
This is a very predictable misfits-stand-up-to-society-type, but it does it well. You get some really good dialogue, plus you get a cast of eccentric characters.
Grace does an excellent job as the quirky Christmas. We're also treated to a trio of fine adult actors: Jim Gaffigan as Christmas' father, Viola Davis as her scout leader, and Allison Janney as a rival scout leader. The last two are particularly good with both actresses delivering some deliciously cutting remarks in this.
Overall, I feel this is a fun little time waster.
BoP is just a genuinely fun time with a unique style. It runs at a breezy pace with a diverse cast of distinctive and interesting characters. The movie is an interesting mixture of live-action cartoon, spaghetti western, crime saga, and more flamboyant superhero flick. I must especially stress the crime saga aspect. What separates this from a lot of other superhero films is the emphasis on the multiple interconnected storylines that all mesh together at the end.
Director Cathy Yan brings a unique style to the whole thing. Pacing is tight. Music is good. The costumes and sets have this fascinating combo of bright seventies/eighties pop and the inner city and the criminal world. Seriously, I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like this.
Margot Robbie does an excellent job as Harley. Though her Brooklyn accent never sounds quite convincing, she appears to be having a ball. The entire cast is good and I just don't have enough time to mention them all.
Admittedly, this is a very lightweight film. Even the comedic Deadpool movies had more of a stronger emotional backbone for the characters. To clarify, this shouldn't be put on the same level of lightweight superhero films of old, specifically Batman Forever or Batman and Robin. Effort is put into building this world.
And yeah, what everyone else has been saying is true. There aren't a lot of Birds of Prey in this Birds of Prey movie. Though all the BoP members have their moments to shine, this is a Harley Quinn movie. This kind of feels like a backdoor pilot for the superhero team. I'm especially disappointed we didn't get more time with Huntress (Cloverfield Lane and Fargo season 3's Mary Elizabeth Winstead) who gets the least amount of screentime.
It's also true that fans of the BoP comics may be disappointed in certain changes from them. In particular, Cassandra Cain (Ella Jay Baso) who originally was an assassin trained from birth and one-time Batgirl is now a sterotypical streetwise latchkey kid.
Just a heads up that though this R-rated movie is trying to have fun and may not be super dark like the recent Joker there are a couple moments that may be a bit much for some. The villains Black Mask (Ewan McGregor) and Victor Zsaz (Chris Messina) do a few pretty messed up things in this. Though I don't think any comic book movie in recent memory has done such a good job of making you hate the villains.
Overall, I can't say this is the most substantive superhero film, but it's such a joy to watch.
In The Gentlemen, Mickey Pearce (Matthew McConaughey), the head of a large British marijuana ring, is planning to retire and sell off his business. However, things go awry when his empire is threatened. This was a fun film.
This is directed and written by Guy Ritchie, and like his Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and, I believe, some of his other crime films (I haven't seen the rest) it relies on a lot of characters and twists-and-turns. What results is a good helping interesting moving parts, dialogue, and performances from great actors.
The script isn't quite as tight as LS&TSB. The movie could've been a bit shorter. The character of a tabloid editor played by Eddie Marsan could've been cut without effecting anything. I also felt the last scene missed a bit of a punch.
The previous criticisms are more nitpicks than major issues. Overall, this movie is a good time and I recommend it. It's not something you need to see immediately but should be given a shot.
Being both a third installment and a sequel made a long time after the last one, there's reason to worry that this wouldn't work out. I'm happy to say this is pretty entertaining.
This is the first time Michael Bay isn't directing, so the movie doesn't have quite the director's level of action and style. However, it's not too much of a gap. Directors Adil El Arbi and Billal Fallah prove competent at taking the reins. There are some pretty good action ideas and scenes, especially in the finale. The movie just looks good in general. I'm glad that the regime change didn't result in darker lightning; Miami really pops in this.
The bright side of Bay no longer being behind the wheel is that the movie isn't awash with his overindulgences. (I'm sorry but Bad Boys II had way too much of the guys arguing with each other and just randomness in general.) The plot here is definitely the strongest of the trilogy and tries something new and interesting. I felt that Martin Lawrence got a better material to work with than he has had in the series. The villains are probably the best asw well which is saying something since the last two weren't half bad.
The movie could be shorter. Some scenes drag. In this, Lawrence and Will Smith's characters work with a younger police squad called AMMO. I like the new characters and their actors, but some of them aren't given enough time to let them develop.
I'd rank this above BBII and on about the same level as the first one. I think this is one of the better action movies of the last few years.