KJ Proulx's Profile - Rotten Tomatoes

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Rating History

The Dirt
The Dirt (2019)
2 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

Biopics revolving around classic bands have definitely become a fad these days, even though they have been around for decades. The Dirt is the latest in the long line of musical biopics and this time it's hitting Netflix. As Motley Crue isn't exactly one of the greatest bands of all time to many people, their music has absolutely resonated with many listeners. Not knowing anything about the lives of these four men before going in, I'm pleasantly surprised that this story had a lot more to offer than the average biopic. Still, it does follow the tired formula, but that's okay, because it's done quite well here.

Following Nikki Sixx, Vince Neil, Tommy Lee, and Mick Mars as they form an unlikely group of misfits, this band quickly shoots to superstardom, which ultimately leads to a life of sex, drugs, and rock n' roll. This premise has been done to death through the years, so the only thing to truly keep you interested in movies like this is the content itself. From car accidents to overdosing, this is a film that keeps you engaged from start to finish. Sadly, the material presented throughout the majority of the film is quite unlikeable, to say the least.

You can't help but be disgusted by the actions of most of these men, but the music and shocking turn of events is why you watch movies like this, so for that reason, it all blends together quite well. Still, many viewers will be turned off by this film in the first five minutes, guaranteed. If you're in for a wild ride with sometimes disturbing imagery, bordering on pornography or actual footage of heroin overdosing, then I think you'll enjoy the movie for what it is. When watching this film, it became clear to me why this film never hit theatres, but that's not because it was bad by any means.

Although Vince (the lead singer) is played up as the most unlikeable character throughout the majority of the film, Daniel Webber gave a terrific performance. I would love to see his career explode more than it already has, because I believe he has some real dramatic talent, just waiting to be showcased. On top of that, Iran Rheon is the most likeable actor here and Douglas Booth as Nikki Sixx was great as well. Surprisingly, the breakout performance here is actually from Machine Gun Kelly (Colson Baker). I never would have expected that, but his devotion to this character was a joy to watch.

In the end, The Dirt is absolutely defined by its title, because this is a film that showcases the grit and griminess of the rock n' roll underworld. That aspect alone will turn viewers off, but it's a very well-made movie nonetheless. This is by no means one of the better biopics out there, but it's an enjoy film and better than a lot of the content Netflix has been making, in terms of feature films. To fans of Mötley Crue or fans of a good biopic in general, I would recommend checking this one out. It's fairly standard fare with some surprisingly elements throughout.

Happy Death Day 2U
8 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Films that embrace the cheesiness they're clearly full of impresses me quite a bit when they do it well. Happy Death Day 2U is a follow-up to the highly enjoyable Happy Death Day, but if you haven't seen that film or weren't a fan of it, to begin with, I can't recommend this movie to you. Although this movie won't go down as even one of the more solid films of 2019, it works as a great follow-up in terms of storytelling. If you've seen Happy Death Day and are intrigued enough to give this one a watch, here's why you probably won't be disappointed that you did.

Picking up seconds after the first film concludes, we follow a secondary character from the first film, as he discovers that he's living the same day over and over again, always dying at the end. As we learn why that is, the main character in Tree (Jessica Rothe) once again has this passed on to her. Having to discover who her murderer might be and if she may even want to stay in the dimension she's trapped in (yes, this film dives into multiple dimensions), the story progresses very well off the first. I wasn't expecting the sci-fi turn that this story presented, but it worked very well within the context of the movie.

Where this film falls short of the first, is the fact that the repetitive nature of this story begins to wear thin. For the first film, it was the first time this day had been repeated over and over again, with new things happening each time, which kept me interested. While the additions to this story felt fresh this time around, the fact that the sequel repeats the same day that was repeated throughout the first film, kind of lost the flare in my opinion. The beginning and end of this film are very enjoyable aspects, but the second act almost completely lost me, due to the repetitive nature.

As I mentioned, the premise of these films is absolutely ridiculous and certain aspects of these films are downright cringe-worthy, but you can tell the filmmakers are aware of that. Playing pop songs as the day continuously resets itself is a blast to watch, but the true reason to sit through both films is the build-up to Tree's past. Being stuck in an alternate dimension gives her closure to aspects of her life that felt brushed over in the first film, which made this story feel like one long movie when watched back to back. There is care put into this story, even though it's incredibly dumb at times.

In the end, Happy Death Day 2U is a fun continuation to the story that was set up in the first film, but it ultimately becomes very repetitive. I absolutely can't get myself to recommend this movie on its own, but as a companion piece to Happy Death Day, it works very well. As a fan of the first film, I would recommend watching both of these movies. Although annoying at times and dumb in its logic, this is a fun sequel worth visiting at least once.

Triple Frontier
9 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Netflix seems to be the way to go when a big studio doesn't bid on your film for theatrical release, but it is always interesting when watching a film on Netflix that clearly deserved to be seen by a larger audience on the big screen. While the core premise of Triple Frontier isn't all that unique or original, a good film is a good film, regardless of the tired story it's telling. Personally, a good heist story always impresses me, so I was looking forward to this one in general. I'm pleased to say that this is a very, very solid film and here's why it deserves more attention.

Following a group of five retired Special Forces soldiers, Triple Frontier explores how their lives have become boring and that they are all still wishing for the hole that the action in their lives has left them. When confronted with the opportunity to travel to South America to steal millions of dollars from a drug lord, there's hardly any hesitation, as they feel the money could greatly benefit their families and their livelihood in general. Without giving too much away, not much of this story plays out in their favour, which makes for a gripping experience from start to finish.

As aforementioned, I really do believe the formula of this film has been done countless times in the past, but Triple Frontier embraces that and delivers on some very fleshed out characters and a way of telling the overall story that had me on the edge of my seat. From the always great Oscar Isaac as the leading man to the very likeable performance that Ben Affleck always seems to give, to the downright career-altering turns in both Charlie Hunnam and Garrett Hedlund, everyone is giving their all here, and not the least of which is Pedro Pascal, who always seems to receive the short end of the stick when it comes to Hollywood films. His talent far exceeds the limited dialogue he's given here.

Where this film truly shines is in the way it plays out. There are surprises throughout every act and there is one moment in the film that should've been expected, but ended up having my jaw on the floor, due to the fact that I honestly didn't think Triple Frontier was going to be the gutsy film it becomes throughout the third act. Whether being disgusted by the actions of the lead characters or simply just enjoying their banter on the surface of it all, I had a very enjoyable time watching this one.

In the end, Triple Frontier begins as a generic film that re-forms the bond that their friendships once had, but ultimately evolves into a visceral survival flick that takes a couple turns that I wasn't expecting. Although familiar in terms of storytelling, I highly recommend this movie to fans of a good heist flick or those who enjoy any of these actors, because they're all bringing it here. Triple Frontier was a very, very good movie in my eyes and should've been given a theatrical release. It's now streaming on Netflix.

Serenity
Serenity (2019)
27 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

I always love when an original concept makes it to the big screen, but sadly, not every original idea will resonate with every viewer. In the case of Serenity, it seems as though many people have chosen to be detached from it in terms of relatability. I admire when filmmakers go out of their way to create a bizarre world that usually would not work, but goes for it anyways. Unfortunately, Serenity is one of the strangest films I have seen in quite some time and also one that I feel is quite terrible as a whole. Although there was an effort to impress here, it failed on many levels and here is why.

After a burnout fisherman is approached by his ex-wife, his new mission turns into whether or not he is okay with murdering her new husband, due to his violence toward her and their son. That premise alone works as a movie, but that is about as much as I can say without ruining where the film takes a turn. This is where I admire the filmmakers for trying, even though it did not work at all. The twist that this film delivers may work for a handful of people, but I fear that viewers will most likely laugh once the film reveals what it is truly about.

Matthew McConaughey is a fantastic actor and has truly proven his worth throughout the past decade or so. Nominated for numerous awards and appearing in Oscar-nominated films consistently, I always look forward to the next project he chooses to sink his teeth into. While I will not say his performance is fantastic here, he is definitely committed from start to finish. He carries this movie in a dramatic way, but his wacky character feels a little fake at times. He is quite over-the-top here and it almost stood out as a negative to me.

On top of this crazy performance, as I mentioned, the twist this film delivers is one of the best and worst twists I have witnessed in years. There is a sense of humour to it for the viewers, but the movie takes everything so seriously that it really collapsed as a whole. This film would have had a lot of potential if it winked at the audience, but it just asked you to buy into the entire premise as if it were real. This aspect of the film alone is what turned me off. I enjoyed watching this film in a weird way, but that does not mean I actually liked the film.

In the end, Serenity is a great film to watch if you are a film lover and have someone to watch the film with, while having a few drinks. There were times when I had to question how these filmmakers thought certain plot devices were going to work for the majority of moviegoers because it simply feels ridiculous when the true storyline kicks in. Serenity may end up being on my list of films to never watch from 2019, but it certainly is a memorable one, so take from that what you will.

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
29 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

The How to Train Your Dragon films have been some of the best-animated features each year that they have been released. After the first film, I never once could have guessed that a sequel would be anywhere near as good. To my surprise, the second instalment built off the original story and was just as good of a film. I'm also happy to report that this is how one of the best-animated trilogies ever made, in my opinion. It has been quite some time since a trilogy of films has been consistently great from start to finish. If you are a fan of this series in any way, I highly recommend seeking this one out. I doubt you will be disappointed.

Picking up years after the events of the second film, Hiccup is how the chief of Berk, where people have now created a Dragon utopia, where they save and build homes for them. Seeming like the world is at ease, a new threat now looms on the horizon in Grimmel. Threating the lives of every dragon, they must band together and search for the long lost Hidden World of dragons. This story has been told many times throughout the years and the villain himself is quite bland, but that is simply not the point here. The villains have been fairly generic from the very beginning, but I believe that is due to the fact that viewers are supposed to care more about the core characters over anything else.

Once again, the animation is out of this world and I found myself captivated by every frame. Whether it was two characters interacting with a gorgeous backdrop or dragons soaring through the skies with an emotional score to support the visuals, I was blown away by this movie on a technical level. Dreamworks animation is now at the point where they can compete with Disney/Pixar and possibly be even better. We are in fantastic times for animation and I can't see it getting much better than this.

The promotional material has been promoting this film as the final instalment of this trilogy and it definitely feels like that throughout the final moments of this film. Not only does this movie have the best ending out of all three of these movies, but it's honestly one of the best and most satisfying conclusions to a film I have seen in a long time. Having loved the previous two films, this conclusion felt earned and emotional for those who have been invested from the beginning.

In the end, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World is on par with the first two films in terms of how well the story is told. These movies care about their characters and this movie brings the series full circle in the best possible way. If you have been invested like me, it will be very hard to not walk out of this film with a big smile on your face. I loved every minute of my experience watching this movie and I feel it will be a long time before we see another animated series come along that gives the How to Train Your Dragon films a run for their money. This is a fantastic film and a fantastic trilogy overall.