Brian L.'s Movie Ratings - Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Ratings and Reviews

Smurfs: The Lost Village

A bland, semi-funny re-imagining of the 80's cartoon. Predictable, pedantic, and missing anything to allow adults to enjoy it. State of the art animation, is about all I can say. (yeah really not much of a review, because it wasn't much of a movie)

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Wonderful romp. More special effects than plot, but the characters are fleshed out in such a way to make it totally worth the watch. Awkward main characters are tough to write and direct and to make them worth watching without making them comical. This movie managed to do this well. It is a good addition to the Potter world, and I hope they explore this time period, and the other schools of magic

Hidden Figures

What can I say about this movie that has not already been said. It is great, it is uplifting. It makes clear the mistakes of our past and today. It shows that any human being can be extraordinary, and we are fools not to see it. We need to look past color, gender, or any other label, and see the mind and heart beneath. When we do this, we can literally reach the moon.

The Lego Batman Movie

So this was more than a little predictable but the homage to all the other Batman shows, and I mean ALL the others, is well worth the viewing. If you are a fan in any way of Batman, this is a version unlike any you have seen. It is funny, sarcastic, reverent, irreverent and above all fun to watch. It is fast paced good for kids, and leaves you with a pretty good message.


What an excellent telling of a story that is an alternative future for the current wolverine (who is actually currently dead). This isn't a super hero show, and that is fine. The characters have powers yes, but that is treated as an appropriate plot device. There is a lot of story to tell with layered compelling characters that are struggling to go from point A to point B, and hoping to survive the trip.

Well told, well executed, story. Painful ending as most final chapters can
be, and very worth watching.

John Wick: Chapter 2

This time around in John Wick Chapter 2, they pulled him back in, because he was no longer retired right? He fought it, and paid a price. So then he decides it is time to fulfill his promise. At this point your are thrust into a rich, deep, and many layered world.
The world in which the massive amount of violence takes place is brilliantly painted. You feel the rules, you feel the fact there are more players than you know. The hidden society of assassins has rules, structures and it's brilliantly rendered.
Yes the action in this movie is awe inspiring, but the background, the trappings, the characters, are all of the highest quality.
If you enjoy hyper action and large body counts this movie has it, but it also has a rich and well done story in a well crafted world.
I really liked this movie, and it looks like there will be a third, I hope.

Saban's Power Rangers

I liked this movie. Yes it had a hokey premise, but it was fun. This is basically taking a low budget teen show, and growing it up into a hollywood epic, while being faithful to the source material. The acting was well done, and over top, because that was what the show was like, and the bad guy was over the top because that is what a Power Rangers villian is supposed to be. The new look for the Rangers was excellent, and I thought the Rangers themselves were really well done.

However if you watched the tv show and thought it was stupid, then chances are you won't like this movie. Even though it really had a lot to offer. I also think that this is one of those movies that if no one had ever heard of the Power Rangers before, most likely would have started a new craze. I liked this movie.

Ghost in the Shell

Movie review Time!!! Ghost in the Shell. So before I start I think it important to clarify that I am a huge fan boy of GitS. I watched the original in the theater and was hooked right away.

This show is very well done. True fans are thrown off immediately by the fact the Major's name isn't right, and Batou's eyes aren't right, but when Hollywood gets hold of a movie, well anything can happen. OK this I can let go.

The backdrop for this movie is set in a very real possibility of a future. Cybernetics everywhere. Enhancement just for fun. Some people are becoming significantly more machine than human. And that's OK. In the movie this is done so incredibly well. Super high tech layered onto super high tech skyscrapers and crumbling ruins. The ease of access to technology means it is everywhere. The setting gives a very GitS feel to it, as well as beautiful eye candy that has always been part of Anime.

The story line is almost straight out of the movies and tv series. They keep the complex interaction of the characters and the ongoing data accumulation of the crack intelligence and strike team that is Section 9 the team the Major is the field commander for, but wait, she clearly isn't the field commander, ok this one bugs me. The story is clearly on the rails, but the character is not.

The Major in the movie is broken. She is apparently newly in her complete cyber body. A first, and she is seen by her manufactures HANKA corp. as nothing more than a weapon. She is spending an insane amount of time focusing on herself. This is SO not the Major I've come to know and admire.

Several story lines moving forward again very typical of the Anime and the Manga. A skilled and intelligent bad guy killing people for some unknown reason. This is good GitS stuff. Fast paced acquire new data and then into action. They even have the complete team, and for some reason felt the need to add some new members not in the Anime. A curious and odd choice I didn't quite get at the time, but in typical GitS style there is a reason for everything.

Then the reveals, and Oh they are great reveals. The characters all kick butt. They are smart, and act that way. Not to spoil anything but the confusion on my part is because they started the story BEFORE the movie or the manga. It is essentially a rework of an origin story that was never really told.

In the End the Major has her real name, Batou has his eyes, and more importantly her character is exactly the character I expected all along. Well done, well done.

So now I want to touch on something that has upset me since Scarlett was announced to be playing the role of the Major. A lot of people have gotten angry about "white" washing the GitS show. Clearly the people that are angry about this HAVE NEVER WATCHED THE SHOW. They say replacing an Asian character with an Anglo character was wrong. Well it would have been if in the manga or the anime she looked Asian. She does not. In FACT only ONE of the cast of this show looked Asian. The movie has several cast members that are Asian, one of which only speaks Japanese during the movie. More I might add than are in the actual Anime. The point is the Major is a complete cybernetic body. It can look like anything she wants. So it was drawn that way in the manga, it was drawn that way in the Anime, and it was done that way in the movie. There is no white washing here. Just a well done movie that shows a deep respect for its source material and tried, successfully, to show the story from a new perspective.

I loved this movie.

Man of Steel
Man of Steel(2013)

Just saw Man of Steel. Most of you know how much I love movies. I get criticized all the time for liking movies everyone else hates. Well this movie is probably going to change that.


I like the idea of changing a story, bringing it up to date, and yes I agree the Superman mythos has gotten dated. They changed too much. They broke the rules. They thought of Superman as nothing more than a super powered alien. This is not Superman, this is not a movie that should be called Superman. It is not clever, it is not good entertainment. It is a basically a 2 hour long super power fight scene. Superman has always been a comment on our times. A person that, though he had super powers, was as good, kind, confidant, and noble as the best of humanity. That is NOT the character of this Superman. I have rarely been so disappointed in a movie, especially one that I had pretty much no expectations. Sad thing is it will almost certainly be a blockbuster and they will make more, and it will make

Rock of Ages
Rock of Ages(2012)

What an amazing journey. So many references and jokes that only children of the 80's would understand, told in near rock opera format. Every actor putting in first class comedic and singing performances. More laughs per minute than any movie I have ever seen.

John Carter
John Carter(2012)

I enjoyed the movie and their take on the appearance of the books. I thought the John Carter did a good job, as well as the very transparent CGI actors looking completely real. The calot Wolla being exceptional. Dejah Thoris was a little flat but still worth watching. All in all a very entertaining show.

The Muppets
The Muppets(2011)

They were great when I was a kid, they were great today. Thank you Jason Segal for writing a brilliant, silly, funny, and very sentimental walk down memory lane and a good vehicle to bring them back. The Muppet's are still as awesome as they always were.

Sucker Punch
Sucker Punch(2011)

Visually stunning, show is captivating, plot is simplistic, and most people guess what is going to happen. I enjoyed it, but would not call it a great movie.

The Sorcerer's Apprentice

I loved this movie. Admittedly it was sometimes predictable, and not all the dialog was as entertaining as it could have been. However the magic fight scenes were brilliant, the use of magic was clever, and the characters were believable. The love stories were both wonderful and well rounded and more importantly believable. Often we see love stories that don't fit into an action or fantasy story, but these did and did well. I had fun with this movie.

How to Train Your Dragon

This movie is so much fun, and so touching, and so powerful. It made me feel like I was flying. The only thing that made me sad about this movie is that it ended. Rarely do I hope for a sequel in a movie but this one deserves it so much more than others. Great characters, great story, great images, great movie!

The Wolfman
The Wolfman(2010)

This movie is a fantastic homage to the first wolfman. The wolfman appearance is classic, and the lethality of the creature is well done. The special effects go to the gory and are not for the faint of heart. Like there are any like that these days. Anthony Hopkins has a difficult time since his character is based around a single line "I'm quite dead you see." and he acts that way. Cold and embracing darkness. While Del Torro is fantastic. This is not a suspense movie it is classic monster fiction, and I loved it.