Talk about a movie that started out as completely awesome, and not being able to hold on. The Lego Movie that came out three years ago worked extremely well because it appealed to both kids and adults. Kids were able to enjoy the bright colors, the action and some of the comedy while there were lots of jokes that adults could enjoy too. That was the tone throughout the entire film. The Lego Batman Movie, however, feels like it was split into two separate films. The first half was made for Batman fans. Not just any Batman fan, the ones who grew up on the Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer and George Clooney days of Batman. References here and there and all with great jokes. Then when the movie got going, you could tell that the writers were making this film for children. It was still enjoyable sure, but I just wish that the level of comedy was consistent throughout the entire film. Not having the first half made for the old school Batman fans and the second half just made for any kid under the age of 9. The messages seemed extremely forced and ultimately, it failed to keep me on the same level of interest as it did from the beginning. It started to lose me along the way. Overall, this is a great Batman film to show kids. I call it a "bridge-the-gap" movie. For kids that may not be old enough to watch a Batman movie with a Jack Nicholson Joker or a Heath Ledger Joker, Zach Galifianakis's Joker is a nice alternative for younger eyes. I believe that if I had a son, this would be a great film to take him to because he could enjoy it and I could introduce him to the world of Batman in a kid-friendly way. By this review, it may seem like I didn't this movie. I do, it's just not 91% good. Maybe a 75% good.
Hello, "R" Rating. This is not the X-Men movie you are used to. Cartoony violence has been replaced with bloody, graphic violence and the standard PG-13 superhero dialogue has been replaced with F-Bombs left, right and center. At first, the excessive swearing felt extremely forced. Every second word out of Wolverine's mouth was F this and F that. Not to mention that Charles Xavier even dropped some F-Bombs. It seemed like the writers were like, "Yes! We have an R rating now! Let's see how many F-Bombs we can shove into this thing!" Thankfully, over the course of the movie, the swearing seemed more natural. I should also note that this movie is depressing. Good god, this movie is sad. The premise is that all your favourite X-Men are dead and arguably the two main members of the X-Men are old and dying. Depressing as it is, it did raise the stakes significantly. Wolverine isn't this indestructible wrecking force anymore. He is weak, slow, and old which, by default, makes the opposition just that much stronger. Speaking of the antagonists, this movie started off with a pretty good one. Boyd Holbrook plays the evil Pierce. This guy would have been a great villain until they pull the "Oh... he's just working for someone else. He's just the muscle." card. Not to mention that when we meet who he is actually working for, he is boring. So the antagonists are kind of weak in terms of character. That's the only real fault I can think of in this movie, other than it is much slower than any of the other X-Men movies. What makes this movie work and stand above the rest is the over-the-top action and the addition of Dafne Keen as the little Laura (or as I like to call her Wolverine Junior). It's really menacing when a 10-year-old girl can take down an entire S.W.A.T. team and not say a single word. Not only can she play a great bad-ass, but she captures the sweet curious innocence of a mutant that is so lost in the world and her only hope of survival is Logan and Charles Xavier. The kid knocks it out of the park. She reminds me of the boy from The Shining. Their acting completely from just their facial expressions and their gaze. Overall, I'd say this is the Dark Knight of the X-Men franchise. More gritty, more dark, more, drama, more real. Get your tissues ready cause this is an emotional one and this is a great X-Men movie!
This is another film that takes the, "simple, yet effective approach." The story is a classic cat and mouse chase through various towns in Texas. Bank Robbers vs. the Sheriff and the Law. I've seen this before and in lots of movies, a storyline like this would be boring. Fortunately, Hell Or High Water has a tight script with some great dialogue and a great cast. All the performances are suburb and all the actors have charisma! Chris Pine does a good job, but the two roles that are Oscar worthy are Ben Foster and Jeff Bridges. I know Jeff Bridges is up for an academy award this year, except I believe Ben Foster should have been in the same category. Ben Foster has come a long way from being the shy, dorky kid from Get Over It back in 2001. He plays the washed up, red neck, bank robber so well. I also love the world that this movie is set in. It feels so much like a classic western, except Texas'a Wild West is full of Dodge Ram Trucks, machine guns and technology. What this film also does well, which reminded me of a Tarantino movie, is that the writers really have an eye for how people in this setting talk. All the little quips from various townsfolk are great and fit the world perfectly. There is a great scene where Jeff Bridges and his partner try to order some food and the waitress comes up and asks, "Well, what DON'T you want?" Nothing to do with the rest of the movie, but just a nice world building moment. Another note worthy thing is the action. There isn't much of it, but when it goes down, it goes down! It reminded me a lot of the missions out in the desert of GTA V. Definitely has a Grand Theft Auto vibe to it. Now, I can officially say that there are two movies I'd would rather see win Best Picture other than La La Land. Nothing against La La Land, just saying that Hell Or High Water is a damn good movie!
This was the very first Batman movie I ever saw. I remember buying it at a garage sale for like 10 cents on VHS when I was about 10 or 11. I watched it and remember liking it, but I never really grew up with Batman. Spider-man was my superhero growing up. I didn't watch a single Batman film until The Dark Knight Rises in 2012. Now I consider myself a fan, but I wanted to revisit the film that technically started my interest in the character and all these years later, I still enjoy it. However, this is a very different take on Batman from either the Christopher Nolan films or even the previous Tim Burton films. Right off the bat, the first line of dialogue in this movie is a corny joke about the Batmobile going through a Drive-Thru. Add on top of that Nicole Kidman's forward approach to try to sleep with Batman, Tommy Lee Jones's over the top performance as Two-Face and that security guard in the opening heist screaming "Oooooohhhhh NOOOOO!!! HELP ME BATMAN!!!" and Jim Carrey's Riddler, this is an extremely over-the-top cartoon come to life. Not too mention that Robin is in this movie too. However, with all this over-the-top goofiness and silliness, this film also handles some of its serious moments rather well. It dives more into Bruce Wayne's past, the origin to Robin becoming Batman's partner is rather dark and tragic, and the serious talk about ethics and why Bruce Wayne chooses to be Batman between Val Kilmer and Nicole Kidman are actually pretty well done. So yes, there are some silly moments and over-the-top characters and plotlines, but I believe it actually does have a nice balance. Val Kilmer as Batman is actually not a bad choice, however, Michael Keaton played him better, in my opinion. So if you like Batman, and you like schlock, then you know what, this film really isn't as bad as the Rotten Tomatoes meter would have you believe. However, I'm a little scared to watch Batman and Robin. I might just have to stick with that entry being the one that I never see. Batman Forever gets a thumbs up from me. Not as good as the two Tim Burton films, but an enjoyable film nonetheless.
I am a recent fan of Prince. I heard the song Purple Rain for the first time after Prince's passing in early 2016. I fell in love with the song. I bought the vinyl record and have loved it ever since. After Bruno Mars's great Prince tribute at the Grammys this year, I decided to give Prince's Purple Rain film a shot. Not going to lie, I was pretty disappointed. When Prince is on stage performing, it's great and watching the Purple Rain performance was magical. Such a great song. However, this isn't simply watching Prince in concert, there is a story here. Unfortunately, the story is fairly basic and kind of boring. I've definitely seen the "struggling artist from an abusive home" storyline before with the artist becoming his own worst enemy and all the typical things that come with a story like this. I have no problem with simple stories if they are told well, but it's hard to enjoy this story when it is bogged down by terrible acting. Prince himself is actually not that bad, but all his supporting cast cannot give a convincing performance to save their lives. His manager is so bad it's hilarious so I'll give him a pass, but his girlfriend, his father, bandmates, forget about it. They do nothing to save this movie which for the most part, is just pretty boring. Sidenote, I love 80's music, but this movie really shows off the crazy side of the decade. Overall, I cannot recommend this movie unless you are the biggest Prince fan in the world. Even still, I'd say just stick with music videos.