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Tag: Film Review

MOVIE REVIEW: The Gentlemen

3.5/5 A brutal crime movie with an interesting, twisting plot

Vitals

Source: YouTube.com. © 2019 STX Financing, LLC. Used under fair use trademark law.

Release Date: 24 January 2020 (USA)
Studio: Mirimax/STX
Director: Guy Ritchie
Writer: Guy Ritchie
Official Site: https://www.thegentlemen.movie/
Rating: R
Running Time: 1h 53min
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Charlie Hunnam
Genre: Action, Crime
Base Score: 3.5 (Decent)

Review

I don’t much like crime movies. There’s just too much realistic violence now-a-days. Maybe I would like an old black-and-white crime film with loud bangs and over-acting. Now there’s just too much fake blood and language.

We live in a world where real crimes actually happen. We watch a film that contains content from last night’s news broadcast. I also don’t watch the news. Just ick.

But I’m a bit off track. Suffice it to say that I went into this film with reduced expectations. That is reflected in the base score. If you’re a fan of crime film, you can just give yourself a bonus .5 points. Are we all playing at home?

This movie has a gigantic star-studded cast. It’s like anybody who was anybody in Hollywood piled on. It was a modern-day Godfather (as far as casting). There were a lot of A-list stars. Above, I only listed two “stars,” but there were many here. Hugh Grant isn’t aging very well.

The plot twisted around. I figured it out by the end, but only slightly ahead of our protagonist (Charlie Hunnam). I consider him the main character of the movie, and not Matthew McConaughey, but it’s close.

I would have given it a better score if it was a little cleaner. The language and violence is rough. If this ever comes to TV with a clean version, definitely check it out!

Modifiers

Is it worth 3D, IMAX, or any other special viewing? If you like crime/action movies, check it out on the big screen. It will make the POWS! more intense.
Would I see it again? No, I saw it once. I know what happens. I’m good.
Should I rent it? Buy it? If you like crime/action movies, see it on the big screen. Otherwise, wait for video. No need to buy it. This is a one-and-done affair (it wouldn’t be the end of the world if you skipped it entirely).
Is it family safe? No, it is not. Think of The Sopranos. It is gritty and realistic. It’s not pretty. There is no nudity, but a bit of sexual suggestion. Language is rough, and the violence is heavy. I’ve seen and heard worse on screen, but it’s up there.
Did it have “the look?” No, it wasn’t a period piece. It was set in the UK, so it was unique, but it seemed like modern times.
Did it have “the feels?” It had a couple “huh!” moments as the plot unwound, but nothing triumphant here.

Source: IMDB.com. © 2019 STX Financing, LLC. Used under fair use trademark law.

Matt loves movies. He sees a lot of them. When he sees a movie, you will see a review here. Expect at least one a week. Don’t miss a review! Sign up for my once-a-month newsletter over on mwccabe.com.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Just Mercy

Vitals:

Source: YouTube.com. Copyright 2020 Warner Brothers Entertainment. Used under fair use trademark law.

Release Date: 10 January 2020 (USA)
Studio: Warner Bros.
Official Site: https://www.justmercyfilm.com/
Director: Destin Daniel Cretton
Writers: Destin Daniel Cretton & Andrew Lanham
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 2h 17min
Starring: Brie Larson, Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx
Genre: Drama
Base Score: 4/5

Source: Official Site. Copyright 2020 Warner Brothers Entertainment. Used under fair use trademark law.

Review:

I love seeing dramas starring comedians. These guys really know how to act. They are experts in not only showing emotion but making you show emotion. Their job is to make you laugh. They are experts at playing an audience.

Think of all of Robin William’s dramatic roles. People thought he was a one-hit wonder until he started making serious, heart-felt dramas.

The actors here don’t disappoint.

Michael B. Jordon is authentic and full of hope. He keeps his dignity in an undignified system. Brie Larson is honest, friendly, and real. Jamie Foxx is resolute in his situation. He is wrongly accused, but he accepts his fate. They are all good examples of how a good Christian person should act.

I came into this movie expecting to enjoy it, but I became incredibly invested in the outcome of the story. There were also some real stakes. Since it is based on a true story, you didn’t know which way it would go. Life isn’t fair sometimes. Would it be the same here?

Source: Official Site. Copyright 2020 Warner Brothers Entertainment. Used under fair use trademark law.

It makes you angry to see how African American people have been treated in the south, even a few years ago. This was in the 90’s. With the recent #BlackLivesMatter campaign, it makes you wonder if we still have this kind of injustice in America. In seeing the way we are treating the poor, I fear it might still be the same way now.

But the movie was good. It was emotional. It made you feel the full range of emotions. At least, it did me. You might be dead inside.

How I Score Movies

Modifiers

Is it worth 3D, IMAX, or any other special viewing? There weren’t a ton a special effects, if any. A regular-size screen is fine.
Would I see it again? (+.5) Yes, I would see it again. It was a good, emotional film.
Should I rent it? Buy it? If somebody hasn’t seen it, give it a rental on Redbox when it comes out.
Is it family safe? (+.5) There might have been some language, but it wasn’t overpowering. Nothing else was objectionable (except for the way blacks were being treated).
Did it have “the look?” It was very cool to see people dressed like the 90’s. It reminded me of being in high school. It had a look, but not the look, if you know what I mean. They did a good job of recreating the 90’s, but it wasn’t over-stylized.
Did it have “the feels?” It was emotional, but it never had that super-emotional “oomph” to get bonus points.


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Source: IMDB.com. Copyright 2020 Warner Brothers Entertainment. Used under fair use trademark law.

MOVIE REVIEW: Bad Boys for Life

Vitals

Release Date: 17 January 2020 (USA)
Studio: Sony Pictures
Official Site: https://www.badboysforlife.movie/
Directors: Adil El Arbi, Bilall Fallah
Writers: Chris Bremner, Peter Craig
Rating: R
Running Time: 2h 4min
Starring: Will Smith, Alexander Ludwig, Vanessa Hudgens
Genre: Action, Comedy, Buddy Cop
Base Score: 3.5 (All Right)

Review

“Bad Boys” is the theme of the television series, Cops. Way back in 1995, the original “Bad Boys” movie was cool. They were two cops. Cool. They were also “Bad Boys”. Cool. That was the era when buddy cops colored a little bit outside the line. You couldn’t throw a stick in the 80’s and 90’s without hitting a few “bad boy” cops.

That was before the comedy “Hot Fuzz” with Simon Pegg kind of broke all of the stereotypes of the “buddy cop” movie. In an age of sensitivity, we kinda want our cops to follow the rules. Will Smith is getting older. So is the “tough cop” motif.

We know that cars don’t randomly blow up when they crash or get shot up. We know that when people don’t follow the rules, people get fired. We know that when police don’t follow orders, court cases get thrown out and perps are back on the streets.

All of these things are now a distraction when you see them on the big screen. They pull me out of the story as I say, “Really?”

And then there’s the really confusing bit. They sing the “Bad Boys” song in the movie. So… does that mean that this universe also has the show “Cops?” That’s what everybody knows it from, right? When the first “Bad Boys” movie came out, it was kind of a nudge-nudge kind of thing. Here were two cops that were also bad boys. Now they’re singing it? Were they also known as bad boys? Did they just think it was a catchy song? If that were the case, they could have picked a different song.

It’s just confusing, which also pulled me out of the film.

It’s an action movie in the vein of all buddy cops movies from the 80’s and 90’s… just 30 years later. If you like that sort of thing.

On a very personal note, I was disappointed that the Martin Lawrence character and his promise to God. No spoilers, though. I didn’t like the way the whole movie handled God and morality. But that is personal. Other Christians might pick it up, as well.

Modifiers

Is it worth 3D, IMAX, or any other special viewing? A lot of stuff blows up and there’s a lot of explosions. That might be fun to see on a bigger screen. Maybe.
Would I see it again? Nah.
Should I rent it? Buy it? Feel free and skip for six months or so. Rent it on Redbox. It would be an entertaining popcorn night.
Is it family safe? The language is rough. They are trying to be “bad boys” and they talk like it. The language feels a bit forced. I don’t wanna be a Steve Rogers, or anything. No sex is shown. It is just mentioned. Women dress provocatively.
Did it have “the look?” It was definitely pretty, but that’s just because it was shot in Miami, not because the filmmakers did anything besides choose the location. They could have picked any beautiful place in the world. No bonus.
Did it have “the feels?” Nope. It was just an action buddy cop movie.

MOVIE REVIEW: 1917

Score

4: Pretty Good

Summary

Interesting gimmick, but just another war movie

Vitals

Release Date: 10 January 2020 (USA)
Studio: Universal
Official Site:
https://www.1917.movie/
Director: Sam Mendes
Writers: Sam Mendes & Krysty Wilson-Cairns
Rating: R
Running Time: 1h 59min
Starring: Dean-Charles Chapman, George MacKay, Daniel Mays
Genre: War Drama
Base Score: 3.5 (meh)

Review

I’m not a huge fan of war movies. That’s my dad. War just seems like a horrible waste to me. The more realistic it is, the more it’s just… sad. Yeah, WW1 was horrible. Yes, those men sacrificed a lot. I’m not saying that. I’m saying that the world would be a better place if those men were still in it.

That’s all I’m saying.

I was going to pass on this movie altogether until I saw the gimmick. This entire movie was shot using one take. I know enough about filmmaking to know that this would be a huge undertaking. I had to see them pull it off.

And… they pulled it off. I saw a couple points in the movie where they could have made some creative cuts, but if they said it was all one take, I believe them. Somebody wise said, “Never Google an interesting fact.”

It was a technical achievement, for sure. My favorite was when one character is mortally wounded off-screen. As he dies, his face is visibly pale. In order to pull that off, makeup artists would have had to rush in while the camera was panned away. Really good job, filmmakers!

But then, about halfway through, you forgot about the amazing feat they were pulling off. The gimmick faded away and it was just a gritty, realistic war movie. I don’t much care for gritty, realistic war movies. I don’t care how good your giggles are.

I was interested, but it was still very, very sad. War is pointless.

Modifiers

Is it worth 3D, IMAX, or any other special viewing? If I were filthy rich or a fan of war movies, I might spring for a special screen. It would magnify the intensity of the one-shot gimmick. How did they do that?

Would I see it again? I might see it if somebody else wanted to. I would be focusing on the technical aspect of the filming. I wouldn’t see it again because I wanted to see another war movie.

Should I rent it? Buy it? See it once on the big screen. If you are a big fan of war movies (here’s one for you, Dad), I would buy a copy. That way you can show it to other war-fans and marvel at the technical achievement.

Is it family safe? Besides being realistic war violence, the movie is pretty tame. If you are OK letting your kids see war, you will be OK here. There is some adult language (they’re soldiers), but it’s not “rapper heavy.” I wouldn’t exactly call it “family safe” but it’s not “family unsafe.” Can we call it a “family meh?”

Did it have “the look?” (+.5) Super technical achievement. I hope it wins all the awards.

Did it have “the feels?” It was just sad. War is sad. Somewhere a panda is crying.

MOVIE REVIEW: Like a Boss

Score

2.5: Pretty Bad

Summary

A not-funny comedy. Skip it.

Vitals

Release Date: 10 January 2020
Studio: Paramount
Official Site:
http://likeabossmovie.com/
Director: Miguel Arteta
Writers: Sam Pitman, Adam Cole-Kelly
Rating: R
Running Time: 1h 23min
Starring: Salma Hayek, Rose Byrne, Tiffany Haddish
Genre: Comedy

Review

 Base Score: 2 (pretty bad)

I didn’t go into this movie with high expectations. It didn’t disappoint (because I was expecting it to be bad. It wasn’t bad as much as not good. I would have given it a base score of 3 (meh) but the movie had some actual problems.

I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me start over.

Come see this movie and you could win a trip to Atlanta! Huh? First off, why are you trying to bribe me to see this movie? Is it that bad? Secondly… Atlanta? Is every other city bombed out? Did California and New York get consumed by fire? I don’t watch the news, so I’m not up-to-date on our Trumptastic Nation. Let me go check. Nope. They’re both still there. So let me go back to my second question.

Atlanta?

All right. I’ve done some research (on the Googles) and it looks like they are doing another promotion with a free trip to New York. Ok, ok. I retreat to my first question: “Why are you trying to bribe me to see this movie with a free trip?” And now there’s another question. Why did my area get tempted with a free trip to Atlanta and not New York? Was Disneyland even on the table? Maybe some place in Death Valley?

Ok, so you might have figured it out from review so far. I’d much rather talk about something other than the movie. That’s just how good it was.

Let’s dive right into the problems with the movie. Let’s look at the things that make you go, “Hmmmm.”

Two friends start a company. They have a half-million dollars in debt. They are in danger of closing. An investor wants to bail them out, and they ask for 51% of the company. That seems like a classic “Shark Tank” kind of move. You messed up your finances. You’re being offered a second chance. Why is this businesswoman (Selma Hayek) being portrayed as a less-than-nice person?

She backs down to 49%, on the grounds that the friends stay together. If they have a falling out, she get 51% again. So you know what is going to happen next. And we know the motivation of our angel investor.

I won’t spoil any of the rest of it, but that’s not the only time I cocked my head to the side. I said under my breath, “Yes, that’s how business works.”

The movie was also needlessly sexualized. Were they trying to be “cool” or “gritty?” The jokes certainly weren’t funny, sexual or not. That’s not entirely fair. I chuckled twice. The other guy in the theater chuckled four times. The two women in the theater did not laugh any times, that I heard. For those of you counting, the movie was attended by four of us.

Modifiers

Is it worth 3D, IMAX, or any other special viewing? Please don’t waste your money on a special screening. I don’t even think it’s available in 3D.

Would I see it again? No. I saw it. I’ll never see it again. If somebody recommends it, I will tell them it wasn’t worth it. (-.5)

Should I rent it? Buy it? No need to rent it. Wait a couple years for the “edited for TV” version to be played. Play it in the background while you are having another conversation. It will make good background noise.

Is it family safe? No, not even close. No nudity, but sexual talk and situations. Mild drug use. It wasn’t pornographic, but it wasn’t appropriate.

Did it have “the look?” No, it was just a standard comedy.

Did it have “the feels?” I had a tingle that might have turned into excitement. Then… no… maybe it was gas.