Alice Through The Looking Glass

Alice Through The Looking Glass Poster

There is a lack of wonder in these Wonderland movies.  A couple of talking rabbits does not make Wonderland wonderful, and without Wonderland what is the point of following Alice through the looking glass.  Sure there is a large special effects budget, and the visuals are top notch, but they are empty.  There is nothing behind those ticking clocks and plant monsters.  There is no madness, no fun, and nothing that is really that bizarre about the Wonderland that Alice visits for the third time.

There is a story that is happening in Through The Looking Glass.  It is about time travel, family and all of those other things that we should touch on when we are making a Disney, or family movie.  There is animated humor, and family action.   It does all the thing that it should do, and it does everything just fine.  There is nothing wrong with Alice Through The Looking Glass, there is just nothing really great about it either.  It is a another step in the long history of Alice and the screen.  Where the 2010 version lacked in depth of story it had glimpses of the magical world that I was hoping for.  Through The Looking Glass was supposed to take that magic and grow upon it after having learned that they can make these movies live action and do them well.  Through The Looking Glass did not deliver here and instead feels too glossed over with the boring brush compared to what it could have been.  Elements on time bending, Wonderland possibilities and seeing it in different points in time really meant they could of done a lot, and instead did just enough to get by.

I am not going to say that you should not go see Alice Through The Looking Glass.  The movie is fine for everyone in the family and it is entertaining enough to allow everyone to have a good time watching it.  I just wish there was more to it.

Captain America: Civil War

Civil War Poster

It is hard to believe it is already here.  It is May 6th and there is another Marvel movie out.  It has a lot of characters in it, some new, some that we haven’t seen for a few movies, others absent completely.  Time flies when you are watching summer blockbusters.

I never felt like this movie was going to be bad.  After Ultron, when you see a line up like this some might be a bit worried.  I have had that conversation a few times already.  I didn’t feel like this was going to be the case.  It was such an important moment in Marvel history to mess it up, and the Captain America movies have been pretty solid.  So I am happy to report that they did a great job with Civil War.  Dealing with a lot of story, they managed it very well.   Smaller characters, introductions, reintroductions, Cap and Iron man, it was all handled in a way that was clear, fun, and exciting.  I didn’t feel lost, bored, or that the movie got too lost in what it was trying to do.

The movie still dealt with the Winter Soldier and I liked the story line very much with Bucky and his struggle.  This had to be a subplot to the larger Civil War and I think it fit in very well.   The introductions of Spider-Man, is it 3.0 now, and Black Panther were excellent.  They gave them the right amount of time and just enough to give us something to look forward to in the future.  I was worried I might be hitting peak Marvel but this movie kept me interested and excited for the future.

I also saw this movie in 3-D and noticed the 3-D in it.  Which is a rarity now.  I don’t know if I would go so far as to say it was worth it to go see it in 3-D but I did think to myself, well this looks quite good in 3-D.  So take what you will from that.  I would say this is a full price watch this weekend if you can movie.   So get out there and pick a side.

4 Stars

Keanu Movie Review

Keanu Movie Review Poster

First I must disclose something before I write this review.  I received a package from the marketing group for Keanu.  I received a plush Keanu kitty and a calendar with all the photos of Keanu in the various movie poses that are part of the story.   Here is an example of one of the pictures from the calendar.  If you want to see all of them, they are in the movie…so if you want to see them you better get to the theater.

Keanu as Mad Max Furry Road

 

These pictures are awesome and I think well worth the price of admission themselves.

Some of you might not be into kitty movie call backs and really want to know if this movie is any good and if you should plop down your hard earned cash.  The trailer doesn’t sell it very well and you are worried I get it.  Even though the photo above should be enough for everyone.

Keanu is a semi fun movie that doesn’t live up to its full potential.  It is funny, I had a good time watching it and I felt like they could of done so much more.  Keanu feels like the type of movie that will be played on Comedy Central every Sunday for the next 10 years.  Like Harold and Kumar.  It was solid and isn’t bad in any way.  It just wasn’t amazing either and that is what we all wanted.  Something amazing with Key and Peele and a kitten.  I felt like the cat was under utilized, they could of done so much more with him.  While the movie is funny, it just doesn’t have the punch of getting off the network TV leash and having a rated R movie to do a lot more with.

I want to convey that I did have a lot of fun watching this movie and felt like it is worth seeing even in the theater, it just wasn’t the comedy home run I wish it was.

3 Stars for Keanu

Batman v. Superman: Dawn Of Justice Review

Batman v Superman Poster

Here is the math.  2 and half hours, Batman, Superman, Lois Lane, Wonder Woman, Lex Luthor, another bad guy, and some other Justice League stuff.  There has to be a large fight at least that takes up some time.  So you can figure out that there is a lot of stuff going on in this movie and even at two and a half hours there is not enough time to get to it all.

Batman is confused, Superman is confused, they are confusing us.  The first half of this movie there was just too much to get to, and it just did not work.  Affleck’s Bruce Wayne was too aloof at some times and way too angry at other times.  His motivations for everything he did, did not seem to fit what batman is about at all.  Superman was actually exactly correct to me.  Silent, confused, and attempting to fight the good fight.  Then they added in all the other things, a horrible Lex Luthor who is more crazy than genius, which doesn’t work.  He was more like the Joker than the central focus of the world’s criminal and technological organizations.  Justice League stuff, which was provided very little information that it could of been left out and made the movie actually better.  After the first half of the movie and they got all of this stuff out of the way, the movie actually picks up and starts delivering.

Diana Prince shows up and is the best part of the movie.  From here on out the Batman V Superman starts to work.  They got all the attempted story out of the way and started delivering punches, a more linear story, and a resolution.   It all ends up with a feeling that you did watch a mostly good movie, but upon reflection there are a lot of things wrong with Batman v. Superman.  So many so that I would even say you could rent this movie if you don’t love DC.

Writing this now I can say I did have fun watching Batman V. Superman.  If I had paid 20 bucks to see it however I might be a little bit more upset about it.

3 Stars Batman V. Superman

10 Cloverfield Lane

10 Cloverfield Lane Poster

So up until a month ago almost no one knew that this movie even existed.  Going along with the original Cloverfield theme of viral marketing, secrecy, and misdirection, 10 Cloverfield Lane comes out tomorrow.  No one knowing what it is about, or will we be seeing more for the world famous monster from the sea.  All we know is John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and John Gallagher Jr. are in it, and there is a bunker.  That is about all we know.

Well I saw it last night and this is what I will say about it.   When the first Cloverfield came out there were so many questions.  J.J Abrams replied with, we only know what the people on the ground are seeing.  We know only what they know.  10 Cloverfield Lane is the same in this regard.  We only know what those in the movie experience, and it is genius.  While the first Cloverfield was a wonderful explosion of viral marketing and small details and shots that do not show us enough to answer questions and make us want more.  10 Cloverfield Lane perfected it.  This is a very well put together movie that keeps you wondering what exactly is happening right until the end.

Let me say however this is a very scary movie.  It is not fun horror like Cloverfield, or even action thriller.  This movie is very chilling, is more a psychological thriller than any other type of movie and it is will cause you to jump and stop breathing, so be warned.  This movie is carried by John Goodman and Mary Elizabeth Winstead who are amazing.  They really made this movie, without their stellar acting this movie would of not been as good as it was.  I left the movie smiling and in shock.  It was such an amazing, scary experience.

I am giving this movie 5 stars, but that does not mean I think you should go see it directly in the theater.  If you can not handle horror that feels real, like it could happen to you, then this movie is probably not for you.  It is one of the scariest movies I have seen in a long time so be warned.  If that sounds good to you, go see it tonight if you can, you want to talk about this movie with your friends as soon as you can.

5 Stars for 10 Cloverfield Lane

Risen

Risen Poster

Having seen very little about Risen before going to see the movie I am not sure of what this movie was supposed to be.  The trailer I watched implied a missing Jesus body, and the hunt by those who do not believe to find him.   I had gathered from this, that this was going to be a secular movie, with hints of Jesus, and his miracles.  Instead it was pretty much a third person viewing of his miracles and left no mystery at all.

Maybe mystery is not the intent of these movies.  We already have the mystery in the texts themselves, why do we need to make it more questionable in the movies we watch about Jesus.   The Ten Commandments sure did not shroud it’s godly plagues from the viewers, nor the parting of the Red Sea.   However with The Ten Commandments, those were spectacular special effects that were the most cutting edge of the time.  The one’s in Risen are not spectacular at all with flashes of light and fadings.   So we must review this movie as it was presented to us.   A telling of Jesus’ death, rise from death, and ascent into heaven.

As a movie that tells this story it is slow, without peril or conflict, and is too known to be exciting or unexpected.  The problem with the greatest story ever told is that it has been told a lot.  How many ways can we crucify Jesus, or see his tomb, or see him rise, or see how sweet his hair looks.  In Risen his hair is amazing.  The acting is fine, and the sets are fine, and it is all just fine.  A slow retelling that will not change your heart, your mind, or really make you see this in a different way than you already do.

2 Stars for Risen

13 Hours The Secret Soldiers Of Bengazi

13 hours psoter

These movies that are based on true stories.  I always wonder how much is real.  How accurate do you think they are?  I don’t mean in the small details, those can be swayed whichever way the director decides.  The big details though, the timeline, the intensity.  How close to reality were those things?  Because in 13 hours, to think that any of this was real, is absolutely insane.

I looked over Michael Bay’s director list.  I would say Bad Boys was his best movie prior to this 13 hours.   This movie blows anything else he has done out of the water.  Character development that feels real.  A level of intensity that doesn’t feel like a joke or comical.  A script that is based in that Michael Bay kept in reality and it delivers that reality in stunning, scary clarity.   I felt afraid for these people, I felt like I was seeing something no one was supposed to see and I was hooked into it.

This is a hero movie, and it is done in a perfectly quiet and respectful way.  It doesn’t shove America down your throat or pick a political side.  It feels like it shows actually what happened.  The acting by everyone involved help prop up this great movie.  This was one of those movies where everyone understood what the goal of this movie was and everyone that was a part of it delivered their portion to make that goal a reality.  13 Hours is a great movie and I would highly recommend it to anyone to go see this weekend.  This recommendation has been a long time coming for Michael Bay.

4 Stars for 13 Hours




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