Vacation

Vacation Poster

I feel like I grew up on the original National Lampoon’s Vacation, and to some extent European Vacation as well.  Not just watching the movies, but they seemed like they were about my life.  We did road trips to amusement parks all the time, and I just felt like I had a connection to these movies.  The first two are the only one’s I ever considered really amazing, and the rest were just beating a dead horse.  So when you make a reboot of something that has already been done to death and is something that is part of our culture, it is going to be hard to get over. I think they have a little bit of leeway with Vacation however, because there is not a lot of lore, or story arc.  The kids were never the same, and it was just a comedy, and it played out more like a sequel.  They did it right, a reboot that was actually a sequel.

So if you have seen the red band trailer, you know this movie is rated R and at least looks pretty funny.  I would say this is exactly my review of the movie.  It is Rated R and is pretty funny.  It isn’t going to win any awards and I had a fun time watching it.  I really like Christina Applegate, and I really liked that they had the woman doing some of the slapstick stuff, and making some bad decisions as well.  Equal rights for all idiots!  It was done very well.  It stood on it’s own and I could see this becoming a new franchise, as long as they keep up with the R rating and don’t water it down.  This movie also has one of the best opening credits sequences I have even seen, so make sure you are in your seat before the movie starts.

This is not the best comedy of the year, but it also isn’t a waste of time.  I would say even paying for this movie might be worth it, if you are looking for a comedy and already saw Trainwreck.  If you are looking for action though this weekend Mission Impossible wins out over Vacation.

3 Stars for Vacation

Pixels

Pixels Movie Review

The reason I wanted to start writing movie reviews, was to stop paying for movies.  I went to so many movies, the expense was just getting so high, so I decided to figure out a way for me to save money on something I love to do.  I still love going to the movies most of the time, and I still love movies.  This is not my job, this is a side project that I do, and I do not see every movie.  So I think that is why I disagree with most critics on Pixels.

Pixels is a fun movie, it has jokes, video games, amazing CG, Peter Dinklage, and nostalgia.  It is a Happy Madison production, and it does follow Happy Madison’s formula that they seem to pull out for every movie, hot women, underdogs, random jokes, and not a lot of depth.  I think this is where the difference is between something who loves movies, and who’s job it is to watch movies.  Pixels if rated against Inside Out, or Ex-Machina is no where close to as good, but I don’t care, and you should not either.  Pixels is just a fun movie, it has a Giant Pac-Man, and an amazing Centipede, Q-Bert and so many other little awesome things in it.  It looks amazing, and for the most part is quite funny.  What else do you need?  This movie is a fun summer movie, and as always that is how I rate my movies.  How much did I have fun watching it or how much did I enjoy it, and I enjoyed Pixels quite a bit.

If you know you are getting into a Happy Madison production, and you accept that you will have just as much of a good time with Pixels as I did.  Ignore all the critics including me, and go see it if it looks good to you.  On the 3-D front, this was a conversion movie, so not natively shot in 3-D.  Which is a shame because if it was, I bet I would say go see it in 3-D.  It was still quite amazing looking in 3-D for a conversion movie, so you might even want to put up the extra cash for it.

4 Stars for Pixels

Ant-Man

Ant-Man Poster

I was not sure how serious Ant-Man is, in regards to comics, Marvel and the whole thing they are doing with movies and this long plan to make everything interconnected.  Ant-Man seems like a joke right off the bat.  The name, the casting, it all seems like it’s a joke.  Getting writers Edgar Wright and Adam McKay make it even more feel like a joke.  However the trailer looked serious, and there has hardly any hint of it being a comedy.  I just did not know what to think about this one going into it.  This Marvel movie more than any other I did not know what I was going to get.

So it turns out that Ant-Man is a legit super hero.  The movie is an action movie, with comedy elements, and that this whole thing is not a joke, or a step outside of the Marvel Universe.  They even directly reference other things going on in the movie universe in Ant-Man.

So, we have a whole new group of characters, side kicks, mentors, bad guys, technology, and a new hero to further add to the growing number of Marvel character that will all eventually fight in the Marvel Royal Rumble coming in 20xx.  Ant-Man did start off slow.  They had a lot to get to, the story is a little bit more complex than most of these stories.  Being a mutant or getting bit by a spider makes sense.  Shrinking gaps between atoms needs a little bit more explanation.  So once you get past the beginning the many new characters, and what exactly is going on you get to the good parts.

Ant-Man does get to the good parts, with a solid blend of action and comedy with a very awesome climax.  It delivers enough of what you want in a Marvel movie to make it well worth your watch.  It does have issues where the bad guy gets bad super fast, and has powers that seem to come from nowhere.  Which happens pretty often in Marvel movies, so it is par for the course.  There are a few things that I think are a little odd but nothing so bad that you will reject Ant-Man like you would Fantastic 4.

 

By the end of the movie I was having a great time with this lesser known superhero.  I think it worked out very well and after a slow start delivered a very fun movie.  I think it is worth the price of admission to the theater this weekend.  It will be interesting to see how well it does next to Trainwreck.

4 Stars for Ant-Man

Self/Less

Self/Less Poster

The reason this review is late is because I forgot I saw Self/Less.  I saw a preview for it last night on TV really late and I said, oh crap.  I forgot to write this review.  I saw it on Monday.  Now I see a lot of movies as a critic, and so they do get a bit mashed up with each other, and the less important ones seem to fade away a lot quicker than they used to.  This one was gone in just a day or so.  It is truly hard to find something special anymore.

Self/Less actually deals with a subject that I believe in and think we will be handling in my lifetime.  Body or brain transfer.  So while the idea is something I am interested in, the actual execution was not so great.  The movie ends up being an action movie about a man fighting a deranged doctor with unlimited resources and hired thugs.  It just ends up being a gun and car chase movie with some slight sci-fi that does not deliver much of anything.

They did not use Ryan Reynolds very well, they did not use Ben Kingsley at all.  We are supposed to believe it is the same person in both bodies, but they acted nothing like each other.  It really didn’t make a whole lot of sense.  It felt like a really cheap movie, that could only spend its budget on a car chase, so they skimped in other places.  Stark sets, small rooms and a lack of depth helped make the movie feel more hollow.  There just wasn’t enough sci-fi, story or something else for you to grab onto.  It was just 2 hours that passed by.

I don’t think this is a movie you should spend theater money on.  I think you can be entertained with it, looking for something to watch and home, but don’t go out of your way to see it.  2 Stars

Terminator Geneisys

Terminator Genisys Poster

So there is a new Terminator trilogy out starting today.  Did you know they needed to make 3 more movies about John Connor or Sarah Connor getting hunted by robots.  Why not just pick every day of the their lives to send back Terminators.  This one at a time thing doesn’t seem to be working out too well for the machines.

So in this one there is a Terminator, and Sarah Connor and John Connor and another Terminator.  There is also Cyberdine systems.  So, once you get over that this whole thing is starting again, this isn’t a reboot, and we have seen this all before.  Terminator Genisys is a fun movie to watch.  It isn’t a smart movie, but I think we have gotten used to that with the Terminator franchise by now.  It is everything you would expect from another Terminator movie.  Khalessi does fine as the new Sarah Connor, and is my favorite character in the whole movie.  In general you should be ok watching this movie…

IF YOU ARE NOT A TERMINATOR FAN…

SPOILERS AND RANT AHEAD!

Ok, so essentially they pretty much broke all the old movies, and not just in the oh we are using a new alternative timeline crap.  Which they did use.  So all of this movie and the next two are alternate timelines.  That is why they can get away with sending even more Terminator’s back in time, but that is not my main issue.  My main issue happens in the beginning of the movie where they wrote into the script a fault where it makes all the movies after the first to be impossible to occur.  Which bothers me so much.  It makes everything about these movies mean so much less, and make me not even care anymore.  If you are going to just throw out important plot lines then do not expect people to keep coming back for more of the same movie.  The story arc is the only thing keeping people coming back for these movies over and over, and since they threw it all out, it really makes me like Terminator Genisys a lot less.

So Terminator Genisys is a new movie, screw the old stuff and lets start over.  So I guess for a stand alone movie and the first in a trilogy it was just ok.  Nothing amazing, and nothing you have not seen before in 4 other movies…that don’t exist anymore.

3 Stars for Terminator Genisys

Inside Out

Inside Out Poster

If you are like me, you were a little worried about Inside Out.  Based on what you have seen so far, it didn’t look too good.  It didn’t seem to catch your imagination from the trailers, and it looked a little too junior for you.  Well I am here to tell you to throw out all those prejudices and get to the first screening you possibly can for Inside Out.  The best Pixar movie ever made.

Whoa whoa whoa…The Best Pixar Movie Ever Made?!?  Yes!  I am not discounting the ground breaking work Toy Story did, or the amazing level of feelings we never felt for an animated character before from Boo and Sully in Monsters Inc.   Those movies were stellar amazing works of art and I am not saying they are any less great.  However Inside Out is a work of pure genius.  A culmination of 20 years of work finding the best artists, computer scientists, actors, writers, and directors, and every other person who touched this movie to make one of the most creative, amazing, funny, beautiful, pieces of animation that has ever been created.  I truly think every person in the world should see this movie by the time they are 8 years old and then every couple of years after that.  It is a amazing look at ourselves, our minds, and who we are as a people, and maybe help everyone understand everyone else just a little bit more.

I can not say enough good things about Pete Doctor the writer and director of Inside Out, and writer of Toy Story and Monster Inc.  He is truly a creator of amazing works that touch us in amazing ways and I think Inside Out is his best work.  I hope he never stops creating and and we get to see more from him.

I think without Amy Poehler and Lewis Black this movie might not have been as great as it was.  Both of them with their amazing way they conveyed their very specific characters with their voices was pure perfection.  They helped make the vision of Inside Out come to life in an amazing way.  I think this movie is the best movie of the year, and might be the first time an animated movie will win best picture at the Oscars.

It is so hard to say more without explaining what happened in this movie, so I am not going to say anything more about it.  Just that you should go see it tonight if you can.  Take off of work tomorrow.  Take your kids this weekend, whenever you can find the time.  Inside out truly is a magical experience, and well worth the full, 3-D whatever super ++ theater experience you can see it in.

5 Stars for Inside Out

Entourage

Entourage Poster

I have never watched this show.  It just seemed like a bunch of douchebags being rich dicks, and their useless friends who are even more pathetic.  So I have no context of this movie in relation to the show.  Obviously it seemed like going into the movie I already had a bias.

After watching the movie, would I go back and watch the show?  No I would not.  However the movie isn’t bad.  It does seem like I was right in my assumptions, douchebags being rich dicks.  They are not as bad as I thought though.

Entourage feels like I long episode.  A good long episode, with lots of cameos, a solid script and some funny moments.  It really came out as less angry and more about some solid friends, who for the most part are tight and do not hurt each other.  Which is something I was not expecting.  I think if they had even focused more of the behind the scenes of making a movie and less about the women and relationships with women, it would have been an even better movie.  However they needed to get the boobs and the random girls in the movie and it seemed to take away from a lot of the main focus and helped it get lost along the way.  This complaint is minor however and for the most part I did have fun watching Entourage.

I think there are a lot of people divided on this movie.  I understand their bias, but I think even with that bias they might have a good time with this movie.  It isn’t necessary to run to the theater to pay full price.  I think most people will have fun with Entourage.

3 Stars for Entourage




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