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Posts Tagged ‘ Review ’

‘Tag’: Spoiler Free Review.


‘Tag’ is a film that will make you both laugh and cry.  Myself, coming from a background of two different groups of very close friends, staying connected is extremely important.  Even with its ‘Hangover’ style antics, ’Tag’ will be quite resonant with people who have their “boys” that they have stayed connected with for the majority of their lives, and this movie has that impact on people whom share that similarity.  The first thing I noticed was the amazing soundtrack of the film, from the opening moments, you can tell that whoever picked these songs, knew what they were doing.  Even seeing the trailer alone, you think you can tell the type of film this will be, but it’s a bit different. (And luckily the trailer doesn’t give away all the best parts of the film)

The entire cast meshes well together, and there are some interesting rules to the “game” that aren’t covered in the previews.  The trailers would have you believe that this group of friends is constantly attempting to tag one another, but there is a bit of intricate teamwork involved.  Team members tag each other on purpose in order to achieve a common goal. Their specific rules aren’t expressly stated at first, but as the film moves along, you figure out the specificity of the rules.

The movie isn’t without its loose ends and unfinished plot points however.  Rashida Jones’s character is a welcomed inclusion to the cast, but her storyline has no real end, or consequence.  To speak on the end of the movie in general, there are quite a few points that are never tied up.  A bar tender dying to get into the game, is just never touched upon after a certain point, and there are several ‘Breaking and Entering’ situations that just seem to have NO consequence whatsoever.

Following the film’s conclusion, there are several shots of the real people involved in the game, which are AMAZING.  I highly recommend staying for the end credits.  (There’s a bit with an old woman that is in the film, but seeing the actual incident in real life is much more gratifying).  One of the two stand out stars of the film is Hannibal Buress, who you would wish had more to say in the film, but his lines, are simply one-liner jokes that help make the film as funny as it is. The other is Isla Fisher, (who I just realized that I have a strange crush on).  But her character Anna is a person who you wish would play the game with the guys, and when she’s able to, she is quite the competitor.  

Another interesting bit is Jermey Renner, and his ability to evade his friends, using a Sherlock Holmes style mental process (The Robert Downey Jr. version) he can predict whenever he’s about to be potentially tagged.  This leads to some creative and interesting action sequences.  We KNOW from the film that the physical training from “The Avengers” is part of the reason Renner is able to do the things that he can do in the movie, much like Keaunu Reeves had the training for John Wick, because of the Matrix.  But a number of Renners evasion techniques are quite impressive. 

Aside from some certain plot points that are crucial to the story-line that never come to fruition, the film is quite good. There are extra players that you never see, and the main purpose of the majority of the plot is for one character is write an article on the entire story, but you never hear anything about it when the film wraps up. There is also an interaction between two characters, that would be quite funny, but you never see anything of it.

Although this story is based on real life, there is a “dead baby” joke (and thats in quotations for a reason). But that just sort of fades away after a while, which would NEVER happen between friends.  However this script, movie, and over arching story is a good one, filled with hilarity and depth that one wouldn’t expect.  It is very much worth seeing, and the giant crowd of critics that clapped and cheered at the movies’ end would agree.

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Game Night: (Non Spoiler Review).


From the game pieces dropping in the opening titles, to the VERY unique ending credits, and everything in between Game Night is solid comedy.  If you enjoyed ‘The Hangover’, then ‘Game Night’ is right up your alley.  One thing that sticks out past the Ironman jokes, and anti Trump humor is the visual beauty in the movie.  For a ‘Pineapple Express’-esque comedy, the visual style of the different neighborhoods, some of the car chases, and one particular scene involving an egg, are wildly innovative.  Luckily those shots aren’t in the trailer, which leaves something to look forward to.

What IS in the trailers are most of the best jokes in the film.  From time to time theres a small quip, or a lengthy joke that offers up some respite from the old jokes that got you into the theater to begin with.  Rachel McAdams and Jason Bateman are a believable couple, and work quite well, while Billy Magnussen’s character is just a baffoon that doesn’t seem like he would be friends with the rest of the group in real life.  Lamorene Morris (Winston Bishop from the show ‘New Girl’) is essentially the exact same character as Winston, so you know what to expect in terms of humor.

But the stand out character is by far “Gary”,  played by Jessie Plemons, a creepy cop who just wants to be invited to game night.  Unfortunately only one character seems to be funny at a time,  and with a cast this diverse it seems like they should be able to play off one another a bit better.  There are a few surprise cameos that are used to good effect, and the themes of sibling rivalry create an unexpected depth.

With the random knowledge that some of the main characters have, their knowledge of trivia should have played a larger role in the film, and with the Hangover style jokes, the movie has very little re-watch value.  Although the plot ranges from a little predictable to having too many twists, ’Game Night’ is a film you’ll enjoy, although it is a very funny film but after you see it once, there’s not too much reason to see it again for a while.

The Incredible Final ‘Star Wars: Rouge One’ Trailer.


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The action-packed final trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is here, and it features plenty of exciting new footage from the Gareth Edwards-directed prequel.  We get our first proper look at Mads Mikkelsen as Galen Erso, more of Forest Whitaker’s Saw Gerrera, and of course another glimpse of the returning man in black, Darth Vader.

Sausage Party: Spoiler Free Review.


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When a film titled ‘Sausage Party’ was announced last year, many a good folk on the internet thought it was a joke.  Not only just the name, but the simple premise of an animated film that was NOT for children at all, was something that hadn’t particularly been conceived of before. As the green-band, and red-band trailers began to surface, the hype grew in circles of youth who enjoyed films like ‘Superbad’ and ‘Neighbors’, and upon it’s release it will definitely satisfy those audiences.  Once again, this is not a film for children… or grandparents.

That being said, the niche of crass, inappropriate joke loving, 20-to-30-something’s that are excited for this film will not be disappointed.  The film is far, far, far more intense than even the red-band trailers would suggest.  This movie, as a comedy is unique because the characters themselves are in most cases “the joke”.  You can’t know or show anything about the primary antagonist in the film, because it would take away from some of the best jokes in the movie. So the trailers leave out quite a bit, which is a relief.
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The things that can be said however, may seem negative, but the audience this movie is directed at, will not mind at all.  ‘Sausage Party’ is wonderfully, beautifully, hilariously, and horribly racist, sexist, and any other “ist” you can shake a sausage at.  Arabic, Jewish, Black, White, LGBT, Nazi, drug addict, and Native American jokes are only the tip of the iceberg.  I sat down with a fellow press writer, and we discovered that the ONLY people who were left out of the food fight of controversial jokes, were Russians and Buddhists, this film should have been NC-17, not R rated. Aside from that, there isn’t a classification of individuals who doesn’t get a stereotypical joke thrown at them… even the people from the great state of New Jersey get their dose of put downs.
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However, the brunt of the film focuses on religion in a way that’s eloquently woven into the plot.  The film’s protagonists start off viewing humans as gods (and even open the film with quite the interesting song about it).  And throughout the movie, the message of “Don’t worship everything you hear about” is reoccurs often.  The one thing that is also impressively touched upon, is “If peoples views don’t align with yours, you should respect that, and not harbor hatred towards them”, which I personally feel is quite the positive message.
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In terms of negative points, the film struggles with being dated easily, from the music, to the popular cultural references, to some of the language. In 5 years it will be easy to see how much this movie has aged.  Many of the best jokes are for shock factor, meaning after you see it once, there may be little see as humorous on a second watch.  There is also one particular scene towards the end of the film, where it felt like Seth Rogan and the writers, just decided to throw everything at the wall at once to see how many people they could make uncomfortable.  It literally had people asking “what the hell am I watching?”, which is not exactly the response you want from trying to push the envelope. (Believe me, you will know that scene when you see it)

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‘Sausage Party’ on the whole is quite the unique and original movie, which is extremely refreshing.  With nods to films like ‘Saving Private Ryan’, ‘Terminator 2’, ‘The Matrix’, and ‘Stargate’, there are no ends to jokes that (the age range this movie is aimed at) will appreciate.  From the surprises, to the genuinely broad sense of humor, this movie is worth checking out if you have a strong stomach, and have enjoyed the trailers.

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The New ‘Suicide Squad’ Character Posters Are To Die For.


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WB has just released a batch of new Suicide Squad character portraits to promote the film. It seems the marketing campaign really wants to reinforce the tattoo motif. Will “skin-ink” actually factor into the plot of David Ayer’s story? And what of Common’s mysterious villain?  We’re roughly two months away from the release of the film yet (thankfully) we still don’t know a whole lot about what Deadshot (Will Smith) and co. will be facing other than a crazed Joker (Jared Leto).

via CMB.com

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Central Intelligence: Spoiler Free Review.


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The movie ‘Central Intelligence’ would at first glance, appear from it’s trailers to yet another run-of-the-mill buddy cop comedy featuring Kevin Hart’s character from Ride Along.  Luckily this isn’t (exactly) the truth.  The film has a consistent underlying message about the problem of adolescent bullying, the issues it leaves people with later in life, and the effects that simple kind acts can have on a person.  This message is rather cleverly draped in a story about a disenfranchised overweight boy Robbie Weirdicht (Dwayne Johnson) and high school all star Calvin ‘The Golden Jet’ Joyner (Kevin Hart).  The circumstances of their reuniting 20 years after high school is a bit contrived, but believable, due to a simple act of kindness committed by Joyner.

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What ensues after they reunite is an interesting romp that sends Joyner ping ponging back and forth between the CIA and Dwayne’s character (who renamed himself Bob Stone shortly after high school.)  Neither Joyner nor the audience knows exactly who to believe at any given time, and the supporting characters help move the story along quite nicely.  All in all, the movie isn’t as “by the numbers” as one would expect, and much better of a picture than ‘Ride Along’ or its sequel.

When delving into specifics, the first thing to be noticed is “Fat Rob”, in the first two seconds, the CG effects that put The Rock’s face onto an amorphous adolescent body, seem a bit off, but quickly get better for the short amount of time they’re needed.  Retrospectively, it’s difficult to tell weather Kevin Hart’s de-aging is done digitally or is just a result of him shaving off his facial hair, and good make up.

Aside from the look of the characters as their teenaged selves, their behavior two decades later is strangely indicative of who they were in the past.  The film’s trailer makes The Rock’s “Bob Stone” seem like a well put together CIA warrior, when he’s actually still very much the odd, bumbling nerd he was in high school, just in a different physical frame.  Johnson’s strangeness can be a bit off putting at times, but when balanced with Kevin Hart’s “dimmed down high school star” persona, it works quite well.  There are quite a few moments that are unexpectedly funny due to the duo’s comedic chemistry.

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Aside from Johnson and Hart, there are two or three surprise cameos in the film that the media screening enjoyed, and some well placed jokes that aren’t in the trailers.  That being said however, the plot seems like it could take some well welcomed twists, and is blandly predictable at times.  When big name actors show up for only two minutes and disappear again, you know they’ll return at some point later on in the film, making things fairly easy to predict.  The most off putting attribute however, was an overtly obnoxious mindset that high school defines you.

The entire movie has a thematic hue suggesting that high school is the precipice on which your entire life will be determined, which (to any high schoolers reading this) is completely untrue.  There are also a few action set pieces that are a bit off the mark.  At one point Dwayne Johnson’s character places a bullet in exactly the right place with perfect accuracy, but has trouble shooting anyone throughout the rest of the film.  The movie also harkens back to 1984’s ’16 Candles’ multiple times for comedic effect, but if you’ve never seen ’16 Candles’ those jokes would make no sense.

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When everything is said and done, ‘Central Intelligence’ is a movie worth checking out if you have a free weekend, and definitely will be remembered when discussing the film credits of both Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson.  Their on screen chemistry is reflective of their being friends in real life, and only adds to the strengths of the film.  The film leans a bit on typical action tropes, but still delivers a solid message against the trend of bullying in schools, and doing whatever kinda acts you can to help someone in need.  ‘Central Intelligence’ comes out in theaters this Friday the 17th in the U.S.

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Batman v Superman May Not Have Been The Movie We Needed, But It Had The Soundtrack We Deserved.


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Composer Tom Holkenborg (better known as Junkie XL) teamed up with the legendary Hans Zimmer to create the score on the extremely controversial ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice’, and it was a work of art.  Regardless of what the (very divided) public thinks of the film, its soundtrack is something to be held in high regard.  From the guitar shredding theme of Wonder Woman, to deep piano and horns of Lex Luthor’s theme, this film shines from a sonic standpoint.  Superman’s theme from the ‘Man Of Steel’ film makes a resurgence, and Ben Afflecks’ Batman receives a new and ominous sound.  Check out the entire, official soundtrack below.

 

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