Minions by no means needed to exist, and it is testament to how… MoreMinions by no means needed to exist, and it is testament to how obnoxiously popular the little yellow monstrosities from Despicable Me have become over the years. In fact, one could say that they have eclipsed the franchise that spawned them. Keep in mind they were created primarily as comic relief and were never intended to be the focus, until now. This creates its own unique problem, as the minions worked better in the first two Despicable Me outings where they were allowed to bounce around the edges of the plot without affecting it - those movies had enough narrative structure and character arcs to anchor the whole thing in a slightly meaningful experience. That is not the case here, but it still doesn't change the fact that Minions is a lot of innocent, mindless fun. The movie has enough action, laughs, and a fun 1968 setting that overcome any narrative shortcomings... to a point. Sure, this is mostly a victory lap from Universal Studios and Illumination Entertainment now that they have a franchise to compete (financially) with Pixar/Disney and Dreamworks, but it's a fun victory lap. Throw in a killer 1960's themed soundtrack, a fun turn by Sandra Bullock as a psychopathic megavillain, a couple of funny references, a bunch of slapstick, and you have a great rental movie that will shut the kids up for an hour and a half. And who knows...it might shut you up too.
With an emphasis on clever humor and small scale action (unoriginal… MoreWith an emphasis on clever humor and small scale action (unoriginal pun intended) Ant-Man serves as a welcome surprise and the fun action comedy we needed. Ant-Man utilizes a lighter, quirkier version of the original Iron Man's plot while keeping most of the action and character beats down to earth, giving it an approachable charm even if it is the same superhero origins story we have seen before. Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lily, and Michael Pena are a fracking riot and their enthusiasm for the project shows in their onscreen chemistry. The humor and aesthetics are spot on and it features some of the best micro scenes involving insects since the original Honey I Shrunk the Kids. The film does have that usual Marvel/Disney problem of having an uninteresting villain of the week dispatched by the end of the movie and then forgotten about, but let's be honest - that's par for the course now. (Leave the cool villains to DC. :p) And no moviegeeks, I am not going to speculate if this movie would have been better if Edgar Wright was allowed to stay on board with his particular vision for Ant-Man. He is heavily credited for the existing script, so I doubt there would have been much of a difference. Overall, this is the movie to see with your friends and family and further proof that Marvel/Disney can transmute iron into gold. Or into adamantium. And I am buying this on Blu-Ray, a courtesy I am not affording Age of Ultron.
Comedy sequels simply don't work, even with the occasional 22 Jump… MoreComedy sequels simply don't work, even with the occasional 22 Jump Street or Addams Family Values. Then you have Ted 2, which largely represents the bottom of the barrel. One of the most painfully unfunny movies I have seen in a long time, it is quite baffling how terrible this is in comparison to the truly brilliant original. The only times this picture functions is when Mark Wahlberg and Ted are indulging in cannabis usage and cracking jokes. When the movie remembers to follow its plot, it becomes miserable. The celebrity cameos are cute, but go nowhere. Seth MacFarlane also attempts to put in some social commentary on racism and homophobia via courtroom drama, but like everything else, it has no teeth or wit. Look at it this way. Mila Kunis didn't bother to show up for this movie. And neither should you.
Terminator: Genisys is the worst thing to happen since my son. HAHA,… MoreTerminator: Genisys is the worst thing to happen since my son. HAHA, just kidding. But seriously this movie kind of sucks. There may have been worse movies to come out this year, but not many. And what gets me so much is how good it could have been. Truth be told the first 40 minutes had me on board for all this. It looked and sounded like the first two Terminator films (aka the ones YOU like) from the post-apocalyptic war scenes complete with purple laser guns to the early 80's setting of the first act. Sure this is nostalgic manipulation, but it worked. Until the main twist kicks in and then you realize that there is no real plot or purpose to this movie, just a hashed series of events that happen. Plot holes are one thing, but a soulless cash grab with little care to rhyme or reason is unforgiveable. I am certain that if I was given a full weekend to myself, a case of PBR, and a bottle of rum I could crap out a better screenplay than the one powering this schlockfest.
The humor worked for the most part, and the cast was well chosen but they have little to do, delivering silly dialogue in flat, boring moments in between action scenes full of pointless SHOOTING. Schwarzenegger is the one to see, as he is fully enthusiastic and seems to be the only person who wanted to be here. I mentioned the movie-breaking twist earlier, and (MASSIVE, POORLY CONCEALED SPOILER) turning John Connor into a hybrid terminator who plans to destroy the world with a smartphone app GOT UNDERNEATH MY SKIN. When your big twist is turning John Connor into the main villain then your script demands a rewrite. For fuck's sake Rise of the Machines and Salvation were better, more original films than this. Hell, Rise subverted the usual Terminator formula with a surprise, game-changing third act twist. Salvation abandoned the formula completely and clearly had the reimagined Battlestar Galactica series on its mind, even if the final result was quite messy. Genisys has really...nothing to show for it. My only hope out of this mess is that they will retire this franchise once and for all. But I doubt it. Avoid this movie if you want to live.