Of all the remakes and sequels being released today, I definitely… MoreOf all the remakes and sequels being released today, I definitely would not have expected there to be a reboot of "Vacation," and thus, the Griswold's are at it again. "Vacation" follows the children of the original film's kids after they have gown up and set out on the same trip to Wall World to relive their past. "Standing on it's own," the film does many things to try and pay homage while still implementing new gags, whether they work or not. I would say about half of this film works as a comedy and the other half falls flat on it's face. Ed Helms is normally not that likeable, and I was worried about him carrying this film with Christina Applegate (whom is terrible), but I was pleasantly surprised. The standout in this film was definitely Skyler Gisondo, who plays Russ' son James. His awkward caricature worked so well that I bought everything his character did throughout this picture. With a mixture of predictable hollywood jokes and clever one-liners, this film can only be so good, and as for the final outcome, it get's a pass from me, but not a recommendable one. The only reason I would recommend this film to someone is if they have seen, loved, and got all the humour that the original films dished out. "Vacation" is a cash grab film, banking off the name, trying to make a quick buck. As for the movies that endlessly do that, this is one of the better ones. Overall, I enjoyed the film while I watched it, while simultaneously cringing at some of the humour. Retreading the original and only having good jokes half the time, "Vacation" is a very very safe film.
Not having seen the television series that these loveable characters… MoreNot having seen the television series that these loveable characters are based on, I went into "Shaun the Sheep Movie" cold. I can say without a doubt that it is one of the best films you will see all year. From no dialogue throughout the entire film, to it's story of sheep just wanting a break from their boring daily routine, this film has it all. Helming and embracing it's visual gags, cliched gags, and clever gags all the way through, the laughs are constant and never let up. It was almost overwhelming how charming this little film became by the end, and it is not just the mindless sheep-filled adventure that the trailers make it out to be. There is an emotional undertone to the story that really makes it stand out above most animated films nowadays. What always impresses me the most from Aardman (the company behind these claymation films) is their ability to bring a realism to their animation. It is so maticulously handled that it seems flawless, and that is always the most commendable thing. There are times where you just completely forget you are watching a claymation picture. "Shaun the Sheep" get's every point across with it's silent style of filmmaking and I absolutely loved that. This is the definition of "show-don't-tell." If I had one quip it would be the fact that they have a few too many fart jokes that become a little too juvenile, but the film is for kids as well, so I forgave that. "Shaun the Sheep Movie" really is a work of art for it's genre.
Up until this point, I had completely lost faith in anything that the… MoreUp until this point, I had completely lost faith in anything that the Happy Madison studio could possibly come up with, and although this is not their original idea, it was a much more enjoyable film than I was expecting. Adam Sandler and his entire crew of actors, all appear in this film and on a positive side to that, they are not as annoying as they usually come off as. "Pixels" is essentially about video game characters coming to attack earth due to an alien planet misunderstanding video games as threats. The concept is both cool and dumb, but it works in the context of the film. There are some pretty stupid moments, a few cringe-worthy moments, and a pretty streamlined script, but quite honestly, this picture is about Video Games attacking earth, and each time it happens, it is a blast to watch them come to life. Don't get me wrong, I was not tricked into liking this film, in fact, it is bland all around, but the intentions were all there, even if they mostly fell flat. The execution of the main plot was well-handled and I had quite a bit of fun with the action sequences. Some of the actors in this film are getting pretty harsh comments, but I didn't mind them too much. Is this a good film, not particularly, but it was fun. I may be in the minority, but I had some fun with this film. "Pixels" is Hollywood mediocrity at best, but there is something to like inside this "product."
"Ted 2" follows the trend of endless comedy sequels being produced as… More"Ted 2" follows the trend of endless comedy sequels being produced as a product in Hollywood today. I am glad to say that this cares more about it's characters than most of these types of films; However, the "plot" feels more like a series of events than a linear storyline. Ted not being allowed to get married, Ted getting his license revoked, Ted getting kidnapped, it all feels like easy story elements mixed with retreads of the first film. If you are able to look past those things and overlook the really dumb moments, there actually is a surprising amount of heart here. Yes, this is a comedy, but as it becomes a dreamed I began to like it more. This is by no means a good film, but I chuckled a few times and I bought into some of the more subtle moments. "Ted 2" is what it is, a movie made for the fans, and it works only about half of the time. That may be enough for some people, so I will give it a mild recommendation.
First and foremost, people will automatically compare this film to… MoreFirst and foremost, people will automatically compare this film to that of "The Avengers," the "Iron Man" films, and other great Marvel pictures from the current cinematic universe. I believe each one of them stands on their own for different reasons, but that is another topic entirely. "Ant-Man" brings back the freshness that was engraved early on by the original "Iron Man" or more recently, "Guardians of the Galaxy." Is it a perfect film? No, but none of these Marvel films can truly be considered perfect. This is a heist film set on the smallest of scales, and the originality of the scope was breathtaking to me. Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, and Michael Douglas were all great in their roles and I cannot wait to see where their characters head next. Michael Pena and Corey Stoll, the comic relief and the villain respectively, are also great, bringing more depth to the film. Although I enjoy Corey Stoll as an actor, I believe his character was the weakest that the film offered, but I did enjoy the cheesiness of him. The cinematography was probably what stood out to me most, seeing as the technology these used for this picture is rarely done for a Hollywood film. With a very well handled script, a nice tie-in to previous and future Marvel properties, great performances, and awesome heist and action scenes, "Ant-Man" is definitely not one to miss. Ironically, see it on the biggest screen possible. One of Marvel's most enjoyable films yet.
For what this film is, it's brilliant, but I use that word very… MoreFor what this film is, it's brilliant, but I use that word very lightly. "The Toxic Avenger" is a disgusting romp with great practical effects (at times), and a wacky take on the anti-hero genre. I must say that I had a great time watching this film, but the on-the-nose cheese get's a little repetitive. Sometimes it feels intentional and other times it feels as though the writers thought this idea would work so well that they got cocky. After a nerd falls into a vad of toxic waste, he slowly transforms into something so gross that the town is terrified of him, although he means well. Falling in love with a blind woman, saving the town, and just having a weird feel to the movie all around, this is one of the most odd films I have ever seen. That is a compliment for this film though, as that is exactly what it was trying to be. "The Toxic Avenger" is what it is, and it is what it is in the absolute best way possible!
While being late to the game for this one, I did my best to go into… MoreWhile being late to the game for this one, I did my best to go into this with a very open mind; however, lead to believe this was just a wacky tale of humans and cartoons, I was not prepared for such an intimate story. After it's crazy opening sequence it slows way down almost to the point of exhaustion, before kicking back up and making me love it. "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" is more of a drama than a comedy, which is definitely not what I was expecting. I do feel like the film could have used a bit more humour. Charles Fleischer does a fantastic job voicing the rabbit and I really enjoyed Bb Hoskins as the counterpart; however, Christopher Lloyd, although a great actor, did not do much for me here. This film is a lot of fun to watch, but I just do not see the critical praise it get's. For a family friendly film, it has a much better story than your average film, but there is not really much else to say. I definitely recommend this film for it's originality, but that is about it.
Tonally different from anything John Carpenter has ever done, "Big… MoreTonally different from anything John Carpenter has ever done, "Big Trouble in Little China" follows Dennis (Kurt Russell) on a wild goose chase to find a friends fiancee after she's been kidnapped. Once realizing that the kidnapper's have more to them than meets the eye, this picture becomes bizarrely original. The main plot may have been a little tired to begin with, but once everything kicks into high gear, it is a genuine blast. Kurt Russell and Kim Cattrall are the two standouts here as they drive this film into another level of fun. With a sweet undertone and some downright creepy and awesome sequences, this is not a film to miss. In the end, there are some slow moments that I felt could have been trimmed down, but aside from that, it is a great film. "Big Trouble in Little China" is a rare treat.
The "Terminator" franchise has had it's share of good and poor films,… MoreThe "Terminator" franchise has had it's share of good and poor films, and I am actually excited to say I found myself enjoying this a little more than the previous two sequels. Yes, the plot to this instalment is far to complicated to write about and some of it makes no sense in the timeline, but I guess that was a point. "Terminator Genisys" solidifies itself as a stand-alone film due to the fact that it completely re-writes the original films. There are many cringe-worthy moments throughout this picture, I will not deny that, but I found myself enjoying the dumb action (including Schwarzenegger). Having Arnold Schwarzenegger's return to the title role has never been more welcomed, although, his character is pretty much there just for laughs most of the time. These films have almost become a parody of themselves, and I actually felt myself chuckling for good reasons. Again, I cannot describe the complicated plot here, because it was thought up by die hard fans of the series that wanted to put a new spin on it. "Terminator Genisys" is definitely the best sequel since "T2: Judgement Day" in my opinion, even though it borders on being terrible. It has just the right amount of story and cheese to satisfy fans even just a little. Colour me insane, but I enjoyed watching this movie, and I too am trying to wrap my head around that. Recommended? Only to fans who know where the franchise has headed.
Boring, boring, and more boring. That is the one word I will always… MoreBoring, boring, and more boring. That is the one word I will always use to describe the fourth instalment in the "Terminator" franchise. "Not having Arnold back" really left this film stale, although Christian Bale and Anton Yelchin do bring enough enjoyable charisma to the table. Much further down the line after the third instalment, Judgement Day has happened and we get to see the world crumbling around them as Skynet and technology in general has taken over the planet. Throwing in one-liners that relate to the original film and having terrible cameos were pretty much the only things keeping this film connected to it's predecessor's, and that is a big problem for me. If you watch this film as a summer blockbuster you may find yourself having a blast watching the action and not caring about the story, but that is about the most credit I can give it. Since "T2: Judgement Day," these films have been going downhill very, very fast. What's next? Probably nothing good.