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Hate movie spoilers? Good! You'll get straight to the point, quick, and spoiler-free movie reviews to help you spend your time and money wisely on movies. I'll give you the Good, the Bad, the Reason, and the Rating about each movie. ***Please disable any popup blockers***

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Sleight Movie Review


The Trailer:

The Good:
What I appreciated the most about Sleight was the fact that it was able to take a typical situation we've seen in movies before (i.e.: Getting caught up in the dangers of drug deals) and put a fresh take on it. As a fan of magic in general, it was really cool on how the magic was used in this movie. It wasn't over the top or crazy like in Now You See Me, for example. Instead it was all practical and realistic magic. This grounded approach to street magic really helps maintain the tone of the film and keeps the characters honest in a sense. When you finally learn the secret to Bo's magic tricks, it further supports the originality of this film.

I'm a fan of Jacob Latimore's work, and I think he's definitely taking his next step in his acting career with this role. He can carry the dramatic moments in the film without it seeming forced. There's a very intense scene where he's poised to make a very difficult decision in the film. You can tell his performance was effective because more than likely, his expressions during that scene will probably get your own heart pumping as well.

I've also got to give props to Dulé Hill for his supporting role as Angelo. I'm used to seeing him in more humorous roles (such as in the TV show Pysch) and serious roles (such as in The West Wing). This was the first time I could recall seeing him play a rather convincing bad guy. He was definitely ruthless and intimidating as the drug dealer who causes Bo a lot of trouble.

The Bad:
There were a bit of pacing issues that created some slow points in the movie. It's kind of hard to put my finger on, but many of the characters felt a little rushed in terms of their development. It was almost like when we first get to meet them, we're then quickly shown their dark secrets or their true nature. Despite the fact that the movie was only an hour and a half, it still feels longer than it really is.

Beyond that, there are only a few minor twists in the film, but overall it's still rather predictable. Towards the end of the film, I was kind of hoping for a bit more of a climatic ending, but it really felt more like a short-lived tease when Bo finally confronts those who were giving him trouble. I thought that the film could've really benefited from showing Bo's intellectual prowess beyond just his "one major trick". I just wanted to see more from the character in general. At the very least, there could've been a bit more of a hint of actual magic that would leave the audiences still in awe.

The Reason:
Director/writer Dillard does an excellent job of blending genres with this film. He was able to construct and portray a story that reflected real life situations, with a genre that we don't usually get to see minorities play. Sleight is a solid film but I don't necessarily see it breaking any box office records. I do believe that it is still worth the watch. I'd probably say that this would be make for a good matinee watch on a Saturday night.

The Rating: 7/10

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My [Loosely based] Ratings scale
10-9 = A Must watch at any cost. 
8.5- 7.5 = Theater worthy 
7-6.5 = Matinee/rental worthy at best
6 = Watchable (If it's free)
5 - below = Avoid at all costs

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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

[GUEST] Gifted Movie Review

GUEST WRITER: Don Shanahan is a fellow Chicago film critic of "Every Movie Has a Lesson." He is an elementary educator who writes his movie reviews with life lessons in mind, from the serious to the farcical. Don is one of the directors of the Chicago Independent Film Critics Association (CIFCC). Please welcome him as an occasional contributor to Eman's Movie Reviews.

The Trailer:
The Good:
Aside from any cinematic cliches present, there is an exemplary central message the new film “Gifted” gets utterly and perfectly right in both its actions and its words.  As an elementary school educator, it is one I equally and personally champion every single day.  The notion is worth leading with one of my website’s signature life lessons.

LESSON #1: LET KIDS BE KIDS-- Allow “Gifted” or this school teacher right here tell you and show you that too much academic pressure is placed on school-aged children these days.  They take too many high-stakes tests and spend too many hours doing rote and mindless homework.  College prep can start in high school, but leave it off of seven-year-olds.  Even geniuses can cultivate being well-rounded.  Let them go outside, skin a few knees, build something, and find activities they enjoy.  Feed those brains with experiences and not just book-based knowledge. Need ideas?  Here’s just one list of many things to do instead of homework.

This film presents the closest Chris Evans has come yet to playing his age (35) and a parental-like role.  Evans channels his always engaging charisma into a role requiring his stoicism to be used for brevity rather than heroism.  It’s an emotional and endearing breath of fresh air.  “Gifted” reminds us there is a confident and assured actor underneath that chiseled superhero exterior.  Holding both his hand and our own, Mckenna Grace will make off with your heart in short order.  The two share superb and contagious chemistry, boosted by an extra little sprinkle of charm from underused Oscar winner Octavia Spencer in a small supporting role.

The Bad
:

Tom Flynn’s rescued script from the 2014 Hollywood Black List does falter with two maddening tropes that cannot be ignored.  First, putting a hunk like Chris Evans in a film unfortunately demands an unnecessary and mildly preposterous love interest that demeans the talent of Jenny Slate.  She (and we) deserved better.  Second, if you’ve seen one grandstanding or speechifying movie courtroom scene with shouting or tears, you’ve seen them all.  This story is markedly better when it is out of the courtroom or the bedroom and showcasing the bond of memories being made and principles being built by an impressionable child and her dutiful guardian.

The Reason
:

What saves these cliches from turning the beachfront tonic of “Gifted” entirely into syrupy grenadine is the steady guidance of director Marc Webb.  “Gifted” is a return to smaller domestic fare for the “(500) Days of Summer” filmmaker after steering two big budget “Amazing Spider-Man” films.  This is his ideal directorial speed.  Nothing tonally is laid on too thick, from Stuart Dryburgh’s lens to soak in the Savannah shooting locations to Rob Simonsen’s unobtrusive musical score.  Those and other artistic elements could have really overplayed the melodrama but did not.  The importance of “Gifted” was the stance of its message, and Webb kept it on point, earned the dramatic heft, and avoided full-on preaching.

The Rating: 7.5/10
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My [Loosely based] Ratings scale
10-9 = A Must watch at any cost. 
8.5- 7.5 = Theater worthy 
7-6.5 = Matinee/rental worthy at best
6 = Watchable (If it's free)
5 - below = Avoid at all costs

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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

The Trailer:

The Good:
From the very beginning, the one thing that I really hoped for had returned to the film. That one thing was the unique racing aspect that started this franchise off and was the core for about the first three movies. I also liked the appreciation involving The Rock that showcased his cultural background in the movie. (It will probably remind you of the movie Moana).

As we all know, this movie doesn't shy away from being action-packed. There's always something happening with only a few dull moments. There's a particular scene (thankfully not shown in the trailers) that is quite the sight to see. It's almost like the creators said "You know what, World War Z was awesome. Let's find a way to put that into this movie!" (You'll know it when you see it.) The stunts, of course, are over the top and probably are the best highlights of this film.

Once again, the theme of family is at the heart of the film. It drives (no pun intended) the characters' motivations and I suppose in a not so cheesy way. You'll have some minor twists that you'll probably appreciate, and there are also some nice humorous moments throughout the movie. Jason Statham's "young co-star", in a particular, scene will probably runaway with the movie for most folks.

The Bad
:

While I may be in the minority here, I personally wished they would continue trying to go back to their roots and focus on the racing. Without it, the movie is just left to explore even more unbelievable and ridiculous stunts that simply go beyond the limits of leeway we extend to action movies. Even as an action junkie myself, this movie continues to do stuff that is just too far-fetched for itself. Seriously, at this point, almost everyone is expecting the next movie to simply be the team going into space. -_-

For example, the Rock clearly is auditioning (as if he has to) for the role of a super-strength comic book character. It makes absolutely no sense as to why he's so insanely strong. I don't understand why they didn't just give him the ability to fly as well. (But whatever, you go with it. Lol) Beyond that, every time the characters happen to do a death defying stunt (with PERFECT timing) they don't even get a scratch, a cut, or a bruise. Just a little dirt after a HUGE explosion. No big deal. Some of the "twists" and surprises just feel like hurried writing and maybe even a plot hole.

I suppose another issue I had with this movie is that the tones are shifting from what we're used to. There's a lot less drama to counter balance the action now. The film has gone from action/drama to more of an action-comedy. Tyrese Gibson is only here for comedic purposes and one-liners that are completely hit or miss. (Like I seriously question what his purpose on the team is anymore.)

The Reason:
The really awkward thing about this is that it feels weird to seriously try and analyze this movie. It barely takes itself seriously. These Fast and Furious movies are obviously money-grabs, and I'll say that they are still worth seeing in the theaters. You've probably invested yourself in the previous seven movies, so at this point you may as well just stay along for the ride. It's a "fun movie" so don't expect anything deep. As always, you can turn your brain off, sit back and enjoy.

The Rating: 7.5/10
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My [Loosely based] Ratings scale
10-9 = A Must watch at any cost. 
8.5- 7.5 = Theater worthy 
7-6.5 = Matinee/rental worthy at best
6 = Watchable (If it's free)
5 - below = Avoid at all costs

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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Dig Two Graves Movie Review

The Trailer:

The Good
:

One thing that this film does rather well is maintain an eerie and creepy feeling. The three mysterious "gypsy brothers". There was always a sense of mystery and terror when they appeared on the screen. The entire time, it felt like they left it completely in the gray as to whether they were actually supernaturally powered or not. Beyond that the themes explored are pretty deep. It's really interesting to see how things like grief, sorry, revenge and regret all can come together in various ways.

Another nice aspect to the film was the dual story line. While the film starts off with an event from the past, it also tells a story in a different time a few decades later. The best part of this is that we never get to really see what the past story has to do with the current time until the very end. That helped keep the mystery and intrigue alive, not just in the story, but in the characters as well.

Ted Levine (who plays the Sheriff) does a great job of playing the role of man trying to deal with the errors of his past  while still trying to do the right thing. He probably was the most interesting character given the fact that his actions in the past are what draws you to his character. Overall the direction and acting seemed very well done by Hunter Adams. The movie feels really unique in its tone and the direction that it takes.

The Bad:
Maybe I missed something, but I thought that some of the mystical elements could've been explained a little more. With most horror films, there are usually rules in that "universe" to help us understand the ins and outs of the situation. Given the incident that occurred in the more current time, it was a little difficult to understand the motivation the Brothers had with the young girl. While the connection is somewhat revealed later in the film, I just think that it satisfied the personal motivation that the brothers had, but not necessarily the (maybe) supernatural implications. This is also probably due to my own expectations with how the film was marketed. I was looking for a supernatural horror, but the film goes in its own direction which may or may not be a bad thing depending on the viewer.

Lastly, the film does have a bit of a slow burn with its pacing. If you go in expecting exciting twists and turns, or scary jump scares, then you'll probably be disappointed. Depending on how invested you get into the actual story and characters, that will probably determine whether or not the payoff reveal at the end makes or breaks the movie.

The Reason:
Dig Two Graves felt like a combination of No Country For Old Men and The Witch. It's unconventional and different, which may hit or miss with some audiences. As a film junkie, I personally liked the film because I really like originality. I get the sense that this is the type of film that would be best watched in the comfort of your own home, however, I also think that Dig Two Graves has the potential of developing a cult following as well. If you've got the time, I would recommend checking this out. I'd probably keep expectation low so that way you can enjoy the film to its fullest.

The Rating: 7/10

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My [Loosely based] Ratings scale
10-9 = A Must watch at any cost. 
8.5- 7.5 = Theater worthy 
7-6.5 = Matinee/rental worthy at best
6 = Watchable (If it's free)
5 - below = Avoid at all costs

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Friday, March 24, 2017

Power Rangers (2017) Movie Review


The Trailer:

The Good:
From the very beginning, compared to the Power Rangers TV series, the film sets a dark tone. Not only was the darker tone appreciated, but so was the additional backstory that was given about some prominent characters. Given that fact, the movie diverges to some degree from the television series and there are a few twists in the plot that you may not expect.

In this Power Rangers movie, there are actually deeper themes and struggles within all of the characters.  Some specific characters actually have different motivations than what the TV show initially demonstrated. Each one goes through some sort of drama or challenge that helps shape and define who they are. In a sense, you actually have legitimate "troubled teens" who have real world issues. Thankfully, it wasn't a cheap and cheesy write off like "Oh no, I don't think I'll get an A+ in Math class. I'm really bummed out.". *cue dramatic sad music* Instead the movie presents a very diverse cast that's also pretty inclusive. For example, one of the characters is "on the spectrum" meaning that they have a form autism.

One aspect that made this film unique was the journey of the group becoming Power Rangers. Unlike in the TV series, it is a process that they have to earn and achieve. (Rather than just being hand picked and automatically jumping into action.) This journey actually helps to make you connect with the group a little more, and make their bond a little bit more genuine. It also helps the audience relive the nostalgic feeling of wishing to become a Power Ranger. (Just a little.)

I will say that the final buildup of the film, which most of us probably should already know about, was pretty satisfying as well. The new look of the Power Rangers, and their "ultimate weapon" looked very cool with its modernized upgrade. (Even though it heavily resembled a very familiar talking, giant robot...you'll know it when you see it.)

The Bad
:

While it is nice to see the journey that the group of teens take into becoming the Power Rangers, it does take a while for it to happen. It almost felt like it took 1.5 hours until they finally morph. (Keep in mind the movie is 2hrs long.) So that means you only get about 30 mins or so of real action, which in a way leaves more to be desired.

Goldar was a mess. It was just visually displeasing to see on the screen. He looked like golden, walking vomit. His conception probably sounded great, but the execution was just poor and didn't translate well on screen. Unlike many other instances in this film, this was probably the one thing that the TV show does better.

Another issue for me was the fact that the film felt the need to consistently show the faces of the Power Rangers while they were in their suits. I thought that it completely disrupted the entire fantasy/illusion and it also was counter productive to the long anticipation of them finally morphing. Not to mention the fact that it doesn't really help the idea of protecting their identities.

The Reason
:

All in all, Power Rangers (2017) was much better than expected. You can easily tell that it's not necessarily for young kids. Actually, I'd probably go as far as to say that this movie isn't for people over the age of 36 either. It's probably best appreciated by those between the ages of 12-35, grew up at least enjoying a few seasons of the TV show, and enjoy movies like the recent Transformers series.

If you couldn't tell by the trailer, this movie is almost identical to the movie Chronicle (2012). It encompasses that nostalgic feeling of the TV series, while still being modern and updated enough to stand on its own. Personally, after being apprehensive about the news that there would be five more sequels, I'm actually very okay with seeing what's to come. Matter of fact, I hope they do a prequel movie too.

*Puts on parental hat*
This isn't the most major issue, but I'd probably say that due to the language of the film. It is PG-13 for a reason. You'll hear some A-words and S-words and BS. Also, unlike the TV show you won't hear them say "I shall destroy you!!". No, instead they just come right out and say things like, "We are going to KILL them!". You also have some scenes of under-aged drinking and so on. There are also just a few quick scenes that may be a little scary for kids younger than 7 or 8.

I think it's well worth the watch in theaters. If you were on the fence, just go and you'll be fine. There's a mid-credit scene so you can stay and check it out when the film ends. It's a little predictable, but whatever. You're probably already invested and interested, so just sit back and enjoy.

The Rating: 7.5/10

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My [Loosely based] Ratings scale
10-9 = A Must watch at any cost. 
8.5- 7.5 = Theater worthy 
7-6.5 = Matinee/rental worthy at best
6 = Watchable (If it's free)
5 - below = Avoid at all costs

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

6 Issues Preventing Marvel's 'Iron Fist' From Achieving Positive Chi


The essential goal of Feng Shui is to harness the good chi and be rid of the negative chi. Often times things will have to be reassessed or balanced out. The goal I purpose here is to address some of the negative "chi" that I thought plagued the Iron Fist series in hopes that more positive chi will restore the series if the character is given a second season.

Sadly, after completing the show, I came to the conclusion that "Iron Fist" is a disappointment for Marvel in comparison to their other shows. Rather than just bashing them, I thought I'd give some constructive criticism to help them realign their chi in a sense.

>>>>>Click Here To Read More<<<<<


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Thursday, March 9, 2017

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

The Trailer:
The Good:
Unlike the previous Godzilla 2014 film (Read my review here) we get a lot more of Kong throughout the film. Matter of fact, it doesn't take very long for him to appear on the screen either. This may be one of the best depictions of King Kong given the fact that this film doesn't really hold back with his level of destruction. The movie is only PG-13, but there are moments where the violence would make one think it was bordering the rated R level. I personally enjoyed the fact that they made Kong more expressive than just a big raging monster. You can read his emotions and can get behind him as a character.

Kong: Skull Island is truly a "monster film". The various creatures that populate the island almost give you the same feeling that you may have had when you watched Jurassic Park for the very first time. The movie includes some great camera angles and shots, but also some shocking death scenes as well. The havoc and chaos that the monsters evoke will keep your eyes glued to the screen.

As far as the characters go, I'd probably say that after seeing this film, I am now 110% convinced that Tom Hiddleston should be the new James Bond. Period. We don't need to debate this because it's already settled. He has a few moments in the film that show you the potential of being, not just suave and debonair, but fully capable of getting his hands dirty with some action scenes too. Samuel L. Jackson is exactly who we've come to expect and love with his character. John C. Reilly simply runs away with the comedic relief in the movie. His comedy was well timed and helped lighten the mood during some intense moments. The supporting cast including Jason Mitchell, John Goodman, and others were also really solid. I will also say that I was very happy to see some predictable Hollywood tropes not happen.

The Bad:
I suppose one issue is just the mere fact that there wasn't really anything ground breaking or new with this film. You've seen big monsters on the screen before. You've seen monsters fight on screen before too. It's entertaining, but like I said, nothing really all that original.

This may be a bit of nitpicking, but the film seemed to have some sort of difficulty with its character development. Throughout the film we are introduced to a variety of characters. However, it seemed difficult to really get attached to most of them. Besides that, I could've sworn they added a bunch of extra soldiers to the film to be used as collateral damage. At one point it felt like we were only dealing with about 7 characters but 20 get included in the battle scenes.

The Reason:
Kong: Skull Island was definitely an entertaining film. It's a nice stepping stone to continue building the mythos that the studios are creating with this "monster universe". For those wondering, yes, there is an end credit scene that teases a connection to future movies. It's well worth the watch in theaters, so feel free to plan your weekend to check it out. I saw the film in 2D and thought it was just fine in that format.

The Rating: 8/10
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My [Loosely based] Ratings scale
10-9 = A Must watch at any cost. 
8.5- 7.5 = Theater worthy 
7-6.5 = Matinee/rental worthy at best
6 = Watchable (If it's free)
5 - below = Avoid at all costs

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Saturday, March 4, 2017

Beauty and the Beast Movie Review


The Trailer:
The Good:
One of the best highlights of this film were the interesting backstories for some of the characters. I wanted to see more of them, but this time we get to see a little bit more as to what shaped the Prince/Beast. We also get a little backstory with Belle too. Seeing as though the majority of the story is pretty much the same as the 1991 animated film (aannnnnd now I feel old), it was nice to see something new to the story that we may not have known before.

As you can probably tell from the trailers, the visuals are indeed captivating and eye catching. The animation of the servants were done very well, and nothing that you wouldn't expect from Disney. There were some humorous moments that will get you to chuckle here and there. Beyond all that, kudos to Disney for clearly showcasing a very obvious diverse and inclusive cast depiction of the film.

The servants, like Lumière or Cogsworth, were certainly entertaining. Probably the one standout character was Luke Evans as Gaston. He definitely embodied the arrogant role for the entire movie.
The Bad:
For some reason, maybe the pacing, the movie felt unnecessarily longer than it needed it needed to be. Besides the brief backstories about the characters, there really wasn't much else about the film that was new. I suppose I was kind of hoping that this live-action version would take a similar route to the Jungle Book (2016), which did show a slightly different adaptation compared to the animated version.

Despite the famous songs that were sung ("Beauty and the Beast", "Be Our Guest", etc), even the new additional songs lacked the capacity of being memorable. For those who may not be a fan of musicals, this movie was pretty heavy with the amount of songs performed. (I think I counted 13 or more songs possibly.)

Not sure if this would quantify being good or not, but it was kind of difficult to pinpoint the intended audience for this film. It felt more like something for teens to adults (who had seen the previous animated film) and not as welcoming for new and/or younger audiences. Along with that, due to their more inclusive measures taken with some characters, it may cause some divisive opinions to be made by some audiences. (Whether those opinions are warranted or not, I'll let you be the judge.) I think that by over emphasizing the intentionality of being more inclusive may rub some people the wrong way. While I personally have no issue with being more inclusive, I do think that it becomes counter productive of trying to normalize something when it does get highlighted specifically in a film.

The Reason
:

Overall I'd probably say that this live action version of Beauty and the Beast was more so nostalgic than it was magical. Maybe those who enjoy musicals will appreciate and like this movie more than I did. It simply just didn't move me the same way that the animated film did when I was younger. (And I was a fan of the animated film too.) I wanted something new and different in this film while still connecting with that sentimental feeling. Unfortunately there wasn't enough "new" and there was only a long trip down memory lane.

Regardless of how I personally felt about the movie, I still think that others will enjoy it. Parents, I wouldn't really advise this for kids under 13 years old. There really isn't much silly or animated humor that would keep the average kid's attention. Also as I mentioned, some parents may or may not be comfortable with some of the suggested themes in the film for young children. (Again, you be the judge.) I would say to really base your thoughts on how the trailer made you feel. If you love musicals then you'll probably enjoy this live action film. It's theater-worthy for you. If you loved the animated film and are hoping to recapture the magic from your childhood, I'd probably say you could hold off for the time being.

The Rating: 7/10
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My [Loosely based] Ratings scale
10-9 = A Must watch at any cost. 
8.5- 7.5 = Theater worthy 
7-6.5 = Matinee/rental worthy at best
6 = Watchable (If it's free)
5 - below = Avoid at all costs

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Friday, March 3, 2017

Logan Movie Review

The Trailer:
The Good:
We finally get the depiction of Wolverine that we've been waiting for! From the very beginning we get to see the hero do what he does best. The level of savagery is at an all time high and completely warrants the R rating placed on the film. (Parents, be warned. This is NOT a Disney movie to bring your small children to see.) There was a lot more violence, swearing, and gore than you're probably used to (but probably always wished for) in this Wolverine film.

In addition to that, the movie is very loosely based off the Old Man Logan comic. If anything, the only real correlation to the comic is that Wolverine is old. What I can really appreciate is how this film manages to go from being a complete action packed collection of violence to having some really tender and dramatic moments that reek of emotion.

I completely understand why Hugh Jackman signed off to do this film. Unlike the previous Wolverine films, he gets to fully explore and portray the emotional depths of the Logan character. You can almost feel all of his emotions throughout the entire film. He becomes the complex character that he's always been in the comics. He's the tragic hero that has real issues, but still rises to the occasion when necessary.

As you may have been able to tell in the trailers, X-23 (played by Dafne Keen) is a star in the making. She was a definite highlight in the movie. She had some great scenes that showed her truly being able to hang with Wolverine on multiple levels. She was relentless and definitely not the Disney friendly type of kid she may appear to be.

There's definitely a nice little surprise towards the later parts of the film, and I personally think that it's fan service for the tragedy that was X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Matter of fact, there's a lot of fan service done here. Plenty of easter eggs that pay homage to the past X-Men films, and to comic fans in general.

The Bad
:

This is really a stretch, and I can't say that I completely agree with it, but I'd be hard pressed not to at least note this. One thing that may be an issue is not just the 2hr 15min run time, but also the fact that there's a point in the story that may feel a bit off track. You'll know it when you see it, but it's kind of like that moment in Avengers Age of Ultron when we met Hawkeye's family. It was a change of pace and tone, and not exactly something you'd expect. (Again, I don't agree with this because I think it added a lot of depth to the drama, but I thought it worth mentioning.)

The Reason
:

There are few questions that I know many of you may be thinking. "Was this the best Wolverine movie to date?" Yes. "Was this the best film from Fox and all their X-Men movies?" Yes, but I would say that it's equal to and/or slightly better than Deadpool in my opinion. "Is this one of the best comic book movies to date?" I'd probably say there's no question it's in the top 10, but the top 5 is where the real conversation should be had. "Will this be the last time we see Wolverine?"  I don't know, but with this movie, I would say it really doesn't matter. I would probably argue that the main reason why Logan should probably be in the top 5 (of comic book movies) is primarily due to the fact that it's one of the only films that actually hits you emotionally. The drama in Logan is incomparable to any other comic book movie out there, and that, for me, places it leaps and bounds above others. 

There is little to no question, that after this film, it's going to be an extremely tall order for anyone to even try and become the new Wolverine. (We know there will be others. The character is too much of a cash cow for there not to be.) Essentially, there should be a #ThankDeadpool trend going around for this film. Without Deadpool, this Logan film may not have been posible given how successful a rated R comic movie can be.

Either way, Logan is a must watch in my opinion. I think that it's the type of movie that will actually transcend both comic book fans and causal movie fans alike. The blend of drama and action and deep characters is everything that makes any movie worth watching. Go see it, and don't even think twice about it.

The Rating: 10/10

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My [Loosely based] Ratings scale
10-9 = A Must watch at any cost. 
8.5- 7.5 = Theater worthy 
7-6.5 = Matinee/rental worthy at best
6 = Watchable (If it's free)
5 - below = Avoid at all costs

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Friday, February 24, 2017

Get Out Movie Review

The Trailer:
The Good:
From the very beginning the film hits on some very central social themes. In a brilliant way, Get Out explores the various challenges of interracial relationships. What makes it so smart, in my opinion, is that it not only takes a look at the inter-workings of those relationships but also how others (i.e. family, friends) are effected as well. Another social theme that gets addressed is of course the notion of "blackness" from different perspectives. You get that from the little racial jokes from time to time. Often times, you couldn't tell whether you should be scared or just continue laughing.

Speaking of jokes, this movie was practically laugh out loud funny! I wasn't expecting to be laughing as much as I did. I have to give a huge kudos to Lil Rel Howery (who plays Chris's best friend.). Lil Rel was absolutely hilarious every time he was on the screen. Bradley Whitford (who plays the dad) also had some pretty funny moments. Of course, Daniel Kaluuya (played Chris) does a nice job as the lead. Most of his facial expressions and reactions to others will probably match that of the audiences' as well.

Director/writer Jordan Peele simply did an amazing job of blending both comedy and thrills while still embedding social themes along the way. As far as the plot, I give it credit for being rather unique. Aside from the jokes and social issues, this was actually a nice bit of a mystery. For the majority of the film you're constantly trying to find out the actual motivations of the characters and just what is going on in that strange little neighborhood. I personally think that this movie had a lot of great pay offs for the audience, so don't be surprised if you find yourself really getting into the film.

The Bad
:

The only slightly negative aspect to this film is that while there were a few nice plot twists, some things were rather predictable. It's not a huge deal even if you do predict some events though. I just thought it was worth mentioning at the very least.

The Reason
:

First and foremost, let me say once again that Get Out was a really smart piece of film. The social issues that it touches on will certain drive an interesting dialogue for audiences. Not only that, but it doesn't come off as political or preachy. The comedy and thrilling aspect kind of take the edge off of any potential social bias or awkwardness someone may feel. The film essentially addresses cultural appropriation at it's finest. Lol

If you're afraid by the trailers, don't be. There's nothing really scary in this movie that I would say makes it horror film at all. I'll also say that because of this movie, and Lil Rel Howery, I have a new found respect for the TSA (Transportation Security Administration). Get Out is a surprisingly great movie that's more than worth the watch in theaters. Get out and go see it! (See what I did there?)

The Rating: 9/10

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My [Loosely based] Ratings scale
10-9 = A Must watch at any cost. 
8.5- 7.5 = Theater worthy 
7-6.5 = Matinee/rental worthy at best
6 = Watchable (If it's free)
5 - below = Avoid at all costs

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Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Boss Baby Giveaway

The Trailer:
CHICAGO: Here's your chance to see the animated family film The Boss Baby early and FREE! I've got a limited number of passes to see the movie Saturday, March 18th 11:00AM in downtown Chicago. HURRY, these tickets go super fast and they are first come, first serve.

Be sure to arrive early because the screenings are overbooked intentionally to fill maximum capacity. Seating is not guaranteed, so again ARRIVE EARLY!
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Screening Location:
Saturday, March 18th
11:00AM
Kerasotes Showplace ICON
150 W Roosevelt Rd
Chicago, IL 60605

LINK: Click Here for The Boss Baby Studio Code

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About the Movie:
Release date: March 31, 2017 (USA)
Director: Tom McGrath
Writers: Marla Frazee, Michael McCullers
Stars: Alec Baldwin, Steve Buscemi, Lisa Kudrow

Plot: A suit-wearing briefcase-carrying baby pairs up with his seven-year old brother to stop the dastardly plot of the CEO of Puppy Co.

Friday, February 17, 2017

[GUEST] The LEGO Batman Movie Movie Review


GUEST WRITER: Don Shanahan is a fellow Chicago film critic of "Every Movie Has a Lesson." He is an elementary educator who writes his movie reviews with life lessons in mind, from the serious to the farcical. Don is one of the directors of the Chicago Independent Film Critics Association (CIFCC). Please welcome him as an occasional contributor to Eman's Movie Reviews. 


The Trailer:
The Good:
When done with gusto, what makes Batman unique and special is that he works in any tone.  With brooding attitude, he can be the Dark Knight.  With zest and camp, he can be the Bright Knight like Adam West.  Batman works in either setting because the human fortitude at the core of the character, his drive to right wrongs after personal tragedy, can be employed equally for heroic and virtuous causes and also for the vigilante and urban myth that takes matters into his own hands.

The roller coaster that can be praised without reservation or question is the technical and artistic achievement of the film’s sparklingly detailed animation.  The CGI and 3D rendering is off the charts and better than “The LEGO Movie.”  Every detail is so nimbly imagined, right down to the perceived-smooth LEGO surfaces with subtle chips and scratches of playtime weathering.  This confection has unquestioned luster.

Another heap of praise goes to the ensemble voice cast of inspired choices, large and small.  Galifianakis is a perfect frazzled Joker and Michael Cera steals scenes with his flamboyant Robin act.  The real hidden gems are the clever casting matches for underlying characters, like Billy Dee Williams getting to play Two-Face nearly 30 years after playing Harvey Dent in 1989’s “Batman.”  Test your ears to place the likes of Conan O’Brien, Eddie Izzard, Seth Green, Jemaine Clement, Hector Elizondo, Mariah Carey, Ellie Kemper, Riki Lindhome, Adam DeVine, Jason Mantzoukas, and plot the scavenger hunt of who they play.

The Bad
:

To say the narrative trajectory of “The LEGO Batman Movie” is all over the place is an understatement.  This is cinematic carnival bumper cars with all of the wild tangents representing the carny food confection.  Such is delicious, yet admittedly shallow and not all that healthy.  Batman being a known commodity makes this tale less compelling than learning all about the new hero of Emmet Brickowski two years ago.

The film is a great deal of fun as big-screen entertainment, but is constantly frenetic with its breakneck pace.  It stands as proof that you can’t make a movie entirely out of references, even if they are clever ones concocted by a five-man story team led by TV joke writer Chris McKenna (“Community”) and genre-bending author Seth Grahame-Smith (“Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,” “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies”).  The kids should come first and most of “The LEGO Batman movie” is going to zoom over their heads.

The Reason
:

Chock full of more jokes, puns, and references than there are virtual plastic bricks, “The LEGO Batman Movie” is a breezy blast of unabashed fun.  Twirling with dazzling animation and saturated with endless character possibilities, these two hours of zippy entertainment offer exhilarating playful engagement for young audiences and many absolute belly laughs for the adults.

The Rating: 8/10

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My [Loosely based] Ratings scale
10-9 = A Must watch at any cost. 
8.5- 7.5 = Theater worthy 
7-6.5 = Matinee/rental worthy at best
6 = Watchable (If it's free)
5 - below = Avoid at all costs

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