Quick Description

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***

Monday, August 14, 2017

Annabelle: Creation Movie Review


From time to time, I will be writing my reviews or articles for different websites. Since those websites technically own the review, I can't really post them here. However, I can still provide a link for you to read my review. So just click below to read my review.

Annabelle: Creation Review


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

Don't want to miss future reviews and contests?
 

Enjoyed this review?  Share it and let me know what you thought.

Click Here
 to join our weekly email list. One email, every Friday, to get my latest reviews. Don't forget to follow me at @SpoilerDashFree

Monday, August 7, 2017

Detroit Movie Review


From time to time, I will be writing my reviews or articles for different websites. Since those websites technically own the review, I can't really post them here. However, I can still provide a link for you to read my review. So just click below to read my review.

Detroit Review

Podcast Discussion (Spoiler Alert)
Click Here to listen in on my thoughts on Detroit in a bit more depth as I guest starred on the Feeling Film Podcast.  This expands a bit more on my thoughts in the "Bad" section and it's worth the listen.

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

Don't want to miss future reviews and contests?
 

Enjoyed this review?  Share it and let me know what you thought.

Click Here
 to join our weekly email list. One email, every Friday, to get my latest reviews. Don't forget to follow me at @SpoilerDashFree

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Atomic Blonde Movie Review


The Trailer:

The Good:
I think from the very beginning, it's apparent that you're going to be seeing a fresh and vibrant film with an 80's vibe to it. The look and feel of the movie tie-in perfectly given the time and setting that takes place.

Charlize Theron deserves a lot of credit in this action-packed role. One thing that I enjoyed about her character was that she was ruthless and efficient, but at the same time she showed signs of vulnerability. She wasn't some stone cold killer that was invincible.

Speaking of which, major props go to Charlize for obviously putting in a lot of time and dedication towards the training for this film. She was amazing in her fight scenes. You can definitely tell that it's Charlize throwing the punches and kicks in the film all thanks to how the director shot the scenes.

One of the most standout scenes in the film is a major fight and chase sequence towards the final act of the movie. Director David Leitch does an outstanding job of capturing this very long sequence of non-stop fighting and car chases. What made it so great was the fact that most, if not all, were captured in long continuous takes. That means there's little to no room for stunt doubles to come in or out. It's all the actors doing the crazy stunts. (At least that's how it appeared to be anyway.)

The Bad:
The only real issue I had with this film was the story wasn't very interesting. While this typically isn't always the case for most action films anyway, this movie didn't really feel like the usual action film either. It was a mix of espionage, mystery and intense action. However, the espionage aspect seemed to fall a bit short. (Maybe the time and setting of the Cold War didn't resonate with me due to my own ignorance of the time and events.)

There are some big twists that really don't feel that surprising; or better yet, they're kind of predictable. Then when you discover some of the other reveals later in the film, it almost felt a bit forced and underwhelming. I suppose it felt like they just did a "gotcha" type of reveal just for the sake of doing it. The mystery that is supposed to be unraveled in the film just feels like it takes a back seat to everything else happening.

The Reason:
Atomic Blonde was a decent film that is carried by an awesome 20 minute action packed sequence. Charlize Theron kicks butt in more ways than one, and proves that women certainly can carry these types of films with no problem. It's certainly worth the watch but I'd probably say more so as a matinee. If you waited to watch it at home, you may feel like you'd get a better payoff at the end of the day.

The Rating: 7/10
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

Don't want to miss future reviews and contests?
 

Enjoyed this review?  Share it and let me know what you thought.

Click Here
 to join our weekly email list. One email, every Friday, to get my latest reviews. Don't forget to follow me at @SpoilerDashFree

Friday, July 21, 2017

Dunkirk Movie Review


The Trailer:

Spoiler Discussion:

The Good:
One thing that this film does with unquestionable precision is deliver really intense moments of suspense. Writer/Director Christopher Nolan does an impeccable job of communicating the sense of danger that the war created for the Allied soldiers. It felt as though there were rarely moments when the audience could really get a moment to breathe or be comfortable.

One thing that I appreciated with this film was that Nolan did not rely on over sensationalizing the effects of war with gratuitous scenes. We didn't have to see soldiers with their limbs cut off and blood everywhere. The look of depression and helplessness was written on every soldier's face.

On paper, Dunkirk gets the basics right from a technical standpoint. Nolan certainly put his camerawork to play with really engaging shots and angles that draw you deeper into the film in a visual sense. One of the best examples would probably be the scenes in the air fighter planes. So many times it felt as though I was flying the actual plane as the pilot.

Besides that, the score by Hans Zimmer was perfectly done. The music intensified in the face of danger, or lightened up during times of relief. The sound design of the film was also really well done. Almost every time you hear a gun shot or explosion it sounds as if you're hearing the real thing and not just some sound dub.

There were some touching moments in the film, but the ones that stand out the most may be Tom Hardy's scenes. I would say that while his role was not the biggest in the film, he certainly steals the movie. He's one of the few characters that audiences can connect with, and his scenes were some of the best highlights of the film.

The Bad:
Christopher Nolan typically masters the art of time elapsing in his films, but that's not the case here. While you may eventually catch up with the various time overlaps in the story, they simply did not appear to be well done in my opinion. It seemed a bit confusing because at one moment we're in "Time B", but then we go back to visit "Time A", only to see how "Johnny" later syncs up with "Time C". (Did you catch all that?) Maybe Nolan outsmarted some people with how he handles the time elapsing, but in my opinion, it just came off as poor editing.

As someone who's experienced foreign language films, I was surprised at how difficult it was to make out some of the dialogue. Some of the English accents were really thick, and it caused a bit of a distraction. Characters would convey important information in the movie but you may find yourself instead trying to decipher what they said in the first place.

I think this film's focus also hurt the story too. It seemed as though the film couldn't make up its mind in terms of having us focus on the collection of characters or the historical war event itself. Because of that, it became rather difficult for me to emotionally connect with either aspect of the film. While we have a few characters that appear to be the focus, we don't really get enough from them to become emotionally invested. Sure, we may be happy that this or that person may survive, but it becomes quickly forgettable at the end of the film.

Furthermore, this movie was intended to focus on the rescue efforts at Dunkirk. According to the director, this movie is not a "war movie" but more so a "rescue movie". If that is the case, then the very rescue moments in the film are quickly overshadowed by so many other things in the movie. Tom Hardy's scenes quickly erase and overshadow the rescue moments. There's also so much more time devoted to the perils of war, and not the rescue itself, that the payoff just felt very underwhelming.

The Reason
:

First of all, make no mistake about it. I am a huge Nolan fan. So in no way shape or form should anyone take these criticisms as me being cynical. The reason I say this is because for some reason there are number of critics and outlets suggesting that this movie is practically flawless. While I have no problem with people really liking the movie, it does feel a bit disingenuous to me that some would fail to find at least some flaws in this movie.

I think that Dunkirk was a technically sound movie. The visuals, the music, and the sounds all warrant for the film to be seen in theaters. It makes you feel like you've gone through a war-like setting by giving you that unique experience. On one hand, I think that Dunkirk delivers the expected intellectual aspects that a Nolan film should provide. On the other hand, it also lacks the emotional punch that most war films or even rescue films leave you feeling when the movie is complete. (I got more feels from Hacksaw Ridge)

I think Dunkirk is worth checking out in theaters, but with some caveats. If you're a Nolan fan and a film purist, feel free to go see this and make up your own mind. If you're a casual movie fan who's expecting a "war movie", then I'd say lower your expectations and maybe make this more of a matinee outing instead. As a Nolan fan myself, I'm disappointed that this isn't Nolan's best work, but Nolan's worst is still good quality compared to others.

The Rating: 7/10
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

Don't want to miss future reviews and contests?

 

Enjoyed this review?  Share it and let me know what you thought.

Click Here
 to join our weekly email list. One email, every Friday, to get my latest reviews. Don't forget to follow me at @SpoilerDashFree

Friday, July 14, 2017

War for the Planet of the Apes Movie Review


The Trailer:

Video Review:

The Good:
I really appreciated the introduction of this movie starting off with a very quick and efficient recap of the past two movies. If you only vaguely remembered the previous Apes films, that recap gave you just enough information to get you all caught up.

Probably one of the greatest strengths of this film are its characters and their development. The most amazing thing about this movie is that you will become invested in almost every single character (ape or human). Even the deaths in this film will feel meaningful. Not only that, but the characters are not one-dimensional. There are very few characters that are bad just to be bad, for example. They're all complex and so are their motivations.

I loved how the characters and the plot were not entirely predictable either. Certain characters will appear to be motivated to do something, but then end up doing the complete opposite of what you may expect. Their motivations really drive the story, and keep the characters from being stale or boring. Don't be surprised if you have a difficult time in trying to choose a side to root for or support.

One character you'll have no problem supporting is "Bad Ape". He was most definitely the much needed comic relief in the film. I really appreciated how they didn't overdo his character by forcing him to be too funny.

Director Matt Reeves should certainly be deserving of some praise for this film. (Dare I say he needs award consideration too!) I never paid a lot of attention to a movie's musical score until I heard a bad one in All Eyez On Me. (TuPac's death scene with the random gospel song.) That's when I realized how the musical selection can potentially captivate or detach you from the emotional impact of a scene. This film played just the right songs to match the intensity of battle, or drama of an emotional moment. Besides the score, there are some really great scenes that are captured through some excellent cinematography.

While the majority of this film and characters are mainly CGI, Andy Serkis needs to be recognized here. He used facial capturing technology to play Caesar, and he delivered a spectacular performance with what I like to call "Facial acting". (Facial acting is when someone can perform and convey ideas with just their facial expressions.) Without even using many words, you knew and connected with almost every single one of Caesar's emotions and inner thoughts. I'd be disappointed if Serkis didn't get some award recognition during award season.

As far as the story goes, it was probably one of the most dramatic and emotionally driven tales of all the Ape movies to date. It touched on so many themes that explored the impact of war, survival, oppression, and revolution.

The Bad:
The length of this film, which is almost 2.5 hours long, is kind of tricky. There were a couple of slow moving parts in the film that probably could've been skipped. I think there are just a few large gaps between the intense-action scenes, which may make the film feel like it's dragging a little bit.

I think part of the issue with the slow pacing has to do with the fact that this movie is not the action-packed, war film the trailer makes it out to be.  War For the Planet of the Apes is like 80% drama and only 20% of actual fighting. (The last battle is certainly the best one.)  Similar to Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (the 2nd Apes movie), there just wasn't as much action as the trailer may have portrayed. So expectations will have to temper down a bit if you were expecting a lot of fighting.

Maybe this is nitpicking, but I could've sworn I noticed some apes hearing sign language. (Yes, you read that correctly.) For example, there's a scene where an ape is using sign language behind Caesar (and Caesar isn't looking at him), but yet Caesar acts like he knows what was said. This is probably easy to miss if you’re too busy reading the subtitles.

The Reason:
I must admit, I was really impressed with this movie. I was a fan of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2011), but not so much of Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2014). War for the Planet of the Apes, however, is by far the best of the entire trilogy. This is probably one of the best emotionally driven films of the summer. (Maybe even the year thus far.)

This movie was so good that it made me start second guessing myself when I thought of the apes in the film. Like I started becoming more politically correct about what I thought about them. Saying "Oh, they're acting more human" just started to feel wrong or discriminatory. By the end of the movie I was saying to myself #AllApesMatter! (You may now commence judging me.)

This movie will be presented in 3D, but I don't think that it's necessary. There really wasn't anything in the film that popped out at you that really required it to be viewed in 3D. However, I would say that War for the Planet of the Apes is still a must watch. If a movie can grip your emotions, whether that be to hate certain characters or sympathize with others, then it has accomplished its goal. This movie achieves that and doesn't monkey around! (I welcome your tomatoes!)

The Rating: 9/10
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

Don't want to miss future reviews and contests?
 
Enjoyed this review?  Share it and let me know what you thought.

Click Here
 to join our weekly email list. One email, every Friday, to get my latest reviews. Don't forget to follow me at @SpoilerDashFree

Friday, July 7, 2017

Spider-Man: Homecoming Movie Review


The Trailer:

Video Review

Spoiler Discussion

The Good:
Within the first 15 minutes of the movie, and many times throughout, we get a ton of reminders that this Sony/Marvel partnership is the real deal. There are a lot of intentional and purposeful connections made to let us know that Spider-Man is definitely connected with the Avengers in more ways than one. There are a number of references to both the Avengers movies and to Civil War for you comic movie history buffs.

Since this was a Marvel production (as part of their deal with Sony) there's plenty of "Marvel fun" from beginning to end. There are a number of funny moments that certainly helps to keep the movie light-hearted and entertaining. A lot of the comedy comes from the supporting cast. Jacob Batalon (who plays Ned) has a lot a humorous scenes as he plays Peter Parker's best friend. Jon Favreau ("Happy") and also Zendaya ("Michelle") also have a few quick funny one off scenes as well. For the few scenes he was in, Hannibal Buress was comical too.

While the internet was making it a big deal, I actually liked what the film did with Marisa Tomei's version of "Aunt May". The movie didn't oversell her character to be the hot cougar everyone may have thought her to be. Once you see her caring and nurturing side with Peter, all those other ideas about her kind of go out the window.

Unlike some of the other past Spider-Man movies, I thought this one did a really good job in setting up potential side characters for future films. None of it felt rushed, and the characters (even if minor) feel like they have organic origins now. Speaking of which, there are many obvious Easter eggs throughout this movie. If you're a Spider-Man fan (of the comics or cartoon), you'll probably pick up at least 85% of the hints that are left. Certain characters are obvious clues to other characters' existence and so on.

As for Spider-Man himself, Tom Holland did a great job portraying the wall crawler. The concerns of Peter Parker being too young should be quelled. His youth actually serves a great purpose in showing his inexperience at being a superhero. That leaves a lot of room for us (the audience) to grow and relate to him. The film does an excellent job of putting Spidey in situations where he shows not only his inexperience, but his maturity as well over time. I was really happy to see him in situations where he couldn't rely on his web shooters, for example. I also really appreciated the fact that they showcased his intellect as a tech genius.

Contrary to the trailers, I'm also happy to let you know that Tony Stark/Iron Man does not over take this movie at all. He's probably in this movie for about 10-15%. This is totally a Spider-Man/Peter Parker story.

As for the villain, Michael Keaton was at his best in my opinion. I personally don't think that he suffered from the "MCU Villain problem" at all. While they didn't use the traditional Vulture from the comics, they gave him a much more grounded and realistic approach. I thought that he posed an excellent challenge to Spider-Man and that's really all you can ask for from any villain.

The Bad:
I'm going to start off with my biggest grievance just to get this off of my chest. I am really disappointed and almost frustrated with the way this film handled Spider-Man's powers. More specifically, they made his "Spidey Sense" practically non-existent. In my opinion, that's almost like de-powering Superman's strength or making him jump rather than fly. I just think that Spider-Man's Spidey sense is an attribute that makes him really special and unique. Unfortunately in this film, they've reduced him to simply having really quick reflexes.

While many of the supporting characters and scenes in this movie were indeed funny, I think we could've done without a lot of them. The movie's run time is about 2hrs 15mins, and it really felt like some of the funny scenes were just added fluff. For instance, if some of the scenes with Ned or "Happy" were removed, I don't think that the movie would've suffered at all. As a matter of fact, a lot of their scenes would've probably been better served as additional features on the Blu-Ray DVD instead.

Given the approach to making this a younger teen movie, I found it strange that this film included references to teen movies from the 80's. For example, there's a direct reference to Ferris Bueller's Day off which I'm not sure many people under the age of 21 have even seen. It's not that some of these reference are bad, I just don't think they'll really resonate because this movie comes off as though it's directed for people ages 13-25. (I'm not counting comic book movie fans only because we're already too heavily invested in these movies. They know we'll show up for this regardless.)

Last issue is that I really am not a fan of how careless this movie deals with Spider-Man's secret identity. While the writing does make sense in terms of how they handled it, I simply don't believe it was necessary to have certain individual(s) discover it. (You'll know what I mean when you see it.) The reveal does help add some level of intensity to the film, but I just think that they could've had the same effect without letting the cat out of the bag the way they did.

The Reason
:

Spider-Man Homecoming certainly has breathed new life into the Spider-Man movie franchise. Where does it compare you ask? Well I'd say that it's the 2nd best Spider-Man film to date. That's right. Spider-Man 2, still holds the lead in terms of being the best Spider-Man movie.

The film will probably be offered in some enhanced viewing formats like 3D and Dolby Atmos. I got to see it in Dolby Atmos, and while the sound technology is amazing, I just don't think that Spider-Man Homecoming is the right movie to see in that format. Nor is the movie necessary to see in 3D. I mean you can obviously choose to view it that way, but there just didn't seem to be anything memorable that the 3D or Dolby will leave you with. So you can save a little money there.

I left the theater liking Spider-Man Homecoming a lot, but not necessarily being Wow'd by it either. This felt more like the Disney XD version of Spider-Man. (Take that however you wish) The movie is really fun and entertaining, but it does have room for improvement. Either way, Spider-Man Homecoming is a definitely worth the watch in theaters. Be sure to stay until the very end. There are TWO end credit scenes.

The Rating: 8.5/10
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

Don't want to miss future reviews and contests?
 

Enjoyed this review?  Share it and let me know what you thought.

Click Here
 to join our weekly email list. One email, every Friday, to get my latest reviews. Don't forget to follow me at @SpoilerDashFree

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Baby Driver Movie Review


The Trailer:

The Good:
This movie starts off with one of the best introduction sequences I could recall. It doesn't take long at all to really set the high intensity, fun, and exhilarating tone that this film carries throughout. That leads me to really congratulating the real heroes of this movie: the stunt drivers.

The stunt doubles/drivers in Baby Driver are the real MVPs here. Seriously, the stunts that they pulled in many of these crazy chase scenes were nothing short of amazing. The car chases seemed very reminiscent of the type of driving someone could only pull off in a video game. (Especially if you had some cheat codes.)

Without question all of the driving in this movie becomes the best highlight. So much so that you even look forward to the moment characters use a car. Baby (played by Ansel Elgort) was really fun to watch as he basically used a car as his primary weapon. It almost felt strange to see him outside of a car. Whenever he was in danger, or if things got tense, an instant feeling of relief would arise when he got himself into a car. Overall, I think that Elgort was able to carry the film sufficiently with the aid of the exceptional supporting cast.

The supporting actors shared really good on screen chemistry. I really liked how none of the characters really over took the movie, but instead they each shined in their own way. Jamie Foxx definitely is more than entertaining in his role as "Bats". I'm always a fan of Kevin Spacey, and Jon Hamm certainly delivers as well. More importantly, many of the characters are not stagnant in their roles. This is primarily due to the great direction and writing of Edgar Wright.

Edgar Wright brought this movie to life from a very practical and organic place. The humor was well timed and the intensity was turned up at the right times. The writing and dialogue of the characters were a great fit to really help propel the story. I appreciated the fact that nothing was overly simplistic, nor was it completely predictable either.

The Bad
:

This may be hit or miss for some people, but the music/song selections didn't always resonate with me. I know music can be really subjective so this was a risky move either way. The timing of the songs, and how they were used throughout the film were good. However, unless you're familiar with the songs being played, you may miss out on the full impact that comes whenever you hear your favorite song come on.  It's kind of like when you're at a club, and the DJ plays some random song you never heard of before. You understand how others may enjoy the music, but it just may not vibe with you per se.

The Reason:
Baby Driver is really a fun movie to watch. The movie puts an original twist on traditional heist movies. If there was an additional song or two, this could've almost passed for a musical. It's full of exciting chase scenes that make you feel like you're in the driver's seat. May even have you thinking that with a little practice you could pull off similar stunts. (Please don't.) The movie looked like a real life video game (a la Grand Theft Auto).

If you're a fan of Edgar Wrights movies ( Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim vs The World) then you'll definitely enjoy this film as well. This may go down as the director's best movie. With a 2017 summer that's had a few letdowns, this should serve as an unexpected pick-me-up. Feel free to plan your weekend to check this out.

The Rating: 9/10
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

Don't want to miss future reviews and contests?
 

Enjoyed this review?  Share it and let me know what you thought.

Click Here
 to join our weekly email list. One email, every Friday, to get my latest reviews. Don't forget to follow me at @SpoilerDashFree

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

The Trailer:

Video Review


The Good:
As with any Michael Bay film we know that this movie would be nothing short of a lot of action and explosions. There were a number of chase scenes that included some great special effects, and to top it off the 3D visuals were really nice too. Throughout the film you'll notice some great scenes that literally pop out at you.

Probably the best part of this film will be the last 20 mins or so, when the Transformers are actually fighting one another. This time around we get to see some cool new weapons and some new transformers as well. My personal favorite was probably Anthony Hopkin's butler transformer. He had a number of humorous moments in the film.

Oh and while Megan Fox wasn't in this film, shout out to Director Michael Bay for having Laura Haddock look like her long lost twin.

The Bad
:

*Sigh*
I'm not really sure where to being. Oh I know. How about the fact that this Transformers movie, yet again, wasn't even about the Transformers. Instead this was a Mark Wahlberg movie. Optimus Prime shows up early in the beginning, and we don't see him again until maybe the last 35 mins of the film. I should also mention that this movie is about 2.5 hours long (and you will feel every pain staking minute of it.) The Transformers in this film were basically reduced to being supporting characters in their own movie. While they would have some lines here or there, they were pretty much background characters until the very end of the movie where the battle ensues.

Propelling Mark Walberg and the plight of the human race was probably one of the weakest story lines this movie could take on. Even some of the most fearsome Transformers were turned into mere pets. The story just comes off to be so unrealistic that it just stops being a "fun movie" anymore.

As a matter of fact, this movie was constantly trying to be funny. It was like watching a bad comedian on stage bomb joke, after joke, after 2.5 hour long bad joke. (This movie was so long.) -_-
Almost every character goes out of their way to say or do something ridiculously cheesy and corny that it's not even funny to laugh at how corny and cheesy they're being. The sadder part is that they actually got a comedian in Jerrod Carmichael to star in the movie, and even he wasn't remotely funny.

The story itself was a complete mess. While the premise of the movie was pretty simple (Bad Transformers want to destroy our world), the various subplots felt erratic and jumbled. The film keeps jumping from one scene to another, trying to tell one subplot only to jump to another. At some point you simply just stop caring.

At no point did I really care about the new villain. At no point was Optimus Prime's reprogramming even believable. And for those of you who hated that Martha moment in Batman v Superman, get ready for an equally bad moment like that in this film.

The saddest part about this movie is that we still really don't learn that much about the Transformers or their home world. This was a perfect opportunity for us to focus on more of the Transformers lore, but instead it was squandered for whatever the hell we saw in this film.

The Reason:
You know, I don't know why I do this sometimes. Maybe I'm a sucker for punishment. I thought I would've learned my lesson with the last Transformers movies. The writing was TERRIBLE. The Story was overly simplistic, uninteresting and all over the place. The characters SUCKED.

I can't recall ever seeing a movie that was so action packed that it also bored me at the same time. I want my money back. (I don't care if I saw it for free) The sad reality is that some people are still going to watch this and actually think this movie was good. In my opinion, the only way to really enjoy this film is to turn your brain completely off. Don't try to make sense of things. Just sit back and watch the shiny things explode and flick on the screen.

If you think you really have to watch this movie because you've been so invested in the previous four movies, don't feel pressured to see this. You can wait it out. Honestly, you'd probably be better off watching this when it comes on cable, or just reading the wiki for this movie instead. If you want to still go watch it that's fine. Everyone has a different tolerance level for certain films. Everyone's entitled to their opinion, and mine is that they simply need to stop making these films.

The Rating: 5/10
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
Don't want to miss future reviews and contests?
 

Enjoyed this review?  Share it and let me know what you thought.

Click Here
 to join our weekly email list. One email, every Friday, to get my latest reviews. Don't forget to follow me at @SpoilerDashFree

Friday, June 16, 2017

All Eyez On Me Movie Review

The Trailer:

Video Review:

The Good:
Well let's start with the obvious first. Demetrius Shipp Jr. really does look like Tupac. He definitely shines in various moments of the film. He was able to capture Tupac's charm, wit, and exuberance. His best moments will probably be the times when he expresses Tupac's deepest thoughts and displaying Tupac's overall growth.

There are a number of other actors that deserve some recognition too. Danai Gurira (played Afeni Shakur) certainly did a wonderful job of portraying Tupac's mother. While she didn't necessarily overtake the film, she most definitely made a significant impact whenever she was on screen. You could easily see how much of an influence her character made on Tupac through Gurira's performance. Both Gurira and Shipp shared pretty good on-screen chemistry that really sold the mother/son relationship. Other supporting characters contributed positively too. Kat Graham did a nice job of playing Jada Pinkett. Those haircuts really helped sell the look too. Dominic Santana also delivered a solid performance at portraying the very intimidating Suge Knight.

It goes without saying that the musical component to this film is also something to look forward to. There's an assortment of Tupac's most famous songs, so that will be sure to at least entertain audiences. As far as the story itself, it there was an intentional effort to elevate the young rapper in a positive light.

The Bad:
Remember Demetrius Shipp Jr and how he had various moments to shine? Well there were other moments where he simply didn't. I can't fault him too much only because he's never acted before this. However, I do place some blame on Director Benny Boom. No disrespect to him, but he was simply not a good fit to direct this movie. With an inexperienced actor like Shipp Jr., you need a more experienced director to help make up for the Tupac actor's weaknesses. There were just a number of scenes throughout the film that felt like the director should've said "CUT! Nope. Not gonna work. Do that again!".

Another issue was the decision made with Snoop Dogg. Rather than casting another look-a-like for the minor role, or at least someone who sounded like Snoop, they opted to do a voice-over instead. It IMMEDIATELY cheapened the entire production quality of the film. It's hard to say whether it was left to be intentionally funny or not, but at that rate they would've just been better off casting the real life Snoop Dogg himself.

For those who have known Tupac through the media and his music, one thing that you'll probably know is that Tupac always kept it real. That means whether it was good or bad, what you saw from him was authentic. This movie in my opinion tried too hard to be safe about the controversial figure. It just didn't come off as the raw Tupac people started to either love or hate. As a result, it was difficult to really capture the full complexity that made the iconic rapper so captivating to both his fans and his opponents. While the movie did try to touch on the various issues and beefs the rapper encountered, it really didn't dig deep into them either. I mean we don't even see Puffy at all. We never see that real Tupac spitting in the camera of the media. The story just felt way too safe.

One of the biggest things I wanted this film to tackle was Tupac's death. (Spoiler Alert) I wanted to see if it would captivate me into the flood of emotions similar to the way Straight Outta Compton did for Easy E. In my opinion, this film slightly missed the mark. Maybe it was the gospel song selection that played in the background, or something else.  Either way, Tupac's death scene just didn't hit as deep as I would've hoped.

The Reason:
Okay, I know what you're going to ask. "Was this better than Notorious?" "Was it as good as Straight Out of Compton?" "Should this have been a Lifetime movie instead?" Well, to me, the Notorious movie was forgettable minus the fact that we acknowledged that Jamal Woolard did a nice job playing Biggie. All Eyez On Me was not "trash" or on the level of a Lifetime or BET movie. However, let's take a moment and be real for a second. A "Tupac movie" SHOULD be equal or better than Straight Outta Compton...and this doesn't come close to that.

The biggest threat to this movie is the expectations that will come along with the musical icon that is Tupac. In other words, if you're going to do a Tupac movie, that movie better live up to be just as great as Tupac himself. Unfortunately, with such expectations, almost any attempt would set this movie up for some level of disappointment.

It's difficult to say whether or not this movie should be seen in theaters or not. On one hand, if you're a Tupac fan, you've been waiting for this for decades. On the other hand you've got the issue of simply supporting movies that portray and are created in accordance to your social group's perspective. Because without any support, the film industry simply relies on the idea that there's no need to make these types of movies.

So when it comes to my recommendation, I will only resort to saying that this movie is watchable. (Take that however you wish.) I'm not going to tell you to pay full price, see it as a matinee, or even for free at home. It's watchable in the sense that while it has some highs, it definitely also has some lows too. I don't think that it lives up to the hype it should have, but the reality is that some people are still going to be entertained by this movie. I fully admit that I didn't grow up listening to Tupac, so you could say I'm just a casual fan of his work. I will say however, that if you were unfamiliar with him, one thing that this movie may do is inspire you to go out and learn more about him. Listen to his interviews, and the lyrics of his music. While All Eyez On Me may not have lived up to his elite status, the film certainly doesn't take anything away from Tupac's legacy either.

The Rating: 6.5/10
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
Don't want to miss future reviews and contests?
 

Enjoyed this review?  Share it and let me know what you thought.

Click Here
 to join our weekly email list. One email, every Friday, to get my latest reviews. Don't forget to follow me at @SpoilerDashFree

Friday, June 9, 2017

The Mummy (2017) Movie Review

The Trailer:
Video Review

The Good:
From the very beginning of the film, it definitely isn't shy about setting the tone for the amount of action that will be on display. Most of the action scenes look very similar to some of Tom Cruise's Mission Impossible films. There were plenty of explosions, and chases, and of course Tom Cruise running. (Man, does he love to run.)

Besides the action, it was really interesting to see how this film was able to tap into its horror roots, so to speak. There were plenty of jump scares and "Zummies" (zombie mummies) to help create some really tense moments in the movie. I think they did a pretty decent job with the CGI effects for the most part. To top all of that off, there were some humorous moments of comic relief that may get a bit of a chuckle out of you here or there.

I think that without question one of the biggest highlights of this movie was Sofia Boutella who plays the Mummy. She was simply captivating every time she was on the screen. Dare I say, she was more intriguing to watch than Tom Cruise's character for the most part too. She was able to carry a sense of terror and beauty simultaneously.

The Bad:
*grabs some coffee & a Tylenol*
This movie tried to do way too much all at the same time. While it did have a mixture of action, horror and comedy it simply didn't blend well. (It reminds me of when you're trying to make a healthy shake without all the ingredients mixing well. Then when you drink it, there are lumps and chunks of random things you can no longer identify.) There were just one too many cheesy one-liners from Cruise in my opinion. Rather than allowing someone like Jake Johnson's character to shoulder the comedic relief, I think it was a misstep to have Cruise take that on as well.

Unfortunately, I can't go into detail, but I am not a fan of what they did with Tom Cruise's character. The way they end the movie, in my opinion, feels like the wrong direction if this will truly be a new "monster universe" film franchise for the studio. Cruise's character is left to make a decision by the end of the film, and I just don't think it made a lot of sense. Honestly, it was just really impractical and unbelievable. One of the reasons why is because of the forced and unrealistic relationship between Cruise and Annabelle Wallis' character ("Jenny Halsey"). Both of their characters have a rushed and unauthentic relationship that doesn't help make any sense of the actions taken later on in the movie.

I suppose it was also bit disappointing in regards to the lack of originality in this film. As I mentioned before, some of the action scenes looked really familiar to Tom Cruise's past films. In addition to that, there's a scene of the mummy that looked almost too familiar to the latest Power Rangers movie and Rita Repulsa's character coming to life. To make matters worse, the film's marketing probably didn't help with the spoilery trailers. They revealed, I think, too much with Russell Crowe's character. Even when we finally do see Crowe, his character is a bit underwhelming. They could've left his character as a shadowy figure that operated behind the scenes. Otherwise, some of his scenes could've been deleted and the movie wouldn't have skipped a beat.

The Reason:
The movie studio is clearly trying to use The Mummy as a setup movie for their future "monster universe" films where they will be introducing more characters. (ie: Wolfman, Invisible Man, etc)  It's really hard to see what direction this franchise is about to take. I can't tell if it wants to be something like Hellboy, Suicide Squad, or random monster movies in general. Given what we saw in The Mummy, I'm not all that excited to see what happens next. The story and the easter eggs just felt like they were all over the place and overexerting themselves to promote future films.

Unfortunately, I don't think that The Mummy will live up to the hype or expectation of a typical Tom Cruise movie, nor to the success of the the past Mummy films in the late 90's or early 2000s. While on paper this should be a solid home-run film, I think it's more a bunt play. (Whether they make it safe to 1st base will be your call.) If you're interested in the potential universe they are trying to create, then you obviously will have to watch this movie.

Oh and the 3D was simply not present enough to warrant seeing it that format. You get a few scenes here or there that pop out at you, but afterwards you forget you're watching a 3D movie. I think this movie is something you watch when your local theater is having a discount showing or matinee. At that point you can probably enjoy it a bit more. I think some people may still enjoy this film and ignore its many flaws, so I would just say go in with low expectations, avoid the trailers, and pass on the 3D. If you do that, you'll probably enjoy the film for what it's worth.

The Rating: 6.5/10

Don't want to miss future reviews and contests?
 
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

Enjoyed this review?  Share it and let me know what you thought.

Click Here
 to join our weekly email list. One email, every Friday, to get my latest reviews. Don't forget to follow me at @SpoilerDashFree

Friday, June 2, 2017

Wonder Woman Movie Review

The Trailer:

Video Review (Spoiler-Free)

The Good:
First and foremost, if there were any doubts about whether Gal Gadot could carry a movie, she certainly should put those concerns to rest. She did a wonderful 😉 job of portraying the iconic super heroine throughout the movie. You get to see Wonder Woman's emotional growth and maturity through Gal's performance. What I really enjoyed about this movie was the fact that we finally got a DCEU movie where the character is developed and relatable in a proper way. We get to see the certain events and situations that shape her mindset and her motivations that mold her into the hero that we've all known her to be.

I personally liked the mythological background of Wonder Woman's story. As with most superhero movies, it was fun to see the different Amazonian culture, her fight training, and Wonder Woman's discovery of her powers. It was interesting to see how her background influenced aspects of her character such as her sense of duty and morality.

The movie's got some solid action scenes that will probably remind you of the film "300" almost immediately. (It's really hard not to see Zack Snyder's influence all over this movie.) Unlike in Man of Steel with the blurry and hard to follow action scenes, Wonder Woman utilizes slow motion fight scenes that were much more pleasing to the eye.

As far as the story or plot, I appreciated the fact that it was rather straight forward in regards to the origin story. We do get a surprising twist, and there are nice humorous moments that keep this movie from going too dark. Wonder Woman's social interactions are probably one of the funnier moments, especially when she interacts with Steve Trevor (played by Chris Pine). Speaking of which, Pine also does a pretty good job with his character who was surprisingly better than I expected.

The Bad
:


Maybe it's because I've seen a ton of comic book movies before, but the origin story does seem a little redundant. You may see some very familiar situations through her discovery of powers similar to other superheroes we've seen in films. (i.e. Spider Man, Super Man, etc.) So unfortunately this kind of made a lot of the movie a tad bit predictable. The pacing in some parts also kind of drag a bit in my opinion. Personally I would've simply wanted more time spent showing her on the Amazonian island rather than the outside world. I just think that there was a bit more to explore and learn about their culture rather than speeding up to the events of the outside world.

Another issue is probably the main villain of the movie. I can't go into too much detail about the villain without ruining things so I'll just say that I would've really preferred a different actor for the role. While the build up to the final showdown certainly was executed effectively, the actual fight itself was a bit lackluster. At one point I felt like I was watching an X-Men movie from 2006 or something. The fighting itself was a bit disappointing when you compare it to the cooler fight scenes earlier in the film. Don't get me wrong, it gets the job done at the end of the day, but the way the battle ends didn't leave me wow'd.

The Reason
:


I think there are couple of things to consider with this film. The first thing is that this movie was a bit cookie cutter in terms of a superhero movie. I'd probably venture to say that this was not intended to impress comic book movie fans. Instead, I think this movie is geared towards people who probably are new to superhero movies and at least have heard of Wonder Woman in general.

The other consideration is that this movie is clearly appealing to a more female demographic of all ages. That doesn't mean men can't enjoy the film. I think it's just a matter of what this movie and the character of Wonder Woman represents. She was created to be a symbol of female empowerment and a feminist (in terms of gender equality.) One thing that I realized is that there are going to probably be certain scenes in this film that will intentionally resonate with women more than it may with some men on average. I noticed this in my own screening where some women applauded and cheered during those certain scenes.

At the end of the day, whether you like this movie or not, one thing that cannot be denied is that Wonder Woman will carry an intangible quality that will resonate with fans one way or another. This movie will be a dream come true for some. It may empower others. Either way, I think it's safe to say that this is the best DCEU movie to date. As a matter of fact, Wonder Woman is what "Man of Steel" (Review) should've been. Her character is much more relatable and developed than the current Superman we have now.  If I had to compare, this movie is easily Captain America: First Avenger + Thor + Man of Steel. It's absolutely worth watching in theaters.

The Rating: 8.0/10
Don't want to miss future reviews and contests?
 
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

Enjoyed this review?  Share it and let me know what you thought.

Click Here
 to join our weekly email list. One email, every Friday, to get my latest reviews. Don't forget to follow me at @SpoilerDashFree

Friday, May 19, 2017

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

The Trailer:

Video Review: 

The Good:
Michael Fassbender gives a really effective performance. His character is by far one of the most intriguing ones to watch on the screen. He does an excellent job of displaying a wide range of emotions within his role that helps you gain insight into his character’s motivations. Along with Fassbender, Katherine Waterston continues the responsibility of being a strong feminine lead in the footsteps of Sigourney Weaver. I think I was probably the most impressed by Danny McBride's performance. If you're familiar with his comedic style, it'll be really refreshing to see him show a much deeper side when he's placed in difficult situations.

I really liked how there were a lot of religious themes throughout the film. There's a sense of tension between both logic/reason and faith. Without giving anything away, the religious themes play heavily in some characters. They really inform you as to the mental state of certain characters and their motivations.

The Xenomorph aliens are back and better than ever! These aliens were faster, stronger and so much more terrifying. They bring back the sense of horror that Alien (1979) brought to the table so long ago. Besides that, Alien Covenant does not shy away from the body gore that has made the film franchise so memorable. If you have a weak stomach then you will want to bring a vomit bag or something. Things are popping out of people, body parts flying around, and blood…lots of blood.

The Bad:
The pacing is a little long and unnecessary. Unlike in Prometheus where the slower pacing was necessary to help build the upcoming movie franchise, Covenant doesn’t need to follow suit in the same way. It was nice to see more dedication in building the mythology, but a lot of scenes, especially with the expendable crew, could’ve been cut.

Speaking of the crew, THEY WERE SO STUPID! It was almost like they were allergic to common sense. They created so many of their own problems that it's really hard to even care about them at all. Unfortunately, I have to lay that blame on the writing and directing. The characters and their dreadful situations were just really poor setups. I believe that in order to have an effective horror, you can't show us (the audience) something that we would say, “Why did you do that?!” We should see the characters doing things that we would do. That would help us relate much more with them and their state of terror. We should be able to feel sorry for them.

Lastly, the story itself is rather predictable. Full disclosure: I did end up watching a lot of the Prologue videos that 20th Century Fox has released. Unfortunately, if you pay a lot of attention to films the way I do, you'll put the pieces together really quickly. So for me (and maybe you) you may see the big reveals and plot twists coming from a mile away. I should also mention that I was really disappointed that we didn't get to see or learn too much about the Engineers either. While Prometheus teased us greatly into who/what they were, Covenant failed to deliver anything of substance to give us more information about them.

The Reason:
Alien Covenant is like Prometheus 1.5. If you didn’t know, Covenant is a direct sequel to Prometheus. If you're still confused about what order you should watch the movies in, watch my video below about "Everything You Need To Know Before Watching Alien Covenant".

With that said, it’s really important for you to watch Prometheus first. If you haven’t seen Prometheus in a while, you should still watch it again since Covenant picks up just 10 years after Prometheus. If you've never seen Prometheus, I’d recommend watching the Blu-Ray with the alternate/deleted scenes. That helps to explain more of the story. (Click here for an Amazon link)

Director Ridley Scott has previously announced that he had four more sequels to add on to this current Alien franchise. He then dialed back on that announcement and said maybe two more or so. Either way, don’t expect Covenant to answer all the burning questions you may have had in Prometheus. If anything, Covenant may raise new questions.

Alien: Covenant is definitely worth the watch in theaters. If you’ve been a fan of the franchise then you’ll probably like the fact that Covenant draws from a lot of the things that you may have enjoyed with the previous Alien movies.

The Rating: 8/10
Don't want to miss future reviews and contests?
 
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

Enjoyed this review?  Share it and let me know what you thought.

Click Here
 to join our weekly email list. One email, every Friday, to get my latest reviews. Don't forget to follow me at @SpoilerDashFree

Thursday, May 11, 2017

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review



Video Review (Non-Spoiler)

The Trailer:

The Good:
One thing that I found interesting about this film was how it wasn't entirely about King Arthur himself. While Arthur is obviously a main character in the film, he's almost like a co-star to the sword itself. It was nice to see more of the origin of the sword, and the literal power that it possessed. If you're a fan of anime cartoons, then you will easily see the similarities this movie adapts when it comes to the power the sword gives to the wielder.

Charlie Hunnam was clearly in a role that catered to a lot of his strengths. He could be witty, charming, inspirational and physical in the action scenes. Eric Bana was a personal favorite of mine. I can't exactly put my finger on it, but I just felt he played his part so well that he's probably one of the few characters you may actually connect with despite his smaller role.

Another aspect of the film that I enjoyed was the notion of sacrifice. It was a theme that gets played in a number of ways with various characters. In particular, I loved how it was used with Jude Law's character. It added a level of depth to his character that makes him a more complex villain in the movie.

The Bad:
The movie has a lot of long and slow pacing parts. The film is about 2hrs and 6mins but it really felt like 2.5 hrs. The dialogue and banter contributes to this greatly. Furthermore, the story in itself is rather predictable. While this is a fresher and probably more original take on the story of King Arthur, you can see the intentional twist and turns coming from a mile away.

I can't help but to think that maybe the combination of the thicker English accents and dialogue were a bit of an issue. There's a lot of dialogue used to tell the story (or hypothetical situations) and it can maybe get a little confusing mixed with the constant camera visuals switching back and forth.

When you think of King Arthur and the sword Excalibur the one other character that typically gets associated is Merlin the wizard. I was really disappointed in the fact that they only mentioned him by name and briefly showed him on screen. It would almost be as if one were to watch the Lord of the Rings and only hear mentions of a wizard named Gandalf. I think that was a missed opportunity to highlight one of the central characters to the legendary story.

When it came to Jude Law's character, he felt like one of the bigger disappointments. His character felt poorly developed despite the fact that his character had a lot of potential to be really deep. We don't get to necessarily see what motivates him to do the things that he does outside of just a generic reason like "I want power" or something to that degree. It's hard to really tell why he chooses to do the things that he does, and to some degree you just stop caring and go along with it.

Lastly the most notable issue with the film is the blurry CGI action scenes. Similar to my criticisms in Man of Steel, a lot of the fast paced action scenes were really blurry to make out. To the film's credit, they did provide some slow motion sequences to help you follow the action, but overall it was poorly depicted. In so many instances you'll feel like you've gone from watching a movie to a video game. (You may even notice the Mortal Kombat similarity with the final battle.)

The Reason:
This film had a lot of potential to be much better than it was. As an admirer of the King Arthur tale, I really wanted to like this movie. I don't terribly dislike it. It just feels like it'll be forgettable in about a week or so. I completely disagree with the reviews who claim that this movie is "trash" because we've seen far worse movies than this.

This is a Guy Ritchie film. He's the same guy that brought you the Sherlock Holmes films with Robert Downey Jr. (Which I loved) and Man from U.N.C.L.E. (which was okay). He's got a very distinct style to his movies. As with any distinctive art, you will either hate it or love it. For me, this movie wasn't one of his strongest films.

While King Arthur: Legend of the Sword may not be something you have to rush to the movie theaters to see, I can still see some appeal in it. If you're a Charlie Hunnam fan, then this will be watchable for you. Given the number of Game of Thrones characters in the film this movie felt like Game of Thrones + Assassin's Creed. You can most definitely wait on seeing this film.

The Rating: 6/10

Don't want to miss future reviews and contests?
 

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

Enjoyed this review?  Share it and let me know what you thought.

Click Here
 to join our weekly email list. One email, every Friday, to get my latest reviews. Don't forget to follow me at @SpoilerDashFree