Paging Doctor Mister Strange. Your Origin Story Is Here

Doctor Strange 4.4/5

I’m not sure how often I’ve mentioned it in a review here, but I really hate that all movies now have to be a minimum of two hours. When movies drag out it is super lame. What ever happened to the 90 minute movie?

What does this have to do with anything? Well, Marvel went and made themselves a two hour movie that felt like a 90 minute fast paced, tripping balls, action movie and it rocked. I’m positive that the 1h55m run time listed on IMDB is a lie.

Benedict Cumberbatch’s American accent was not distracting. He was also good at being Doctor Strange because Doctor Strange is an asshole, self-centered, boastful, and a bit of a dickbag. He nailed it.

The supporting cast was interesting too.

  • Mordo was more interesting here than any time I’ve read him in the comics. He isn’t just the foil to Doctor Strange in the traditional mirror villain way most comic villains are
  • Wong taking more from the recent Way of the Weird inspiration as an army general was well served and executed. It sets up well for the future films if they continue down the WotW comic story.
  • The Ancient One and her monologues never took too long or felt too… “I’m so ancient and wise” which is so easy to do with the Grandmaster character. I liked how she wouldn’t take more than two or three sentences to ever make her point.

Was the villain a little underdeveloped? I suppose. But he was what he was and they didn’t try to do more. If I was more into spoilers I would go into more here. It’s hard to kinda get into what I want to say without letting it all hang out.

The tie-ins to the greater MCU? Fine. A shot of Avengers Tower with downtown New York? Good, in fact I would have loved to have seen the Oscorp tower too. Off hand mention of the Avengers? Cool. Blah blah Infinity Stones? Yeah duh.

I also liked things that were designed to be more character moments too. Complications around The Oath. The roller coaster of his status. Utilitarian vs Individualism was especially fun. I like to thing about the “What Ifs?” in a movie a lot. Like what if the character took the right path and not the left one. Make the renegade choice and and not be a paragon.

The action was well shot and smart. It was “magical” and manipulative. Creative and the use of the environment sets this apart from shoot-bang-kick-smash that most of the Marvel movies do.

The climax was great, smart and interesting on a few levels. I would have liked a little more fire, though (and you’ll understand that once you see it).

The trippy kaleidoscope effects were worth the price of admission. Same with the bright colours and tints and blurs and whatever else. I’m not one who does, but people who partake in certain psychedelics would have a blast about 30 minutes in.

The mid-credits scene was nice. I’m always of two minds on these. Part of me likes when these things are kept almost entirely to their self, but then the part of me who wants to see a 5 hour film of nothing but comic book crossover porn just loves it.

The end-credits scene plays into what we’ve seen from the character and sets up the sequel and maybe a small portion of Infinity War (if you make great leaps of imagination with fan theory that I do).

Would I like to have seen a little more doctor-ing? Sure enough. More Rachel McAdams being a Canadian sweetheart? Yeah. Some more cult time? Sure!

But at the same time, I really enjoy a movie that doesn’t bugger about too much and just keeps things going.

I will see this again. And probably again. Then once more. At least.

Thanks for reading! 🙂

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TMNT2: Out Of The Shadows and Into The Cheese

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows 3/5

It starred the Turtles. They did fun stuff. Gags and one liners. Some heist scenes. They’re decent characters in their own right. Megan Fox, Stephen Amell and will Arnett all get enough screen time to put a smile on your face.

It wasn’t revolutionary film making. The plot wasn’t amazing. But if you grew up a TMNT fan then this is more likely to appeal to you and put a smile on your face than the previous TMNT film.

It is a lot more fantastical and goofy. It embraces that side versus trying to make ninja crime fighting teenage turtles all serious and gritty.

I love the inverse law of ninjas, where “one ninja is an elite and powerful adversary, but multiple ninjas make a group of faceless and incompetent pawns?” The foot clan are as hilariously inept as they were in the cartoon. Shredder is there too, with a way better costume. Bebop and Rocksteady were a lot of fun and Krang was fun too.

I’ve really grown to like the turtle designs. And every time I see Raph I can see Alan Ritchson’s handsome face in there somehow.

It’s hard to call it a “good” movie. There is nothing worthy of an Oscar. Nothing ground breaking.

But it was fun. It was cheesy and fun and unapologetic in being cheesy and fun.

I caught it on a plane so if you’re flying and need to kill under two hours, go for it. If you have kids or were a TMNT fan growing up then its worth a stream on VOD or Netflix.

Previously:
Lazer TeamBlue Mountain State: Rise of ThadlandDeadpoolGods of EgyptBatman v Superman: Dawn of JusticeHardcore HenryJungle BookCaptain America: Civil WarX-Men: ApocalypseMike And Dave Need Wedding DatesGhostbusters, The Legend of TarzanWarcraftPopstar: Never Stop Never Stoppin’Star Trek: BeyondJason Bourne, Suicide SquadLights OutSausage PartyDon’t BreatheKeanuCentral IntelligenceBatman: The Killing Joke

To Come (at some point):
Hell Or Highwater, XOXO (Netflix), Flock of Dudes (September), The Masterpiece (TBA 2016), The Accountant (October), Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (October), Doctor Strange (November), Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (December), Assassins Creed (December)

Review Medley: Keanu at Central Intelligence was Killing the Joke

Keanu 3/5

I enjoyed it. It was perfectly good. More jokes hit than missed which is always good in a comedy film.

If you enjoyed their sketches then you’ll probably get a lot out of this. There were a few good gut busters and some good set-ups early that pay off later in the film. There is enough plot to keep you going and keep it fresh.

The kitten is truly remarkable in how adorable it is.

I feel like I should have more to say but I don’t really.

Central Intelligence 3.5/5

I’m hit or miss with Kevin Hart films. I liked this one. He was a similar character to what you’re used to seeing from him but its a little more… “mature” in like a depressing adult, toned down way. But he’s still funny and dials it up and down as the film goes.

The Rock isn’t just the big macho guy either. He’s a bit quirky and weird and its a nice change of pace from mountain man action man you’re used to. His comedic timing is better than I expected. Plus he wears a fanny pack.

The movie follows some tropes you expect and then swerves at others so it doesn’t feel played out. Sometimes it swerves and then swerves back so you still end up where you thought you were going but you get there a bit differently than the generic way you’d expect.

There is a fun level of cheese to it as well. The movie never takes itself too seriously.

It isn’t a long movie which is great. Each scene just moves at the right speed and you’re never bored or waiting too long for a gag.

A lot of the minor characters have great scenes and moments which helps keep things fresh.

If you got 90 minutes for a comedy and a bowl of snacks I’d recommend it.

Batman: The Killing Joke 2/5

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

I really like the DC animated films. They’re kickass, you get more characters than just Batman usually, more interesting stories are explored, they have coherent stories (generally) and characters are more sensational versus “gritty”.

Not all of that happened here.

Going for the R rating felt cheap here and awkward. There are lines of dialogue that sound so shoehorned in so they could hit enough swear words for R.

The story and character choices that were adjusted in the adaptation process are bad. The Batman-Batgirl thing feels like incest or at least awkward like when you see the pictures of a 54 yr old dude dating a 16 yr old girl because he’s rich and the parents signed a permission slip.

The voice cast is still excellent. It still looks great in terms of art style, direction, and the way shots are framed. Attention to detail in how it looks is great.

Also, and this is just me, when I read the comic I never once thought of the stuff that happened to Barbara Gordon as rape. I thought they just beat the crap out of her like she was Jason Todd. So that was a learning experience!

The pacing and the changes just make it not very good. I wouldn’t seek it out, but if you’re curious then give it a go.

Available on DVD

Previously:

To Come (at some point):

  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows
  • XOXO (Netflix)
  • Flock of Dudes (September)
  • The Masterpiece (TBA 2016)
  • The Accountant (October)
  • Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (October)
  • Doctor Strange (November)
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (December)
  • Assassins Creed (December)

Mabes To Come:

  • Sully
  • Magnificent Seven
  • Snowden
  • Blair Witch
  • Keeping Up With The Joneses

Review Medley: Don’t Breathe in a Sausage Party with the Lights Out

Lights Out 4/5

Such a god damn cool concept. The monster’s ability or whatever you want to call it is so cool and is used in such a great way. There are some great scenes you could tell the director came up with and built the movie around, and it works!

I can’t say enough about one scene that stuck with me, but I won’t spoil it. But its such a great and creative use of the monster’s powers.

I don’t like horror movies and I get scared easy in them. But everyone else seemed to be scared too. I was scared. I’m not a fan of being scared.

But this was still a good movie. I’ve seen horror films that take the thinking out of it and dumbs them down into horror themed action movies. I didn’t get that feeling here.

I was confused for a little during the movie previews when Don’t Breathe had it’s trailer played. I thought I was seeing a trailer for the movie I was sitting in.

Still though, good movie. Good scary.

Sausage Party 4.5/5

I love animated kids movies because they’re fun and creative, and this has awesome funny adult stuff all over it. Even better!

I’m pretty hit or miss with Seth Rogen as I’ve never really found “the joke is that he’s smoking weed!” or “dicks!” hilarious in his films. They almost get Adam Sandler-y in that if you’ve seen a couple, you’ve seen all of them.

But this was funny! Very creative, awesome puns, great jokes and the concepts and realization of the ideas are terrific.

I’ll probably watch this movie another two or three times because there is so much going on in the background. Every time you watch the movie you’ll probably see something new going on.

I can fully admit I see how this isn’t right up everyone’s alley. But for me, it was worth the price of admission.

You will never unsee what that turnip does ever again.

Don’t Breathe 4.5/5

Terryfing, thrilling, suspenseful and I basically crapped my pants so often I should have been wearing adult diapers to make it a bit cleaner.

This isn’t a horror movie but a great thriller/drama or whatever. All the actors are really good and how small and self contained the movie is really helps add to the tension.

If you’re familiar with the Daredevil Netflix series, then imagine Stick going ham on some kids.

Its a little bit less fantastical than since the… antagonist blind man is more regular dude who is badass than a ninja.

The sound design is excellent. Stephen Lang is excellent. The dumb kids are excellent.

Its unsure who you’re really rooting for almost the entire time. The Kids are turdballs that break and enter with intent to burglar. I think its something that makes the movie so compelling. You’re equally like “go Blind man!” and “RUN KIDS RUN!”

There is a twist prior to the climax which makes you re-adjust your rooting interests. Some more stuff happens. And then the end is also a great example of moral ambiguity. Top notch.

Previously:

To Come (at some point):

  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows
  • Batman: The Killing Joke
  • Keanu (currently on VOD)
  • XOXO (Netflix)
  • Central Intelligence (VOD)
  • Flock of Dudes (September)
  • The Masterpiece (TBA 2016)
  • The Accountant (October)
  • Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (October)
  • Doctor Strange (November)
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (December)
  • Assassins Creed (December)

Mabes To Come:

  • Sully
  • Magnificent Seven
  • Snowden
  • Blair Witch
  • Keeping Up With The Joneses

Suicide Squad? More Like Yeah That Was Enjoyable Squad

Suicide Squad 3.7/5

This movie isn’t bad. It sure kicks the balls off of Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of AIDs. Its the best DC Extended Universe movie we’ve seen yet.

I enjoyed the movie. Your mileage may vary on whether this is a 2.5 or a 4.5 but its not bad. It takes Xmen: Apocalypse behind the shed and sends it the way of Lassie. It slaps Amazing Spiderman 2 like it is owed money.

This movie is well, well better than trash like Independence Day: Resurgence and Legend of Tarzan. Its at least on par with both Thor films.

Lets start with The Good:

  • The characters feel like real characters. They also feel like bad guys. Because they’ve done bad stuff and aren’t just good guys who done gone a wrong once.
  • I have seen a lot of people be mad that this group of terrible, horrible, not good, very bad people would include men who sexually ogle Harley Quinn in her fishnets and booty shorts, and make passes at other women loosely. As well as crack wise with snips of racism tossed in there. Yeah, I’m stunned a bunch of criminals aren’t morally righteous like a real Superman or Captain America.
  • Those scenes are a few of the times that our scumbag criminals feel like scumbag criminals. I actually really liked the scenes where the scumbags felt like scumbags. It made them feel like real characters.
  • All your squad members, except one, have backstory and varying levels of arc so they aren’t terrible, boring, flat characters like in Ghostbusters. Every character is good.
  • This movie has roughly 8ish or more characters that it needs to establish. It does a damn good job of doing so.
  • It takes the world it lives in seriously. I love that. They aren’t like “Derp magic witch wut thats dumb omg its real wtf so cray”. There is no “I’m Ant-Man :(. I know my name is lame.” They’re just like “Yup, that sword steals the spirits of whoever it kills. And yeah thats a 6000+ year old witch. And this guy is basically son of Satan.”
  • It plays the stuff straight. Its great universe building. Little stuff is explained so well and there are some cool ass camera shots. Plus little touches here and there (like the Joker’s goons) that are delightful to see.
  • I thought Harley Quinn was going to be unbearable and ditzy, but she’s just cooky enough that the zingers and one liners work. It would have been easy for them to go to the Nth degree with “crazy girl” and they didn’t.
  • Will Smith is living charisma as Deadshot. I also thought they might one-note him as the cocky, hired gun. But he’s dope.
  • I really enjoyed Jared Leto’s Joker being an entirely different Joker than we’ve seen yet. Being the biggest, baddest mob boss is fitting and the character pulls from the more androgynous and expressive/animated comic portrayals.

Now onto The Meh:

  • This could have been so much better with an R rating. It didn’t need a ton of F bombs or boobs to make it better, but the violence is strangely glorified and also muted. Letting them go whole hamhock on it would have been delightful in a Kingsman sort of way. When you have R rated villains as your protagonist, let them be R.
  • The plot may have been a teeny bit generic, but it serves as a good backdrop to get the characters through the dealio.
  • Another blue laser into the sky… but the blue laser did something for once. But still, blue laser into the sky.
  • I wasn’t too crazy about parts of the final fight scene. Power usage and strength levels kind of did a Mortal Kombat where powers and who can beat up who got a little muggy. It kind of made bits of the ending a thinky-face emoji.
  • I would have liked a Joker scene that I could instantly put into conversation with Mark Hamill and Heath Ledger. You didn’t quite get that but I still really liked it. The Joker was a supporting character in this movie and is treated as such. Its a bit unusual, but it works.
  • I generally liked the villain, but a bit less CGI would have helped. There were times that things looked a little awkward or too clean and that takes you out of it.
  • The soundtrack was fine and fun, but then it didn’t keep up. Like after having music playing for like the first 60% of the movie in and out, it just goes away at the end. You gotta commit to that or tone it way down at the start.

And finally, The Bad:

  • F*ck that post credits scene. That scene did more to establish Bruce Wayne as the go-getter for the Justice League than like the 20 minutes that BvS wasted to do the same thing. So it was good, but like bad too. It was so good it made a part of another movie bad.
  • I don’t like Amanda Waller. There is a scene where I just basically quit on the character.
  • Mook villains is as mook villains does. They didn’t quite make sense in terms of their abilities and how they fought.
  • I understand people’s qualms about pacing and editing. There was some stuff that was a bit disjointed, but it was fine enough all together. I’m really curious as to what David Ayer’s original edit was. It never felt as bad as Fantastic Four, but there were a few times it was a little sandpapery.
  • Probably could have done without some characters getting up to like three or four intro scenes. But they spent the money to shoot them so they gotta be in it I guess.
  • I hate random slow-mo in fight scenes. I hate how every DC movie needs to have that because Zack Snyder is/was the head honcho of the entire thing. There are a couple shots during the big fight at the end that didn’t need to be slow-mo or had to be held onto as long as they were.

Overall: Its a good comic book movie. Gonna let you in on a secret. I watch all comic book movies once with bros/on a date. Then my mom asks if she would enjoy it. If yes, I get to go again with my mom. If I say no, then we don’t. I’m batting 100% on this so far.

But with this one, I don’t know. I think she may enjoy it, I can see why she wouldn’t and will settle for me explaining the entire thing to her over dinner.

This one is 50-50. A coin toss. I liked it. I don’t know why its reviewing so poorly. I listed a bunch of movies that were well worse above in my opinion.

If you’re one of the people who reads my reviews and is like “ur dumb and wat is wrong wit moviez now and ppl like u r ruining cinema” then hump and stump and go see Star Trek (or some insufferable indie flick about how no one really understands life, man) instead.

I think its good.

Previously:

To Come (at some point):

  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows
  • Batman: The Killing Joke
  • Sausage Party (August 12)