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  #41  
Old 08-13-2017, 11:09 PM
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Mitch Henessey Mitch Henessey is offline
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Predators (2010)- 7/10

After one bad sequel (Predator 2) and two shitty spin-offs, it's safe to say Predator falls into that group of film series, where nothing really comes close to the original.

Still, Predators is a solid sequel, and it's much better than Predator 2. With Adrien Brody leading the way as a decent main character, Predators returns to its roots with a familiar setting, and I've always enjoyed the little nods and homages to the original. The dead soldier's failed trap, Hanzo's last stand mimicking Billy's last stand in the original, and Brody covering himself in mud during the final battle. Oddly enough, Predators works as a standalone film and a sequel, because the movie is able to form its own identity, and they only make slight references (Alice Braga's character telling the story of Dutch's debriefing) to the 1987 film. All things considered, I prefer the vague approach. The nostalgia winks are there, but it never reaches a point, where they feel the need to rely on it in every other scene.

Predators is predictable and generic, and a Predator film featuring a storyline about the protagonists fighting multiple Predators on their home turf doesn't live up to its full potential, but it's a fun ride, with a lot violence and gore. Looking back at the series, Predators truly is a breath of fresh air, when you compare it to the other films, and Walton Goggins and Laurence Fishburne are hilarious.

Casino (1995)- 8/10

De Niro is the leading man, but Casino is Joe Pesci's film, because he simply steals every scene he's in. I can't remember the last time I watched this one from start to finish, but man Sharon Stone plays one of the most genuinely detestable characters you'll ever see. With Lester Diamond pulling the strings and Nicky dumping her like yesterday's trash, she's someone you want to feel sympathy for, but at the same time, it's damn near impossible to ignore her malicious treachery. The downward spiral for Ginger's looks pulls everything together, because during the early stages of the movie, she's this desirable and irresistible woman, but as the story progresses, she slowly turns into a toxic trainwreck/junkie.

If we're ranking Scorsese's crime dramas, I might put this one behind The Departed, but there's no denying Casino is one of Scorsese's best films. An outstanding cast from top to bottom with De Niro, Pesci, Sharon Stone, Frank Vincent, James Woods, and others. For a movie that has a runtime that goes 2hrs. & 58 min., Casino never drags and it's not a chore to sit through. Excellent pacing, and so many great moments and scenes, including Piscano's rant, Nicky warning the rude cowboy ("You took your boots off? You put your feet on the table... you shit-kicking, stinky, horse-manure-smelling motherfucker you! You fuck me up over there, I'll stick you in a hole in the fucking desert! You understand?"), Nicky confronting Sam in the desert, and for a number of reasons, Nicky and Dominick still have one of the most brutal death scenes I've ever seen.
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  #42  
Old 08-24-2017, 08:43 PM
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Annabelle: Creation- 8/10

It's not a rarity, but before Creation's release, the movie was sitting at a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes for a few days, but that rating dropped, fast. Creation currently holds a 68% on RT, and it's kind of hard to ignore the screwy system for the Tomatometer.

More reviews pour in over time, so there's a always a chance for the score dropping, and usually, the overall Tomatometer score for said film really isn't an accurate reflection for the collective reviews from the critics. If said film has a 95%, that doesn't mean the counted reviews are all overwhelmingly positive. A critic could give a 3/5 or a C+ for their review, and so many critics use different rating and grading scales, so it's basically impossible to condense everything into one single system

There's a good a chance I'll drop this to a lower score, when I buy the movie, but Creation really surprised me. Annabelle 2014 was a decent horror flick in my eyes, and I still don't understand all the hate against it. My only real complaint about the movie is, John and Mia are horribly bland and boring characters as the all-American 60's married couple. Well, that and the cringeworthy moment, when the demon disguises himself as Father Perez and shouts "MAY GOD HAVE MERCY ON YOUR SOUL!"

Creation gives you characters you can care about, with a little more depth, and the movie features some good spooky and tense sequences and a lot of solid scares. Creation is definitely an upgrade over the original, and Annabelle really works as this creepy conduit of evil. On the surface, Annabelle looks harmless, and well, after all it's just a doll. But the complexion, the make-up, and sticking to a "things that go bump in the night" formula gives Annabelle the looming presence of a threat. She's not a harmless and innocent child's toy, because you know something evil is lurking beneath the surface.

After Creation, I don't think I need to see another horror film, where a demon or an evil entity vomits black goo into another character's mouth to posses them, and if we're looking further down the road, I'm not too excited about this planned cinematic universe for The Conjuring.

Annabelle 2014 was a prequel.....and Creation is a prequel to the 2014 film. I didn't stick around for the mid-credits or the post-credits scenes in the theater, but the post-credits scene teases the upcoming solo film for the main demon (The Nun) in The Conjuring 2. I just don't know what to expect from a cinematic universe for The Conjuring. What's going to happen? Ed and Lorraine unite with other priests from around the world to take down some super demon after four or five more films? Sorry, but that's not enough to blow my skirt up. Or maybe I'm just overthinking things, because creating more spin-offs, prequels, and sequels might work as a formula to keep fans interested and hooked in, without sinking the franchise with boredom after too many straightforward Conjuring sequels.

Atomic Blonde- 5/10

Charlize Theron delivers, as the fierce, ass-kicking assassin, but Atomic Blonde doesn't work without James McAvoy's performance. McAvoy plays this skeevy loose-cannon, and you're never really sure which side he's on, so it's a good guessing game before the big reveals at the end.

With all that said, Atomic Blonde is basically an average spy thriller with cool and stylish action. A good amount of entertaining action sequences, but it's nothing you haven't seen before, with Theron fighting her way through hordes of disposable henchmen, complete with bloody headshots.

The love story between Sofia Boutella and Theron feels forced. On one hand, I get the point behind feeling the need to humanize Lorraine (Theron). She falls in love, and she genuinely cared about another person, so she's not some cold-blooded killer with a black heart, but for me it's just one storyline too many. Hell, Atomic Blonde ends with a plethora of twists, so in the grand scheme of things, Lorraine falling in love with Delphine is insignificant.

But I'll say this, Atomic Blonde has a killer soundtrack. Atomic Blonde is set in the 80's, each track is a perfect fit, and Atomic Blonde probably features the best usage of I Ran (So Far Away) in a movie during the car chase.
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  #43  
Old 09-01-2017, 11:02 PM
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Mitch Henessey Mitch Henessey is offline
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Wonder Woman- 5/10

Probably my top pick for the most overrated film in 2017.

I had a hard time getting into this after Diana left Themyscira, and the big Ares reveal was disappointing and one of the bigger plot holes in the movie. Batman VS Superman was trying too hard to be this epic spectacle, and Suicide Squad was trying too hard to be cool. Wonder Woman is a more polished film, with Patty Jenkins behind the camera, and it's a step in the right direction for DC's cinematic universe, but I just didn't see anything special here. If you're telling me Wonder Woman is an upgrade of BVSS and Suicide Squad, I can go along with that. But I'm not buying into the hype, if you're telling me it's one of the all-time great superhero films.

I also find it laughable how so many DC fanboys were fully against Rotten Tomatoes, and someone started a petition to shut RT down after Suicide Squad. But Wonder Woman holds on to a 92%, and it's basically crickets.
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  #44  
Old 09-08-2017, 11:23 PM
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Mitch Henessey Mitch Henessey is offline
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Baby Driver- 10/10

I didn't want to buy into the hype for this one, and I wasn't sure about Ansel Elgort. In The Divergent films his character comes off as this rigid and inept buffoon, but Elgort showed a lot of potential here as Baby. He really nails the character, playing this cool and smooth getaway driver, and the casting is just great here. Everyone from Jamie Foxx to Kevin Spacey, Jon Hamm, Lily James, and Eliza Gonzalez were perfect fits for their respective characters.

Baby Driver maintains some excellent tension from start to finish, with a lot of good close calls, and Edgar Wright's interweaving with the music and the chase scenes works as a two for one punch. One of the better soundtracks to listen to, working with Baby's character, his choices, his mood and his mindset. Laughs, thrills, and stylish action from Edgar Wright, Baby Driver is just a lot of fun, and it's definitely one of 2017's best films.

The Upcoming Weekend

Box Office Mojo.com's predictions have It debuting at #1 in the week to week charts to end three consecutive weeks at #1 for The Hitman's Bodyguard. It is expected to debut with an estimated $85,000,000 for the weekend, the movie has an 88% on Rotten Tomatoes, and I can't wait to see it.

I always take praise from authors, actors, actresses, and directors for an upcoming film with a handful of salt, because a. they're trying to hype up the movie, and b. more often than not, you have to believe they're not going to be 100% honest or completely shit on a movie, when they're receiving a big paycheck for it. But Stephen King is a straight-shooter, and he doesn't hold back. It's no secret he pretty much hates Kubrick's The Shining, a praised horror classic, and he's not going to bite his tongue, if he doesn't like something. I heard this on a podcast, but apparently, King has 100% creative control and final say on all of his adaptations after The Shining, so he's very hands on with everything.

Home Again is one of the other wide releases for the weekend, but I'm really not interested in watching another forgettable romantic comedy starring Reese Witherspoon.

Upcoming Films:

9/8: It
9/8: Home Again
9/8: 9/11
9/8: Anti Matter (straight-to-video/streaming)
9/8: Fallen (limited)
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