Deadpool 2 Review

Star Ryan Reynolds and New Director David Leitch Ratchet up the Action and Scope in this Ambitious Sequel to the Break-Out 2016 Hit.

Avengers: Infinity War Review

Ten years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has Led to this and what a Spectacle it is to Behold.

Life of the Party Review

Melissa McCarthy and Husband Ben Falcone Team for their Third Collaboratve Effort which also Happens to be the Best Result of their Efforts Thus Far.

Overboard Review

.his Re-make of the 1987 Goldie Hawn/Kurt Russell Classic is unnecessary, but Effective in its Execution

Breaking In Review

This Gabrielle Union-Fronted Thriller Sets out to be a Cheap and Entertaining ride, but Fails to Deliver Glorious B-movie Goods.

First Trailer for MOWGLI from Director Andy Serkis

While it always seemed odd Warner Bros. would craft their own take on Rudyard Kipling's 1894 collection of stories that spurned a 1967 animated Disney film that was recently re-made by Jon Favreau it is becoming all the more clear that Warner Bros. take on the material couldn't be more different than the light, largely comedic tone Favreau and team took with their realistic-looking 2016 feature. In his second directorial effort, following what was the rather standard, but kind of terrible Breathe last awards season, Serkis has gone fully over to the blockbuster realm of filmmaking of which he has had plenty of experience. When putting it in perspective, the guy has worked with a for directors ranging from Peter Jackson to Steven Spielberg to J.J. Abrams and of course, most recently, Ryan Coogler, and so it is natural for Serkis to have segued into crafting his own visual wonders while exercising his storytelling skills as well. And to be honest, Mowgli looks more impressive than I was anticipating with what is clearly some work left to be done on the CGI, but with as killer a cast as Warner Bros. has assembled to bring this to life and the tendency to lean more into the source material it will be interesting to see how this similarly inspired, but what is so clearly a vastly different finished product varies from the other iterations of Kipling's work. Watch the first trailer below along with a behind-the-scenes featurette. The film stars Serkis as Baloo, with Rohan Chand in the titular role as well as Christian Bale as the cunning panther, Bagheera; Cate Blanchett as the sinister snake, Kaa; Benedict Cumberbatch as the fearsome tiger, Shere Khan; Naomie Harris as Nisha, the female wolf, who adopts the baby Mowgli as one of her cubs; Peter Mullan as the leader of the wolf pack, Akela; Jack Reynor as Mowgli’s Brother Wolf; Eddie Marsan as Nisha’s mate, Vihaan; and Tom Hollander as the scavenging hyena, Tabaqui, and Freida Pinto. Mowgli opens October 19th, 2018.

DEADPOOL 2 Review

What if I told you the best parts of Deadpool 2 had nothing to do with the antagonist 20th Century Fox has been psyching everyone up for since last November? Or furthermore, since the post-credits scene in the first movie? I'll do you one more even-what if I told you the least interesting parts of Deadpool 2 in fact featured the same guy who was so charismatically devious three weeks ago in Avengers: infinity War? Well, for my money's worth-I'd much rather watch the Deadpool 2 that deals with the titular character figuring out how to balance his sarcasm and wit with that of being a part of something bigger-whether that be with Morena Baccarin's Vanessa or his newly formed X-Force family-but for the movie to go on for long stretches pretending as if Josh Brolin's Cable is a traditional villain in the sense that this is as much his movie as it is Deadpool's and that it is he who we will come to see the merc with a mouth clash with in the unavoidable climactic third act is a disservice to the movie in general as Deadpool 2 is simply better than that. It's better than this because, for a lot of its running time, Deadpool 2 (which is really a missed opportunity in terms of a title, guys-Untitled Deadpool Sequel is where it was at) balances so well the kind of irreverent humor that is the character's trademark and upending the expectations and conventions of the super hero genre in ways that aren't as obvious as one might imagine or as easy as it could be for writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (Zombieland) to default to, but rather Reese and Wernick as well as star Ryan Reynolds, who gets a writing credit on this follow-up, insinuate from the get-go that this isn't just going to give you what you want while upending those expectations, but rather that it's going to do this in a way you don't necessarily see coming. The writers as well as new franchise director David Leitch (John Wick, Atomic Blonde) stick to this main idea, this thesis if you will, throughout and layer in a genuine emotional pull so as to not hang their main character out to dry with little more than the same shtick we've come to expect. That said, there are plenty of laughs to be had here and viewers won't be longing for more of the old because this isn't completely more of the same, but rather there is a more intense satisfaction to be had from the bigger ambitions Reese, Wernick, and Reynolds have for the character this time around. Still, I'd be lying if I said those ambitions don't get away from them throughout the course of this neXt-level adventure.

Official Trailer for MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - FALLOUT

The first trailer for the sixth Mission: Impossible movie is by far the best trailer I've seen this year and is absolutely thrilling to take in on the big screen and yet, somehow, this movie still feels like an underdog going into the season. These movies have only become more thematically interesting over the years as they continue to maintain the level of quality set by the J.J. Abrams' third installment in 2006 if not surpassing that standard (2011's Ghost Protocol is a series highlight). With this latest film the series allows a past director to return for the first time in its twenty-two year history as Christopher McQuarrie, who last made 2015's Rogue Nation, must genuinely have a great working relationship with star Tom Cruise as this will only be McQuarrie's fourth film to ever direct with only one of those not featuring Cruise as the star. McQuarrie made his name first as the writer of Bryan Singer's 1995 cult hit, The Usual Suspects, and he has the sole screenwriting credit on Fallout as well. Fallout's story sees Cruise's Ethan Hunt and his IMF team, along with some familiar allies, racing against time after a mission goes wrong. There is certainly evidence to suggest Hunt's past is beginning to catch up with him though, and the addition of Henry Cavill as well as more jaw-dropping stunts make what is the sixth movie in a series, a sequel number one would typically relegate to equal crap, easily my most anticipated movie of the summer. This new, official trailer not only delivers the kind of suspense and action we've come to expect from the series, but reinforces the practicality of it all and how that now differentiates this series from a large majority of everything else summer has to offer at the cinema. While I enjoyed the idea that each new Mission film was a new opportunity for a strong director to put their own stamp on the series I will always have a fair amount of faith in McQuarrie if not for his limited directorial efforts, but for penning Suspects, one of my favorite films of all time and that faith doesn't seem to be misdirected as this new trailer only serves to further exemplify how exhilarating this movie will be, especially when experienced on an IMAX screen. Mission: Impossible - Fallout also stars Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Angela Bassett, Ving Rhames, Vanessa Kirby, Alec Baldwin, Wes Bentley, Frederick Schmidt, Sean Harris, Michelle Monaghan and opens on July 27th.

First Trailer for THE PREDATOR

I was never a huge fan of Predator, but most of this lack of affection derived from the fact I was born to late to really enjoy the testosterone-soaked brutal action movie it was during the heyday of testosterone-soaked brutal action movies. I did eventually go back and re-visit both the original and that 1990 sequel before seeing 2010's Predators though (which I remember liking more than I expected). That being said, I never bothered with any of the AVP titles given they came out in '04 and 07' which was before I had any interest in either franchise. Personal history aside, this latest attempt to re-boot the Predator franchise comes from writer/director Shane Black (Iron Man 3, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) who starred in the original 1987 Arnold Schwarzenegger-vehicle before going on to write massive hits like Lethal Weapon and Last Action Hero before and eventually moving into directing his own films. 20th Century Fox is clearly hoping that the hiring of Black contributes to the nostalgia factor it is also counting on to pull fans back in for a new film in a franchise that is now thirty-plus years old. And while having never personally been a huge fan of these movies it's not hard to understand the appeal and I look forward to seeing what a unique voice like Black brings to this kind of movie. Black's last film, 2016's The Nice Guys, was a fantastic little slice of a seventies buddy action/comedy, but it only made $62.7 million worldwide on a $50 million budget despite starring "names" like Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe. The Nice Guys is the kind of movie that would have flourished in the nineties when the movie star on the poster was everything, but in a world dominated by IP's and familiar brands it makes sense the studio would have Black return to his roots and try his hand at something proven that could use a little bit of fresh inspiration. As far as the trailer goes, this looks like what one would expect as far as a summer sci-fi movie goes, but I expect the film itself to be a lot less typical than what this first piece of promotional material suggests as the Predator films have a history of being rated-R and filled with a little more blood and guts than your standard PG-13 summer blockbuster. The Predator stars Jacob Tremblay, Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes, Keegan-Michael Key, Olivia Munn, Sterling K. Brown, Alfie Allen, Thomas Jane, Augusto Aguilera, Jake Busey, Yvonne Strahovski, and opens on September 14th, 2018.

TULLY Review

There is a point in the first ten to fifteen minutes of Jason Reitman’s Tully where it’s fair to think this is going to be “one of those movies”. One of those movies that chronicles the small, but sometimes enormously stressful lives of middle-class suburbanites that have become increasingly difficult to feel sorry for in the climate of a world gone off the rails. Everyone has their issues, their problems, their struggles, and they come to be dealt with just as uniquely or just as commonly as the problems themselves might be, but there is no point in asking an audience, who is paying hard-earned money to be entertained, to feel sorry for someone who is going through some of the same experiences they've likely had. This is the key, the turning point really, for Tully in that the movie never asks the viewer to feel sorry for its protagonist and it never asks for forgiveness for her actions either. In fact, the titular character that comes to be embodied by Mackenzie Davis and who is described as a "night nanny", never passes a single judgement on Charlize Theron's Marlo thus encouraging the viewers to do the same; or to at least hold that judgement until we are delivered the entirety of the picture. And so, in many ways Tully simply asks the viewer to either sympathize or empathize with its characters plight, knowing that said viewers might be able to relate, rather than necessarily making a stand about opening up a hidden world beyond the greeting card society we all like to pretend we exist within. The film, written by Diablo Cody (Juno, Young Adult), is best when it gets specific and Cody is known for excelling at this. There are multiple moments of unfiltered truth that capture the essence of what it feels like to be a parent to a newborn that, given how tired and how on auto-pilot new parents are, it’s a mystery how Cody had the forethought to write examples of as much down or even find the humor in certain situations, but she does and it is in these small truths, these everyday instances and challenges where the movie consistently keeps it real and yet moves on as we all have to do that the viewer is able to appreciate what Tully is doing, what it is saying, and what it becomes rather than dismissing it as another in a line of narratives that purport to pull back the curtain on the middle.             

On DVD & Blu-Ray: May 1, 2018

New Trailer for ANT-MAN AND THE WASP

Marvel Studios and Kevin Feige are wasting no time in ramping up the promotional campaign for their follow-up to Avengers: Infinity War with the sequel to 2015's Ant-Man, Ant-Man and the Wasp. Though Ant-Man and the Wasp apparently takes place before the events of Infinity War as does next March's nineties-set Captain Marvel it seems a foregone conclusion that either film will offer little in the way of answers to some of the questions that third Avengers film poses. Of course, we could see some type of serious foreshadowing depending on how exactly Paul Rudd's Scott Lang went about staying off the grid after Captain America presumably broke him out of prison after the events of Civil War which might in turn provide reason as to why Ant-Man was nowhere to be seen in Infinity War, but we'll have to wait and see as we have just over two months until the next MCU film hits theaters. Joining the company of Jon Favreau, Joss Whedon, and James Gunn director Peyton Reed is only the fourth director in the MCU's history to return for a sequel (though the Russo brothers still lead the pack as they will have directed four MCU films come next May). Of course, you may remember that there was a lot of fuss around the first Ant-Man given Edgar Wright's involvement in developing the script and even casting many of the key roles before dropping out of the project mere weeks before principal photography was due to begin due to "creative differences". Despite the late-in-the-game roster change it was easy to see the DNA of Wright all over that initial film and so it will be interesting to see what Reed and what seem to be his two writing teams that took a pass at the script (Andrew Barrer and Gabriel Ferrari breaking into the big time while Chris McKenna and Eric Sommers of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and The LEGO Batman Movie) come up with as Rudd also received a writing credit. Of course, the biggest draw of this sequel is that Evangeline Lilly will finally get to suit up as The Wasp and join Rudd's Lang in the action and while MCU heroes have had sidekicks before (The Falcon to Captain America, War Machine to Iron Man) the MCU has never touted one in the title of one of their films nor has one ever been female. Here's to change and here's to hoping change is good. Ant-Man and the Wasp also stars Michael Douglas, Laurence Fishburne, Walton Goggins, Michael Peńa, Hannah John-Kamen and opens on July 6th, 2018.

AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR Review

Where does one even begin? That is the question the screenwriters of Avengers: Infinity War must have been asking themselves when they sat down to pen what will ultimately come to be a five-plus hour finale to what the world has been witness to the construction of for a decade. There is so much happening and so much seemingly left to happen with Infinity War and whatever the as of yet untitled sequel is sure to include that it's almost incomprehensible anyone in their right mind took this on as a challenging endeavor they'd be willing to try their hand at. And say what you will about Joe and Anthony Russo, the directors of Winter Soldier, Civil War, and now both the third and what will be the fourth Avengers movies, and how they might feel like Marvel's "directors for hire" that bend at any whim studio head Kevin Feige commands, but these guys get the work done and do so in a way that is both dramatically satisfying as well as colossally entertaining. With Infinity War, the Russo brothers along with series screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely (all three Captain America films, Thor: The Dark World, as well as Agent Carter) have somehow managed to tackle the unenviable for them, but extremely exciting for audiences in the vein of making eighteen previous movies come together and intertwine in a way that is as natural as possible with clear motivation as to why as much is necessary at this point in time all while keeping it all, as Thanos would put it, "well-balanced." Where to begin in such an endeavor is certainly not a question with an obvious answer, but Markus and McFeely begin in what feels like the most natural of places given the hints that have been being dropped since that post-credits scene in 2012's The Avengers and where we last saw Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and his brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) after the destruction of their home world, Asgard. If you haven't been paying attention, the aforementioned post-credits scene delivered a slight smirk by a guy named Thanos (Josh Brolin) AKA a titan who sees fit to invade planets and wipe out half of their population in order to keep balance among the galaxies. This is who Infinity War centers around and in more ways than one this is Thanos' movie. This is a smart decision as this was never going to be able to be one heroes movie more than another's, but by giving this villain who we've been hearing whisperings about for almost six years now the credit he is due the movie allows this antagonist to live up to the mythos those past movies have built around him.