Jim and I have seen the latest installment in the long running Men in Black franchise, Men in Black: International. And it’s okay. It’s fun and entertaining, largely because Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth are fun and entertaining people who have an easy chemistry. The plot is twisty, but not very smart, and the whole thing just struggles to find the big red “hyperspace” button that would get it into orbit where it belongs. But if all you’re looking for is a bit of 90s nostalgia in a forgettable summer flick package, Men in Black: International will do.
Jim and I went to see the latest X-Men flick, Dark Phoenix. It’s not as bad as it’s Rotten Tomatoes rating would imply, but it’s certainly not good. And it’s unfortunately because once again a classic X-Men plotline is burnt (refried, in this case) and all-time great Magneto and Professor X performances by Fassbender and MacElvoy are wasted on a script with muddled characters and paper thin villains. Long time fans of the X-Men will enjoy some great stand alone moments with their favorite characters, and the core chemistry of Xavier / Magneto / Mystique work to get the film’s emotional heart a brief jump. But ultimately the film folds underneath the weight of apathy and ugly FX work.
Jim and I are both long-time fans of Godzilla, and we’re here to report that this here is a really great Godzilla… trapped in a really, really dumb film. Godzilla: King of the Monsters has never looked better, has never been more bad@ss, has never been a meaner lizard, the problem is the homo sapiens that keep interrupting the truly amazing kaiju action we’re getting here. If you can find a dumber lot of heroes and villains in a major motion picture, we’d like to see them. Worse, there are zero stakes because apparently it’s not possible for these morons to die unless they’re faceless extras or it’s the dramatically appropriate time for them to die, but again this film doesn’t understand drama or tension, so that doesn’t really work, either. This would be a really fun film to rip on and root for the monsters on a lazy Saturday with your best friends, but it ain’t worth the time going out to see it. We’ll hope for better next week with the X-Men as we get a first look at Dark Phoenix!
If you’re wishing for a three-way review of Disney’s latest live-action adaptation, Aladdin, then listener you’re in luck. Wish granted. Cecily, Jim, and I went to see it tonight with appropriately low expectations, but were very pleasantly surprised at how much fun and energy the movie provided. Better, the script smartly adapted the original, improving it’s pacing while also adding depth to Jafar’s intrigue and Jasmine’s character, making it smarter and more relatable to modern audiences. The Tomatometer is kinda brutal for Al and friends right now (59% as of this writing), so take our review with a grain of salt. And we’re still skeptical of the long term viability of these live-action adaptations, but we feel like this movie is proof that they aren’t necessarily doomed to be pointless wastes of time.
The Super Serious Film Fest: Fantasy reaches it’s thrilling conclusion with a look at 1998’s Willow. The brain child of one George Lucas, directed by protege Ron Howard, and starring the delightful Warwick Davis, Willow still struggles to this day to find an audience. It suffers from simultaneously being curiously dark for a family film, but far too simple, uncomplicated, and broad to hold much interest for adults. While it boasted some cutting edge special effects for our day, the best one might be the baby Elora herself, played by a suite of infants. It shouldn’t be possible for a baby to be this winsome and charming, but there it is.
Jim and I take a belated look at the latest installment in the John Wick saga, Chapter 3: Parabellum. JW3:B, has some of the finest action sequences we’ve ever seen, but it’s also rapidly approaching diminishing returns in terms of quantity over quality. We’re all for combat innovations including insane knife work, horse and dog augmented combat, and up-armored adversaries, but there’s only so many times you can watch Keanu kill a guy with a gun before you start checking your watch. With John Wick 4 looking to keep upping it’s ante, is this momentum sustainable? We’ll look forward to finding out!
Excalibur is one of the most ambitious tellings of the legend of King Arthur. It’s chock full of knights, castles, and excellent actors. Today we find out if Sir Patrick Stewart and Sir (?… probably) Liam Neeson, among others, can do enough heavy lifting to hold Excalibur on high or if it will be an…
Orion as a studio “legit doesn’t exist anymore” and neither does the studio we filmed this in. Regardless, Excalibur does exist, complete with a very shiny castle, nippley armor to match, and knights that get down without taking any of it off. This should be a fun one! Stream Excalibur online: https://amzn.to/2E7IlBw
Novice Pokemon Trainer A.Ron is joined by S Rank Trainer Cecily to break down the action in Detective Pokemon. We were both surprised at how straightforward a kids film this was. To be fair, we weren’t expecting Deadpool out of a Ryan Reynolds’ starring Pokemon film, but parents looking to be thrown an adult bone over the heads of their children are probably going to be disappointed. Still, it’s relentlessly, almost threateningly cute, and the more into Pokemon you are the more you’ll appreciate the universe and background details they’re packing into the scene.
OMG! It’s a movie with Sean Connery, David Thewlis, and DRAGONS? What could be better? I’ll tell you what… A movie without Dennis Quaid. ANY movie without Dennis Quaid. Especially a movie without Dennis Quaid sporting a dime-store wig and an accent to match. But here we are. We’ve seen the movie and we have thoughts.