Movie Catch-Up (Part 3) - 2017
Title: The Hitman’s Bodyguard
The world’s top bodyguard most protect the world’s top hitman as he tries to get from prison to his court appearance to testify against a defunct dictator. This movie is a rarity as it tackles the buddy cop action genre that has fallen by the wayside. Like last year’s The Good Guys, they put a twist on the genre by taking out the cop element and leaving the funny action intact. With Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson in as the co-leads, they deliver on both the banter and the action throughout the entire runtime. This is a perfectly enjoyable movie. Nothing crazy, nothing bad, just plain fun. Watch it the next time you have time to kill.
Title: The Circle
Based on the novel of the same name, The Circle follows the journey of a young woman as she lands her dream job in the biggest tech company in the world. This movie has a great cast in Tom Hanks, Patton Oswalt, Bill Paxton, Karen Gillan, John Boyega and Emma Watson. This movie also wasted the great cast with a story structure and a premise that is pointless and leads nowhere. I kept waiting for something to happen, and when something did happen I just found myself feeling dumbfounded that the writers thought this would pass as drama or a point of conflict. Completely skip this one.
This is a kid’s movie. In this kid movie, they present a world in which the bulls know that they are training to fight with the matadors. Their goal is to go into a ring where they are drug, stabbed and then toyed with a red blanket before they are murdered in front of a cheering crowd. Oh, and if they don’t perform adequately during their training there are shipped to the meat factory RIGHT ACROSS THE HILL… they can see it from their farm as their friends get shipped to be chopped up. Also in this world, a florist allows his daughter to sleep in the same bed as her 2,000-pound bull with large horns. They also have a dance battle between three fancy German horses and three bulls. This is 100% a kid’s movie. If you don’t have a kid, skip it and if you need some semblance of entertainment for your kid go watch Coco.
Title: The Wall
Two American soldiers are trapped by a sniper with only a wall between them. Get it… the wall. This movie is directed by Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity) so I had high hopes for this small war thriller basically starring only three actors: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, John Cena and the voice of Laith Nakli. This movie was just boring and I feel bad for saying this because it rests on the shoulders of Taylor-Johnson and he is a good actor, but I didn’t buy his terror or sense of dread in the situation he was placed in. The flow of the movie is not fast enough to keep me engaged and the story wasn’t compelling enough. You can skip this one altogether.
Title: Roman J. Israel, Esq.
This movie’s premise is a little hard to describe. Best I can do is we follow a stubborn, savant-type lawyer and stuff happens. When I learned that this movie had the same writer-director, Dan Gilroy, as one of my favorite movies of the decade, Nightcrawler, I was excited. But, once the trailer came-out I was utterly confused as to what this movie was about. So, I thought to myself “maybe it’s a movie you can’t sell through a trailer and the marketing department screwed-up”. After watching it I still can’t tell you what this movie is about. Great performance by Denzel Washington is wasted in this nonsensical movie that has a zero-end game in sight, making the audience yearn for the credits to roll. I hope Dan Gilroy comes back to form with his next film. Skip this one.
Title: A Quiet Passion
This movie follows American poet Emily Dickinson from her days as a young schoolgirl to her later years as a reclusive artist. Terence Davies directed this uneven period piece in where we explore both Dickinson’s life and how women were treated back in the 1800s. Cynthia Nixon plays Emily Dickinson in her later years and she does more than a serviceable job at it with many scenes from her being the stand out. Unfortunately, this movie is slow and it doesn’t feel like it has a purpose. With the use of the poems the film feels a little overly dramatic and some of the scenes feel more like pieces of a play rather than a movie. If you are a fan of Dickinson give it a shot, if not you are safe to skip it.
B-movie action movie in which the second civil war occurs in the United States. We mainly follow Brittaney Snow, a twenty something visiting family in New York when the invasion hits and she is saved by War Vet Dave Bautista. Directors Cary Murnion and Jonathan Milott shot this movie in such a way that it feels as if the entire movie takes place in one take, like 2014’s Birdman or 1948’s Rope. But unlike the movies I just mentioned, the edits hidden within the runtime are extremely obvious and sometimes dizzying to the eyes. The movie overall is fine is you need noise while you are cleaning your apartment. It has some nice action set pieces for when you want to take a break from the cleaning, but the story overall leaves al lot to be desired. It’s on Netflix, if you are bored and have time to kill got for it.
Title: The Dinner
This is a horrible movie. Don’t watch it. The end.
Getaway driver is double-crossed during a job and races to find-out who is behind it. This movie is the bastard child of 2013’s Locke and the opening sequence of 2011’s Drive, since the entire film takes place inside or around the car as the camera stays in the car for 99% of the runtime. The driver is played by Frank Grillo (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) and he gives a solid performance but this movie sadly suffers a lot from repeating the same lines over and over again to the point that you wish it was a silent movie. There are some good action sequences but not enough to wash out the bad dialogue. It’s a fine movie if there is absolutely nothing else to watch.
Title: Song to Song
This movie on paper sounds incredible. It stars Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara, Michael Fassbender, Natalie Portman, Cate Blanchet and Holly Hunter. But this movie is also directed and written by Terrence Malick. Sadly, I haven’t enjoyed a Malick movie since 1998’s A Thin Red Line. He has become a master at making incredibly long and empty movies that feel like an experiment that shouldn’t be conducted on its audience. This movie is shot in a cinema verite style that leaves a lot to be desired from the visuals. The characters have nonsensical conversations and the flow of the story leaves you yearning for a moment to cling to as the reason for your wasted two hours. Also, the overuse of voiceover narration really got to me, it quickly became annoying. You can go on with your day to day life. You don’t need to watch this.
In 1995, a teenager living with her sister and parents in Manhattan discovers that her father is having an affair. The movie stars Jenny Slate, Jay Duplass, Abby Quinn, John Turturro and Edie Falco. What’s interesting about this movie is that at the same time that the girls discover the infidelity of their father, Slate’s character is currently having an affair of her own. She sees herself reflected in the bad decisions her father has committed and the repercussions of his actions. He serves an example to not follow and ultimately leads her in the path to try to save her relationship with Duplass. The performances are good and the story is nothing we haven’t seen before in other dramedies. It has a good core message and some funny moments that ultimately justify your time investment. It’s streaming on Prime right now and it’s not a bad way to kill time if you don’t have anything else to do.
This Norwegian movie tackles religious, supernatural, and coming of age elements all at once. The movie follows a confused religious girl who discovers she has physic powers while at the same time discovering she is attracted to a girl from her school. While this movie has some interesting visuals and ok performances, the movie ends up feeling and looking bland and unoriginal. There are many cliché moments sprinkled through, and the result is a completely forgettable movie. Her powers aren’t explained or explored as we are shown that basically she can do anything she wants without any limit, even though she doesn’t understand them. Also, don’t watch this movie at all if you suffer from epilepsy since there are multiple scenes of flashing lights to the point that I got a bit of a headache. You know what, even if you don’t suffer from epilepsy, don’t watch this movie.
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