‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Review

Marvel raises the bar once again for the Superhero genre. Creating their greatest achievement yet. It’s perfectly balanced, as all things should be.

I laughed, I cried, I cheered. And that was all just in the first 10 minutes. I had to wait until Sunday night to finally see the much anticipated Avengers: Infinity War. Do you know how difficult it is to stay spoiler free from the biggest movie of the last decade? It’s extremely hard, I did my best to stay off social media, so when Sunday night rolled around I was ecstatic I was walking in spoiler free. So after a decade and 18 movies later, did Marvel hit a grand slam? Yes, yes they did. I’m not really sure where to start, this will be a spoiler free review, I’m going to write another piece about the future of the MCU and how I really thought about EVERYTHING that happens in Infinity War, but for now, here’s my review! Also just congratulations on this becoming the highest grossing movie ever domestically in a single weekend. It deserves it, this is bar none the best MCU movie ever made.

Boy did Marvel not hold back, from the very opening moments of the film, this felt like something epic. This review might be all over the place, because it will be extremely hard to write something spoiler free, which this will be! We are immediately introduced to Thanos (Josh Brolin) and his trusty side kicks – The Black Order. For sidekicks, the Black Order were pretty goddamn awesome I thought. Hats off to Tom Vaughn-Lawlor who played Ebony Maw, because if you tossed him into any other MCU movie, we could be talking about one of the best MCU villains here. Just so happens he was standing next to Thanos for the entire movie so it’s hard to really consider him truly great, because well Thanos climbed to the top of Mount Rushmore of comic book movie villains after this performance. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, it’s not like we have been waiting since 2012, when he first reared his big ugly purple head. Since then they have been building the MCU for this very moment. When everything finally comes together, crossovers you didn’t know you wanted, team ups we could have never imagined and more importantly the Avengers coming face to face with the Mad Titan Thanos. For the last 6 years all we have heard about is the 6 infinity stones and the unimaginable power they all contain. Put them all together and that person has the power to accomplish anything. Well Thanos is looking to round up all these stones and it’s up to our heroes to stop him. That’s almost the strongest part of the entire movie. It’s not an overly complicated plot, it’s simple. Thanos wants the stones, our heroes are trying to do everything and anything they can to stop him.

Thanos was such a terrific villain, we are coming off such a strong one with Killmonger in Black Panther, but Marvel stepped their game up even more with Thanos. What makes a truly memorable and great villain performance, is well, they need to have layers, and the character kind of needs to be flushed out throughout the movie. We get a ton of background and history about Thanos, we get to see inside his mind, what makes him tick and everything he truly loves. For being the most evil person in the entire universe, there are parts of the movie where you almost are rooting for him to get all the stones. Like if someone asks me, “Was Thanos a good villain?” Well, he’s unstoppable, terrifying, sadistic, at times polite and like i mentioned, in a few brief moments, sympathetic. He’s just not a power hungry mad man who has no sense or sense awareness to everything around him. He’s so much more complex than that, and you almost see where he’s coming from. He’s the most badass villain to ever show up in a comic book movie, and with that comes the fact he’s almost the most sympathetic villain to ever grace the big screen. So if you haven’t figured out by now, I really enjoyed Thanos, he makes the movie and I was glad that he got the most screen time out of any character in the entire movie. Frankly, us fans that have been waiting all this time for him to show up deserved it.

As for the rest of the team they all work so well together. Yes they all don’t have the most screen time, but if you love these characters and watching them, then you won’t care. The interactions between characters, like Rocket and Thor, Tony and Dr. Strange are all things I didn’t know I needed so badly in my life. The Russo Brothers picked the perfect little teams to divide into, and I think that was really important. If that doesn’t work, the whole movie doesn’t work. I thought Dr. Strange, Thor and Gamora were the MVP’s of our heroes. Thor has evolved into the best MCU character in my opinion and I can’t wait to see how he will keep evolving. The whole movie really flies by, they don’t really pussyfoot around at all. You’re in waist deep before you know it, and instantly the stakes are at an all time high. I saw a lot of people saying this was just another “funny MCU movie” and yes of course it’s funny. I’m happy this movie is funny, but when it wants to get down to the nitty gritty and be serious, it’s actually bone chilling serious. There are moments in this movie that I never saw coming, things that maybe I saw coming. Things I thought might happened, happened. Things that could happen, happened. A ton of available evidence and suspicion confirmed that, in the end that thing would happen. I WAS NOT PREPARED AT ALL TO WATCH THAT THING HAPPEN. This movie tugs on your heart strings and when the screen fades to black, you are gut punched. You are looking around searching for answers, you want to know what the hell just happened. I think that’s my favourite part about this whole thing. I have no idea where Marvel is going to take this thing. Well I have some thoughts and wild ideas, but I actually don’t really know the future direction of the MCU and for the first time in a long time, I am so intrigued about this whole thing.

Like I can’t even say much more, because all I want to do is talk about everything that happens within the movie. But I can’t, not here at least. What more do you want me to say? This is the movie of 2018, no other comic book movie will come close to making me feel what I felt during Infinity War. It’s damn near perfect, I can’t wait to watch it again. I saw it back to back nights, because I needed that in order to really process everything. Go see this movie, don’t be that weirdo that sits this one out. I will say this – It’s perfectly balanced as all things should be.

Check ya later

Nate’s Movie Tour Reviews – Avengers: Infinity War = 98/100

 

‘Rampage’ Review

It’s official. I’m only calling him Dwayne Johnson. The Rock is no more.

Lions, tigers and bears oh my! Well I guess, a monkey, a wolf, and a crocodile. Throw them in the Windy City make them 50 feet tall and you have the newest video game adaptation Rampage. According to rotten tomatoes it is the best rated video game movie ever, I know that’s not saying to much but a wins a win. For Dwayne Johnson – the King of the box-office he just keeps winning. I had so much fun with this movie, and will continue to support any project that DJ is involved with.

Imagine just walking down the street on a sunny day in Chicago when three larger than life animals come hurling towards you looking for their afternoon snack. Yes, I’m well aware this is a silly premise but as much as I like reviewing movies based on their technical achievements or story telling. Sometimes it’s nice to just sit back, relax and completely turn your brain off. It helps when you enjoy the movie you’re watching, but people can take movies way to seriously these days. Life is about having fun and enjoying things and movies are for the most part made for entertainment purposes. Is the acting in stupendous? No. Is the movie well written? Absolutely not. Will you crush the largest popcorn and soda while enjoying the heck out of Rampage. Hell yes.

So when an evil company Energyne cooks up some secret genetic altering, gene manipulating sauce in space and things go haywire, three canisters containing this stuff fall to Earth. Three unsuspecting animals come into contact with it. A wolf on Wyoming, and crocodile in the Everglades and George an Albino ape in the San Diego Zoo. George is best friends with Davis Okoye (DJ) and when George starts to grow at uncontrollable rate, well Davis gets a little concerned. Enter Claire (Naomie Harris) a once employee of Energyne. She works along side Davis and a government worker Henry Russell (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) to try and stop these animals from essentially destroying the planet. There you go, that’s the entire plot. It’s pretty simple, big animals running amuck and us trying and failing miserably to stop them. I like all three of these people, and I actually thought they worked really well together. I would love to see DJ and JDM side by side again. Something about them seemed to click and I really enjoyed that aspect of this movie. There are other human characters at play here, but they are the definition of disposable. The villains are pretty much cartoons, and in terms of the human side of the story the weakest part of the film.

The stars of the movie are our three larger than life animals. They really steal the show and when they are finally on screen together you really can’t look away. The last 40 mins is just a fun ride. I thought the effects were pretty impressive for the animals, other aspects not so much, but watching a giant ape and DJ fight side by side is just fun to watch. Why nitpick all the little things or the issues I knew this movie was going to have. It’s a video game move – they have a terrible track record. It’s just suppose to be fun, so why base it off anything other than that? The movie isn’t perfect, I wouldn’t even say it’s a great movie, but I had a ton of fun and at the end of the day, I think that’s what they want. I know that’s what DJ wants from anyone who goes. It’s got some really great comedic moments, plenty of destruction and Dwayne Johnson. The movie is called Rampage expect a bunch of stuff exploding and a ton of chaos. This is actually something I would like to see more of, because for what it’s trying to be, I think they accomplished their goal. Thinking about it, this very well could be one of my favourite Dwayne Johnson movies.

Check ya later

Nate’s Movie Tour Reviews – Rampage = 70/100

‘A Quiet Place’ Review

This is one impressive accomplishment. Such a new and refreshing take on the horror genre. A pulse pounding 90 minutes that pretty much doesn’t let up.

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“A family is forced to live in silence while hiding from creatures that hunt by sound.”

The miracle of birth. It’s truly a special moment in every women’s life. The joy of bringing a child into this world. We all know just how painful an experience it can be. I can’t even fathom it to be perfectly honest, but just imagine going through birth and not being able to make a sound. That’s right ladies, imagine the most painful experience the human body can essentially go through and you have to stay absolutely quiet. Sounds like the worlds worst prank if you ask me. For Emily Blunt in A Quiet Place, it’s actually a reality. That is the premise of John Krasinski new ground breaking horror film. Something has come to Earth and they hunt you based off sound.

I remember seeing the first trailer when it was attached to IT and was intrigued from the get go. You felt it from the trailer that this was going to be a tense and suspenseful film. I didn’t know it was going to turn out to be the scariest movie of 2018. Film-makers  have been creating horror movies for about a century so it is really hard to redefine a genre that has stood the test of time. It’s difficult to put a new spin on something and make it stick with the audience. A Quiet Place is that movie. The premise is pretty genius and the way that Krasinski was able to carry this thing out with his almost perfect directing makes for one terrific film. There are 6 people credited with roles and everyone of them accomplishes wonder. When you see the title of the movie, one would hope you realize there won’t be much dialogue throughout, but it doesn’t need it. From the opening scene, which is probably going to end up being one of the better opening sequences from any movie this year. It immediately thrusts you into this world. You’re on the edge of your seat from the mere moments the movie begins.

Creatures have come down to Earth, and actually very little is explained in regards to why this has happened. The movie picks up on day 89 of the “invasion,” so we are thrown into this new world. This is a movie about survival and about family. About how this one family is dealing with this new threat. This isn’t some creature origin story, or a big picture kind of deal. We are only looking through the eyes of the Abbott family, that is it. I didn’t mind that they didn’t give us any backstory, because the movie didn’t need it. You understand that the world has gone straight to hell, and it’s a fight for survival now. That the world has simply changed and this family is doing everything in their power to protect one another. That’s what I kind of liked about the movie the most. It didn’t try to hard to explain itself. You just go on this 90 minute thrill ride and you’re immersed into every single second of it. The movie is scary, I had my hands over my mouth during the first few minutes because you know exactly what is going to happen, but it’s still painful to watch and the fact that they can’t make any noise and watching everyones body language and faces during this type of scene is why the movie is so special. It really makes you think, about going through all these painful experiences and really not being able to do anything, not even cry. I don’t know if I could live in a world like that, and Emily Blunt is so just damn good in this movie. She really brings the whole thing together, and the fact that her and Krasinski are married in real life, I think made the bond between these two people even stronger. The two kids, Noah Jupe and especially Millicent Simmonds who is just fantastic both bring their A game to the table. They really felt like a family.

You can tell Krasinski took some inspiration from other great monster movies. Like Jaws for instance. He knows exactly when to show you the creature and when to tease it. That’s what makes monster movies so good, is when they show their cards at the exact right moment. I thought overall the creatures were pretty cool. I was into their design, and I really liked how they feed off sound. And towards the end of the movie you begin to realize some things about them and how everything ultimately comes together is really well executed. Tons of great jump scares, that aren’t your typical jump scares and a few even caught me off guard. You need to be in a crowded theatre for this one, because it makes the experience so much better. Which luckily I had, I thought it almost made the movie a bit more tense, because you can feel that all around you at certain moments in the film.

Walking out, I wanted more of this world, there is so much more that could be explored. But what we get is just a fantastic 90 minute journey that sucks you in from the very second the movie begins. Sometimes that’s all you need, no big set ups, no world building, no after credits tease, just a really well made film. The setting, the cinematography, the score, everything in this movie is pretty much flawless. It’s a beautifully made movie, with only a budget of 17 million dollars. It made that back on Friday night. I’m really happy for Krasinski, this movie is going to be a juggernaut at the box-office. I’m sensing a Get Out kind of reception and acclaim.  I can’t recommend this movie enough, it’s a incredible movie going experience, and it’s movies like this, why I enjoy going to the theatre so much.

Nate’s Movie Tour Reviews – A Quiet Place = 92/100

‘Ready Player One’ Review

Ready Player One. More like, Ready Player Fun. Am I right!?

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(WARNER BROTHERS)

“When the creator of a virtual reality world called the OASIS dies, he releases a video in which he challenges all OASIS users to find his Easter Egg, which will give the finder his fortune.”

Nostalgia literally means “wistful desire to return in thought or in fact to a former time in one’s life,” and when you enter the OASIS that’s exactly what you get. The feeling of nostalgia can bring about all sorts of emotions and feelings, some good, some bad, most of the time it brings you back to a “better” time in your life. Enter Ready Player One, the newest Steven Spielberg (yeah that guy) epic based on the 2011 Ernest Cline novel that shares the same name. The world right now is kind of in a pseudo nostalgia phase. Obsessed with once was, things like Stranger Things, IT and now Ready Player One. The thought of going back to maybe a time when things were a little simpler seems to be a trend in Hollywood these days.

So when beloved game maker James Halliday (Mark Rylance) dies, the world is heartbroken. Halliday is responsible for creating the OASIS, and as our hero Wade Watts/Parzival  (Tye Sheridan) puts it “People come to the OASIS for all the things they can do,” and “They stay for all the things they can be.” It is now 2045 and people need an escape from their miserable lives. The world has lost some important resources and people are sick and tired of the dreadful world they live in. You can be anyone you want in the OASIS, big, small, beautiful, a giant, a robot, an orc, anything your imagination can think of. The OASIS gives you the freedom to do so. When he died Halliday left behind an “Easter Egg,” and the first person to find this egg would take over complete control of the OASIS and essentially the future of the world. The wonderful thing about the OASIS is well freedom, like I mentioned, freedom to be and do whatever you can imagine. The possibilities are endless inside this virtual reality, until well an evil corporation is trying to find this egg, so they can run a profit off this game and ruin all the fun for everyone. IOI is this corporation and they are run by Nolan Sorrento (Ben Mendelssohn) and they will ultimately stop at nothing until they find this egg. Halliday was a man who grew up in the 80’s, he loves Atari, War Games the movie, any arcade game you can think of. So when he died, the popular culture within the 80’s blew up, because the more you know about Halliday, the better your chance at finding the egg are. Parzival isn’t alone on his quest to find this egg, his best friend Aech/Helen (Lena Waithe),  the love of his life Art3mis/Samantha (Olivia Cooke), Sho (Phillip Zhao and Daito (Win Morisaki) are all in this hunt together. Together they make the “High Five,” and one hell of a team. The hunt consists of finding three hidden keys, that will lead you to the prize. It had been years since the death of Halliday and not a single key had been found. Not until Parzival stumbles upon a clue that leads him to the Copper Key. From there it’s a race against time, winner take all battle royale if you must to find this egg. There won’t be another movie where you can see King Kong, Chucky, the T-Rex from Jurassic Park and the little twins from The Shinning all make an impact on your movie, and for me, that is pretty special.

When I first walked out of the theatre Wednesday night, I didn’t know how I felt about this movie. I love the novel, I read it twice and I wanted to see it come to life on the big screen. This is Ready Player One the movie, it doesn’t really capture the spirit of the book. Sure it takes the most important elements, but this is not a faithful adaptation and I didn’t know how I felt about that. Because I wanted to see this incredible fun story come to life, but I know adapting a book onto the big screen, especially one like Ready Player One can be extremely difficult. So I needed to go in a second time, so I could just sit back, relax and watch this as a movie. And I must say, I absolutely love Ready Player One.

People will be on the fence with this film, I think you can immerse yourself into this world pretty easily, but others will have a hard time doing so. The references and the amount of characters and easter eggs inside this movie alone are too many to count. Here’s the thing they don’t do it in a way, where it’s just “Hey, look at thing that, I know that!” They aren’t shoving these references down your throat. Everything intertwines perfectly, and I thought Spielberg did an incredible job building this world. I was just caught off guard with how different the movie was from the book, so I was disappointed in that sense. But this is a film review and it’s a pretty damn good movie. No one really knows how to do a great chase scene like Spielberg, and there’s a pretty fantastic one in this, if I say so myself. He has a knack for fast, clean, precise and well shot action, he’s a legendary director and you’re basically giving him the keys to the kingdom here. How he manages to shoot scenes with so much going on and so many pieces and characters all at once, but it feels so natural. You can understand what is going on at all times, and how he was able to pull this off is just remarkable. Whenever we are transported to the OASIS I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen, so inevitably when we are back in the real world, all you want to do is go back, where everything is brighter, faster and way more entertaining.

The cast is great, Tye and Olivia are great leads, and Mendelssohn continues to prove he can play a really good corporate asshole, he’s such a fantastic villain. But you almost learn to love their avatars more then their human counterparts. Especially for a character like Aech, who just had one of the best looking character designs I’ve seen in a movie. Ready Player One is very Spielbergian at times, all the things we love about his movies come to life here, and I’m happy he was the man to tackle this. There are moments of sheer delight, where my face was hurting due to the amount of smiling I was doing. This is more than just a pop culture nostalgia-fest. There’s heart and real life connections to be made. About how reality is real, and you can’t hide forever. That no matter who you are or what you do inside a game or on the internet, none of that really matters, it’s what happens in reality that counts. Reality can be scary, but it can also be great and as James Halliday puts it – the only place to get a decent meal.

Yes it’s a ton of fun, pointing out all the different characters you see, all the songs you recognize, but I think at the end of the day, Spielberg just made a really enjoyable popcorn flick. I think he knows it, and I think that was his main goal. No Oscar bait, no awards, just pure fun and a trip down memory lane. Imagine Willy Wonka decided to created a virtual reality instead of making candy, and he had all the money in the world to do so, that’s what the OASIS is. The more I think about it, the more I fall in love with the movie. I don’t think it’s ground breaking or anything like that, I just think it’s such a fun ride, and if you get on board with it, you’ll love it. My displeasure of them not being more faithful to the book is a nitpick, but one that can’t take away from the actual movie itself. That would not be fair to the movie. It gives me hope that perhaps down the road we will get that adaptation, but for now I am perfectly okay with the version we have right now. It’s a movie about the future but deals a lot with our present and again Spielberg just made another incredible movie. If you like the movie or didn’t like the movie but haven’t read the book, I highly recommend that you give it a try, because it’s an easy, short and super fun read!

Check ya later.

Nate’s Movie Tour Reviews – Ready Player One = 85/100

 

The NBA Weekly Show!

On Today’s Episode

We finally have the band back together! Kenny hands out the Jordan’s Secret Stuff Award and we discuss if LeAngelo Ball is a worthy NBA draft prospect (00:00-14:15). The carousel that is the NBA playoffs is among us, and we break down the possible match-ups and if it’s a lock for Cleveland and Golden State to meet in the finals (14:15-30:15) This year’s MVP race is tighter than people think, we debate our picks, and how insanely hard it’s going to be picking the first All NBA Team (30:15-41:48) We finish as usual with some NBA Quick Hits (41:48-48:33)

We just wanted to send our love and our congratulations to Jamal Crawford who now holds the record for most losses in NBA history!

‘Pacific Rim: Uprising’ Review

So they made a sequel to Pacific Rim……..

“Jake Pentecost, son of Stacker Pentecost, reunites with Mako Mori to lead a new generation of Jaeger pilots, including rival Lambert and 15-year-old hacker Amara, against a new Kaiju threat.”

I can’t believe it has been 5 years since I sat down in a theatre and was absolutely blown away by Guillermo Del Toro’s incredible Pacific Rim. The man grew up loving monsters and this was a project he wanted to make his entire life. Pacific Rim kind of came out of nowhere, I remember the trailers being really loud and fast paced and I didn’t know that to expect from the film. Once 2013 was all said and done, turns out Pacific Rim was my favourite movie from that year. Guillermo has the ability to craft such poetry on screen. His colour schemes, the Jaeger and Kaiju design were so impeccable, you really felt the passion all over this movie. You could just feel his magical touch all over Pacific Rim, I think that’s what it sets it apart from every other movie like it. Transformers, Battleship, Godzilla, all these movies are just generic in every sense of the word, yet Del Toro managed to create a really beautiful universe within the Pacific Rim realm.

So we had to wait 5 long years to go back into a world that had giant robots fighting lager than life monsters, but this time around, Del Toro was not behind the camera. And for me, this is the biggest weakest of the movie. Steven S. DeKnight fills in. He doesn’t do a horrible job, but that magical touch I was talking about is quite frankly gone. This is what Pacific Rim would look like if someone who wasn’t so passionate about the material made the movie. The biggest flaw of Pacific Rim: Uprising is that it just feels like every other movie. They made a paint by numbers rock em sock em blockbuster. With generic characters and an insanely weak and messy plot. I wanted this movie to be great, but it’s just not a very good film. Instead of building off what Del Toro built, they almost decided to erase all of his work and start fresh and that was a terrible idea.

We pick up 10 years after the events of the first film and the Kaiju are no more. This time around we follow the journey of Jake Pentecost (John Boyega) son of war hero and former Jaeger pilot Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba), who doesn’t want nor believes that he needs to follow in his fathers footsteps. When a new threat arises, Jake must not only follow in his fathers shoes, but finished what he started. He isn’t alone on this journey, Nate Lambert (Scott Eastwood) and Amara Namani (Cailee Spaeny) are along for the ride. I don’t want to say the acting is terrible, I think the script is just poor. Everyone is trying their best with the material given to them. Boyega remains insanely charismatic, like I’m talking young Dwayne Johnson levels here, but it wasn’t enough. Scott Eastwood is in this movie, that’s all I got to say about that. The big problem for me was they introduced a bunch of kids, and it made it feel too much like Power Rangers. The first one had these mature adults piloting the Jaegers and now we have some really young kids, who aren’t great actors trying to carry this whole movie, and it didn’t work out. We see some old familiar faces with Charlie Day and Burn Gorman as the wacky Kaiju scientists. I will only say this, the worst part of the entire movie is what they did with Charlie Day’s character, I won’t get into it, but my god. One of the worst things I’ve seen in a movie in a very long time. We also get the return of Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi), who happens to be Jake’s sister. She is totally misused, which shouldn’t come as a surprise. A total badass turned into an army general, who I felt was in the movie just so we had a familiar face to look at.

There just wasn’t any jaw dropping moments, even the action lacked anything we haven’t seen before. The new looked Jaegers were almost to sleek and slim, it just made them look less realistic. I liked the old, clunky, slow moving but methodical Jaegers from the first. The Hong Kong action sequence is still some of the best stuff I’ve seen on IMAX. There was no moment throughout the entire film where I felt I was getting something new, something revolutionary, which is just really a shame. A lot of it just didn’t make a whole lot of sense, and by the time the good stuff came around, I found myself completely checked out of the movie. The action doesn’t really occur until the final 20 minutes of the movie, and it’s just nothing special. I just wanted them to take what Del Toro started and make a few adjustments and improve on it just a tad. Just take a look below and nothing even comes close to it.

I went in thinking how bad could this movie possibly be? As it turns out, pretty bad. I hate to say it, because you know a ton of work goes into making any movie, but at the end of the day, Pacific Rim: Uprising will go down as one of 2018’s worst. It’s going to bomb at the box-office this weekend, so I have a feeling this will be the last time we get to venture into this world, and that just sucks. Maybe if Del Toro agrees to come back and do a sort of prequel, the guy did just win best director and picture, so I think he has the power to do anything he wants right now. That is the only way we will see Jaegers vs. Kaju in the near future. I know this is a movie about giant robots punching and fighting monsters, and I shouldn’t think so much into it, but when at it’s core is about that, and that thing can’t even satisfy you or entertain you, well something isn’t right. If the plot stinks, the acting is sub-par, and the action doesn’t measure up, well you have a big time failure on your hands. I wanted this movie to be great so badly, I love this world, but it failed massively, and I think this is the end of the Pacific Rim franchise.

Check ya later

Nate’s Movie Tour Reviews – Pacific Rim: Uprising = 44/100

A Special Broing Out Edition!

This Week:

In life when you love something, you must set it free. If it comes back, it was meant to be! That’s exactly what has happened with Trust The Podcast. Kenny and Nate are back together and since it’s been awhile, the guys decided to just hang out and catch up.

First up we break down the Madness of March and discuss are god awful brackets (00:00-7:30). Next up, the craze that is Fortnite, and what exactly is Fortnite? (7:30-14:40). We end things talking the NBA. The rollercoaster that is the Western Conference and can the Raptors get past LeBron? (14:40-26:30)

‘Tomb Raider’ Movie Review

I know it’s not saying a lot, but this is one of the best video game movies ever made

‘Lara Croft, the fiercely independent daughter of a missing adventurer, must push herself beyond her limits when she finds herself on the island where her father disappeared’.

The newest video game adaptation is another Tomb Raider movie, this time directed by Roar Uthaug. I can’t think of a trend in Hollywood that has a worst track record then movies based off video games. There have been plenty throughout my lifetime and for the most part, they all failed in spectacular fashion. With some of them even being regarded as some of the worst movies ever made, so whenever they roll out another one, usually people just roll their eyes and move on. Fool me once, shame on you, but fool me a hundred times, well you should just give up at this point. BUT, there can always be exceptions, and this time around with the new and improved, more grounded Tomb Raider, I must say, I was pleasantly surprised. Remember all the way back in 2001 when Angelina Jolie geared up for her portrayal of the Lara Croft. She actually got two cracks at it, both being met with insanely harsh critics. They can be thought of as some of the last 90’s actions movies ever made. You know, insanely over the top, cheese fest. It was soon after where everything started to become more grounded and serious. These movies were the polar opposite.

It’s simple there’s a new and improved Lara Croft and it’s Alicia Vikander. Going into the movie, people questioned if she was suited to play this role. The movie is based on the rebooted game that came out in 2013, where they detoured away from making Lara a sexual figured and made her just a regular kind of gal. This is a really close adaptation of the 2013 game, and it’s a serious shift from the previous installments. The trailers were decent enough to get me to the theatre to see this. Remember we are talking about a video game movie so I was hesitant to say the least.

So this leads us into the movie itself, this is another origin story for Lara Croft, where she is on a mission to find out what happened to her father. He’s been missing for just over 7 years and when she receives a clue about what was really going on in his life, she embarks on a epic journey to a mysterious island, to help solve a mystery that drove him mad. I thought Alicia who is an Oscar winner was just incredible as Lara. You can tell she obviously put in a ton of work to get in impeccable shape for this role. She’s a mixture of Jason Bourne and Indiana Jones in this movie.  Throughout the movie Lara finds herself in life and death situations and is constantly testing her limits, and as we get deeper into the movie, the bigger hero she becomes. Dominic West plays her missing father, and I thought they played off one another really well. For a video game movie, this actually had a really good cast. Dominic West is a truly gifted actor and I thought he elevated Alicia’s performance. When Lara arrives on the island, well she ends up getting shipped wrecked and she finds herself in a hostage situation. There is a secret and evil company known as “Trinity” who is after the mysterious power that lays dormant on this deserted island. Being held captive by their leader, Mathias Vogel (Walter Goggins), he is only trying to do his job and return home so he can see his own family. It’s been 7 long years on that island and his motives have become corrupt. Walter Goggins is just a straight up professional and throughout the movie, I kept thinking that he was kind of the only person I could see playing this role. He does a great job at playing the asshole, being cocky and an all-around jerk, so once again he pulled that off.

Tomb Raider is a movie based off a video game, which means everything will not be realistic, it’s going to have certain moments that seem unbelievable, or as I like to call them “video game moments,” but that should be expected by everyone. One thing I really dug about this movie, was how they roughed up Alicia throughout the film. She’s surviving a ton of hard falls, escaping improbable circumstances, and even suffering some pretty major wounds. Movies have tendencies to always make the female leads look perfect and pretty regardless of the situation and what has gone on throughout the movie, this wasn’t the case. She was being tested and going through a ton, and as the movie carries on, it takes a toll on Lara and you can sense that on the screen. Some of these things aren’t very realistic, but if you can look past that, you should enjoy this movie. It certainly isn’t perfect, and has major storytelling issues and some horrendous dialogue, but I knew that was going to be the case going in. I went to see this movie, because I wanted to see Alicia’s portrayal of this iconic character. She went all in for this role, it’s obvious and I think at the end of the day, she deserves a ton of credit. This is a Tomb Raider film, things are going to be a little unbelievable, part of the third act, it gets that way, but I definitely thought it was going to get even more silly than it did. If you like the games or have played the Uncharted games, I think you can sit down and enjoy this. It has some pretty cool action sequences, and it’s entertaining enough that seeing it in theatres is worth it. One of the biggest letdowns was having it be in 3D, which served no purpose whatsoever, it took me out of the movie to be honest, so that was one thing I was really disappointed with.

Overall, it’s a fun action/adventure film, that I had a enjoyable time with. It’s not perfect, no video game movie is. It’s not even a great movie, but this movie belongs to Alicia Vikander, and rightfully so. I can’t stress enough, this is a Tomb Raider movie, you need to know what you’re getting into before seeing this movie. I think it’s a good step in the right direction for video game movies and that is really important. I honestly want a sequel just to watch Vikander kick some more ass.

Check ya later

Nate’s Movie Tour Reviews – Tomb Raider = 68/100

‘Christopher Robin’ Trailer.

Hide your kids, because this is actually more terrifying than Pennywise The Dancing Clown.

Imagine sitting peacefully on a park bench minding your own business. Then out of nowhere this thing calls out your name. I would be running as fast as I could to the nearest bunker.

Meet Winnie The Pooh, you know the pantsless bear who loves honey more than anything. Well he’s back in a new live action kind of way. I wouldn’t fully consider this live action, because he’s just a walking, talking stuffed animal, but you get the picture. I don’t know what it is about this bear, but it really scares me. I can’t get over this and why they thought this could possibly be a good idea?

This has a very serious Hook vibe and feeling to it. Remember Hook? Peter Pan grows up and becomes a royal dick to everyone in his life and forgets what it means to be a kid and have fun. Well meet Christopher Robin (Ewan McGregor) who has zero joy in his life at the moment. So when he is reintroduced to his childhood friend Winnie The Pooh, well it’s up to Pooh and the rest of the gang from the 100 Acre Wood to make him a believer once again. Like most people at one point in my life I loved Winnie. Brings back some memories, it’s hard to forget that loveable voice. So when the trailer came out, I know this was about a week ago, I was shocked by his introduction back into my life. Now it may all make sense once the movie comes out, but if Pooh looks like terrifying, imagine what Owl and Tigger will look like.

I loved Hook, so this will be right up my alley, will just have to put on my big boy pants.

Check ya later.

‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’ Trailer.

Johnny Depp is here to fully ruin this movie for everyone.

Seriously though. Who’s bright idea was it to cast this guy? Throughout my entire life I’ve had the privilege of watching Johnny Depp act, and he’s a fine actor, but as of late….Well he’s just now Johnny Depp. That’s all I ever see, not the character he is portraying, but rather I just see him as himself.

So why on Earth anyone thought it was a good idea to thrust him into the world of muggles and magic is beyond me. On top of that he’s playing the bad guy. The first Fantastic Beasts was fine, everyone loves being transported back into this world and seeing familiar things and hearing that iconic score that is all too familiar. I even didn’t mind that it takes place in the past and we get a better understanding of the world that Harry Potter lives in.

A movie based in the world of Hogwarts and Wizards without Harry Potter was an adjustment to say the least, but the new additions to the characters was met with reasonable expectations, and everyone seemed to enjoy the first film. If they hadn’t we wouldn’t be getting a sequel. We are now seeing Jude Law added into the mix as young Albus Dumbledore, which for me is going to be extremely strange to see. I can only picture a wise old man, not this young guy, who seems nothing like the person we grew to know through 7 books and 8 movies. I do like Jude Law, so this could very well work, but I won’t know until I see more.

Overall the trailer looks great, visually it’s right on par with the original and I love the beasts aspect of these films. The creatures are a nice additions to this magical world. But someone please explain to me why we have to have Johnny Depp.

Check ya later.