Reviews

‘Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle’ Review

Jack Black plays the best 16 year old girl since Molly Ringwald in Sixteen Candles 

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(SONY)

I will watch anything with Dwayne Johnson in it – true story. So when news broke that he was going to appear in a remake/reboot of the beloved Jumanji, I was a little hesitant. Well I have now seen the newest Jumanji movie, and it honestly was pretty good. Let me be perfectly clear when I say, you cannot compare this new Jumanji to the old. They are completely different movies, and rightfully so, they should be. They are both enjoyable in their own ways, but after seeing both, the 90’s film will always remain King of the jungle.

Unlike the original, which was a board game, we are now living in 2018; video games are what are hot in the sheets. So they changed it up a bit. For me the concept of the movie is what sold me on it. So when a bunch of troubled teens find themselves in detention, they come across the game. We have Spencer (Alex Wolf/Dwayne Johnson) a nerdy kid who loves video games and is afraid of everything, including squirrels. Fridge (Ser’Darius Blain/Kevin Hart) Spencer’s former best friend, now incredible athlete, football star of their high school. Martha (Morgan Turner/Karen Gillan) bookworm, a little bit of a loner. She really doesn’t have many friends and refuses to get close to anyone. Finally we have Bethany (Madison Iseman/Jack Black) the most popular girl in school, who spends more time on her phone than anything else. She’s what’s known as a ‘”like whore.” So when they all get sucked into the game, they become the avatars they picked at the start of the game. Pretty much all-polar opposite of who they are in the real world. I LOVED this idea, seriously. Whoever came up with the idea of Jack Black playing a 16-year girl, give that person a ton of money, because without that concept in the movie, I don’t think Jumanji is very successful. Jack Black carries this film. It’s one of his best comedic performances in a long time. Watching Dwayne Johnson run around being terrified of everything in sight was also a treat to see. Kevin Hart and Karen Gillan are fine, I went in expecting the classic Kevin Hart treatment, you get it, and either you like Kevin Hart at this point or you don’t. I’m used to Karen Gillan being a blue robot (Guardians of The Galaxy), so actually watching her really act was cool. She played the hot girl who doesn’t quite know it yet really well. So obviously they all must come together, put aside their differences so they can escape the game. They are tasked with returning a stolen jewel to a statues eye and calling out JUMANJI!

Remember they are in a video game, and if you have ever played a video game you know what that entails. They have “cut scenes,” which was pretty hilarious. Being taken away from the movie, to explain the plot, was pretty genius and an easy way to explain what was going on. They also run into NPC’s, which are Non-Player Character, and they are there to simply help out our characters. They are programmed to only say a few key phrases, and when they are trying to ask them all sorts of different questions, it’s pretty funny to watch them get the same answer over and over again. Like I said, I really enjoyed the concept of this movie, it’s unique and something pretty refreshing. Now every video game needs a bad guy. Mario has Bowser, Link has Ganon, and Pac-Man has those pesky Ghosts. Enter Van Pelt (Bobby Cannavale) who is pretty useless, okay I said it. He serves little to no purpose, but every movie like this needs a villain. But my god, he was so under utilized and just so forgettable. I would have rather seen our heroes battling the elements of the game and the elements of Jumanji, kind of like the original and not had a bad guy. But he helps push the plot ahead, but that’s what I wanted to see. There wasn’t enough stuff going on in the game, like animals and creatures, I wanted to see more of the world and the environment they were in. Nick Jonas is also in this he plays Alex. He has been stuck in the game for twenty long years, he doesn’t know that until he starts dropping a bunch of 90s references and the rest of the gang catches on. He is rattled to say the least, but he actually does a really great job in this. So he wants out of Jumanji more than anyone.

Listen, this is just a really fun time at the movies. It’s a great popcorn flick, something that was fun to see over the holidays. It’s got a ton of laughs, a great cast, really good chemistry between that cast, and a unique and interesting story. This movie isn’t going to blow you away and you won’t be leaving thinking this is the best movie of 2017, but you’ll enjoy yourself. Sometimes that’s all the reason you need to go the movies, at least that’s usually the case for me. I took my Mom. I thought she was going to hate every second of this movie she absolutely loved it. They are already prepping a sequel, it’s made a ton of money and got pretty good reviews, go see this movie, it’s a ton of fun.

Check ya later,

Nate’s Movie Tour Reviews – Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle = 80/100

Reviews

‘The Last Jedi’ Review/Thoughts

Team Kylo Ren. That is all.

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(DISNEY)

As they say, the force is strong with this one. The Last Jedi is finally here! The latest StarWars epic has finally arrived and well, people are divided. It’s the longest film in the series to date, and is chalked full of epic moments and twists and turns. I saw this Thursday night, but wanted to wait a few days before writing my review, because for movies such as these I wanted it to sink in and marinate a little bit. I loved this movie, I think over time it may very well be regarded as the greatest Star Wars ever made. The Internet and fans alike might not agree with that statement. Going into The Last Jedi, there was a ton of speculation about certain things, who Rey’s parents would be? Who was Snoke? What happened between Luke and Kylo Ren? All of these questions are answered in some way shape or form. I think that people were thinking one thing was going to happen and got another, and what they WANTED to happen, didn’t. So they thought the movie was “bad” because they didn’t get what they wanted. I think that is a huge problem with Star Wars fans, because you’re not always going to get what you want, but that doesn’t mean that thing is bad. I won’t spoil anything that happens in this movie, because that would be unfair, I will tread lightly around certain situations and characters.

First things first Rian Johnson (director) has gone out and made a thematically rich, emotionally nuanced and narratively subversive blockbuster movie. Most big budget movies often lack substance; good story telling and mainly rely on explosions and CGI. People think this is so far from what we have become accustomed to when it comes to StarWars, that they feel Rian Johnson has some what destroyed this franchise, well he reinvented it. He takes such bold risks and tells such a rich story, it’s really impressive on what he accomplished. There is a ton of pressure that comes with helming something that so many people hold so close and dear to their hearts. I think he did as good of job than anyone could have asked of him. The new droids, planets, landscapes and the entire aesthetic of The Last Jedi simply build on what JJ Abrams was able to accomplish in The Force Awakens. Crait a planet where the last battle takes place. The white and red minerals, the red salt standing out so clearly during the battle, is one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen in a Star Wars movie. The cinematography was just incredible. Throughout the entire movie itself, there are tons of artistic shots, that will make great one shot pieces, and images that will stand out in fans minds until the end of time. The whole movie deals with failures, and overcoming the failures. What happens to us when we fail, how do we respond? Almost everyone in this movie sets out on a certain goal or task and in the end, ultimately fails at the very thing they set out to do. We learn later in the movie, that failure is okay, it’s a part of life and it’s a part of growing as a person. People fail all the time, failure makes us stronger, makes us smarter. It was something I didn’t pick up on until after the movie, but failure is such a big part of this story. There is one thing that happens towards the end of the movie, you think the movie is about to take a MASSIVE risk, and they bail last second on it. The cop out, the way they get out of it, is so utterly insane, that I wonder how they felt this was a good idea. I wish I could talk about it more, but it involves Finn and Rose, and it was without a doubt the worst part, and one of the stupidest things I’ve seen in a movie in a long time. Especially with the timing of this event, it was just a real head scratcher.

This is a StarWars movie through and through. I mentioned it taking bold risks and trying to expand on this forever-growing universe, and it opens the doors to so many possibilities with the final installment, which we will receive in two years. From the opening music, before the always-epic scrawl, the opening shot of outer space, the light sabre fights, and just classic Star Wars moments. The story is pretty simple, Rey (Daisy Ridley) searches out Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) to get her proper training, Finn (John Bodega) meets a new girl Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) and they are trying to find Rey and lead her far away from the First Order. Poe (Oscar Issac) is struggling with becoming a leader, and the leader that the Resistance needs. While Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) is just trying to keep the remaining resistance fighters calm and well, safe. Meanwhile Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) is trying to figure out where he belongs in this world, and what he really wants. The cast is fantastic, this is the best Mark Hamill performance we have ever gotten, and it can be said with Carrie Fisher. They both shine, and always steal the scene they are in. With the passing of Carrie this past year, it was only fitting that we got to see her at her best in this movie, and you could tell she really gave it her all. As for everyone’s favorite Jedi, Luke Skywalker, this is what people are torn on. I get and I understand the direction they took Luke in this movie. I’ll just leave it at that, because anything more would enter spoiler territory.

For me, this whole movie was all about Kylo Ren, who is built like a brick shit house I might add. Adam Driver gives one hell of a performance in this movie. Movies these days, well they lack great villains. Who was the villain in Doctor Strange, or Justice League that just came out? How about Spider-Man Homecoming? Kylo Ren is for me, is the best villain since Heath Ledgers Joker. From the actual character to the performance of the actor playing that character. You feel for this guy, Kylo is conflicted, he wants to be bad, but part of him is good. This is evident in one particular moment in the first act of the movie. He wants nothing more than to impress Snoke, who openly mocks him about his helmet, which is destroys in a fit of rage after being criticized by Snoke. After TheForce Awakens came out, everyone thought of Kylo as a spoiled little brat, an Emo kind of villain, where unlike his dear old Grand Father, Darth Vader, where Storm troopers would fear him. They kind of just don’t want to be around Kylo, because he is well a brat. You see the pain in his eyes, the conflict on who he wants to become. When you start to learn about his past, and what he has gone through, you start to feel for his character. He is so full of rage and hate, and once he throws his helmet away, you can see that on his face for the rest of the movie. He wants Rey to join him, he wants the pair of them to rule the galaxy together, he has a soft spot for Rey, and feels like he can open up and share his thoughts and feelings with her. I just think Kylo is a very compelling and complex villain, one who will stand out for many years to come, it helps that Driver gives such a fantastic performance. It also helps that he’s part of probably the best scene in StarWars history. I can’t wait to see where they take his character and what’s in store for him, in the final chapter. Because his story isn’t finished, he is “unfinished evil,” where I think we have only seen the tip of the evil iceberg for Kylo Ren, which spells trouble for Rey and the resistance.

People are having a really hard time letting go of the past. Even Kylo Ren has a line of dialogue in the movie. “Let the past die,” he says. “Kill it, if you have to. That’s the only way to become what you were meant to be.” That bears true in the movie, and in real life. These new movies are moving in a new direction, moving away from the past (Luke, Leia, Han Solo) and moving forward with our new heroes and villains. People are having a hard time doing so, especially those who have been with this franchise since 1977. They want to remember and hang onto this epic and wonderful characters for as long as possible, and now that the end is in sight for most of them, people are having a difficult time letting go. In order for something new to grow, usually something old must die, these new movies was about telling a new adventure with new characters, and not about the ones we grew up with, and everyone should be okay with that. Luke Skywalker was not meant to be the main character and center of attention of this new trilogy. It’s the second biggest opening weekend of all time, 93% on Rotten Tomatoes. But here is why the Internet is divided; the audience score is sitting at 56%. I think that has a lot to do with what I mentioned earlier and people not getting what they wanted. This is not a bad movie; hell it’s an incredible movie going experience. It’s beautiful; the score is epic, great performances all around. People are upset certain things didn’t go their way; I think they need to get over that and give this movie another watch.

Overall, this has one of the best space battles ever, in my opinion the best light sabre fight scenes, and the best performances given in any Star Wars movie. It builds on already so much rich history, it’s such a great story, with some flaws, but with a movie this big in scale, that will happen. It’s full of incredible moments, breath taking visuals and a lot of laughs. I found myself a little emotional during certain moments; you really get caught up in it all. That’s what you want when you’re sitting in the theatre. This is a really great epic Star Wars movie that shouldn’t be missed. Give it time, fans will come back around to seeing this as a great movie, they are just salty right now.

Check ya later.

Nate’s Movie Tour Reviews – The Last Jedi = 92/100

News

‘Ready Player One’ Trailer

Really curious to know how they got the rights to all these characters.

So the new trailer for Ready Player One just dropped and it’s a real doozy. Being a massive fan of the book, when I heard this was being adapted into a feature length film, I was pretty happy to say the least. When they debut the first trailer at Comic-Con this summer, I wasn’t really that impressed with what I saw. I have changed my mind about this movie after this trailer, because it really does look spectacular.

Now I know going into this movie, it can’t be exactly like the book, but from this trailer a lot of things I was hoping would pop up did. There are actually too many characters to even name that appear in this trailer, and I’m really excited to see all these people on screen together. Look it’s Steven Spielberg, you already know it will be an enjoyable film. But he has the ability to make a truly special piece of film, and I think he might be hitting a home run with Ready Player One. It’s got a great cast and it’s based off a phenomenal book. This has all the makings to be extremely successful. Let’s hope so!

Check ya later.

News

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Trailer

The new Jurassic World looks like a yawn fest. They are trying way too hard.

Chris Pratt and dinosaurs. When I heard about this concept before Jurassic World was released I was pretty damn excited. Then the actual movie came out. Made 1.6 billion dollars, 208 million opening weekend, the biggest of all time. After all this, I still found myself thinking “was Jurassic World any good?” This coming from a guy who thinks Jurassic Park is the greatest summer blockbuster of all time. I’d give my middle nut to go back in time as a 25 year old and watch Jurassic Park in IMAX for the first time. Something about Jurassic World just didn’t sit right with me. I think it had to do with the plot, the fact that it just wasn’t scary. And most importantly the whole movie took place during the day. You know what mixes perfectly with dinosaurs? Darkness and rainfall. Just ask this guy.

For me there never was a real iconic moment in Jurassic World. They tried the whole “bigger is better” thing and introduced some stupid new hybrid and it didn’t work. So when I heard about the sequel I figured they would change course and maybe go back to the original formula and it kind of looks like they went the complete opposite direction.

The trailer just isn’t great. I’m going to come right out and say it. I was so underwhelmed. It seems like they are upping the ante but I still thought the trailer lacked any sort of substance. At one point Chris Pratt’s character is running for his life and yells “RUN!” And to me it seems like a fun moment rather than, holy shit there’s a volcano exploding and dinosaurs running beside me, I should fear for my life kind of moment. Yeah, I’m happy Jeff Goldblum is back but I want to see him on the island. Not safe and sound in a court house. Seems like they didn’t listen to it taking place in the dark either. I heard the trailer showed stuff from the first 57 minutes of the movie and that’s it, still this was the biggest weekend opening of all time and the movie grossed an enormous amount of money. For me, you have to swing for the fences with the trailer to your highly anticipated sequel. I hope this isn’t a sign of things to come, but I loved all the trailers for Jurassic World, and for me this didn’t get off to a flying start. It did have a T-Rex, who appears to be friendly in it, so I guess that’s something.

Check ya later.

Reviews

‘Thor: Ragnarok’ Review

Fun, colourful, full of laughs. Thor: Ragnarok is one of the best MCU movies to date.

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(DISNEY)
Minor spoilers – nothing that really wasn’t in the trailers!

So take everything you know about Thor in the MCU so far and throw it out the window. In the newest MCU movie, Thor: Ragnarok. everything we have really come to learn and understand about our beloved King of Asgard, is different. Thor’s hammer gone, his hair, also gone. His meat headedness is made an essential joke of the movie and overall we see Thor go through a transformation. The Thor franchise can finally rest easy, because the latest addition is a home run. The previous two installments in the franchise have been met with some critiques and most people believe them to be, two of the weakest MCU films. There’s a lot to love about this movie, and the tone of it, is something that is truly different from any MCU movie before it. I don’t want to say it’s a parody of a comic-book movie, but it certainly wants to be. Director Taika Waititi almost puts comedy before anything else in this movie, and I’m not saying that as a critique. Because with that being said, this has a ton of action, and some of the best shot action in the MCU in quite some time. This movie did for Thor what Captain America: The Winter Solider did for Captain America. It just made us fans realize how awesome and incredible this character can be. This is the Thor I’ve been waiting to see, the true God of Thunder showed up this time, and I didn’t even mind he didn’t bring his trusty hammer along for the ride.

So Thor gets his hammer broken, imprisoned, has to fight Hulk to the death essentially and then finds out he has a sister, Hela – who turns out to be the Goddess of Death, wants to kill him and hates his guts. All of this happens in a mere few days, so it’s pretty fresh for Thor still. This is the shortest MCU movie, but it certainly packs in a lot of stuff, the movie, I thought was paced beautifully. Everyone is playing the best versions of their characters and having a ton of fun doing so. That’s the best thing I can say about Ragnarok, it doesn’t take itself to seriously and it’s just a lot of fun. You are constantly laughing at jokes, and mesmerized by the action sequences. The movie opens up with a great scene and kind of leaves us with the last great “Old Thor” moment, because after that he evolves into the Thor we will be seeing for the rest of his time in the MCU.

The cast is spectacular and diverse and everyone is doing a bang up job. Chris Hemsworth like everyone already knows, rocks it as Thor, and this is his best work in the MCU to date. He’s fantastic and his comedic timing is off the charts. Considering the movie was apparently 80 percent improvised, which if that is the case, well done to the cast, because after watching it, it seems so unlikely because of how well timed, and how perfect the comedy and delivery is with each cast member. Cate Blanchett who plays Hela, Thor’s sister, is one of my favourite MCU villains. I know she was almost a generic “death and destruction” bad guy, but at the same time I thought she has a lot of backstory – that could still be uncovered, and I liked how she was related to Thor and Loki. She was funny, and menacing all at the same time, and was a handful for our heroes in the movie. We will see her again, which is nice, when she teams up with Thanos, and boy will that be a tag-team to remember. I know people have concerns about the villains in the MCU, and I even got into an argument on Twitter about this, I thought she was really fun, and a worthy villain and certainly one of the best in the MCU. People think otherwise because her character had bad dialogue and was poorly written and I didn’t think that was the case at all. Am I crazy for thinking she is a better villain than the Vulture? Please tell me I am not. Speaking of Loki, once again Tom Hiddleston rules as the Master of Mischief. I’ll say this, I’ve been a big fan of the character since the original Thor, and he’s always been good in this role. But in this movie, we get the best version of Loki. I think he needs to become a good guy from here on out, because I think he works best for him. He was the best part of this movie. I guess he serves as an anti-hero, because I don’t think he can truly become good, but he’s best used along side Thor, because their chemistry together is through the roof. I’m really interested to see where they take his character and his ark going forward. Tessa Thompson as Drunky it’s actually Valkyrie but she is a drunken mess the entire movie, so lets go with Drunky. Loved her in Creed, and she’s really fun in this role. She’s also a badass, the best drunken fighter since that dude in Game of Thrones. Her relationship with Thor was well executed and I think we have a new power couple on our hands. Obviously  Jeff Goldblum and Karl Urban knock it out of the park, that should surprised no one here, anything they are in, usually turns out to be pretty good. Given a few exceptions, but that doesn’t take away from their acting abilities. Goldblum was right at home in this role, and was at times just playing himself really, or what we all think he is. I can’t write this review without bringing up The Hulk. Honestly, the best part of The Hulk, is that each time we see him, it’s a better version. CGI and motion capture keeps getting better, so does movie making technology, so it only makes sense that Hulk keeps getting better. He looks so sleek, and like slimed down. We also get to see a new side, Hulk talking and being like Hulk the human. Which was really fun to watch, especially his scenes with Thor, just being two meatheads and picking on one another. The witty banter back and forth between those two was really impressive and so hilarious. Hats off to Mark Ruffalo because he was on top of his game in this and seemed to be really enjoying himself.

Overall the movie is fun, its super colourful, it’s full of laughs and one of my favourite MCU movies to date. This is a must see for any comic book movie fan, and they take Thor in a complete and new direction, one in which I really like. A lot happens to his character ark that I won’t get into because of spoilers, but I really loved his transformation throughout this 2 hour journey. My only little problem with the movie as a whole was at times, maybe there was too much humour. Where you needed a break because you just kept on laughing, and it takes you out of the movie a little bit, especially in moments of actual seriousness. We get to see the best versions of Thor, Loki and Hulk, so credit again to director Taika Waititi because that is a tremendous feat. This is the 17th MCU movie now, and you would think at this point, there was little room for surprises or making you feel and see something different, well this movie is all of that plus more. It’s getting great reviews for a reason, it’s just a ton of fun and a great popcorn flick. The MCU is in a really good place right now, and it will all come together soon enough when the band gets back together this May in Avengers: Infinity War, I can’t wait to see how it all plays out.

Check ya later.

Nate’s Movie Tour Reviews – Thor:Ragnarok = 90/100

Reviews

Bow Down To Black Panther

Anyone else getting a Lion King vibe. 

(MARVEL)

Well this certainly cured the Monday blues. Sunday scaries were hitting pretty hard last night and this was a nice little treat to wake up too. Black Panther is ultra badass and this entire trailer is truly something unique and something we really haven’t seen from a Marvel movie before. Is the Rocky universe part of the Marvel universe? Because that would be a crossover I would love to see. Ryan Coogler the director is really putting his stamp on this movie, and making it his own. It’s very urban looking, insanely colourful, and just all around world building. 

Tons of action is going on throughout the trailer, but very little about the actual story line is known up to this point. I pointed out that this trailer feels very “world-building” where we are not in a modern city like most Marvel movies or in space for the GOTG and Thor franchises. We are seeing things we have yet to uncover and discover in this trailer and everything just looks spectacular. We have gotten a slew of trailers lately and I think this is really close to being my favourite one. It’s right there with The Last Jedi trailer. 

The cast is just fantastic but I can’t stress enough how excited I am to see Michael B Jordan tackle the role of a villain. He’s one of my favourite actors working today, and I’m really excited to see his take on this character. Seriously this is one of the best all around casts in a comic book movie that I can remember, there are so many talented people working on this movie, it really is something special. I’m not really sure what’s going on with the suits, but it looks pretty awesome, I’m excited to get to learn more about Black Panther and where he comes from. 

Ryan Coogler cares deeply about all of his projects and the fact he also is getting a writing credit for Black Panther speaks volumes. I know there is going to be a ton of passion and heart behind the camera and in the script, so that’s why I have tremendous faith in this movie. He’s coming off Creed which was one of my favourite movies of that year, so he’s got a great track record. There’s just too much to love about the entire project for me not to realize that Marvel has another home run on their hands. Look for this one to break the mould on the cookie cutter formula we are all so accustomed too when it comes to these Marvel movies, I think this one is going to be special. 

Check ya later. 

Reviews

‘Blade Runner 2049’ Review 

Simply marvelous, one of the best science fiction movies of the decade. Unlike anything I’ve ever seen

(WARNER BROTHERS)
A sequel 35 years in the making, some people have been waiting their wholes lives for a follow up to the masterpiece that was 1982s Blade Runner directed by the legendary Ridley Scott. It’s crazy to think about a sequel being made 35 years later, and it turns out to be one of the greatest sequels in the history of cinema. This is why we go to the movies; it’s movies like Blade Runner 2049 that make people like myself realize why I love film so much. It had everything I want in a movie it is simply marvelous. This dark and twisted, futureristic, neo-noir film, that is exstential in every sense of the word, is just all around stunning. Denis Villeneuve directs the follow up, and he is fast approaching becoming one of the best, if not the best director in Hollywood right now. Villeneuve’s track record right now is uncanny and something I can’t really fathom at this point. Every time he steps up to the plate, he hits a walk off home run. I think it was a mistake not getting this man to direct Episode IX because he is the perfect man for the job, especially after watching this science fiction masterpiece. Blade Runner 2049 is the kind of movie that inspires young filmmakers, or creates new ones. This will be a vague review because I don’t want to spoil a single thing about this movie, you need to go experience this for yourself, because it’s unlike anything I have ever seen. I knew it would be one of the most beautiful movies, but it even exceeded my expectations in that regard.

So the movie follows Blade Runner, Agent K (Ryan Gosling) as he is investigating a case from the past. As he learns more about the case and himself, he starts to question everything he knows and his beliefs. The case ultimately leads him to Deckard (Harrison Ford) and the two of them must work together for the common good. I’m really going to leave it at that, and not getting into any specific plot points, because going in and just experiencing this movie is what it’s all about. Everyone knows that Ryan Gosling is an A-list actor, a movie star, but he reaches new heights in this. It’s weird, I don’t think anyone else could have been in this role, Gosling does so much acting in his face, and he really is a master brooder. He really showed that he could lead a franchise, that he is more than just a love interest in a rom com. Like I said, everyone already knows this, but I don’t know I was just really blown away by his performance, and he worked really well alongside Harrison Ford. Imagine playing a character 35 years later. I thought he might mail it in here, but Harrison Ford was simply delightful as Deckard again. He did not take any scenes off and he seemed to relish being back playing this character. This is his best performance in a long time, I know he came back as Hon Solo, but this role and performance is vastly superior to his in The Force Awakens. I think Ford fed off Ryan’s intensity and they just complemented each other so well here, and I would really love to see them work together again. The rest of the cast is fantastic, Dave Bautista is great, and he just keeps on impressing me after his shift towards becoming an actor. Some of the cast has very minor roles, where they are only in a few scenes, but the scenes that they are in, they are all in for their roles, and that’s what you need in a movie like this. Everyone committed and wants to be the best they can be. Robin Wright as Joshi, who is K’s boss is also great, she’s good in every thing, so that should not shock anyone. Jared Leto who plays Niander Wallace is good. It’s Leto and I think there’s a fine line between people really loving Leto and people who are just sort of “mehh.” I like Leto so I thought he was great as the bad guy Wallace, I guess he really isn’t a bad guy; it’s hard to describe his character. The two people I was pleasantly surprised about were Ana de Armas who plays Joi; I’m not going to go into detail about her character, because it’s actually really interesting and unique, so I will just say that I thought she did a fantastic job. She’s in a ton of scenes with Gosling and they were so good together. But for me besides the two leads in Gosling and Ford, the best performance has to go to Sylvia Hoeks, who plays Luv. She is Wallace’s assistance/body guard, and she is menacing and just really stood out in the movie. Again I don’t want to say to much, but after the movie, I thought this women, just got a lot of people’s attention and we will be seeing her in more things to come.

But the real star of the movie is the cinematographer Roger Deakins. I can’t overstate how beautiful this movie is. At times and certain moments the visuals are actually distracting because of how beautiful they are, you’re almost not paying attention to the actual movie, but rather taking in all the scenery. Without doubt the best cinematography that I can ever remember seeing in the movie theatre. Some of the visuals and imagery are breathtaking and I couldn’t really believe what I was looking at. The movie takes place in the year 2049, and I swear, there wasn’t one moment where I thought, yeah that looks fake, or that’s too much CGI. It’s flawless, and perfect and so crisp looking. The detail and the colors are so incredible, and again it’s just something you need to go see, because it’s so hard to describe and put into words. Just give Roger Deakins his Oscar now, like don’t even bother having the cinematography category this year, because there really is no dog in this fight other than Roger. This movie will win a bunch of Oscars, the score and the sound is also perfect. You need to go find the biggest screen you can, that has the loudest speakers, get a large soda and popcorn and just get transported to this world. The reason I go to the movies is to escape from life, you want to be transported to another world, and this is exactly what happens. Blade Runner 2049 is a film from start to finish. One of the best parts about this movie is that it just wanted to be its own movie. They didn’t try to build this massive universe that will have a ton of other sequels or spin off movies. They had an idea in mind for the movie and they executed that plan to mere perfection. You just get immersed into this world and you don’t want to leave, I know I didn’t. At a run time of almost 3 hours, it flew by, because you just want to keep seeing these incredible landscapes and I felt that the movie was paced beautifully. The movie is also very thought provoking they ask you questions and challenge your way of thinking. Just like the original, they want to open your mind and that’s exactly what happens.

I really can’t express enough how much I loved this movie; it’s one of the best sequels ever made and also one of the best science fiction movies ever made. It’s a shame that I don’t think a lot of people are going out to see this movie, so I think with word of mouth that could change. I can also see this movie not being for everyone. This is a piece of movie art that will live on forever. I really can’t wait to see it again. This is one of the best movies of the year! GO SEE THIS MOVIE.

Check ya later

Nate’s Movie Tour Reviews – Blade Runner 2049 = 96/100

Reviews

‘Pacific Rim 2: Uprising’ Trailer 

2pac will make anything better, especially when it involves big robots kicking the crap out of giant monsters. 

(LEGENDARY)

Boy oh boy! What a trailer, seriously that song was straight fire. Pacific Rim 2 finally dropped a trailer and it didn’t disappoint. Being such a huge fan of the first one that came out way back in 2013 I couldn’t believe what I was watching on the screen in the theatre. It was so well done and pretty beautiful to watch. 

Most of the cast is absent from the original and now John Boyega and Scott Eastwood are filling in, and John Boyega just keeps impressing me and he looks awesome in this. Director Guillermo del Toro left also but TV director Steven S. DeKnight is stepping in and looks like he isn’t skipping a beat. Charlie Day is also back, with what appears to be a larger role, can we please have him get into a Jäger in this, that would be must watch entertainment. 

It looks like more of the same from its predecessor and that is not a bad thing. Look, it’s giant robots fighting big ass monsters what more do you really want. Yeah, the plot will probably be absurd and won’t make sense. But if you go into a Pacifc Rim movie looking for a great plot, you need to give your head a shake. It looks stunning and this is just the trailer, the final touches haven’t even been put on the movie yet. The visuals are just fantastic, when something is that large in scale, and you can make it seem so flawless and seamless, a ton of credit needs to be given to the effects team. Looks like we also have some Jaeger on Jaeger crime here, with the giant robots not only fighting the Kaiju but themselves as well. I like this premise and that will be pretty pretty pretty good to see. 

Check ya later 

Reviews

‘Stronger’ Review 

That Jake Gyllenhaal, he making me cry

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(LIONSGATE)

Stronger is a film directed by David Gordon Green and it’s about Jeff Bauman, a brave man who lost his legs in the Boston Marathon bombing, and this movie tells that heroic tale. It’s a movie about love, loss, compassion and most importantly family.

Imagine having your entire life change in a blink of an eye. This movie and this story are both very inspirational, and at certain moments throughout the movie you feel for these people. Jeff Bauman just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time, and in a heartbeat his whole entire world changed. Not only did he suffer a devastating loss, losing both of his legs, he became a figure of hope, and a hero to the city of Boston. He was just a normal guy who worked at Costco and had relationship issues, that no one knew about, now he is this national figure and is being called a hero and Jeff can’t really comprehend why. On top of all of that, he is trying to learn how to live this new life of his, and adjust to the difficulties that come with his tragic loss. Jeff is dealing with so much, and I couldn’t really stomach thinking about being in this position and how strong you must be to deal with all of this. On top of all of this comes the fact, that not only is your life change forever, but those around you too. He’s a Boston guy, that’s one thing I want to give tremendous credit to Gyllenhaal for, his Boston accent is top notch. That can make or break a performance and a movie for me, and if you can say “GO SOX!” in a perfect Boston accent, then you’re doing it right. I’ll get into his remarkable performance later. So Jeff’s family is a Boston blue collared family, they love to drink and aren’t all that well educated. So when this happens to Jeff, they don’t know how to process it. His mother Patty (Miranda Richardson) who is just fantastic in this role, is a drunk. She can barley even take care of herself, let alone her son when he needs her the most, and on top of that, her living arrangements are not suited for Jeff’s needs. There’s a scene when Jeff finally gets released from the hospital and when they are wheeling him out, the expression on Gyllenhaal’s face is just breathtaking. Jeff doesn’t want any of this attention, it’s making him so uncomfortable, and the way Jake expresses that just using his eyes and facial movements, is what acting is all about. You could really feel his performance in this. So when they go back to his mothers apartment, its up two flights of stairs and her place is a dump. Imagine having the worst day of your life, to only come home to a horrible living experience, that would dawn on me too.  He’s trying so hard to please his family, meanwhile he’s dealing with severe PTSD, and when he gets invited to wave the flag at a Boston Bruins game, he wants no part in that. When the crowd starts making a tremendous amount of noise, he retreats back to the day of the bombing and really has a meltdown in an elevator which is a very powerful scene with his girlfriend Erin. Erin played by Tatiana Maslany is fantastic in this movie. She doesn’t really follow the classic girlfriend cliches throughout the movie. Erin and Jeff were broken up when the bombing occurred, so when it happens, as she puts it “doesn’t know what she’s suppose to do.” You really feel for her, because she gets thrust into this uniquely incredible set of circumstances and she wants to be there for Jeff, but at the beginning it’s really difficult for her. Jeff was always not showing up to things, and being late, so Erin broke up with him. So on the day he does show up, something truly awful happens, and there’s a really gut punching scene where the two of them scream at each about that day. And it was probably the most emotional scene in the movie – for me at least.

The movie as a whole is really good, all the performances are just spot on and the surrounding cast members really feel like they were plucked from the streets of Boston. It just made it seem and feel more authentic and that’s such a great quality in a movie, especially when you’re dealing with a true story. But man, Jake Gyllenhaal once again proves he’s one of the best working actors today. Every year he delivers just a phenomenal performance. Go look at his IMDB, his track record is insane. The only way I can describe his performance in Stronger, is the fact that I really don’t think he was acting at all. I feel like Jake was just feeling every moment and every scene, and it just felt so real and authentic. He was living in the moment for this role, and I think that’s the only way you could go about doing it. It’s so raw, emotional and powerful and just something you would already expect from him at this point, but he really blew me away here. I will be shocked if he isn’t nominated for an Oscar this year. He really deserves it, because along with his performance, there comes the physical aspect of it as well. The effects and the way they make it seem like he doesn’t have legs throughout the movie was mind blowing. They did such a great job, and Jake himself did such a great job at making you believe that he didn’t have two legs. He does so much acting in his facial expressions and just his body language its remarkable and it’s reasons like this why I go see every Jake Gyllenhaal movie. Tatiana plays off Jake so well, she has the whole “angry Boston girlfriend” thing down pat. She has some really tense and emotional scenes with him and she is right there with him. I was really impressed with her performance as a whole and she deserves a lot of credit.

This was one of the more emotional and uplifting movies I have seen in the theatres in a long time. There are moments and scenes in this movie that can really hit home for some  people, and it’s just a really inspiring story of a really strong man. I was glad they didn’t have a cliche montage of him training in this movie, and this feels like a real life story, not a movie about something that happened in real life. It kind of shifts the narrative a little bit and I thought that worked really well. Life isn’t a fairy tale all the time, or like you see in the movies and they show that here. Jeff has is issues in recovery, especially when he skips rehab to get hammered, or just wants to be lazy, play video games and not take his medication. There’s one scene at the beginning of the movie that involves his manager from Costco, that was so sad, but happy at the same time. Where his family thinks Jeff is getting fired, and are yelling at this man because they think their son will never be able to work again. And the manager says something, that just gives you all the feels and says “Jeff will always work for us” and his family just goes silent and it’s just a really beautiful moment.

When Jeff finally overcomes his fears and learns to appreciate the fact that he gives people hope and that he is a symbol of what it means to be “Boston Strong” it was just awesome to watch. He understands that he can be a beacon of hope for people, and that he should let people, and more importantly strangers into his life. Jeff says something that kind of sums up a lot of stuff up, he says “I’m a hero for standing there and getting my legs blown off?” Because he’s not a hero for that happening to him, but for what came after that, for helping catch the bombers and for just being the definition of strong.

Check ya later

Nate’s Movie Tour Reviews – Stronger = 88/100

 

 

 

Reviews

‘Kingsman: Golden Circle’ Review

This movie is suited and booted, and I think the majority of critics were wrong about this action packed sequel.

kingsman2-feature-2
(Twentieth Century FOX)

Some minor spoilers, like the littlest of spoilers, mostly stuff from the trailers.

Okay, so I’m a little late to the Kingsman: The Golden Circle party, and after the reviews came out, and it’s sitting at 50% on Rotten Tomatoes, I was honestly surprised by this. I know going into any movie you shouldn’t look at reviews or take that into consideration what they say when deciding what movie you want to go see. Critics should never decide if you want to go see a movie or not, or have that impact how you feel about a certain movie. People often fall into this trap, and sometimes I even do it myself. Maybe that’s why I put off seeing this for about 2 weeks, and I’m happy I finally sat down to watch Kingsman, because I had a really great time doing so. After its 2015 predecessor, the sleeping hit that was Kingsman: The Secret Service, fans from all over the world fell in love with Eggys (Taron Egerton), Merlin (Mark Strong) and Harry Hart (Colin Firth). This was a commercial success, and it left people wanting more, so FOX decided it was in their best interest to green light a sequel, and here we are, 3 years later with The Golden Circle. This was number 7 on my most anticipated movies of 2017 list, so when the negative reviews came pouring in, I found myself kind of in shock. The first Kingsman was so well received and it was just something new and refreshing. They had managed to take all the coolness of James Bond and blend it perfectly with a Kick-Ass kind of vibe, and making into not only funny but so action packed, that it was kind of like nothing we had really seen before.

So the gang is all back, yes Harry doesn’t die after being shot in the face, and they actually do a great job telling us how he survived. That was not a spoiler, because they show him in the trailer! Why I put the spoiler warning in, they kill Roxy (Sophie Cookson) who was so good in the first one, she had great chemistry with Taron, and I was really bummed they did that. I feel like this is Kingsman so theres a chance we may see her again somehow, but I don’t know, I feel like she really got the short end of the stick here. Also that prick Charlie (Edward Holcroft) from the first one is back, and once again he does a bang up job of playing a real prick. One of the reasons I was so excited for the sequel is when they released the all new cast members, which included; Channing Tatum (Agent Tequila), Jeff Bridges (Champ), Julianna Moore (Poppy), Halle Berry (Ginger) and Pedro Pascal (Agent Whiskey). That’s a star studded cast if I say so myself, so this had all the makings to be a great sequel. So here’s the rundown Poppy is the new baddie and she’s out to destroy the world, so when she rids the world of Kingsman, Eggys and Merlin are left to fend for themselves, so they cross the pond to good old America, Kentucky to be exact, to their cousin agency The Statesman for some much needed assistance.

My biggest fear going into the movie, was having it feel bloated with sequel fatigue. You know, bigger and better. I don’t think that happened, I just don’t think it was a great overall story line. One thing this franchise does so well, is create great and unique characters. Characters you feel invested in, and that you ultimately care about. It was the same old, “save the world, kind of situation” but it just felt a little more watered down. One thing I will say, this movie felt a lot more cartoony and comic book like, than the original. I’m all for the larger than life villain, that was one of the best things about the first. Samuel L Jackson did such a good job in that role. But having Poppy have robot dog guards just felt like a little too much, and at the end of the day, she seemed way less intimidating than Jackson’s character did. I just kind of wanted a more physical villain for the heroes to fight, she has her henchmen, but I think this franchise could really get a boost if they have a stronger villain next time around. I don’t want this franchise to stop, it’s not doing really well at the box-office, but it certainly deserves a third installment.

Director Matthew Vaughn once again brings the action, and does so in spectacular fashion. The over the top violence returns, and at times it almost feels like we are watching a music video, in the sense that the violence is going along to the rhythm of the music and it works really well. Any movie that plays “Lets Go Crazy” by Prince is alright in my books. I honestly thought the last action sequence was the best one of the entire series, and some of the most fun I’ve had at the movies in 2017. It’s a ton of fun, and Vaughn did such a spectacular job at making this movie work. I don’t know why it’s getting such hate, I thought this was a great popcorn flick. The humour is back, and pair it with the great action sequences, I think its a real shame that people aren’t getting out to see this movie.

A major highlight that I did not see coming was Sir Elton John. He plays himself, and saying that he would be a stand out in an action movie, well I can’t really believe I’m writing it. He was great, and had some of the biggest laughs of the entire film. So kudos to Sir Elton. I really hope FOX doesn’t do away with this franchise, there is a ton of potential hear, especially if they take their time and get back to the drawing board. Channing Tatum isn’t in it a whole lot, but they make it seem like he could be a huge part of this universe. I want to see what he can bring to Kingsman, and I honestly think they owe it to him. I’m happy I walked out of the theatre smiling, and realizing that you should never take anyone else’s word on a movie, just go in with an open mind and see for yourself. This is a perfect example of this. Really hope we can get a Kingsman trilogy.

Check ya later.

Nate’s Movie Tour Review – Kingsman: The Golden Circle = 77/100