‘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

‘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 

‘Stronger’ Review 

That Jake Gyllenhaal, he making me cry

hero_Stronger-TIFF-2017.jpg
(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

 

 

 

‘Annihilation’ Looks Creepy 

Love me some Natalie Portman. 

(PARAMOUNT)

So the guy who did Ex Machina (Alex Garland), that movie was phenomenal is back with his newest project Annihilation. Remember how good Ex Machina was? So to say I’m pretty intrigued by his new movie, is an understatement. This trailer is creepy and really mysterious, where I’m not quite sure what is going on to be honest. 

It seems that people are some scientific expedition and everything isn’t quite normal. At least the laws of nature are off, and this appears to be a dangerous mission of sorts. With Ex Machina being different and kind of a statement piece and a true piece of art. I’m sure this will follow suit on that regard. 

Natalie Portman looks to be playing a biologists on this expedition and is in search of her husband, who is played by Oscar Issac. This has a really strong female cast, with Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tessa Thompson and Gina Rodriguez rounding out the ensemble. It’s really hard to get a grasp of what the movie is actually going to be about, it looks like things don’t go as planned and Natalie Portman’s character is replaying the events of the mission. There are plenty of awesome visuals throughout the trailer, and I think that’s why I’m so intrigued by it, really doesn’t look like anything we have seen in awhile and I’m fully on board for that. The visuals are really unique and the cinematography is so colourful and beautiful, it sucked me right in. It’s based on a best-selling book, so this movie will already have a following, and really I’ll watch anything Natalie Portman is in. 

 Check ya later. 

Eh JJ, He’s Back for Star Wars: Episode IX

JJ Abrams is back in the directors chair, and I frankly do not care. Have you tried watching The Force Awakens again? It’s not very good. 


So here’s the thing, this is nothing personal against JJ Abrams, I happen to like a lot of his movies, but overall The Force Awakens just wasn’t that great. The word “meh” can best describe that movie going experience. Yeah, I’m happy Star Wars is back in our lives, but at the same time, I’ve come to the realization that Star Wars is vastly overrated. Seriously take the Light Sabre out of it, and what is it exactly?. They make it cool, because let’s be honest here they are one of the coolest things ever invented in the film industry. So I’ll give it that and also Darth Vader, that guy is pretty, pretty, pretty neat. 

I’m just not sold on this news, because I think they should have gotten someone different, with a different style to end the trilogy. We have the up coming Episode IIX which I guess I’m a little bit excited for, they haven’t shown to much, but Rian Johnson is behind the project and that guy made Looper, so I’ll watch anything he does. 

I can’t figure out why I’m not pumped about Star Wars, maybe it’s the fatigue of all these franchises, or the fact that after the first viewing of The Force Awakens, I couldn’t get through it a second time. So I’m a little bit skeptical about this. Also Rogue One just wasn’t great, besides the wicked 30 seconds we got with Vader at the end. I don’t know, I don’t know why Disney went back to the same drinking well to end this trilogy, maybe they know JJ is a yes man and will make the movie they want. That’s probably it, only time will tell I guess. 

 Check ya later. 

‘War For The Planet of The Apes’ Review 

You can call Caesar, in a dark Czar. Please follow the leader.

(FOX)

Remember back in 2011 when FOX decided they were going to reboot the Planet of The Apes franchise, and everyone still had a sour taste in their mouths from the god awful Tim Burton adaptation. Well jokes on us, because 6 years later, not only have 3 incredible new Apes movies dropped, but this could honestly be one of the best trilogies of this century. War For The Planet of The Apes is the newest installment and it didn’t disappoint. I’ve always been a massive fan of this franchise and it really has revolutionized capture motion performances. These movies are story driven, which is rare these days and Caesar is truly a unique and special character. Rise of The Planet of The Apes really did a great job kick starting this franchise, but it wasn’t until Matt Reeves came on for directing duties, that this franchise really got some serious recognition. I can’t state this enough, Matt Reeves is going to do an incredible job at directing The Batman. I can’t wait to see what him and Ben Affleck can do together; I think it has serious potential to be the best Batman movie ever made. Only time will tell, but this review is about Apes not Batman, so let’s get into it.

So this movie picks up a little after the events of Dawn of The Planet of The Apes, and Caesar is still fighting the ape resistance against the humans. The Apes have grown in size, and are getting smarter with each passing day. The human resistance is still hell bent on killing all the apes and taking back their planet. After Koba (the bad ape from Dawn) tried to take down Caesar, now more than ever, all he wants is peace. He didn’t start this war, and he just wants what’s best for him and his ape family. When they are attacked at their home and countless lives are lost, well let’s just say Caesar goes off the deep end. If you’re going into this movie thinking it’s going to be non-stop action, you’re going to be sadly disappointed. Don’t worry there is some action, but this is Caesars swan song. This movie is not an action movie, it’s a story driven drama. It deals with humanity, loss, survival and what it’s like to feel hopeless and alone. I mean that for both the humans and apes in this case. The Colonel (Woody Harrelson) yes that’s all he’s referred too, plays the main bad guy who’s leading the resistance against not only the apes, but other humans as well. You see he’s a ruthless man, who wants to eradicate all the apes, because a new form of disease as been spreading, which causes humans to turn mute, and ultimately return them to their primitive state. Again the apes are being blamed for something that isn’t their fault. The irony of all of this is the humans are responsible for the way the apes are, and now blame them for anything that is wrong in the world. Nature and evolution can be a real bitch sometimes, so the colonel is killing anyone who has a trace of this virus, and that is why another human faction wants to put an end to him. He’s even convinced other apes to fight along side with him, and turned them against their own kind. Now it takes a pretty evil man to do something like that. It was a really interesting dynamic to see apes working along side humans, while fighting other apes. Woody was great in this role, he didn’t really need to say much to be intimidating, and I thought his scenes with Caesar were just fantastic, he really knows how to play a villain, and he was a great addition to the franchise.

Again Andy Serkis is phenomenal in the lead as Caesar, and maybe this time around he could get some Oscar recognition. It’s tough because its motion capture, but then when you actually think about it, and see the final product, it truly is remarkable how this whole movie comes to be. Especially when multiple people that are in scene are doing motion capture for the apes, and at the end of the day, you think you are actually looking at either fully CGI apes, or real animals. These movies have really brought to life, just what you can accomplish with motion capture, the apes are honestly just breathtaking. Not only are the apes incredible to look at, but so is the cinematography. The picture I chose for this review is from my favorite scene in the movie, because just how beautiful it looked. It’s snowing and the apes and the setting is just remarkable, there was something about having the apes roam around in a snow like climate that just made me appreciate what I was watching even more. Like those were three actors in that photo pretending to be apes, and that was the final product, it absolutely blows my mind.

The action we do get to witness comes at you pretty fast, it’s scattered throughout the film, but like I said before, this isn’t an action movie. I was okay with this movie being a slow burn, because it was the conclusion to everything that has come before it. They needed to finish off Caesar’s story and I feel that if this movie was nothing but apes fighting humans it would have taken away from something truly unique they had built for Caesar in the last 6 years. He’s a remarkable character, and one of my favorite movie characters in the last decade. You really just don’t see trilogies like this anymore, which focus more on telling a great story, they are usually just full of action and awful story lines. This is probably the best trilogy since Nolan’s Batman, and I would rank it 2nd behind in for trilogies of the century. I think they did such incredible things, not just from telling a great story, but what these movies have done for the film industry. I’ll miss Caesar and the apes, because with Reeves jumping ship and going to direct Batman, I don’t think FOX with put this franchise in anyone else’s hands. They rap everything up so well too, something that he deserved. I waited a few days to write this review, because at first I didn’t really know what to think about the movie, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized just how special this movie is. There really haven’t been any other movies like this, and I think we have these movies to thank for Disney finally going ahead and creating live action versions of some of our favorites. Jungle Book and Lion King don’t happen if these movies hadn’t come around, but that’s just my opinion. Never forget, apes together strong!

Check ya later.

Nate’s Movie Tour Reviews – War For The Planet of The Apes = 91/100

 

‘Dunkirk’ Review 

Style for miles. – That’s the best Harry Styles pun I could think of.

(WARNER BROS.)

 

Over time, I believe that Dunkirk will be remembered more for what’s missing, rather than what we witness on screen. It’s tense, it’s loud, and it makes you feel like you are standing on that beach with 400,000 other soldiers. I felt like I was part of the war, and Christopher Nolan really encompasses what I imagine it would literally be like to be stranded on that beach, waiting for a way home. It’s visually beautiful, in terms of filmmaking, its damn near perfect. With all that being said, I walked away from Dunkirk a little confused. For the first time in a very long time, I couldn’t remember any characters, not a single name. That’s not because there aren’t any characters, there is ZERO characterization within Dunkirk, and I’m not sure if that was done on purpose or not. It’s a war movie, so you usually find yourself rooting for certain characters or certainly getting attached to a few, but it was difficult to do so within the realm of Dunkirk. It just felt weird that even our greatest heroes within the movie, don’t receive any kind of backstory or personality that really bummed me out. That is Dunkirk’s biggest problem, there’s just a serious lack of substance to it, but that doesn’t take away from the actual movie. It’s just kind of something you have to deal with, and either you’re going to hate that aspect of Dunkirk, or you won’t mind at all.

The opening is so hauntingly beautiful, for me it was the best part of the movie, and it was a mere two minutes long. I won’t go into it, because I want this to be a spoiler free review, but it was really the only moment of the entire movie, that felt stress free. Any real moment where you weren’t worried about these poor helpless men. It’s a peaceful moment, right before we get 106 minutes of sheer action, suspense, chaos and death. Christopher Nolan once again delivers, I’ll say this isn’t his best movie overall, but the man really knows how to make a movie! He’s been on such an incredible streak, that it’s hard not to justify that he is the best filmmaker working today. I expect a best director nomination at next years Oscars, and he’s probably the front-runner right now to win the award. This movie screams Oscars. I’m going to say best supporting actor, best director, best picture, sound editing, sound mixing, best cinematography, and best costumes are pretty much all locks for Oscar noms. I’m looking forward to coming back and seeing if I’m right or not. That’s the thing about Dunkirk; it’s just so well made, but has other serious flaws, that for me weigh it down.

The cast is unique, because well the lead of the movie (Fionn Whitehead) might have 10 lines of dialogue throughout the whole movie. Which suited his character, but again it was tough to get behind a guy, who doesn’t speak and we know little to nothing about him. Tom Hardy plays a badass jet fighter, and in classic Nolan form, covers up his entire face. Also what’s with Tom Hardy and not being able to understand ONE word he says? I swear he puts peanut butter inside his mouth before he speaks. So that was frustrating, but he does pull a serious Kramer on his jet’s gas tank, that thing just kept going! Mark Rylance will get the supporting actor nod, I just couldn’t see this movie without him, and they needed his character, as he added the much-needed humanity and hope aspect. I’m shocked guys, Harry Styles is a good actor people. Like he works really well in this. Nolan making him a pretty boy d-bag is a masterstroke of genius. He’s part of some of the best scenes in the movie and is involved in arguably the tensest moment of the film.

With a run time of only 106 minutes, this is go go go from the start. You really don’t have a chance to breathe, after the opening few minutes. I found that ironic, in the sense that about every 10 minutes we find soldiers fighting for their lives in water trying not to drown themselves. For myself, watching people drown in movies is insanely stressful and there’s a ton of it in Dunkirk. There’s music going on throughout the film, which adds to the suspense, and builds on tense moments, the use of sound is extraordinary. When planes are flying over the heads of shoulders, it’s so loud and so effective, you almost have the urge to look up yourself. That’s how you make a movie, that’s how you get the most out of the audience experience.

One thing I wanted more of was some historical context. I wanted to know more about why the British and the French were in this situation.  They really didn’t dive deep on that, and maybe they were expecting everyone to already know the backstory, but I think it could have been really effective if they were to touch on it a bit more throughout the movie. This was a really huge event in human history; I felt they should have maybe touched on that just a little bit more. This was about 400,000 men trapped on a bench, with nowhere to go, planes flying overhead dropping bombs. They were helpless, they were hopeless, and you felt that, but for me, it just needed a little more gravity to it.

A spectacle is the best way to describe Dunkirk, you have to see it in IMAX, and it’s something that everyone should see. It’s why movies are made, and it’s the definition of movie making. It also can be described as an art house war movie because it’s just so different from anything that has come before it. It’s extremely powerful, and you feel the pressure, you feel the tension. I felt for every single man on that beach and you understand and realize pretty quickly just how bad they wanted off. I just wonder if our main hero ever got the chance to take his number two.

Check ya later.

Nate’s Movie Tour Reviews – Dunkirk = 90/100

‘IT’ Trailer – Bring Your Diapers 

It’s official, rent a clowns are going out of business. 

(WARNER BROS.)

The words “here, take it”  have never sounded so scary in the history of mankind. Bravo Warner Bros. because you hit a home run with IT. Seriously with each new trailer, this movie just keeps getting more and more impressive. 

FINALLY heard Pennywise talk, and it’s just so good. I’m so happy they are taking him in a completely different direction. He looks so good and now that I’ve heard his voice I’m totally on board. Remember 6 months ago when his first image was released and people thought, that he wasn’t scary and this was going to be garbage. Well jokes on you people because this has all the makings to be one of the scariest movies of all time. I’m not even kidding when I say that, this thing is rated R, and the trailers haven’t shown really any Pennywise yet. When he’s standing behind Beverly Marsh in her room, I can’t help but laugh, because it’s simply covering up the fact that I was scared shitless. All the kids in this look fantastic, my god, props to the casting director because this wasn’t going to work if all the child leads were terrible. 

Once again the trailers for IT exceed my expectations and I can’t wait to see the final product. This is shaping up to be the most anticipated non comic book, non Star Wars movie of 2017. This will be one of the scariest movie ever created, everyone hates clowns, and if you don’t. You’re lying to yourself. 

Check ya later. 

‘Ready Player One’ Is Vintage Spielberg

If you haven’t read the book, do it now.

landscape-1500750267-ready-player-one-iron-giant
(WARNER BROS.)

Iron Giant check, Freddy Kruger check, the DeLorean check.

Earlier this year, I picked up a little book called Ready Player One. I had heard great things about it, and was told that if you love pop culture, you will absolutely fall in love with this book. It took no more than 4 pages, and boom, a Ghostbusters reference and I was instantly hooked. The book was simply like nothing I had ever read before, and I flew through the book in a matter of days. The best books are the ones that really make you use your imagination in the grandest ways possible, and Ready Player One was the pinnacle of that. When I heard that it was being adapted into a movie and none other than Steven Spielberg himself was directing it, lets just say I was a little more than curious. This has all sorts of Minority Report vibes, one of Spielberg’s greatest achievements to date. This was the perfect man for the job, because he’s a great world builder and that’s exactly what you needed when tackling Ready Player One.

When books you read get adapted into movies, it’s really cool and interesting to see how the directors vision differs from your imagination and how you saw things when reading the book. Spielberg’s vision of the OASIS is interesting and the trailer is beautiful. What he thought the world of OASIS and what I thought it looked like are two vastly different things, but that doesn’t mean anything. Everyones imagination is different, and I’m just excited for this incredible story to be told on the big screen, and by none other than the GOAT of directors. It’s a complicated story and the trailer really doesn’t give you much, it’s a trailer to get people intrigued about the movie and more importantly I feel like it’s some serious fan service. I don’t even really want to say anything about the story (but I will) because it’s truly unique  and I think that if you are a geek, or just so happen to like movies and pop culture references you need to read this book. I know I’ll be reading this book again in the near future, to prep myself for the movie.

Along with a great director the movie has a really stellar cast, Tye Sheridan, T.J Miller, Simon Pegg, and Olivia Cooke are playing our heroes in the movie. With Ben Mendelssohn rounding out the cast playing the bad guy, a role he is all too familiar with these days. Oscar winner Mark Rylance is playing James Halliday, the inventor of the OASIS, the virtual reality environment that everyone goes to in the not so far future. The real short Coles notes for the book. A guy invents a virtual reality in the future, and when he dies, he hides all of his money which is astronomically high inside the game, and everyone is on a mission to be the first person to solves all the riddles and puzzles that will lead to his riches.

Check ya later

‘Spider-Man Homecoming’ Review 

Tom Holland as Spider-Man is fantastic. The movie itself, just okay.

(MARVEL)

 

Ever wonder how Spider-Man gets around if there are no buildings for him to web-sling onto? Well that question is answered in his newest outing Spider-Man Homecoming. He does what anyone normal 15-year-old teenager would do, he simply runs. Remember in the old 60’s cartoon where Spidey would simply be able to sling away, even if there was nothing around him, and no one really batted an eye at this. Well they address it and they do so in spectacular fashion. From the very get-go I was pretty ho hum about all this, simply because, well, this is the third Spider-Man in 15 years. For me, Tobey Maguire made an outstanding Web Head, and I don’t ever see a Spider-Man movie topping Sam Raimi’s 2004 masterpiece that is Spider-Man 2. I was just never really invested in this new movie, don’t get me wrong, Tom Holland is a perfect fit, not only into the MCU, but to portray this iconic character. It’s just everything else that I was uneasy about, from the villain, to some character changes, and I just felt, that maybe he didn’t need a solo outing just yet. This was a fun movie, I enjoyed myself while watching it, but at the end of the day, it just didn’t stick with me like previous installments in the franchise. I just walked away and honestly couldn’t really remember any real memorable moments. I’m going against the grain on this one, but this movie was just meh for me and I’m going to tell you why.

It’s funny how Spider-Man was actually the best part about Captain America: Civil War; he stood out the most, and walking away from that movie, all I wanted was more MCU Spider-Man in my life. So when rumblings started happening about him getting his own movie, me and everyone else in the world was pretty excited. Especially after the Amazing Spider-Man franchise kind of fizzled out. I want to go on record and say Andrew Garfield, it was not your fault, and you’ll always have The Social Network. I loved Spider-Man’s dynamic with Tony Stark in Civil War, and when news broke that Iron Man himself would be playing a role in the next movie, well again I was all onboard. Next up Michael Keaton was going to be playing the villain, FANTASTIC, he’s the goddamn Batman, and I was excited to see him take on a villain role. When news broke that he was going to be playing Adrian Toomes aka The Vulture, well lets just say I was less than pleased. Spider-Man has one of the best rogues galleries in all of comics and you settle on that guy? I blame over saturation of Spider-Man movies, you couldn’t possibly have the Green Goblin again, or start the franchise off with Venom or Carnage. But really? Vulture? So all we could hear for the next six months were Birdman jokes… So for me that was the first misstep for the movie. And as it turns out, Marvel once again craps the bed in the villain department. Like I said above, Michael Keaton is awesome, and he tried his best to make a great villain, but there is just something always lacking when it comes to the MCU bad guys. I will admit, there is about a 10 min stretch in this movie, where he plays a really good bad guy, it’s after the sort of twist in the movie (which I won’t reveal), and it made for some really stressful 10 minutes. But other than that, I don’t know, something was missing, and maybe it’s just not the kind of Vulture I wanted in a Spider-Man movie. He was simply a guy in a bird mech suit. One thing I loved about Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man movies, was when he was in the suit it looked pretty real, and I feel like a lot of the stuff was semi-practical. In this, when Tom Holland was in his suit, 90 percent of the time, it looked like a video game. It honestly reminded me of one of those wacky wavy inflatable arm flailing tube men, his limbs kind of just seemed to go in all directions, and it bothered me. He just doesn’t look real when he’s in the costume and that’s not a good thing. It takes you out of the movie, and when he’s in the suit, that should be the most enjoyable part of the whole experience.

There is a ton of really good humor in this; it’s one of the funniest Marvel movies to date. I loved how Peter Parker is 15, and he’s experiencing high school drama and high school bullies and crushes. It makes you feel for the character more, where not only is he dealing with everyday problems, but also trying to be a superhero. And let me tell you, he kind of stinks at it. I did really like how they just showed Spider-Man doing hilarious stuff, like helping old ladies cross the street, and returning stolen bikes. He’s not an Avenger just yet, and he’s just being the good old friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. The first 20 minutes of this movie are simply magnificent, I was laughing a ton, and I loved how he made like a video blog about his trip in Civil War. I just think the movie had a hard time figuring out if it wanted to be a movie about a superhero in high school, or a high school movie about a superhero. I enjoyed his pal Ned (Jacob Batalon) he provided great comedic moments, and at one point even utters the words “I’m looking at porn,” which in my recollection is the first mention of porn in the MCU, so kudos to Ned. I also loved how he wanted to be Spider-Man’s “guy in a chair” aka his Alfred, but it was funny to watch them tiptoe around that, because obviously they wouldn’t say that in a Marvel movie. Liz (Laura Harrier) who plays Peter’s crush was good. They actually had some pretty good chemistry, and she has a lot going on in her life during this. Her storyline was really cool to see play out all the way through. We have MJ (Zendaya) and no that is NOT Mary Jane, but just Michelle. Is this the “new” MJ, I’m not so sure, but I know she was excellent in this. She was like really weird, cooky and pretty awkward, but provided some of the best comedic relief I can remember in the MCU. Do I think they will introduce the actual Mary Jane, yes I do, but for now I want to see where Zendaya’s character and her relationship with Peter goes. Marisa Tomei is back as Peter’s hot Aunt May. It’s actually so weird, but I can live with it, because she’s a super-star and does a really good job in this role. I will say this; they completely wasted Donald Glover, like what the actual hell? Donald Glover, wasted, I never thought I would utter those words. He’s in two scenes, and I’m pretty sure he was super baked for both of them. Or that’s just how it appeared to me. I don’t know if they scaled down his role after he landed a spot in the new Han Solo movie, but I was excited to see who he would be playing and well yeah, what a disappointment. Also give Hannibal Buress something more to do please. First he was wasted in Baywatch and now this? The man simply deserves better people. Now for the big guy Robert Downey Jr. himself. I wonder if Marvel execs just get down on their hands and knees every night and pray and thank god that he landed the role of Iron Man. Because I don’t think the MCU is a thing if he doesn’t. He steals every scene he’s ever in, and he pretty much is Tony Stark at this point. He was in the movie the perfect amount, and I can’t wait to see where his relationship with Peter goes. I have a feeling; Tony might become a Daddy soon! Those two are going to do some special things on screen together in Avengers: Infinity War, I’m telling you that right now.

I’ll give director Jon Watts some credit here, but realistically, I think anyone could have come in and directed this thing. Marvel finally got their hands on Spider-Man, I highly doubt they gave a single ounce of creative control to their director of choice, and that’s probably why they landed on Watts. The high school aspect of this movie has a real John Hughes type vibe to it, which I can get behind. I’m totally okay with a younger Peter Parker right now, he’s part of such a large universe that introducing all of his minor characters would have been a mistake. I like it when he’s a wise cracking teenager. Do I think Watts will return for the sequel, maybe? Do I feel like they should really go for it in the second installment and bring in a big name person, absolutely? There just wasn’t enough fat for me to chew on during this, stuff was happening sure, but the action wasn’t great and the third act was just a mess. Marvel’s biggest problem right now, well superhero movies in general is the big third act. The airplane sequence was such a big  mess, that half the time you don’t really know what’s going on. Spider-Man and Vulture are kind of just rolling around and there are about 100 edits in a row, and it really didn’t need to be that way. Keep it simple, do things that make Spider-Man so great, he barley beats up any bad guys in this thing.

Every time a trailer was released, I just knew something was up with this movie, and after seeing the movie. They showed the whole thing in those trailers. The big second act boat scene was ruined, which could have been a really cool moment, but I sat there thinking, that I have seen this about half a dozen times already, so why should I be impressed by this? And also, they tried so hard to recreate some magic from the train sequence in Spider-Man 2, and well good luck with that. I just wanted a special moment somewhere in this movie, and for me it never really came. We’ve had 6 Spider-Man movies since 2002 now, and material is somewhat running thin. All they really need to do is stick to the basics when it comes to this superhero; it’s really not hard to get this character right. I just think Marvel had a vision for what they wanted, and need Spider-Man for the bigger picture, this movie was just an easy way for them to make some quick cash. Am I excited for him to be an Avenger, and fight Thanos? Hell yes I am, I can’t wait to see him interact with all the other heroes, and maybe even become the next Iron Man. I have a funny feeling Tony Stark is going to adopt him, and well Tony will bite it, and leave everything to Peter. Ultimately becoming Iron Spider, just a theory. I’m ranking this behind Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2. Really hoping we get to see Tom Hardy’s Venom and this incarnation of Spider-Man throw down. Lastly, did anyone else get a Her vibe, when he was talking to the A.I in his suit, or was that just me? Probably just me always is.

Check ya later,

Nate’s Movie Tour Reviews – Spider-Man Homecoming = 83/100