Reviews

‘John Wick: Chapter 3’ Review

John Wick 3 ups the ante in action, cementing itself among the trilogy elite. The role Keanu Reeves was born to play, this man will legitimately kill you with anything.

Super-assassin John Wick is on the run after killing a member of the international assassin’s guild, and with a 14 million price tag on his head – he’s the target of hit men and women everywhere.


Star Wars. Nolan’s Batman. The Godfather. Lord of Rings. These are just some of the defining trilogies of our time. Now enter John Wick. It’s honestly pretty damn crazy to look back at both these films and the star, Keanu Reeves and how far they have come. Keanu was always a fan favourite, notorious for being the worlds nicest man, and being a genuinely great action star. Then came along a little film titled John Wick, that changed the game forever. Fast paced action, great story telling and immersing us into this universe where every one from your mother to your dentist could be a high end assassin.

A book, knife, axe, belt, fists, guns, more guns, actually the most amount of guns. On land, in the dessert, on a horse, under water, seriously this man will kill you anywhere, anytime. 91 total kills, that’s how many lives John Wick takes in all sorts of ways. You might be saying, why is that number so low? Why doesn’t he kill more people than the sequel, well it’s simple really, Halle Berry steals a ton of those kills. Known as Sofia, Halle Berry and her two German Shepard’s are introduced into this incredible universe. When I first heard she was joining the John Wick world, I didn’t know how to react. She can be great, but I didn’t know if she would the right fit. Well, let me tell you, she kicks so much ass, joining Keanu in the biggest shootout of the film, where she’s taking no prisoners and appears to be a force to be reckon with. I won’t be shocked if she gets a spin off for herself. This universe is growing and I couldn’t be happier about it.

The movie opens up with John on the run after the events of Chapter 2, and it doesn’t take long for us to be introduced to Ernest played by the giant Boban Marjanovic. Watching Boban fight Keanu Reeves in the New York City library will be without doubt one of the best movie moments of 2019. If you don’t take the John Wick universe for what it is, you will have a hard time enjoying them. Yes, everyone is an assassin, yes there are gold coins and a hotel that permits you from any sorts of violence. What director Chad Stahelski has done though, is create a vast world, where you become immersed in it all. They build mythos and great backstories, and you learn to care for these characters especially John and his dogs. There are so many cool characters sprinkled throughout the world, from Winston (Ian McShane) the manager of The Continental, Bowery King (Laurence Fishburne), Charon (Lance Reddick), who they actually let shoot some guns this time around and it was awesome.

Like every new installment they introduced us to new zany characters like the films villains The Adjudicator (Asia Kate Dillion) and Zéro (Mark Dacasos). Zero is on par with John Wick, and watching them kick the living shit out of each other was a real treat. Here’s the thing, Zero is like the worlds biggest John Wick fan, so complementing him for killing his protégés, and even for kicking his ass was such a unique and hilarious concept. The ending even reminded me of a video game, where John is climbing levels fighting sub-bosses until he got to the final and top platform where Zero was waiting. This movie doesn’t let you breathe, it’s a non-stop adrenaline rush, where the body count is sky-high. I still think it’s insane that Keanu Reeves is doing what he’s doing after everything he’s been through in Hollywood, cementing is legacy as one of the best action stars this world has ever seen.

Overall John Wick 3 is just a ton of fun, it builds on an already rich foundation, and you just want to keep watching Keanu Reeves kill people. The action is always so crisp and clean and so well executed, that it’s no surprise how many action films are stealing the John Wick method. Expect to see a lot more of these films, and if you haven’t checked out this series yet, do yourself a favour and check them out!

John Wick Chapter 3 = 91/100

Reviews

‘Detective Pikachu’ Review

Warning. Your face will hurt from all the smiling you’ll do whenever Pikachu is on screen. The world of Pokémon is open for business. Expect to see a lot more of these cute creatures in the future.

In a world where people collect Pokémon to do battle, a boy comes across an intelligent talking Pikachu who seeks to be a detective


I feel it in my jellies. That this movie is all sorts of adorable and fun. If you would have sat me down and told me when I turned 30 years old I would be in a theatre gearing up to watch a live-action Pokémon movie starring Ryan Reynolds, I would have most likely laughed in your face. Here we are though, living in a world where Pikachu is making cocaine jokes in a live-action movie of everyone’s favourite Pokémon. I’m here to say that Detective Pikachu does an incredible job building an interesting and immersive universe, with a bunch of adorable Pokémon on the screen. Much like Who Framed Roger Rabbit, this is a classic whodunit, with a noir mystery sense of style. I was really blown away with just how perfect all the Pokémon looked. This is going to be a treat for new and old friends alike and reminds us all why Pikachu is the best Pokémon hands down.

Directed and written by Rob Letterman, he kicks off this Pokémon universe in a big way. Introducing us to all types of Pokémon and really set the stage for what’s potentially coming. All the nostalgia drops, the Easter eggs are enough to keep any hardcore fan busy. But for the most part, everyone came to see the caffeine-addicted Detective Pikachu. Couldn’t think of a better fit then Ryan Reynolds to voice this little guy. It’s the selling point of the movie, and it should please just about everyone. He’s not alone on this adventure though, he’s joined by Tim (Justice Smith) and Lucy (Kathryn Newton) who is joined by her hilarious headache induced Psyduck. Obviously, you’re heading to the theatre for the all the cuteness that is the Pokémon, but the story needs a human element to drive it forward, and keep things moving. I think the two leads are great, I even thought they had terrific chemistry. I’m not going to sit here and name every single Pokémon that pops up on the screen, but I don’t want to spoil it. Trust me, there are a ton and it’s a lot of fun to watch them interact with humans and just go about their days like we aren’t even there.

Growing up playing the card game, I was the best player in the city and playing the games, worlds best trainer. I went into this movie hoping to see some Pokémon battles and people hunting and trying to catch Pokémon. Sadly that isn’t what this movie is about, but they show us a little glimpse of both aspects, which when we do peak behind those curtains, it’s entertaining as hell. That’s where I want this universe to go, we need an all-out tournament with spectacular battles. Hunting and catching Pokémon would also be an interesting direction to take this thing. There’s so much potential with this universe and that’s what I’ve been thinking about the most since I left the theatre.

As for the visuals, simply mind-blowing really. The Pokémon are so lifelike and colourful, they did such a great job bringing them to life. They don’t talk, so using their design and body language to essentially communicate with the audience worked well. The film flows really well, you’re immediately thrust into the world of Pokémon and there are very few scenes that don’t have a single Pokémon in it. The ending takes a little bit of a weird turn, but I figured they would try to do something along those lines. This was the first trial, the feeler movie. Warner Bros made this and wanted to see how the audience would react. Future sequels will depend heavily on box office numbers, but I will be shocked if this doesn’t make close to a billion dollars. As for the final scene of the movie, I’m not sure what they are trying to do, but I’m super curious to see how others react and where they would take that element.

In order to get more of these movies, they need our help. Go out and support little Pikachu, because he’s just so damn cute. If someone wants to get me a Pikachu stuffed animal that would also be pretty sweet.

One final note. Ash Ketchum needs to be in the sequel. Misty and Brock too.

Nate’s Movie Tour Reviews – Detective Pikachu = 84/100

Reviews

‘Avengers: Endgame’ Review

Avengers: Endgame is the perfect sendoff to the Infinity Saga, capping off a monumental run of films. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry and you’ll cheer. Well at least I did.

After the devastating events of Avengers: Infinity War, the universe is in ruins. With the help of the remaining allies, the Avengers assemble once again.


Where were you doing on May 8th, 2008? Almost 11 years to the date, Iron Man was released in theatres, officially launching the MCU. Robert Downey Jr and Jon Favreau changed the landscape of Hollywood forever, catapulting this Marvel superhero’s into our lives. The MCU didn’t just change how we watch movies, it changed how movies were being made. Everyone wanted the ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe” formula for their movie franchise. Some trying to emulate it as best they could, some succeeding to a certain degree, others failing miserably. After the end credits scene rolled on Iron Man, and Nick Fury, played by Samuel L Jackson said those famous words; “I’m here to talk to you about the Avengers initiative.” No one would have guessed the amount of success and praise that would follow.

Now here we are, 11 years and 22 films later. All leading to this, Avengers: Endgame. Ever since the events that unfolded last year in Infinity War, fans around the world have been dying to know how this was going to play out. We watched as some of our favorite heroes turned to dust, and watched Tony Stark deal with the impact of his favorite kid literally crumbling into his arms as Peter Parker blew away. I’ll begin with this. When I saw the movie, it was a sold-out show, and it took no time at all for this experience to turn into a rock concert. Throughout the movie, the audience was going nuts, and I couldn’t help myself but join in on the fun being had. This kind of environment was so heartwarming, knowing that you weren’t the only one who for the most part was screaming on the inside. It’s why they make these movies, for a crowd of people to embrace one another and share this journey together. Maybe that made me enjoy and like the film even more, but one thing is certain, Avengers: Endgame was worth the wait. Worth all the time and money I have put into the MCU over the last 11 years. All the midnight showings, all the repeat viewings, the pounds of popcorn and liters of soda I have ingested watching these films. The film almost honors the time you have spent with this franchise. What I mean is, they know that you’ve been on this 11-year journey, and they made damn sure you get what we all deserved, one satisfying ending.

This will be spoiler-free (for the most part), I will talk about one thing, but that one thing you should have known would happen, so it’s not even a spoiler at this point. We all know that two things happened. One, our friends and heroes were dusted, and that Thanos was still alive and still holding all of the infinity stones. In order to restore balance in the universe, it was pretty obvious that our heroes would need to do some time travel in order to do so. With Ant-Man sitting out the events of Infinity War, it was pretty clear that he would be the game changer the Avengers needed to tackle Thanos once and for all. If someone asked me to describe the plot of Endgame, I think I’d say, the Avengers are preventing Thanos from getting the stones in the first place – and they all need to be retrieved from a specific point in time so that they all can ultimately be returned to that exact moment in time, thus preserving the timeline. Make sense? Probably not, but that’s the best I could come up with, and to me, it’s pretty straightforward. I was a really big fan of how they were referencing other time travel movies, and almost calling bullshit on a lot of them, for not having proper time travel rules in place. That’s what makes the MCU so quirky and fun to be a part of. The idea of time travel and the consequences that come with it is so elemental to the very idea, that it can be a very hard thing to navigate through. But like most things the MCU does, I thought they handled it as well as they could. People will always poke and pry when it comes to time travel, but this movie has a talking raccoon, space robots and a giant talking tree, you can’t really expect the science to be perfect.

The team that we do have left is great, it was pretty neat seeing new teams being formed and friendships being made between characters I had no intention of thinking I wanted to see them on screen together. It’s just really difficult to talk about anything in this movie without giving ANYTHING away. Everyone in this film has something to do, a purpose, no one is sitting on the sidelines at all. They all get their moment to shine. Ant-Man serves as the real heart of the film, Paul Rudd gives his best performance to date in the MCU. Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr once again rule every scene they are apart of. I could go on forever about these two, but you already know the drill by now.

I’ll have to write a follow-up post dissecting and discussing everything that went down in Endgame. This review is really difficult to put into words because without expressing all my emotions from what transpired I can’t do it justice. All I know is this. Over the past 11 years, we have been treated to some extraordinary film-making and world-building. Hollywood was changed forever with the birth of the MCU, it truly is a special feat and something that will never be replicated or topped. It’s pretty incredible when you sit back and think about how all these movies intertwine and the cohesive storytelling that occurred. Endgame was the cherry on top of this already perfect sundae, and I wish I could relive my experience Thursday night.

Go see it, this is going to make a billion dollars this weekend alone. It won’t catch Avatar, nothing will, but if you have been alongside these heroes for the past 11 years, why give up now? Whatever it takes……..

Nate’s Movie Tour Reviews – Avengers: Endgame = 100/100

Reviews

‘The Beach Bum’ Review

For some reason Matthew McConaughey has had two back-to-back movies where he loves fishing.

A rebellious stoner named Moondog lives life by his own rules


So here we are, it’s April of 2019 and one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, Matthew McConaughey has starred in not one but two experimental films. He sure knows how to pick em these days, because both films have been simply not my cup of tea. Here we have The Beach Bum, an incoherent, psychedelic trip, that at times feels pretty meaningless. When I say this wasn’t my cup of tea, it’s because, I don’t think this was a terrible movie, in fact, it’s a beautifully shot film. The landscapes and cinematography throughout it are stunning and much like Spring Breakers, it’s pretty gorgeous to look at. Director Harmony Korine has a certain style in his films, and either it’s going to be for you, or you will honestly end up hating it. I found myself lying somewhere in the middle.

Let’s wind the clocks all the way back to the classic that is Dazed & Confused. Remember Wooderson, the iconic character that dear old Matthew plays. Well within the first few minutes of this, I said to myself, this is who Wooderson would have been all grown up. This is just a classic McConaughey performance. No one else could have played this role, I feel like this part was written for him. So Moondog as they call him was once this great poet and now, well he’s the definition of a burn out. A genius one at that, but all Moondog does is drink, do drugs and have sex. I can’t really explain Moondog, he’s just someone you need to experience for yourself. It’s a one of a kind type of role, where you can get immersed into this character, but at the same time he can get on your nerves quickly. He surrounds himself with quite the band of misfits as well. We got Snoop Dogg, well pretty much being Snoop. Isla Fisher as his horny as all hell wife. I’ll say that I actually thought they played so well off one another and whenever they were on screen together, I think that was the most enjoyable part of the movie for me. Sprinkle in a little Zac Efron, Martin Lawrence and Jonah Hill, yes Jonah Hill is in The Beach Bum. Doing perhaps one of the most accents I’ve ever heard. I know he must be doing on purpose, but it’s so bad and over the top, that it takes you out of it, every time he opens his mouth.

The cast is just a bunch of misfit characters, Zac Efron has panini sideburns, Martin Lawrence loves Dolphins and sails a boat for tourists. It’s all very weird and I know that’s Harmony’s style. I felt after watching this movie that none of the people in this movie had a soul. No one knew the difference between right and wrong. It was odd. Essentially something tragic happens to Moondog and he needs to write his novel in order to regain his life. Nothing really happens, it’s one scene after another of Moondog stumbling around, laughing, drinking, that’s really about it. I was so confused because I thought there would be more to this thing than that. You’ll laugh a lot, there’s a sequence that involved a bunch of homeless dudes and Moondog which cracked me up. There’s also a parrot that is addicted to cocaine, I can’t believe I just wrote that sentence out, but here we are.

There’s just so little to The Beach Bum, is just something you need to go see for yourself. There’s not enough to talk about because I’ll just spoil the whole thing for you. If you like McConaughey go see it. If you’re a fan of the director this will be right up your alley. But there’s just so little meat on these bones it’s hard to digest. Just set a record for my shortest review.

Nate’s Movie Tour Reviews – The Beach Bum = 62/100

Reviews

‘Us’ Review

Creep on in on in. Jordan Peele follows up Get Out with a stellar sophomore performance. Lupita Nyong’o shines, but Winston Duke steals the show.

A family’s serenity turns to chaos when a group of doppelgängers begins to terrorize them.


What is your deepest fear? For some, it’s heights or spiders. Some people have fears that we can even begin to imagine, like the fear of peaches. But what about fearing oneself? Deep down we truly are our own worst enemy right? Have you ever seen someone out in public that you swore was someone you know, or stumbled upon a photo of someone who looks just like you? It can be creepy, the old adage that if you ever time travel, you are forbidden to ever see yourself because the human psyche couldn’t handle something like that. Well now imagine not only seeing a mirror reflection of yourself, but that every person is here to kill you. The concept of duality is very interesting when used correctly in the film. What if we all had our own double out there somewhere, but we just didn’t know it? Duality is a very large theme within Jordan Peele’s new movie Us, his incredible follow up to the cultural phenomenon that was Get Out.

I can’t even fathom the amount of pressure Jordan Peele must have felt when making and writing this movie. Get Out literally changed his life forever and will be regarded as one of the best horror movies of all time, and perhaps one of the best movies of this decade. Those are some rather large shoes to fill for your follow up. But, if you had one great idea, you’re bound to have more right? Well, not only is Us going to be a smash hit, in some ways he ups the ante from his previous movie. Onions have layers, Ogres have layers, this movie has many layers. Sometimes adding a ton of layers won’t always translate to success and people enjoying your movie more. In fact, peeling back too many layers can be tiresome and at times boring. There’s a ton to digest with Us, it packs a punch. The movie at times can feel psychedelic and almost hypnotic with the imagery we are given. Peele crafts some spectacular shots, one that includes shadows of our family as they walk on the beach. Like I mentioned, duality and mirror images are a large aspect of this film. Speaking of the family, let’s meet the Wilson’s shall we?

Nothing screams vacation like fighting with your family. Now being hunted down and having your doppelgänger trying to kill you is a whole other ball game. Adelaide (Lupita Nyong’o) Gabe (Winston Duke) Jason (Evan Alex) and Zora (Shahadi Wright Joseph) are just your typical American family trying to have some fun at the beach. Now, for a movie like this, there is no way I’m giving away anything, I wouldn’t do that. Just know, the trailers don’t even scratch the surface of what this movie is, which I was pleasantly surprised with. Jordan Peele did an incredible job keeping this thing hush-hush. Lupita gives one hell of a performance, one of the best that I can remember in a horror movie. She’s doing a lot here because these four are also playing their counterparts. But Winston Duke man, that’s my new guy. The way I would describe him is simple, he’s – “that’s how I would act kind of guy.” What he’s saying, how he’s acting, he’s doing all the things use average joes would do when faced with these circumstances. The best part about this whole film is how Peele is able to serve up comedy in some scary and suspenseful moments. One misstep and it could have fallen so flat on its face, but it’s the chemistry between our four leads that make it work. They really feel like a family, it’s some of the funniest moments I can ever remember in a horror movie. I want to see this again, which I will, solely for one comedic moment, because I was howling with laughter. The rest of the cast, which is pretty small was just so perfectly crafted. Elizabeth Moss, Tim Heidecker and Cali and Noelle Sheldon play family friends and they were all terrific as well. Fun fact with the twin girls, they played Emma, Ross and Rachel’s daughter in Friends, and now I made you feel old.

My only small gripe with the film was the ending like I said there is a ton to peel back, no pun intended. I wasn’t exactly sure what Peele was going for and he’s asking a lot from his audience, and either you’re going to go there with him or like myself just have maybe a few questions that seem unanswerable. I am not letting that take away from this terrific, suspenseful, master craft of cinema. Jordan Peele is the real deal, and we have just another gifted filmmaker among us and I can’t wait to see what he does next. Go see it, go see it twice, let’s support this man, because he deserves hit. Us could have the biggest box-office openings in history, couldn’t be happier for the guy.

Nate’s Movie Tour Reviews – Us = 94/100

Reviews

‘Captain Marvel’ Review

When you’re going to these movies for the mid-credit scene, maybe it’s not a great sign.

Carol Danvers becomes one of the universe’s most powerful heroes when Earth is caught in the middle of a galactic war between two alien races


The good old MCU. The most reliable thing in Hollywood today, maybe in the history of Hollywood. It took them just over 20 movies to have their very first female-led superhero flick. Enter Brie Larson and her portrayal of Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel. You can always count on an MCU movie to do two things; make a ton of money, and seriously divide nerd culture. From the very get-go, I truly wasn’t on board with Brie Larson suiting up in the MCU. She’s a fine actress, an Oscar winner, and has been a staple in Hollywood for years now, but something just didn’t click with me. After seeing the movie, I personally think she lacked any sort of charisma and her whole performance was very vanilla. In a world where Marvel has perfected casting, I just think they could have found someone more suitable. She doesn’t come across as Captain Marvel or even a superhero. Where RDJ, Evans, and Hemsworth are literally walking incarnations of their characters. I think the main reason I’m not down with Captain Marvel is that for the last 12 years we have watched our Marvel heroes struggle time and time again, they have lost so much. Scarified, over and over again. After the events of the Infinity War, people were legit shook. Now, Captain Marvel is dubbed the most powerful person in all of the MCU and she will be very much responsible for defeating Thanos. Which seems so unearned, actually it is so unearned and it doesn’t even seem fair to be honest. She almost gets a happy ending, and we don’t really know where she’s been and why she has decided to wait until everything legit went to shit to show her face. This movie did a terrible job at telling us why she has been gone. In fact, she tells Nick Fury “only for emergencies.” I think aliens invading Earth through a massive portal in New York wasn’t a large enough emergency.

I just felt this whole movie was a 90s nostalgia trip, that was needed in order to have this girl in our lives before the events of Endgame play out. I even took some flack online saying I felt this was one of the weakest MCU origin films we’ve gotten. A huge blockbuster directed by a woman, starring a woman is fantastic, but that doesn’t mean you can’t talk about its flaws or be honest with how you feel about it. It’s Sunday on its opening weekend and it’s sitting with the 6th highest global opening ever with 455 million dollars, this movie is going to be fine. It’s just not what I wanted it to be. The only great aspect of this film was Sam Jackson’s and Brie Larson’s onscreen chemistry, it was actually quite fantastic. De-aging him worked really well, they should be doing this in more movies. But Jude Law is an utter waste, as one of the weakest MCU villains Yon-Rogg. You get Jude Law in your movie, you should make the most of it. Ben Mendelsohn plays Talos, and he was finally put in a great role. After a few duds in a row, it’s amazing to see him back in a fun role. I just felt the movie as a whole was choppily made, and for being so powerful, I didn’t think we even got a “cool moment” from her.

Just not a whole lot happens in her first outing, we don’t know why she decides to do what she does and really anything about her. And now we have to sit back and watch her take over the MCU? I have zero emotional investment with this character, and that’s a shame really. She doesn’t even lose anything in the movie. I just wanted it to be over so I could see the lead into Endgame. And the mid-credit scene was dope, but my biggest question after all of this. How will she interact and fit in with the rest of our heroes? Most of them might not be around at the end of Endgame, but still, she’s on the main building blocks in the MCU going forward. Even though I disliked her origin flick, I think in a group, Brie Larson could shine. I’ll find out soon enough, and I’m hanging on with the littlest of hope that this will be the case.

Overall, Captain Marvel falls in the middle of the pack for MCU movies, I’m dialing back some of my critiques of the film because I do think overtime Brie Larson can grow into this role. She’s got a lot to prove to me in Endgame, I just think it’s not right and so unearned that she gets to come in now and be the hero. I hope this is all handle so well next month. I just think it fell short of my expectations

Nate’s Movie Tour Reviews – Captain Marvel = 67/100

Reviews

‘Alita Battle Angel’ Review

It might not make a whole lot of sense, but Alita: Battle Angel is one impressive feat. Visually stunning, some of the best visuals I’ve seen in recent memory. Must be seen on the biggest screen possible. This movie kind of kicks a ton of ass.

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A deactivated female cyborg is revived, but cannot remember anything of her past life and goes on a quest to find out who she is.


When you walk into the movie theatre and two words flash on the screen, those two words can get any movie fan excited. James Cameron. He’s kind of a big deal when it comes to Hollywood, and creating some of the most spectacular films this world has ever seen. So when he was attached to Alita: Battle Angel, I became very interested. Not knowing anything about this property, like zero, and that’s kind of rare for me, I was worried I wouldn’t really be invested, but after seeing the movie, that wasn’t the case at all. With a strong female character, that you root for the entire time and get behind the moment you meet her. Themes about what it means to be human, the war that goes on between the rich and the poor, and female empowerment. There’s a lot to digest here, but there are moments of a pure adrenaline rush, and some of the best visuals I have ever seen. You really need to see this movie in IMAX, because I was blown away.

Now, all of these great aspects of the film aren’t completely beaten down by a god awful script and a love story that had no business being in a movie like this. This is the type of movie where every single person is talking in exposition, no one really has a normal, everyday conversation. It can get tiresome in moments, but sometimes the exposition is needed, to explain this complicated story of sorts. For someone who has no prior knowledge of any of this, it was nice to be caught up within the first 20 minutes or so. The film as a whole is so engaging because everything you’re looking at is beautiful, you’re immediately swallowed up by this world. Alita is also chalked full of legit movie stars. That’s why I’m shocked the script wasn’t worked on because when you get this kind of talent, you want to make the most of it. Alita who was played so wonderfully by Rosa Salazar, in a powerful role kind of blew me away. Christoph Waltz who plays her mentor/father-figure was his usual awesome self. They had great chemistry together, and it was the tent pole for the entire movie. Throw in Mahershala Ali, who plays the villain Vector. He doesn’t have a whole lot to do, but the guy is so charismatic and is just so damn good, he didn’t need much to do. Jennifer Connelly, who I feel like I haven’t seen her in any giant blockbuster in a long time. Then a bunch of terrific actors and actresses playing some kick-ass cyborgs.

The cyborgs are the best part of the entire film. They are sleek and a ton of fun to watch on the big screen. In this world, there is a sport called Motorball. It’s kind of like Rollerball, but way more violent and much more badass. When this incredible Motorball sequence gets underway, I was sucked in. I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen and I didn’t want it to end. It’s sports mixed with cyborgs killing each other. They should honestly make a Motorball spin-off. I had no clue this whole aspect was even in the film, I had no clue what Alita was about, the trailers felt so vague, but I was intrigued. I feel like they could have marketed this movie so much better because it had a terrible first weekend at the box-office. I don’t understand the reviews either. It always blows my mind when movies kind of drop the ball when it comes to trailers and promoting their movies. This campaign could have been unbelievable and really showcased a ton more. They didn’t need to make the love story the focal point of the trailers, because that is the least compelling part of the entire film.

When you have James Cameron attached to your project, you know visually it will be stunning. The guy is the master of creating stunning visuals on the big screen. But this movie could have been so much more. I waited a few days to write this review because I wanted to really think about it. I want to see it again, and I almost didn’t see this movie at all. I think Robert Rodriguez is a very competent director, I loved Sin City, and this was right up his alley. This movie isn’t flawed because of its direction. But overall this movie does kick a ton of ass when it wants to, and it isn’t completely bogged down by the stupid love story. Alita is a warrior, and one of the cooler female characters we’ve gotten in a long time. I feel like no one was really talking about this before it came out, and I don’t know anyone who has seen it. Well, get your butts to the theatre and support this thing because I want a damn sequel.

Nate’s Movie Tour Reviews – Alita: Battle Angel = 77/100

Reviews

‘Cold Pursuit’ Review

Mr. Plow that’s his name, that name again is Mr. Plow, and he’ll kill ya.

cold-pursuit-pic-1549649477.jpg

A snowplow driver seeks revenge against the drug dealers he thinks killed his son. Based on the 2014 Norwegian film ‘In Order of Disappearance’.


When I sat down to watch Liam Neeson’s latest action flick, I didn’t expect it to open with a quote from Oscar Wilde. Took me by surprise is all. It feels like just yesterday that Taken was coming to theatres and everyone was so curious how it was going to work. Mixing Liam Neeson an action star together, well it made quite the cocktail and it was a recipe that was recreated many times afterward, some being successful, others, not so much. He has gone on record to say this was his finale in the action genre, well until a dump truck full of money arrives at his house, but if this was his swan song to the action world, I didn’t mind it. Certainly, this isn’t better than Taken or The Grey, but if I were to rank all the action movies he has been in, this might fall into third place. I just thought the action blended nicely with the dark humoured that was sprinkled in throughout the film. That’s the thing, Cold Pursuit was really funny at times, I think it would have been even funnier if I saw this in a crowded theatre, seeing how laughter in contagious.

Cold Pursuit knew exactly what type of movie it wanted to be. I always respect films like that. It knew its identity and role and followed that formula to a tee. The premise is insane, but the execution was wonderful I thought. A lot of people die in this movie, and each one gets their own “in memoriam” when it happens, which played into the whole black humour aspect again. It’s about a man who plows a single stretch of road everyday then suddenly becomes an assassin. At one point, when his brother asks him how does he know how to kill a man, Neeson calmly responds “I read it in a crime novel.” That was good enough for me. It’s always a ton of fun watching Liam Neeson kill thugs and bad guys, that’s why these movies are always semi-successful. Over time it can ware you down of course, but this movie was a little different, and it was nice not seeing him stuck on a plane or train.

There’s an excellent kid performance (Nicholas Holmes) and a super over-the-top cheesy villain played by Tom Bateman. Everyone kind of knows the type of movie they’re in and everyone is really going for it. Something that I admired about the film. Even Laura Dern shows up for a bit. She might say 20 words the entire film? Laura Dern, coming in and just saying 20 words, it took me by surprise, it really did. I was never really bored, I was interested because of all the different characters they throw at you, each of whom have a hilarious nick-name. Another great trope, all the nick-names for the thugs, it really added a nice layer to the film. But obviously Neeson is the star, and we spend a lot of time with him. He doesn’t want to be a bad guy, or even really hurt people, but when you lose a son, what are your other options? He was pushed over the edge, and when a man breaks, sometimes there’s no stopping him. When he kidnaps a young boy, it almost turns comedic, because he’s not doing it for money or to harm the kid, and they end up becoming buddies, and the kid actually ends up liking him more than his real dad. I was just taken aback by the amount of times I found myself chuckling.

There isn’t a whole lot to say about Cold Pursuit, you’re either going because like me, you enjoy watching Liam Neeson kick all sorts of ass. It’s simple, you don’t go to this movie for the plot or great character development, you go for some laughs and to watch an old man beat the living hell out of some punks. I’ll give Emmy Rossum and John Doman some credit. They play the local cops and whenever Rossum was on screen, she just made an adorable little cop, who wants to take down the big drug lords, while Doman gave zero you know what’s about anything. I just thought they had terrific chemistry together. She needs to be in more things, I’ll just say that.

All I know is I’ll miss this side of Liam Neesons career, but it’s been a fun ride. Something no one saw coming and something we will all miss dearly.

Nate’s Movie Tour Reviews – Cold Pursuit = 65/100

Reviews

‘GLASS’ Review

GLASS offers a semi-lackluster end to this trilogy. Where we find M. Night Shyamalan stumbling moments before the finish line. A disappointment to say the least.

hero_glass-image“Security guard David Dunn uses his supernatural abilities to track Kevin Wendell Crumb, a disturbed man who has twenty-four personalities.”


Before I dive into my GLASS review, the latest M. Nighy Shyamalan hero flick, which is the conclusion to his superhero world-building trilogy. Now when Unbreakable first came into our lives all the way in 2000 Shyamalan was still hot in the sheets. It wasn’t until much later when he started to falter and people noticed that he could be a very hit or miss director. It was a fantastic origin story in a world that was grounded but where the idea that superheroes could exist. That was it though, the story of David Dunn and Elijah Price was over, and no one had the faintest clue that 16 years later David Dunn would reappear in our lives. At the end of Split, the story about Kevin Wendall Crumb and his 24 different personalities, David Dunn was reintroduced back into our lives. That was the Shyamalan twist we have all come accustomed too. 16 years later, we got a -pseudo-sequel that rocked our lives and we found out that Shyamalan had secretly been building his own MCU.

The courage it must have taken that man, the leap of faith he was willing to take. 16 years later and he expects the viewers to not only accept this revelation but to enjoy it. That is so crazy and such an insane risk that you have to give the man some credit. Not only is it mind-blowing the whole twist, but it also makes you wonder how long he sat on this for? Split was a great movie on its own, but when the camera panned onto David Dunn sitting in that diner and it open pandora’s box, you realized just how special the whole movie is. Critics and fans alike love to dump on this man, but he has brought us all so many fantastic films, but I feel sometimes he is his own worst enemy. My biggest takeaway after watching GLASS last night is simple. If he had this grand scheme, this masterplan to turn Unbreakable into a trilogy, I just thought the ending would be pulled off with better execution. He was ahead of the competition in a mile race and fell flat on his face moments before the finish line. It just doesn’t make sense to me, after all the time between the first two movies, I just thought he truly had a special story he wanted to tell the world. He had so much time to prepare. Poor execution down the stretch, he let a big lead slip away, it’s almost terrible coaching at this point. This movie is going to divide movie fans for a long time, there will be so many think pieces written about it. GLASS isn’t a terrible movie, it’s being let down, not getting what you wanted, I guess? This isn’t his worst film, not even close, but this was number FIVE on my most anticipated list of 2019, and it will be lost in my memory in a few short weeks. I wanted so much more from this film, and he didn’t give it to me.

All three leads are great in their respected roles. Bruce Willis, Sam Jackson, and James McAvoy all bring their best stuff. It feels like GLASS is more of a Spilt sequel than an Unbreakable sequel. A ton of time is spent with finding out more about Kevin and his personalities, also the biggest reveal of the movie centers around Kevin and is “origin.” I was pretty locked in the first 20 minutes, spending the majority of the time with David Dunn and his son Joseph (Spencer Trent Clarke). Who reprises his role from Unbreakable which I thought was really cool. I wanted more of David being Batman and Joseph serving as his Alfred and hunting down criminal punks. Anya Taylor-Joy is back as the damaged girl next door Casey, who is trying to rid the beast from Kevin’s mind, and Charlayne Woodard is back as Mrs. Price.  The lovely and very talented Sarah Paulson joins the cast as Dr. Staple who is trying her best to tell our three heroes that the world doesn’t have super-powered beings, but rather all of this is occurring in their minds. When we get introduced to Dr. Staple at Ravenhill Psychiatric Hospital that’s when the movie starts to lose its footing. Much like the two previous films, GLASS can be a slow burn at times, but just nothing was really happening, and when everything finally came together, the conclusion just fell apart completely. All this set-up and it just felt so unsatisfying.

In classic M. Night fashion there a few twists and turns along the way, none of which really took me by surprise or made me go “oh my god.” This was something I wanted to happen, just when they all hit you in the face, they were a letdown. I thought he would have planned this out better, but this is the story he wanted to tell us all and I respect him for that. I know audiences and people will be disappointed in this film. Some people are really going to love it, all the themes about superheroes and how the world views them and would treat them if they really did exist is an interesting concept to dive into. M. Night pours his heart and soul into his projects, his last three films have been self-funded. He cared so much about all three of these great characters and wanted to give them a proper ending. I just think he cared a little too much and it could have clouded his judgment. I won’t ever knock a film-maker for their decisions, but I can be upset that something didn’t meet my expectations or even come close.

GLASS is a really tricky film to score because I think if I stood on its own, the reception it was getting would be totally different. Being part of this much larger universe comes with all sorts of weight and expectations. When it’s all said and done, I don’t think this is the film people thought they would be getting. So you have to judge the film as a larger quantity than it actually is because it’s part of a much larger scope. I’m having a hard time deciding if I liked GLASS or I hated it. Maybe it’s a movie that needs multiple viewings. I love all the main characters and I wanted their stories fleshed out more, especially that of David Dunn. At the end of the day, I feel bad for M. Night, because I know he wanted this to be accepted by the masses, and I have a funny feeling after a great opening weekend, GLASS will struggle to make money. With it being financed by Shyamalan himself, he’s already looking a profit, I dunno, I just wanted to walk away being blown away and loving this movie. Such a tough movie to digest, because of the many themes and layers and trying to get through all of that. Will be without a doubt one of the most polarizing films of 2019, a line in the sand will be drawn and you will argue with people on the internet for weeks, or at least I will.

Nate’s Movie Tour Reviews – GLASS = 66/100

 

Reviews

‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ Review

Barry Jenkins follows up Moonlight with another incredible tale. This time it’s the power of love which drives this emotional journey which sees a wrongfully convicted man struggle with missing the birth of his son.

Beale-Street.jpg

“A woman in Harlem embraces her pregnancy while she and her family struggle to prove her fiancé innocent of a crime.”


Barry Jenkins took the world by storm in 2016 with his ground-breaking hit Moonlight. Winner of Best Picture, after the whole wrong, envelop fiasco. Now I don’t want to know the amount of pressure that must come with trying to follow-up the Best Picture winner, but Barry Jenkins got back in the saddle quickly and now just two years later here we are with If Beale Street Could Talk. When you have climbed the highest mountain, how can you possibly repeat that feat? I think it’s remarkable that some individuals have won multiple Best Pictures, and I believe that someday Barry Jenkins will join those ranks. Beale Street was an enjoyable experience, it’s full of hope and a ton of despair. When something unexpected comes between two people in love, how far are they willing to bend before they break? When the law is out of their control and the justice system is so corrupt, how do you cope with losing the person you love most? All of these themes are explored, and it felt so real, it hit hard, and it hits hard often. In a world where this goes on daily, you seem to forget just how good you have it sometimes.

Beale Street thrives on the chemistry between its two stars. Tish (Kiki Layne) and Fonny (Stephen James). Their performances are so authentic, you can feel the passion between these two, even in the subtle glances they give one another. They both carry the film so well, and with that perfect on-screen chemistry, it makes you more invested in their love story. When characters on screen don’t have fantastic chemistry, it can take you out of the picture, but when two people who are pretending to be in love, actually feel in love, the possibilities are endless. So kudos to Barry Jenkins on handpicking these two cast members, because without them, without their journey together, this whole thing simply does not work. When their world gets turned upside down, you want them to figure this thing out, you know just as much as they do, that they belong together. The aesthetics are wonderful, the costume design, the set pieces, it transports you to a place, that might not seem beautiful but the characters and the colors around them make it so. Every outfit that Tish wore was so bright and full of life and it suits her character, who never gives up and is such a strong young independent woman. Gorgeous cinematography that will look even better on the biggest screen in your city. Some of the close up shots are truly breathtaking.

Mix in one of, if not the best supporting cast in a 2018 movie. From the lovely Regina King, who will most likely be nominated for best-supporting actress come Oscar season. Brian Tyree Henry, who shows up for 15 minutes but fills the box-score to the max. He is without a doubt one of the best-underrated actors working today and had himself one hell of a year. Rounding out the perfect assemble, Colman Domingo, Pedro Pascal, Deigo Luna, and Teyonah Parris. Sometimes getting a large actor or actress to just be in a very small scene, can do wonders for your film, and that is the case here. So much talent and when they are shown in such a small sample size, that role feels so much bigger than it should.

In my opening remarks, I mentioned how hard it must be to try and follow-up something so incredible as Moonlight. It can cause you to look at the next thing differently, hold it to the highest standards which isn’t always fair. I found myself doing this through Beale Street, and I kind of hated myself for it. I wanted to like Beale Street more than I did, simply because I kept thinking of Moonlight. The score is beautiful, the most emotionally charged pieces of music in film this year. I think I just wanted to like Beale Street more than I did. It falls under the best 20 films of the year, but when the trailers dropped I imagined it could fall into my top 5. Barry Jenkins is still a force to be reckoned with, and I can’t wait to see his next project.

Check ya later

Nate’s Movie Tour Reviews – If Beale Street Could Talk = 77/100