‘Tomb Raider’ Movie Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Check ya later

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

‘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 

‘Kingsman: Golden Circle’ Review

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

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(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

‘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

‘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

‘Baby Driver’ Review 

Mozart in a Go-Kart

 

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(TriStar) 

Listen carefully you hear that? Well I know you can’t actually hear anything, you’re simply reading this review. But off somewhere in the distance, is me still giving this movie a standing ovation. Baby Driver, Edgar Wright’s latest masterpiece just hit theatres, and people and critics alike are singing praises about it. Now ever since I can remember, I have loved everything Edgar Wright has ever done. He’s simply brilliant, and one of the best working directors in Hollywood today. Hot Fuzz, Shaun of The Dead, and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, just to name a few are some of my favorite movies ever made. Hot Fuzz to this day remains in my top 15 flicks of all time, I’ll never forget the first time I watched that movie. So after all the drama that went into his AntMan experience, which we all know would have been spectacular, we were all left waiting for Wright’s next work of art. Then a little trailer dropped for Baby Driver, and I was hooked instantly, everything about it made me super excited. The movie popped, and when I saw the cast, my jaw almost hit the floor. I’ll will certainly get into it later, but the cast for Baby Driver is truly one of a kind, but I’ll start by saying, HALLELUJAH, this is Jon Hamm’s moment. For films that is, the guy is already a bonafide rock-star, thanks to Mad Men, but it made me so happy to see that man kick so much ass in this movie.

So I’m not going to go to far into the plot of the movie, because at its core, there really isn’t a whole lot there. That’s not taking anything away from the movie at all; I just really want to make this spoiler free. So nothing that wasn’t in the trailer or you could gather from looking at the poster for the movie. So we have Baby, a getaway driver, who happens to suffer from tinnitus, which causes him to have a subtle ringing in his ears at all times. This was caused by a car wreck he was in when he was younger, which happened to kill both his parents. Baby, played by Ansel Elgort, ever so effortlessly as I might add. Baby comes across very smooth, and very confident, but at the same time very quite and shy. Ansel (so hot right now) sorry I had to make that reference, gives off all of these emotions with such ease, I was really impressed by him. This was the first time I really watched one of his movies, this kid as a seriously bright future. Baby works for Doc (Kevin Spacey), who is on top of his game here, as the fast talking, extremely cocky, baddest guy in town. There back story is simple, Baby steals a car that happened to belong to Doc, and when Baby dumps the car, little does he know, it was filled with a lot of “goods”. So When Doc tracks down Baby, he makes him his getaway driver for all the heists his team pulls. It just so happens that Baby is the best getaway driver anyone has ever seen. Doing all these different heists, Baby meets a bunch of interesting and colorful characters. Griff (Jon Bernthal) the muscle man. The asshole of the group, who sadly is only in like 5 minutes of the movie. Hopefully if they ever make a sequel he will come back, because in those 5 minutes, he was stealing the show in my opinion. We have Darling (Elza Gonzalez) and Buddy (Jon Hamm) who are husband and wife, and realistically what I’m calling “couple goals for 2017”. Darling is a little firecracker, who might seem very cute and innocent, but she is not to be messed with. Especially when it comes to getting between her and her man. Jon Hamm, this is your coming out party my man. I don’t know how he does it. Remember in Mad Men, how he was so incredible at playing the overly confident yet ironically  very sad man. Well he tees that one up again here, and he knocks it out of the park. No actor today, can pull of the sad drunken puppy dog look better than Hamm himself. I’m just so happy for Hamm, because he deserves to be a mega-star and I just don’t think he’s been getting the right roles, until now. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, Jon Hamm needs to be Harvey Dent in the DCEU, but that’s a whole other discussion. Next we have Bats (Jamie Foxx) who is a sadistic, witty, and kind of charming guy. The oddball of the group, who really seemed like the darkest of the bunch. He loves crime and that’s why he does this for a living. Where everyone else, seem to be committing these crimes, because well they either don’t have a choice, or they need the money. Foxx is truly brilliant here, my god, when he’s on his game, Foxx is one of the better actors working today. He also happens to have some of the best lines in the entire movie; his comedic timing in this was flawless. Rounding out the cast we have Debora (Lily James) the love interest of Baby, and she was just so adorable. She works at the same diner that Baby’s mom used to work at, and the second Baby hears her sing, well he falls instantly and madly in love with her. The chemistry between James and Elgort was noticeable the first time they were on screen together, and it made me more invested into the movie. There’s nothing better, then when you can actually believe in the love story going on within the movie, because it seems real. They were so good together, and James herself was great, coming off her awesome performance in Cinderella. They knocked it out of the park when casting this movie; everyone fit their roles to perfection.

The script is written by Wright also, so not only does he direct this thing, he also wrote it, so just hats off to that guy (because everyone loves hats). Wright is known for is creative, original and stylistic way of making movies, and it showed in both his directing and his writing. His movies can be wacky and corny at times, and this is no exception, but it’s always done in such a tasteful manner, that you hardly even notice it. As a lover of music, I saw myself in Baby at times throughout the movie. Music is such a big part of this thing that it almost feels like a musical. Pretty much throughout the entire thing, there is a song blaring through Baby’s headphones, no matter what he is doing. Whether he’s dancing his way through the streets to retrieve coffee for the gang after another successful heist, or when he’s getting the lowdown for their next job. Wright captures people sharing headphones listening to a song together so romantically and touching, that you can forget just how much music can bring people together. The song choices are so on point, and the each song fits so well into each scene, it’s just a perfect blend of movie making and music sharing. He loves music so much, and it’s such a big part of his life, that at a certain point in the movie, he hijacks a car, but can’t drive it until he finds the perfect song on the radio to drive off too. Its little things like this that makes this experience so joyful and just so fresh.

This summer has been a massive let down for movies, and it was so nice to go into a movie, and not only be pleasantly surprised, but it was ORIGINAL. Yes, this is a heist movie, some of my favorites movies involve heists (Point Break, The Town), but this was different. The movie’s style is so carefully and perfectly crafted, the way everyone dresses, the colors, to even the music in certain scenes, just makes this one hell of a ride. The opening car chase is just incredible. We have seen this movie a million times before, this really is nothing new, but it’s the way Wright goes about it, that makes it feel like a breath of fresh air. With being unique and original. I’m sorry for all the times I used the word baby in this review, just wait till you see the movie, the word “baby” should maybe be outlawed. One last thing, I bet Mike Myers is pumped, he got the most screen time he’s had in about a decade.

I’m going to see this movie again, and I have a feeling, it will be sneaking into an all-timer for me, it’s hard to put into words how you truly feel about something, but this is the kind of movie, which makes you want to be a filmmaker. It made me feel happy inside made me think that if you work hard enough good things can happen. I love this movie to pieces and I’m so damn glad Edgar Wright left Ant-Man because if he didn’t I wouldn’t be writing this review right now. What can I say, it’s slick, fun, stylish, action packed and most of all stuffed with an incredible soundtrack. GO SEE THIS MOVIE.

Check ya later,

Nate’s Movie Tour Reviews – Baby Driver = 97/100

 

 

‘Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle’ Trailer Reaction 

Jumanji more like Juman-jeeze, are we serious with this? 


Okay guys, am I the only one who is getting a little worried about our dear old friend Dwayne Johnson? Am I the only one who thought this was a piece of crap trailer, for a movie that shouldn’t have been made in the first place? Since when is Jumanji a video game and not the classic board game we all fell in love with in the 90s. In all seriousness, Baywatch just came out and my god that was torture to sit through and this looks even worse. Dwayne Johnson is one of my favourite people in the world, but this is getting a little out of hand. Jumanji looks like utter trash, I’m sorry. 

I think I already know the whole movie from just watching this trailer. Four kids are stuck in detention, who don’t like each other and who are polar opposites, cough cough, The Breakfast Club. Where they stumble onto the video game of Jumanji, and next thing they know, they are sucked into the jungle and the world of Jumanji. Here’s the kicker all their stereotypes are reversed in the game, the big jock becomes little old Kevin Hart, the nerd becomes Dwayne Johnson, the outcast becomes the smoke show that is Karen Gillian (🚀🚀), and the pretty girl in school becomes Jack Black…..

So I’m sure they will all hate each other at the beginning but learn how to become a team and trust each other. And learn that it’s what’s on the inside the counts and find inner strength that they didn’t know they had. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there will be tons of laughs in this movie, but it just feels so different from the original. One of Robin Williams best movies and performances, and now we are getting this CGI filled mess. 

Hey I could be wrong, Dwayne and Hart had great chemistry in Central Intelligence, I enjoy Karen Gillan in Guardians of The Galaxy, and Jack Black is just a saint. But this is not a good trailer. This simply is not Jumanji, like at all. I hope I’m wrong on this one I really do, because this has potential to be a great remake/reboot, I’m not really sure how this is working. It just feels unnecessary because nothing will ever top the original. Quick fix, call it Welcome To The Jungle, drop the Jumanji, it’s cleaner. 

Check ya later. 

‘Wonder Woman’ Review 

No surprise here, women can make incredible movies and it needs to happen more often. Wonder Woman is simply delightful.

(WARNER BROS.)

Well it only took 75 years, but the world finally got a Wonder Woman movie and boy it didn’t disappoint. Wonder Woman has so many things to be proud of. It’s the first superhero movie with a female lead in almost a decade (but we really shouldn’t count Catwoman), it’s the first ever superhero film directed by a woman (Patty Jenkins) who is a goddamn rock star, and it’s the first movie to gross over 100 million dollars in its first weekend with a female director! It took awhile, longer than it should have and this was a momentous and important weekend for woman and their role in the film industry. Along with the fact, it’s the first funny, and overall one of the best DCEU movie to date, with a staggering 93% on Rotten Tomatoes and universally loved by critics and fans alike – this movie was a grand slam for Warner Bros. The financial and critical success is wonderful, it’s exactly what the DCEU needed, but it shouldn’t over shadow the significant cultural impact this movie will have on the world. Wonder Woman has breathed new life into the superhero genre and certainly into the universe where she comes from. After last years Batman v Superman when the world got introduced to Gal Gadot and her portrayal of Diana Prince, I honestly knew then and there that this was a casting decision made in heaven. I had a blast watching this movie and when I left the theatre I couldn’t stop thinking to myself, “why don’t more women get the opportunity to make great movies.”

First things first, THIS MOVIE IS COLOURFUL PEOPLE! Holy moly, I was blown away by the entire thing, but the DCEU is kind of known to be dark and very “doom and gloom.” This movie had that stuff in it, but so much more, and some of the colors, and visuals throughout Wonder Woman are breathtaking. The movie opens up with a young Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) in Themyscira as she watches over the other Amazonian warriors train, and she is mimicking their movements, she is determined to be the greatest warrior ever. When her mother Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen) forbids her from becoming the warrior princess she wants to be so badly, it’s up to her Aunt Antiope the fiercest Amazonian ever (Robin Wright) to secretly train her. Themyscira looks stunning, it has a real Troy vibe to it, dealing with the Greek Mythology background. The set pieces and on set locations are terrific and the first action sequence takes place on a beach and it’s epic. Robin Wright steals the show during this scene, showing an acting side we’ve never seen before. She also has one of the coolest moments on the movie during this scene where she shoots three arrows at once, at three different German soldiers. Before this epic battle, we have our male hero, Colonel Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) crash land in the waters of Themyscira. Now this place was hidden from the outside world, but not anymore, and the Amazonian’s are in fear, that everything they love and protect could be in danger. When Steve Trevor tells them exactly what’s going on in the outside world, that the ‘war, to end all wars” is going on, Diana feels the need to help. I should mention that the reason why they have been hiding all this time is due to the God of War himself, Ares. Now with this war going on, they believe it’s Ares behind it, and he needs to be stopped. I just want to talk about Chris Pine for a second here, and just how good he was in this movie. Without a doubt, this has the best love interest/relationship I think I’ve seen in a superhero movie. The chemistry between Gal and Chris was incredible, and even though this was a war movie, it had a lot of rom-com feels to it, and they played off one another extremely well. There are a few scenes that feel like they are straight out of a rom-com and when I say that, I mean the best of what a rom-com has to offer. The last scene of the movie between these two characters was so well done, and so brilliant and just nothing seemed forced between these two. You know that they will fall in love, but it’s really special how they go about doing it. These movies always have a love interest who is always finding themselves getting into trouble and need to be saved or it’s just cheesy and doesn’t really make sense, but with Chris Pine’s character none of that happens, and he’s a big part of the movie, he’s almost the driving force for the whole thing. So shout out to Chris Pine, who just continues to give really good performances, and I hope he returns to the DCEU.

So when Diana decides she is the only one who can stop Ares, she leaves with Colonel Trevor and heads for jolly old London. This is where the movie really opens up, and we get to see the side of Diana that’s very naive and innocent. One of the things the movie does so well, and Patty Jenkins did such an amazing job, at capturing the spirit and essence of the character. Diana is such a strong, independent and passionate woman, but now that she’s in the real world, she quickly realizes just how little women are appreciated or respected. She just wants to explore the world, and she loves the simplest things. There are a few great moments, one involving a baby and she just falls in love immediately, and another is actually taken from one of the animated movies, where she eats ice cream for the first time and her reaction is priceless. It makes sense, imagine going your whole life without ice cream and just think of what your reaction would be. It was just little things, and little moments like this, that truly made this movie special. Gal Gadot was born to play this role, and I know she might not be the greatest actress working in Hollywood today, but she owned this role, and has come a long way in such a short period of time. Usually when people get casted as a superhero, you spend some of the movie thinking if someone else could do better or someone that is more suited to play the character. That never happened once for me, at times, I felt like Gadot was ripped straight from the pages of a Wonder Woman comic book. Zack Snyder has really casted the DCEU perfectly, when you think about it. She owned this movie, and I really hope that puts all the haters and doubters of Gal to sleep, because she really gave it her all and it showed in her performance.

Once they arrive in London, they meet Sir Patrick Morgan/Ares (Professor Lupin!), and three of Trevor’s running mates, Charlie (Ewen Brenner), Sameer (Said Taghamoui) and Chief (Eugene Brave Rock). We also get to meet Steve’s secretary, Etta Candy (Lucy Davis) who was really funny in her role. From the little screen time she had, she did the best with it. She makes a routine shopping trip, into one of the funniest scenes in the movie. All the side characters work in Wonder Woman, just another reason why this movie worked so well. Honestly they all had something to do, and they are given just enough background and development that you end up caring about them. So when all of them arrive at the front lines of the war, known, as “No Man’s Land” which I thought was clever and smart. Diana wants to stay and help, but Steve insists they keep going, and that no man has ever crossed these lines and made it back alive. She tells him that ‘she’s no man’ and we have the best moment of the movie. When she walks out of the trenches in her Wonder Woman outfit, I had some goose bumps. This is where the colors of her suit shine and it’s just a really beautiful moment. Which leads into one of the best action sequences, it’s Wonder Woman’s warehouse scene (from BvS). Not only that, but from this scene I got a little Saving Private Ryan vibe, and whenever you can compare a movie to that one, well you’re only singing praises at that point. The whole second action sequence is something I will want to watch over and over again, it’s perfectly done, and they really show off just what Diana can do in combat. I loved how the lasso of truth looked, and how she used it throughout the movie.

With every great hero comes a villain, and in Wonder Woman we get a few bad guys. Not the greatest of villains but they were okay. Danny Hutson plays Erich Ludendorff; he’s a German general who does not want to see the war end. I got a Red Skull comparison in mind from Captain America, and he was hopped up on some sort of gas the entire time, but his character felt a little stale to me. His sidekick was actually a side chick, a chemist, Doctor Poison (Elena Anaya) who is creating some horrible toxic gas, which looks to end the war and kill millions of people. I actually really liked this character, I just think they didn’t fully utilize her, and she had some layers to her, and I wish they had explored her just a little bit more. It’s really hard to have a great villain these days, but they all did the trick. Now for Ares. He was okay, but he comes at the end of the movie, and really my only problem with this entire thing was the ending. Wonder Woman was doing such a great job at not being like every other superhero movie, and then it becomes just like every other superhero movie in the end. You know, the big CGI-filled fight scene with the big bad guy at the end. They didn’t need to do that, I understand why they did, but they had something really special going on, and it just takes you out of the movie. I also just found the fight scene to be really dark, and I had a hard time figuring out what exactly was going on. Honestly though, that was really my only nitpick of the entire thing.

A lot of movies in the past few months have been very forgetful, and I don’t really think about them too much a few days after I have seen them. This isn’t the case for Wonder Woman. I’m just amazed how this thing turned out; obviously going into it I had my doubts. The DCEU hasn’t been on the best of tracks lately, and the last movie they released was Suicide Squad, and well I’m just not going to go there. Gal Gadot and Chris Pine did their thing, they were the stars of the movie, but Patty Jenkins needs to get a lot of credit for this. I really hope executives from movie studios take note, and start to let women direct bigger budget movies. I just felt happy the entire time watching it, there are so many laughs and great moments throughout the movie, and I’m just really happy for her, because this is a really big deal, and I hope people can understand that. This isn’t like a top 5-superhero movie, but it’s the second best DCEU movie, but I have a feeling I will end up liking this more than Man of Steel in the long run, but it’s just a really good/well made movie. Wonder Woman is such an incredible character with great morals, and values and I’m glad that we finally got to see all this on the big screen. I don’t know if she becomes the driving force of the DCEU going forward, or can be the Captain America for the Justice League. I know I’m much more excited for the Justice League movie now, I just hope they can continue with this great momentum they have built. All I’m going to say, is this movie is way above average.

Also I’m fan casting Sofia Boutella as Cheetah for Wonder Woman 2.

Check ya later,

Nate’s Movie Tour Reviews – Wonder Woman = 90/100

 

 

Still Not Sold on ‘Spider-Man Homecoming’ 

Are they really going to make Spider-Man the next Ironman? 

(MARVEL)

So I think this is the final Spider-Man Homecoming trailer, well at least I hope it is. They are not holding back with showing us, well practically the entire movie. Seriously this is one movie you don’t need to sell us fans on, and they keep giving us more new footage and new trailers every other week it seems. This movie has the word Spider-Man in the title, it’s going to make a billion dollars regardless of wether or not it blows. So why on Earth are they showing us so much! I would have been so pumped to not know just how much Ironman was going to be in this. I just feel like I know every single beat and plot point that will happen. I can’t decide if I’m a fan of his talking suit or not. That’s kind of Ironman’s thing, but I guess we will see how that plays out. All these gadgets are cool and all, but I just don’t think that’s Spider-Man’s thing. He’s got his webs and his wit and that’s always been good enough for me. Don’t try to overdue this and make him cool, he’s cool enough already! 

Don’t get me wrong, it looks fantastic, and I think Tom Holland is the perfect choice to play the web slinger. It just looks like every other Marvel movie, and with how GOTG 2 turned out, I’m going to remain skeptical until I see the finished product. So prove me wrong Marvel please! Because well we haven’t gotten a good Spider-Man movie in almost 10 years, so it’s long overdue. 

The cast is incredible so I’m not worried about that one bit, I just don’t want Keaton turned into just another generic Marvel villain, he’s way to good of an actor for that. So let’s hope he’s got some layers to his character and gets enough screen time. I’m glad they finally showed some Donald Glover footage, I’m really curious about his role in the movie! 

They dropped two trailers today, with the international being the better of the two. I dunno I’m just upset they have shown so much footage, when they just need to do so. It’s freaking Spider-Man, everyone and their dog will be lining up to see this one! I know I will  

Check ya later. 

 https://youtu.be/U0D3AOldjMU

Let’s Talk About That ‘Dark Tower’ Trailer 

Matthew McConaughey honestly looks to be the nicest villain in movie history.

(SONY)
The Dark Tower, something I really know nothing about. I know it’s based off the much beloved Stephen King novel. I know it’s coming out August 4th this summer and I know it stars a couple of real gems in McConaughey and Idris Elba. So when the trailer popped up online this morning I was pleasantly surprised at what I saw. After reading some of the Youtube comments, it looks like the books snobs will be out in full force for this one.

Idris Elba is some sort of gunslinger and it’s up to him to save both his world and ours. McConaughey looks to be playing “The Man In Black” who is trying to destroy both worlds. Honestly from what I saw from this trailer the action looks to be pretty dope. They really came up with some unique ways to reload your gun, and this being based off a Stephen King novel I expect a great story full of twists and turns. I’ve always felt that Idris Elba hasn’t got his just dessert yet, he’s such a talented actor, but hasn’t really been the lead in a big Hollywood blockbuster. Well this looks to be his chance, and I couldn’t be happier for the guy. I just hope this doesn’t turn out to be like The Lone Ranger.
Now for McConaughey. I’m not sure if I’m buying him as a bad dude. Like he’s never done that before and it just seems off putting. Mostly because he didn’t really change for it, he’s still talking like he always does, and I just wish either his voice would have been different or his appearance. Because when I saw this movie was coming out I didn’t know he was going to play the films baddie until I saw the trailer. So hopefully the man proves me wrong, it’s not like the man can’t act. So PROVE ME WRONG MATTHEW.
All in all this movie looks cool and it seems like a cool new universe to be a part of. With a stellar cast and some cool looking visuals I can get on board with this. It could be the last good movie of the Summer with an August release date. In the mean time I might get my hands on the book so I can march with those book snobs come August!
Check ya later.