I don’t know exactly how to write a movie review for The Shack. You either already know you are going to see it, or are uninterested and won’t be seeing it. The Shack isn’t fun in the way most movies I am entertained by are fun, but no one expected it to be. I will say that I have seen some really bad faith based movies. In fact, most of them are bad, cringe worthy, and practicably unwatchable. The Shack is none of those three things. They spent the money to hire actual actors (and that makes a world of difference); the writing is average for a movie (therefore, miles ahead of most faith based movies); and the production values are also of reasonable quality. The story is good, they handled the rough parts tastefully, but still with most of the impact, and if you buy the premise then the characters will pull you in.
I don’t think you would have had to have read the book to be able to grasp the movie, but it would help, of course. As far as movies go, The Shack is the best player on the JV team; a stand out as long as you’re not comparing it to the bigger, stronger players. But as far as faith based entertainment goes, it is top shelf.
The kids will be fine, as long as you don’t mind answering a bazillion questions on the ride home.
Oh! I almost forgot the best part. Overly religious people will be crapping their pants. They’ll be tripping over themselves to misquote or argue some irrelevant point. It brings my heart great joy to watch religious people scramble.
Kong: Skull Island is pretty good, but that’s it, just pretty good. Kong, and the other beasties, look good; I never really stopped to notice that they were all CGI. Can’t say the same for the actors though. There were some talented people in the movie, but I feel like they sorta mailed it in. Blame for that usually goes to the director, but the directing wasn’t all bad either, b/c he tied a story together that we all already know, and made it seem somewhat fresh. But, you could lay that credit at the feet of the writers; but you’d also need to shake your head at them for mixing too much cheese and pretension in with their quality work. So…..K:SI is just pretty good. Better than the last King Kong movie, but not as good as other stuff that is out right now, and certainly not as good as some summer blockbusters will be.
So you can put K:SI on your to rent list, but not at the top. For the kids: they wanted to make it PG-13, so they threw in two cuss words, and there are some moments when guys are bloody and beat up after getting in a helicopter crash or eaten up by one of the monsters. Middle schoolers will be fine, not so confident that younger kids would be.
Do I gush over comic book movies? Yes. Should Logan win an Oscar anyway? Also yes.
Normally, I’m one of the last to leave the theater, I don’t get in any hurry. I did my same, non-hurried shuffle at the end of Logan, but most people were still in their seats as I walked past. They looked shell-shocked, and undoubtedly felt emotionally drained, like I did. Leaving Logan you almost feel like you’ve been in a fight, beat up a little bit. My armpits were sweaty, my heart was a little heavy, but I felt very satisfied. It was like watching Schindler’s List or Passion of the Christ; an emotional experience that empties you out in the best way.
You know how books are normally better than movies, b/c the book has so much more time to develop the characters and plot? Well, Logan is the closest movie I’ve seen to replicating what a book can pull off. Part of that is b/c we’ve been watching Hugh Jackman develop the Wolverine character for 15 years, and part of it is b/c there is no wasted motion in Logan. The acting is good, the fights are, finally, appropriately brutal, and the special effects are subtle and blended in perfectly. What sets Logan apart is the story and the characters. Bottom line, it was just a really fantastic movie.
It’s rated R. They cuss, stab people in the head, and don’t hold back on the death scenes. Logan ain’t a kids movie, but the only reason you should skip it is if you can’t enjoy a movie b/c of the things in the previous sentence.
I went to watch Passengers with extremely low expectations, and those expectations were greatly exceeded. The reason for the pleasant surprise was Chris Pratt. I wish he and I could be friends. He is in just about every scene in the movie, and in every scene I’m buying what he’s selling. Well, except for the ones where the science gets really wonky, but that is par for the course for a space movie. But 90%+ of the time I was watching I was all in. And that is the beauty of Passengers, it isn’t an action movie until late, and there is a lot of quite times, but I stayed engaged through the whole thing. It was good, way better than it had any reason to be. The story is fantastical, but doesn’t get in the way, and the pacing is even, up until they try to blow everything up at the end. The acting is good, with my boy Chrisy Poo leading the way. You don’t have to go out of your way to see it in the theater, but definitely catch it on Redbox.
You kids won’t enjoy it. It is safe for them, but they’ll think it is slow and boring, b/c they won’t get the tension.
Reviewing a Star Wars movie is a bit tricky, do you just review it on its own merits or were it fits inside a cultural touchstone? Rouge One is a Star Wars movie the same way Balboa was a Rocky movie; you got the atmosphere, but it’s different than what you remember.
The first half hour of RO is a mess. I’m a low grad Star Wars geek and I was confused. But that might be the problem, looking for where it fit, and looking for continuatiy, instead of just watching. I’ll stand by the first half hour being a bit off though, b/c after that RO hits its stride and settles into an even pace, and a story arc of its own. The acting could be better, everybody looks like they are trying too hard, but the special effects are immersive and pleasing with one exception. The direction, writing and behind the scenes stuff is what you’d expect from Disney. And come to think of it (I’ve never written anything like this before), the sound was perfect; the Star Wars you have in your mind’s eye, better than the original.
We were almost all smiles afterward, and discussed the finer points of the movie. That’s a good sign, b/c after bad movies we end up talking about something else. With that said, I can’t give a wholesale, ringing, “everybody should go to the theater to see this movie” endorsement. It is the best movie in theaters right now, and needs to be watched, just don’t prioritize it over more important Christmas activities. I don’t really think I need to comment about bringing the kids, you know what you’re getting with Star Wars.
As soon as the credits started to roll the guy I was sitting next immediately declared Dr. Strange as the best Marvel movie he had seen, siting the visuals above all. As y’all might remember, I rate movies based on fun and entertainment, rather than any artistic merit or particular trait. So, I’m not going to go as far as he did, but, without a doubt DS will keep your attention every second you’re watching it.
I am going to say every single negative thing I can think of to say about DS. This is an origin movie, so there are a couple of times they just have to point the camera at someone’s face and let them do a monologue explaining some plot point, and occasionally the origin moves to fast (meaning Dr. Strange goes from zero to hero at an accelerated pace). The bad guy isn’t as epic as a Loki or a Red Skull. And….uhh…that’s it.
You’ve seen the trailer, you think the visual effects will be like Inception. Nope, they’re on a whole new level. I’ve only seriously considered trying drugs a couple of times, (the laughing gas from my wisdom teeth removal might be the most fun I’ve ever had) but just 20 minutes into DS I’m thinking, “this would be the greatest trip ever!” So, the CGI is superb, the acting is good and only clunky during the previously mentioned monologues, the story is right in line with what you expect from Marvel and the direction is surprisingly even and well done.
Lets face, you’ve already decided that you want to see it, and you are just reading this blog for confirmation. Well, confirmation provided. DS is really, really good. Plan on seeing in sometime between now and Thanksgiving break.
Suicide Squad has all the problems we new it was going to have, but no more than that. SS will rank first or second on your list of movies in the new DC Universe. Sure, there are only three DCU moves out, but take a win where you can get it. Don’t try to compare SS to any Marvel film, b/c that is going to lead to disappointment. SS is 50/50 on hitting the mark on casting; Will Smith is great (finally back to doing Will Smith things), and Margot Robbie was perfect, so was Viola Davis. Many of the other actors, whose names you do not know, could have really used a bump in quality. The movie’s biggest strength, the pace is brisk and unrelenting, is also the cover for its biggest weakness. DC is trying to catch up to Marvel all at once, instead of building brick by brick along the way, so there is way to much going on. The list of 3 actors above get all the good lines and most of the screen time, so there is never an opportunity to care about the other half dozen people that are equally important to the story. It leaves SS feeling chopped, the big parts were sloppily glued together and the details were forgotten.
I read one review that I’m going to steal from. It said, “SS is the least worst DC film.” That is just a tad bit too harsh, b/c in a vacuum (w/out Marvel movies) these movies would be fine, middle of the road action movies. SS is the best average movie I’ve seen this summer.
Blockbuster season is winding down and you only have time for one more — go see Jason Bourne, unless you’re a comic book fan, or really enjoyed the first two Star Treks (in which case you’ve probably already watched SS or ST:B).