Beauty and the Beast is great. Take the kids, take the spouse, take the neighbor’s kids, it’s really good. It is 99% of the best they could possibly have done with the live action remake. It’s an instant classic and has to be seen. Theater or top of the rent list (since you may not make it in time to the theater).
Ghost in the Shell was a lot better than I thought it would be, but I went in with really low expectations. I don’t think older people will like it, but there is a possibility that the younger crowd might (don’t go to the theater, use this to decide if you rent). If you like the anime source material than you’ve already seen it and don’t need this review.
The Great Wall is probably out of a theater near you already, but as far as a rental goes you could do worse. The Great Wall was also better than I thought it would be, but, again, I had low expectations. It has a bit of a vibe like the good Chinese movies that pop up every now and then, meaning it is more of a Chinese movie with a couple of Western actors, than a Western movie with a lot of Chinese extras. Not a must see, but I’m very pleased that I did see it.
I’ll keep this shorter than Derek Zoolander’s attention span (zing!). Zoolander 2 is not good. Not among the worst movies ever, but ultimately not funny. I’m a big fan of the original, and the call backs and characters kept me interested for a while, but after about an hour I was just wishing it would hurry up and get over with so I could say I finished it. The acting, writing, directing and story are exactly what you expect, not the worst ever, but peaking at average.
The only reason to see Zoolander 2 is if you watched the original so much that you feel you owe it to them (that was me). The saddest part is the same part that was sad about Anchorman 2; I still quote the original to this day, but won’t remember a single line from the sequel.
I remember back like 10 or 15 years ago when the movie Phone Booth came out the question that got asked was ‘how will they make a movie that takes place almost exclusively in a phone booth interesting for an hour and a half plus?’ Seemed like a valid question at the time, but ultimately it was short sighted. Story telling can be good or bad no matter the stage, and The Martian is good. Really, there is plenty going on back on earth, so its not just Matt Daemon talking to a camera for 2 hours. I watched it with Jamey and with about 20 minutes left I said to him that they had actually made it believable. You buy it. We’ll credit the writers for that, but will detract from them for the obviously embedded science explanations for all of us dumb lay people. The acting sometimes dips below good, and the movie is too polished for you to forget that you’re watching an entertainment property. However, I was sweating by the end of it. You want him to be ok, you’re invested. I’m glad I watched it, but it is not so good that I’m making plans to watch it again. I’ll see it on TBS in a few years.
Kids are pretty safe. They cuss a few times to get a PG-13 rating.
Y’all know I love comic book movies, so forgive me if I gush. Deadpool is great. It is also immature, violent, gawdy, profane and full of itself. So, the kid, the prankster and the rebel in me enjoyed it. You will not like it if you don’t have at least a passing fondness for immaturity, vulgarity or poop jokes. Now, Deadpool is not the most violent movie most of us will watch this year, and it has less cussing than your average HBO show, but the basis of the character is a elementary, juvenile fun. Its one liners and zingers, its braggadocios and conceited. I liked it a lot, I want to watch it again. This is fair warning. The acting is good, the writing deserves an Oscar, and the special effects are spot on. It coulda used another fight scene, but the ones it has are near perfect. If you’re a rebellious kid like me, Deadpool is a superior movie. If your taste are more grown up and sophisticated, you’ll still laugh at some of it, but won’t enjoy it as a whole. Don’t take the young ones.