movie reviews

Allied

by Cap'n Carrot on November 23, 2016 · 0 comments

in Film

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There’s so much wrong with Allied it’s hard to know where to start. At times director Robert Zemeckis‘ film is laughably, occasionally excruciatingly, bad. In its best moments Allied is ill-conceived, and it doesn’t have many of those.

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Trolls

by Cap'n Carrot on November 22, 2016 · 0 comments

in Film

trolls-posterThe animated musical adventures center on the perpetually happy Trolls who are hunted by the miserable Bergens who believe the only happiness they can achieve is from eating the colorful creatures infatuated with hugs, dancing, singing, scrapbooking, cupcakes, and rainbows. When her loud party gets several of her friends captured, it falls on Princess Poppy (Anna Kendrick) and the morose Branch (Justin Timberlake) to bring them home.

Trolls borrows several key elements of its plot from The Smurfs (such as an evil giant obsessed with eating the delicious creatures). Big and bright without being all that memorable, Trolls is more kiddie movie than true family fare.

The movie’s eclectic pop soundtrack features new songs by Timberlake and several recognizable tunes from the likes of Lionel Richie, Cyndi Lauper, Diana Ross, Kool & the Gang, and others. The big numbers and bright characters help make the predictable story a little easier to swallow. The movie is at best a modest success with a nice message for younger viewers about finding happiness within.

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Harry Potter Lite? Based on the spin-off novella by J.K. Rowling, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is the first Harry Potter movie without Harry Potter. Taking place decades before Harry’s birth, the story is set in New York with wizard Newt Scamander’s (Eddie Redmayne) arrival in the city with a suitcase full of magical creatures. When some of Scamander’s creatures escape he attempts to hunt them down with the help of some new friends.

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Bleed for This

by Cap'n Carrot on November 18, 2016 · 0 comments

in Film

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It would be easy to look at Bleed for This and dismiss it as nothing more than another inspirational sports movie adapting a real-life athlete’s adversity into a feature film. However, that would be a mistake. Bleed for This is better than I expected as the tale of world-champion boxer Vinny Pazienza‘s (Miles Teller) rise, fall, and struggle to reclaim his dream turns out to be worth all the sports cliches you find in such films.

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Arrival

by Cap'n Carrot on November 11, 2016 · 0 comments

in Film

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We’ve seen this all before. Alien arrival movies have become a Hollywood staple, although the themes have varied allowing the sci-fi tales to cross genres from horror to comedy. Movies centered around first contact with aliens fall into two categories based on the reasoning behind the aliens arrival on Earth. Are they here to destroy (Independence Day, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Thing) or do that have more complicated, but ultimately benevolent, motivations (E.T., Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Contact)?

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Christine

by Cap'n Carrot on November 11, 2016 · 0 comments

in Film

christine-posterDepression is a hard subject matter to tackle. By its very nature it makes any character suffering from the condition standoffish at best or, as is the case here, nearly unrelatable. The subject of director Antonio Campos‘ film is 70s Florida local news reporter Christine Chubbuck (Rebecca Hall). As a character study of a person struggling with depression and paranoia, Christine works well-enough. But as a film it’s difficult to see past the premise as anything other than Oscar-bait. Hall gives a great performance as a woman on the edge, but the sad fact about writer Craig Shilowich‘s script is we are never invested in what dark end is destined for her.

Based on a true story, Shilowich’s script showcases Christine as a hack local newswoman unable to get along with co-workers or family with dreams of the big time Christine, at least on some level, likely understands she will never achieve. Unable to deal with her loneliness, the station manager’s orders for more sensational stories, and a medical problem she refuse to share with anyone, Christine is on the fast track to ruin. What makes her story different is how public her downward spiral became.

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Doctor Strange

by Cap'n Carrot on November 4, 2016 · 0 comments

in Film

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First introduced in Marvel Comics back 1963, Doctor Stephen Strange finally makes it to the big screen in the latest entry to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Although Marvel Studios has dipped their toe in the water previously with Thor and its sequel, this time the studio dives head first into the mystical for the origin of a neurosurgeon who became the Sorcerer Supreme (Earth’s primary mystical protector).

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Inferno

by Cap'n Carrot on October 28, 2016 · 0 comments

in Film

inferno-movie-posterWith each successive entry, the film series based on the Robert Langdon novels of Dan Brown becomes less and less watchable. At this rate the fourth movie may actually make audience bleed out of their eyes. Opening with an incomprehensible first 10 minutes filled with hellish images floating through an injured Langdon’s (Tom Hanks) mind, the film attempts to up the ante by forcing the professor not only to solve riddles and clues to find the truth but this time to do so with amnesia. Along for the ride is his latest attractive European brunette co-star, this time a genius doctor (Felicity Jones) with a love of puzzles (of course) who helps Langdon escape a hospital in Florence when the men who kidnapped him attempt to reacquire the college professor to find a deadly virus.

Rather than unraveling the mysteries of the Holy Grail or delving into a Papal conspiracy, this time Langdon is set after a man-made plague known as Inferno. Created by a billionaire (Ben Foster) obsessed with purging the world of its excess populace, the madman of course left near-indecipherable clues that would make it nearly impossible to see his plan carried out.

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Tom Cruise seems to have found himself a new action franchise. These movies may not be in league with Mission: Impossible films, but for trashy B-movie action flicks you could do worse than Jack Reacher and it’s sequel. Returning as former Military Police Officer turned hermit Jack Reacher, Cruise is pulled back to Washington when his phone-friend Major Susan Turner (Cobie Smulders) gets herself arrested.

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Adapted from Ransom Riggsnovel of the same name, Tim Burton‘s latest tells the story of high school outcast named Jake Portman (Asa Butterfield) who is drawn into a mystical and macabre world following his grandfather’s (Terence Stamp) death as he discovers all the childhood bedtimes stories told to him are actually based on real people and real events just waiting for Jake to find them.

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