movie reviews

Christopher Robin

by Cap'n Carrot on August 3, 2018

in Film

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Christopher Robin is a safe, by-the-numbers, inoffensive Disney live-action film that is likely to appease (although probably not delight) its target audience. Based on the Winnie-the-Pooh stories by A. A. Milne, Ewan McGregor stars as the fictional character Christopher Robin (originally based on Milne’s own son) who has grown-up and left his childish things long behind and currently is lost in a stressful job while struggling to connect to his wife (Hayley Atwell) and daughter (Bronte Carmichael). In the midst of a crisis, Christopher Robin is shocked by the sudden appearance of his old friend Winnie-the-Pooh (Jim Cummings) who arrives in London and enlists Christopher Robin to help find the rest of the old gang who have disappeared.

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The Darkest Minds

by Cap'n Carrot on August 2, 2018

in Film

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The Darkest Minds is a mess. It’s as if someone took an entire season of a Freeform sci-fi series made for a tweenage fanbase and condensed it into a single two-hour film. Based on the story structure and pacing you can tell immediately that the movie was adapted from a novel. Drawn-out events are presented in meandering fashion as we follow Ruby (played in early scenes by Lidya Jewett and later by Amandla Stenberg) through a troubling adolescence when she becomes mutated by a virus that leaves 98% of the world’s children dead and the remainder gifted with poorly explained powers.

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Since the show’s introduction back in 2013, Teen Titans Go! has met with mixed reaction from fans. Some love the madcap feel of the short adventures while other felt DC strayed too far from the earlier (more serious take) found on the first Teen Titans animated series. Even if the show’s writing has been somewhat inconsistent, I’ve enjoyed my share of Teen Titans Go! and my only real question was whether or not its slapstick style could work stretched out over a feature film? You bet your ass it can.

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Both sequel and prequel to 2008’s Mamma Mia!, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again returns most of the core cast for another romcom plot set to the music of ABBA. Since we saw her last, Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) has managed to breathe new life in the dream of her recently departed mother (Meryl Streep) and is working towards the grand opening of the hotel. The return of her mother’s best friends (Christine Baranski and Julie Walters) helps lessen the pressure of her estranged relationship to Sky (Dominic Cooper) and the absences of two of her three fathers on the eve of the big day.

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Ant-Man and the Wasp

by Cap'n Carrot on July 4, 2018

in Film

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2015’s Ant-Man was a fun and lighthearted entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe that, while mostly enjoyable, would certainly rank among the weaker (and more forgettable) entries to the MCU. Ant-Man and the Wasp brings back former thief turned super-hero Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), the original Ant-Man Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and his daughter Hope (Evangeline Lilly), and most of the supporting cast and characters from the first film including Scott’s former prison buddies and family. As in Ant-Man, several people are after Pym and his work. And given Scott’s improbable return from the Quantum Realm at the end of the first movie, Hank Pym plans of his own.

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This franchise is officially out of ideas. Again. The latest entry in the Jurassic Park franchise is a mishmash of plot from the previous entries without much of anything original or surprising to offer. This is the film where you know what’s going to happen every step of the way including when a dinosaur is about to jump out of the water or break through a window. And the film, of course, finds a way to shoehorn the trademark T-Rex shot in an attempt to remind you of better times. If it held any of the wonder of the first Jurassic Park the script’s lack of brains might be tolerable. However, it just feels tired. And dumb. Damn, this movie is dumb.

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The Incredibles 2

by Cap'n Carrot on June 14, 2018

in Film

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Look on almost any list of the best super-hero movies and you are more likely than not to find Pixar’s 2004 film The Incredibles. Taking the basic structure of hero family first introduced in The Fantastic Four and updating it with a variety of smart characters and great visuals, the film remains the only good Fantastic Four film we’ve seen to date. Despite other Pixar franchises like Cars and Toy Story earning multiple sequels, in the middle of the super-hero movie boom The Incredibles has remained dormant. That is, until now.

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Ocean’s 8

by Cap'n Carrot on June 6, 2018

in Film

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I love heist films, and I love the Ocean’s 11 franchise. Admitting this, I may be willing to cut the latest film more slack than the average viewer. Without a doubt, Ocean’s 8 is the weakest of any of the four films. It lacks the style and pace of director Steven Soderbergh‘s 2001 film as Gary Ross drags out scenes far more than necessary. It also doesn’t help that the script lacks the wit of the original, often struggling to put its charismatic stars in the best situations.

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In many ways Solo: A Star Wars Story is the antithesis of Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi. Solo plays things ultra-conservative, continually dumbs down the plot for the audience, and relies heavily on nostalgia. The result is a fun, if flawed and unambitious, film that offers fans the Cliff’s Notes version of Han Solo‘s (Alden Ehrenreich) past.

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Deadpool 2

by Cap'n Carrot on May 17, 2018

in Film

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The Rob Liefeld joke was a nice touch. Following the success of 2016’s Deadpool, most of the core cast (including Morena Baccarin, T.J. Miller, Brianna Hildebrand, and Leslie Uggams) return for the sequel featuring more X-Men, more violence, and more irreverent humor from the Merc with a Mouth. Deadpool 2 is quite a bit of fun, although its more complicated plot and larger cast of characters doesn’t always serve the film’s best interests.

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