Thor Ragnarok – One Comic Too Far!


How can 93% of the critics who write for Rotten Tomatoes be wrong? Doesn’t the $500 Million they say its made world wide mean its a great film?

Marty and I went to see “Thor Ragnarok” tonight and I still can’t figure it out. It’s not the plot or the characters I am having trouble with. Its the concept. Is it a spoof on the Avengers films that have gone before? Is it a spoof on the leading characters – especially Thor? What do you say about a friend that started out making some witty comments about his neighbors at a cocktail party and after one too many went more than one comment too far? Is he ready for Comedy Central or should he have packed it in and headed home?

If you saw this film on the blue screen without the computerized special effects you would not last ten minutes in your seat. I know computer graphics are used in most all films and especially in these type of block buster comic book recreations. But is that all there is? What happened to movies that were just good movies? This certainly is not one of them. Every scene – 100% of them take place in a special effects world. Enough already.

Marty gave “Thor Ragnarok” a D. I gave it a C. But would I tell you to spend $12 or more per person to see it in the theater? NO!

Larry

American Made – Tom Cruise – Wait for Home Viewing


When you go in a theater on a rainy and windy day in FL and there are only five – yes, make that 5 people total in the theater your instincts should tell you something – other than can I get my money back?

I describe American Made as an interesting and funny “semi documentary.” If you really like Tom Cruise you will like this film because I believe he is in every scene. He worked for his money on this one.

For me I’m not a fan of Scientology’s Poster Boy but I lived through all of the Central America and Iran Contra affairs and thought Marty and I should see it. Marty is a big fan of Tom and she liked the film buy agrees that it is not a “must see” on the big screen.

There were 10 or more times that I laughed out loud so I think I would enjoy this film at home. Note to self when someone laughs in a theater and no one is there does it make a sound? There were half as many times when I thought this is a really long film only to find out its only 115 minutes.

Towards the end of the film they tied President Reagan to the whole mess and I loved Reagan and still do. That said – watching the Vietnam Documentary on PBS I was also disappointed to hear that JFK said he would have pulled out of the War in Vietnam but if he did he would never get re-elected so he pressed on in a bad cause. I like to think that Reagan meant well and spent his time hating and fighting communism where ever he found it and allowed the establishment to take what ever means necessary.

Well enough political commentary. American Made was interesting and had some funny moments but I think you should wait for home viewing.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle – A TON OF FUN


If you liked the first Kingsman back in 2014 you will love this one – as did Marty, Tony and I. For pure entertainment – realistic or not – we give Kingsman: The Golden Circle a SOLID A.

There will be no nominations for acting “Awards” but there were some really funny roles with actors playing against type. The “bad guy” in this film is in fact one of my favorite red headed women – Juliane Moore. She may not be convincing as the “world’s largest and only drug dealer making $250 Billion last year” who yearns for attention befitting her status as an entrepreneur. That said she has some clever and funny lines and a unique plan to legalize drugs world wide.

The best performance in a smaller role is given by Elton John – a complete spoof – but not so subtly very funny!

The Kingsman – a British Spy Agency – are joined in The Golden Circle by “The Statesman” – an All American Spy Agency from Louisville, KY. While the “front” for the Kingsman continues to be a Tailor Shop the Statesman base their agency out of “Statesman” Whiskey – which is a brand of Kentucky Whiskey that was in fact bottled prior to the movies release. I can’t say what it taste like but you can buy and let me know what you think!

The Action sequences – which come fast and furious are well done. The comedy and one liners – which are ever present and for the most part funny and well timed. I did feel personally that as the movie reached it’s natural ending point the director include one or two too many comedic scenes which for me seemed to drag out the last 20 minutes of the film. However, do no despair Elton saves the day! One note of caution this is a violent film – made easier to watch because of the comedy buy violent nonetheless.

American Assassins – Finally A Movie We All Really Liked


American Assassins hits almost all my buttons: Action, Adventure, Suspense, Travel, Violence, Hand to Hand Fighting, a very well written and fast paced screen play. I never thought once about taking a potty break.

If Daniel Craig was the lead actor you would think it was the next James Bond Film. If Tom Cruise was the lead you would swear it was the latest Mission Impossible – and the good news is the cult of Scientology didn’t get a dime from this flick.

That said it stars someone I don’t know named Dylan O’Brian but my Research Director Tony tells me he has a long resume of film work. He was in great shape and very convincing as a young man whose “love of his life” was killed by terrorists and his passion is to kill as many of them as he can – be it with weapons or hand to hand or with his stolen Alpha Romeo – and kill them he does. Nothing cheers me up after going through Hurricane Irma like watching terrorists being killed left and right.

I suppose every aspiring American Assassin who wants to kill terrorists needs a mentor who is as tough as nails and of course used to be a Navy Seal and bleeds my way or the highway. This role was played perfectly by Michael Keaton. And what would a movie with two good guys be without a really bad guy appropriately named “The Ghost” who was trained by – yes you got it – Michael Keaton.

With this much testosterone you figure their “Boss” has to be a woman and the writer throws in an attractive young colleague for our “hero” who you are never sure if she is a “good-gal” or a “bad-gal.”

If you are opposed to Violence do not go see this film. With a name like American Assassin that’s what we do – we rain violence into terrorists lives. If you are looking for romance don’t go either. Our hero is a one woman man – even if she is dead. If you like action, adventure, suspense, travel and a fast paced film don’t miss American Assassin on the big screen.

PS Be in your seat for the opening and stay until the very good close!

Three Movie Reviews for the Price of One: Wind River “A” – Atomic Blonde “C” – The Dark Tower “D””


“Wind River” is going to be one of the sleeper movies of the year. I predict that Jeremy Renner will be nominated for a Best Actor Role because of the excellent job he did of getting into and portraying his character – a man with as many failures as success, yet committed to his calling as a legitimate “Good Guy” in this film and in life. He plays the role of a Wyoming Fish and Wildlife “Hunter” of predatory animals. His job description suits him well as a hunter of seriously bad men. Elizabeth Olsen plays a young FBI agent, born in Ft.Lauderdale, stationed in Las Vegas and completely out of her element in the cold and snow of Wyoming. With Jeremy’s help they form a good team tracking the men who raped a young Native American Woman on Tribal Land and were responsible for her death.

If, like me you are tired of seeing computer generated scenes that only exist in the mind of a computer genius you will enjoy the grand movie-scape and panorama of Wyoming in the middle of winter. The long shots of white capped mountains – the use of long snow covered valleys as the movie’s stage and the drama of the mid mountain ever green forests frame this classic battle of good versus evil. Unlike the old time Westerns about as many of the good guys die as do the bad ones but the ending is very satisfying.

We recommend you see Wind River on the big screen for the grandeur of Wyoming in Winter that may be minimized in home viewing. Finally, this movie isn’t R for no reason. There is bad language, rape, close quarter hand to hand fighting that leads to death, an excellent and realistic close range shoot out between good and bad guys and some seriously fine shooting with his long rifle by Jeremy’s character.

That is the good news! Now for the less good!

What does it say about two movies when you saw them three weeks ago and you can’t work up the energy to review them. Hey, nobody is paying me for this so what does it matter?

Atomic Blonde with Charlize Theron and The Dark Tower with Matthew McConaughey and some guy from Star Trek I don’t know were both a waste of our time. Fortunately each of us got a short to medium nap during each of these dark and over acted films. I recommend you wait until these two come out on FREE premium channel. But hey that’s just me. Some of you may enjoy seeing Charlize with her equally beautiful female lover.

What the heck – 1 out of 3 will earn you $25 Million a year in Major League Baseball. Talk about snoozers!

War For The Planet of The Apes – Who are the Good Guys and Why Does it Take two hours and twenty minutes to figure it out?


If you are a fan of this Franchise you will really like this movie so don’t read any more of this review!

If you are new to the Planet of the Apes films plan on it being slow to develop which gives you plenty of time to think. The questions that came to my mind while waiting to be entertained are: Without God, who are the good guys anyway? Without God does it matter? How does a movie with this much bloody killing and beating of Apes and people get a PG-13 Rating? Don’t take your child to see this flick if you ever plan on taking him to the zoo again. When will Woody Harrelson show his acting chops again? How could it take 140 minutes for this script? Did they not have an Editor? How much of the mood and “coloring” can one Film “borrow” from The Apocalypse Now and not give Marlon Brando credit?

The best thing about this movie is the Poster with Caesar – the lead ape not the Roman Emperor – riding right towards you in the snow with a little girl on the back of his horse. For me I wish I would have just looked at the poster for a few minutes and skipped the movie. Marty on the other gave it a B-.

Spider Man Homecoming – What Was I Thinking?


Let’s divide this film into two parts: The first 98 minutes and the last 35 minutes.

The first 98 minutes could be fun for someone 12 to 17 years of age. For me I rate this 98 minutes as an F – Marty came in at D. It was slow and boring and immature. I took a long potty break and checked the time often. This was 98 minutes I will never get back.

The final 35 minutes was very good. When The Bad Guy (no plot spoilers here) recognized the good guy the pace of the film shifted into high gear and ended strong. Marty gave this portion an A and I came in at B+.

Still the strong close was not nearly enough for me to encourage you to go the theater to see this film. Wait for home viewing where you can get something to drink, read the paper or a magazine, go to the bathroom and be ready for the final 35 minutes which was excellent – due in large measure to Michael Keaton.

After this disappointment they will not get me to buy a ticket for the sequel.

Baby Driver – Marty, Tony and I all really liked Baby Driver – BUT


Marty, Tony and I “felt” Baby Driver was very entertaining and we liked it a lot. The cautionary notes I remind you of again are: we like action – clever dialogue and hidden humor even if it involves bad words – are very comfortable with violence – interplay between the characters – and we particularly enjoy a well paced film with surprises along the way.

We thought the Director – Edward Wright put together what I will call “something out of the ordinary.” His approach was not totally new but he brought in directing elements from various films we have enjoyed and the result was excellent. We saw the Rotten Tomatoes rating was 97%. Don’t get too excited about that. I think this film and its direction really appeals to “Critics” – especially folks who watch a lot of movies for a living and appreciate something unique.

We characterize this film as having a good blend of action, adventure, violence, romance, morality and hope. If I were to remove bonus/rating points for originality I would give Baby Driver an 87.

The Budget for Baby Driver was only $35 Million. That’s peanuts by the standards of today’s big movies. That said, if you take a look at the cast you will see an ensemble of well known and successful actors, none of which played the lead. We like to think they caught the vision of Director Wright and signed up for a good time and it showed in their work. There was not a weak link in the chain.

We liked Baby Driver and recommend it to you with three notes of caution. The movie started slow and really did not get into “gear” until about the ten minute mark. This film is not rated R for no reason and is not suitable for children or people who are squeamish about violence.

The Mummy – Like dying a slow death wrapped in rags in a dark coffin!


This movie does not deserve being reviewed and it darn sure wasn’t worth what the three of us paid to see it.

Do you remember working with someone who just couldn’t keep up and in your mind you thought that guy is a 33rpm record in a 45rpm world? This film is at best a 33rpm flick in a 78rpm world. Like real Police work – 90% boredom and 10% terror – or pretend terror anyway.

For my drinking friends think of that feeling you get when you have had one shot too many of Tequila and you feel a bit detached from the world around you. Capture and hold that feeling for 107 minutes and you have captured how I felt during The Mummy. Bad, Really Bad.

Do not go to the theater to pay and see this film. Do not wait for home viewing. Part of me thinks this is an evil plot by the Scientologist Number One Film Star to get even with the world and to score a big payday all at the same time.

Wonder Woman – Marty and I enjoyed this film and give it a B+ and recommend it for theater viewing!


Somewhere Lynda Carter is Proud! If you are of a “certain age” that you remember reading DC Comics version of Wonder Woman and or were a fan of the TV show those memories will tide you over during the first 15 minutes of the movie – which set up the background of the Magical Island which was the home of the tall and good looking Amazon Women. The first and greatest Amazon Warrior you meet is Robin Wright and for about 5 minutes I kept looking for President Frank Underwood to appear in a thong and robe but I had to settle for the lovely and physically gifted Gal Gadot as our Female Leading Lady.

It took the movie a bit to settle into its rhythm and while some may feel that the Good Guy – played by Chris Pine – had too large a role in the film Marty and I thought the interaction between the two was very good. Speaking of interaction, other than the average amount of violence shown every night in Prime Time TV there wasn’t anything in this film a 12 year old can’t see.

We enjoyed how the Director – Patty Jenkins – allowed Wonder Woman to grow into the role. She grew physically and emotionally and came to grip with her mythical role and her calling. I won’t say more because I don’t want to give away any “spoilers.”

Unlike most films this one started slow and the pace picked up and it finished strong – setting up a Multi-Film Franchise movie deal for Gal Gadot. Along the way there were computer graphic scenes but they seemed natural and I was not put off by them as I usually am during these types of movies.

The last thirty minutes of the movie were the best with several “surprises” – two really bad guys and a good and satisfying ending. Lest I prattle on let me say that Saint Marty had a great time. She liked Wonder Woman and was the first to give it a B+.

If you are an occasional movie goer put this on your list to go and see.

Uncle Larry