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

King Arthur Legend of the Sword – Thoughts and Questions


Marty, Tony and I saw King Arthur Legend of the Sword today and I’m glad I went to see it, it was generally entertaining and it gives me the opportunity to share these thoughts and questions with you.

Will movie goers who are attracted to the Myth of King Arthur and their vision of Camelot be attracted to this film or will they feel betrayed?

Is this film a non stop action adventure or are there sufficient moments of down time to let the mind wonder and give thought to a bath room break?

Do the male leads – who dominate this film – Charlie Hunnam (Arthur) and Jude Law (Arthur’s Evil Uncle King Vortigern) raise the level of their craft to the point of creating characters that viewers relate to – love or hate or even care at all?

Is this version of King Arthur too much about The Sword or is The mystery of the sword one of the films more interesting features?

Do the characters – the supporting cast – the fight scenes – the building and destroying of Camelot – the dark and moody cinematography seem real enough or for $175,000,000 did the investors in King Arthur wind up with another digital computer generated world?

What percentage of the movie going public enjoy the cut and paste – jumping from the present to the past and sometimes even to the future style of the film’s Director Guy Ritchie?

What will viewers who see this film rate it on the old school scale of A to F? Tony gave it an A-; Marty was unsure as she thought it was all so “dark” and Uncle Larry gives it a C+.

On balance unless you are an action adventure junkie with time and money on your hands I recommend you wait for home viewing!

Star Wars – Rogue One – Great Fun and Very Entertaining


We had family and friends out today for Star Wars, Rogue One and it was a lot of fun and very entertaining. Our gang of seven ranged in age between seven and “seventyish” and we were all pumped up coming out of the theater. At our showing very few people got up from their seats when the movie was over but the seventy one year old needed a potty stop.

I did not recognize any of the new cast but we bonded with them immediately. Those of us who have now seen all eight Star Wars were impressed with their attention to detail and being certain Rogue One fit in sequence just before Episode V, The Empire Strikes Back – which was the Original Star Wars Film in 1980. The young woman who played the lead (in my opinion) was likeable, believable and her role was an integral part in tying this Star Wars adventure to the Empire Strikes Back. A modest spoiler alert here – she is not Princess Lea but keep your eyes open towards the end!

Not that this was the best Star Wars ever, but it may be the leader in the club house with great lines that elicited laughter from the audience. Four or five times we were laughing out loud in our row.

If you are not a “hater” you will want to see Rogue One in the theater. The special effects and battle scenes will not be nearly as impressive in home viewing. If you have any toys from the original 1980 film stashed away in the basement dig them out – wrap them up and you will be the bomb with who ever gets them for Christmas – as they are featured in Rogue One.

Marty, Tony, Jenna and our friends Chris, Krista and Joah all give Star Wars – Rogue One a very big “Thumbs Up!”

The Accountant – It All Adds Up


Marty, Tony and I all give Ben Affleck and “The Accountant” a solid A for Action, Dialogue, Subtle Humor, Supporting Cast, Surprising Plot Twists, Realistic and Justified Violence and especially The Film’s theme and message.

Ben Affleck was fully in “character” as Christian Wolff – an adult living the story of a child who was born with Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of high functioning Autism. This developmental disorder is characterized in people who are high functioning, driven, exhibit a strong personal moral code, are mathematically inclined, become anxious when a task is not completed, avoid social interaction, struggle with non-verbal communication – yet they desire to be in relationships but often lack the skills to do so. Ben never broke character – even when I really wanted him to.

At this point you may be thinking of “Rain Man” and what a wonderful and liberal movie of redemption this might be. Guess again theater goer! This film uses a technique that I usually don’t care for – Flashbacks – to effectively piece together the story of how an odd kid wound up being a Forensic Accountant dealing with some of the world’s most dangerous characters – with exceptionally high compensation. In part because of his disorder – but primarily because of the extreme methods his Father used to help Chris learn to deal with the real world – Chris became a super efficient instrument of violence and death when his moral code was violated.

The film moves back and forth between the story of a US Treasury Agent (J.K. Simmons) and his dedicated and emotionally complicated Assistant (Cynthia Robinson) hunting down The Accountant – Chris’s work for a corporation whose Junior Accountant (Anna Kendrick) uncovered some discrepancies – and a significant amount of bad guys who violated Chris’s moral code and or threatened his almost new friend Anna having their bodies beaten, broken and quite often their lives very realistically terminated. Arnold would have been proud! But some of you will find the violence too much. Tony and I enjoyed seeing the bad guys get what they deserved and often accompanied by some subtle and clever one liner – executed with good timing by Affleck.

Throw in a small but well acted part as a mentor by Jeffrey Tambor – non stop action and at least two plot twists I never saw coming we strongly recommend you see The Accountant. We are looking forward to buying it when it comes out on DVR so we can listen more carefully to the dialogue and cynical humor during much of the violence. That said will you miss a lot if you wait for home viewing? No – just delayed enjoyment – but there are very few special effects, if any, that must be seen on the big screen.

Hell or Highwater – The Modern Cowboy Reincarnation of The Big Lebowski A+ by Tony, Marty and Uncle Larry


The Directors of Hell or Highwater give Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine and a strong supporting cast the TIME needed to allow you to get to know each of the five central characters as so few movies do any more. This film defies categorization. It’s not a comedy but it’s sometimes not so subtle dialogue had us laughing out loud. Jeff Bridges role as a Texas Ranger defies Political Correctness.  It’s not a violent film but people get killed as sometimes happens in life. It’s not a tale of suspense but all along the way little bread crumbs lead you slowly to the ending – which was a comforting surprise to me.

For you ladies you who saw Chris Pine in the recent Startrek release be prepared to see this generations Brad Pitt! Chris pulls his weight, is ruggedly handsome and quietly sexy with his tan and three day beard. Did I really just say that?

All in all we really like this film. That said – will you miss anything if you wait for Home Rental? Absolutely Not – except you won’t get to enjoy it until then. Like the Big Lebowski and many other “Character Development” classics the hundreds of millions of dollars Hell or Highwater will make will be from home viewers. Tony and I can’t wait to have a short one and see this film at home where we can rewind and listen to the lines we really enjoyed and some we probably missed.

Those of you who read movie reviews may wonder how a film that got a 99% rating from “Rotten Tomatoes” and a 90% review by audiences could have opened with a low first weekend “gross.” As I said earlier this movie defies categorization and may not appeal to the Action-Adventure and Computer Generated wizardry crowd. Yet, I believe it will have long legs from word of mouth and years from now people who enjoy getting to know the characters and feel plot development will still be renting Hell or Highwater.

 

 

 

 

Jason Bourne – When the Title of a Film is the Name of the Lead Actor That My Friends is a Hint


If you are a big fan of the Jason Bourne action series then you will want to see this film now.

Otherwise you can wait for Pay Per View or maybe even free rental on cable a year from now.

Am I saying this is a bad movie? No, not at all. As a home rental Tony, Marty and I give this a solid B. However, when a Film is named after the actor that ought to give you a clue as to what the film is all about – Jason Bourne. It kind of takes some of the suspense out of the plot – hold that thought – knowing that Jason is not going to be killed no matter how many life threatening situations he is in because Jason is the Franchise.

On the plus side if your kids are immune to violence and blood and fight scenes – but you do not want them to see anything sexual they can see this movie. It’s all about the action and the violence.

I saw a review in the paper that said “this plot was ripped from today’s headlines.” That reviewer must have broken into the business working on The National Enquirer because he damn sure did not get a Journalism Degree from Northwestern University in Chicago. This plot was one implausible vinette layed on the top of another.

Tommy Lee Jones play the “Bad Guy” – super wrinkled skin and all – as the Head of the CIA. He portrays this role as someone who planned out the evil plots and is/was actively involved in the details of day to day CIA operations in the field. The last time I checked George H Bush was the Director of the CIA once upon a time and I don’t see George and Barbara getting involved beyond the Political Level of putting on a show for Congress who provides the funding.

OK – enough of this rambling. If you are a Jason Bourne Trilogy fan get out there and see this flick SAP. Otherwise wait for home viewing.

When, oh when I ask you is there going to be a movie I really like – can give a “AAA” review to and tell you to spend your hard earned money is the theater now?