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Don't settle for 2nd best!- lots of copy-cat groups out there, but "the REAL movie-holiks" is THEE original one!
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The Mummy (2017)
Wait for the DVD...LOL
When I first heard they were rebooting "The Mummy" franchise with Tom Cruise starring, I thought it kinda odd since this movie/series doesn't really seem to mesh with the typical Cruise vehicle. Since then it's been revealed that Universal is doing a "Dark Universe" series of films, similar to the Marvel and DC Universe films -- all being tied together, and the next one in the series is apparently "Bride of Frankenstein".
As for this movie, I got around to seeing it over the weekend, the 2nd week of it's release, and there is really a lot about this movie I like. It is really just a Tom Cruise/"Mission: Impossible" -type movie, set in the disguise of a "Mummy" movie... LOL But I did like a lot of the sets, story arcs, locales, etc.. This movie tries to be both a horror movie and, strangely enough, an action-comedy at times, and I found that amusing. Jake Johnson ("The New Girl") plays to good, while rather creepy (LOL) comic relief timing as Cruise's sidekick in this, and I think I chuckled every time he popped up on screen. Plus, some nice eye candy, with both actresses playing both the lead heroine, and the "Mummy" character herself.
I also found it sorta odd seeing a bloated Russell Crowe show up as Dr. Jekyl, and TBH I liked the "Mr. Hyde" character much more in the 2003 film, "League of Extraordinary Gentleman" -- much neater interpretation of the character IMHO.
And one scene in particular I found to be the scariest scene in the film -- when the cargo plane featured loses control and goes into "free fall". This scene is not for the faint of heart, and I found out after the fact, it was shot using that infamous "vomit comet" technique employed to create weightlessness in such past films as "Apollo 13". I'm on the fence on this movie -- while it had the biggest worldwide opening for any Cruise film to date, I would gladly recommend waiting for the DVD LOL
Biopic and Crime Picture Rolled Into One...
I added this to my queue at Netflix a few months ago, thinking it was a documentary for some reason, but no this is an original drama from Netflix, and it is great! Oscar winner, Melissa Leo stars in the life story of Madelyn Murray O'Hair, the outspoken activist and founder of "American Atheists". Kids -- you can thank her for not having to pray in public schools anymore LOL.
She and her younger son and granddaughter were kidnapped and held for ransom in 1995 by a former employee (played superbly by Josh Lucas) who knew the inner-secrets of where some of the cash donations were being funneled. This movie goes back and forth between her life up to that event, and the kidnapping situation, so it's sorta a biopic and crime picture in one.
I had so many different emotions watching this -- it has an underlying sadness, but you find a lot of humor throughout it as well. Just absolutely outstanding! And not to give anything away -- but the ending is just horrific; OMG, I was devastated, not knowing the outcome. Juno Temple, Peter Fonda, Michael Chernus, Rory Cochrane and Brandon Mychal Smith round out the cast.
War Machine (2017)
Pitt's Performance Was My Only Issue...
I saw this new Netflix original movie the other night. This is a dark comedy/true story war picture which is set during the Obama era US occupation of Iraq, and overall it's a decent movie. Brad Pitt stars as the guy who was pretty much the architect of the war strategy during that time, and it's funny, I didn't even realize until after the movie that he may have been the one major problem I had with this movie. I like Pitt; think he's a decent actor, but here, like in "Inglorious Basterds", he seems to be playing the character as if he's dismissing him/lampooning him. TBH, I would've preferred a more realistic approach to the character, and in fact, think that would've added to the humor more? I dunno. Topher Grace, Griffin Dunne, Anthony Michael Hall, etc.. co-star, and was that Meg Tilly as Pitt's wife in this?? -- hadn't seen her in anything in awhile.
The Wizard of Lies (2017)
Madoff With Huge RATINGS....
I managed to see this latest in original films from HBO the other night, which I see garnered the highest ratings for the premium cable network in 4 years!?? If you recall, there was a TV mini-series on ABC a year or 2 ago with Richard Dreyfuss as Bernie Madoff, and my sister asked me the other night how this one compared, and I told her, well, it's HBO, so a lot more use of the word "f**K"! LOL
Screen legend, Robert De Niro re-teams w/ Oscar-winning filmmaker, Barry Levinson after "What Just Happened", "Wag the Dog" and "Sleepers". Levinson did a good job a few years ago directing Pacino as Kevorkian in the HBO original movie, "You Don't Know Jack". While I didn't like this movie as well as that one, I did enjoy this.
Get ready though, this movie jumps all over the place, but mainly rotates between the stock market crash of 2008, and when Bernie finally was sent to prison in 2009. It's been awhile, so I'm not quite sure I remember, but I "think" the ABC movie mostly had a straight-up linear story-telling approach. Correct me on that if I'm wrong, someone who saw it. LOL
I got a kick out of watching De Niro as Madoff; I mean he's still De Niro! -- sometimes I felt like I was watching the "Goodfellas" or "Raging Bull" version of the whole thing -- like the scene where he complains to the waiter about how his lobster was handled!?? LMAO And kudos to Michelle Pfeiffer, who did a good job playing his wife, and Hank Azaria, who I guess played his real "partner in crime".
Sandy Wexler (2017)
If You Can Make It Past The 1st 15 Mins....
I managed to watch this 3rd Adam Sandler movie in a 4-picture deal he currently has with Netflix (after "Ridiculous Six" and "The Do-over"). I believe the 4th (and final one) coming out next is a movie he is co- starring with Ben Stiller and Dustin Hoffman? I see this movie got a very mediocre meta-critic rating, but I really liked this. What may have annoyed some was the character of "Sandy Wexler" himself: I think in the first 5 minutes or so, he may have been a little too much to take LOL. The mannerisms of the character actually reminded me of Jerry Lewis, and couldn't help but think that Sandler may have been inspired a little by him?
The time in which this movie was set in the world of showbusiness also stood out to me -- the 1990's, since that was the major time Sandler himself was at his peak. The early-mid '90s, he was on top at SNL. By the mid '90s, he was kicking off his movie career, and by the end of the '90s, he was a full-on entertainment force, with the blockbuster movie/TV success, the best-selling comedy albums, etc..
And what a cast! Everybody from the usual Sandler troupe (Rob Schneider, Kevin James, David Spade, etc..) to a whole cavalcade of stars, mostly playing themselves -- Tony Orlando, Judd Apatow, Arsenio Hall, Quincy Jones, etc.. the list goes on and on! Jennifer Hudson is also very good in the leading lady role, playing what could've been a Whitney Houston- breakout performer who develops a "Star is Born" -type relationship with our lead character, and it all somehow surprisingly comes together. This movie clearly, looking at that meta-critic rating, is not for everyone, however. I would say if you can stomach the "Sandy Wexler" character for the first 15 minutes of the movie, you will enjoy this, otherwise you know what you're in for, and may want to watch something else. LOL
The Mars Generation (2017)
2 Films For The Price Of 1!
I saw this Netflix original doc the other day, and it's a winner! This movie goes back and forth between two things -- so it's almost like 2 movies rolled into one. One of them is a look inside the "Space Camp" that inspired that movie from the '80s, and the other more fascinating angle is a documentary featuring the history of the exploration of Mars, and the state of the space program -- you'll see interviews with the usuals -- Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Bill Nye "the Science Guy", etc... as well as countless other scientists, astronauts, scholars, etc.. Definitely worth checking out!
Rock and a Hard Place (2017)
Where's The Rock??!
If you've seen the ad for this HBO original movie lately, it shows Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson (who's name is in the title even LOL) as the drill instructor of a hardcore group of young men in a military-like bootcamp, rather than being shipped off to do ten years to life in the pen--Sorta reminiscent of his movie, "The Gridiron Gang" . Well, yes, he shows up at the beginning --for like TWO minutes, and then is like, SEE YA -- I'm OUTTA here! LMAO So yes the TV spot -- little deceiving, however, stick around, this is a good movie, despite his absence! LOL I even thought this story might make a good big-screen dramatic film -- hmmm, the casting?? -- maybe Andy Garcia, Jamie Foxx.... Dwayne Johnson perhaps?? Haha
Prison Break (2005)
I'm Lovin It!......
Another Fox series, "24" saw it's return recently, and now "Prison Break"! Like "24", this was a series I never watched in it's orig airings, but in "binge-watching" fashion on Netflix around the early 2010's, after it had been off the air for some time. I got around to watching the premiere yesterday off FOX NOW, and it is FAN-tastique!
For anyone who hasn't seen it yet, I don't think it will come as any surprise that Michael Scofield (Wentworth Miller), I think one of my all- time favorite TV characters, fooled everyone when the show supposedly ended last time, but the question of course is, why? The complete cast is pretty much back, including everyone's fav, "Tea-bag" (Robert Knepper)! I am lovin it! Looking fw to episode deux next week!
Going in Style (2017)
It Delivers What It Promises
I managed to make it to a multi-plex over the weekend to see this remake of the '70s comedy-caper that starred Art Carney and George Burns. Now I'm not sure I ever saw the original or not, however, this formula has certainly been done to death over the years. It's basically "Grumpy Old Men" rob a bank. In this case, the 3 principle players are a trio of Oscar winners -- Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Alan Arkin, and they are all very good in their roles, knocking off these characters, in this very traditional formula picture as if it was something that has NOT been done to death. So for that reason alone, I'll give it a thumbs-up. Matt Dillon and Ann-Margaret, who coincidentally was also in "Grumpy Old Men", co-stars.
Don't settle for 2nd best!- lots of copy-cat groups out there, but "the REAL movie-holiks" is THEE original one!
Girlfriend's Day (2017)
Could've Actually Been A Tad Longer...
I saw this latest in the long line of Netflix original movies over the weekend, and I noticed it's an especially short movie -- only a little over an hour? I honestly think this could've stood to be a tad longer, to maybe develop itself a little more, but whatever.
"Better Call Saul"'s Bob Odenkirk heads up the cast as a former star greeting card writer who has lost that "magic touch", until a new holiday (the titular "Girlfriend's Day") is invented, and a cash prize leads everyone and their brother on a wild goose chase to get him (or force him rather) to come up with the perfect words for the first greeting card for the new holiday.
I am on the fence on this one -- I did like the actors and the premise, but again really think it needed to be a bit more developed, and most of it felt a little stale. Amber Tamblyn and Stacy Keach co-star.
Shots Fired (2017)
Pretty Impressed So Far...
I caught the pilot for what I believe is a ten-episode mini-series "event" show on Fox, and pretty impressed so far. This takes the reverse of the epidemic of young black men being gunned down by white police officers, and has instead a young white male gunned down by a black officer in a small town -- and the whole media circus following the court case. A fav of mine, Sanaa Lathan, plays one of the main characters -- an investigator on the search for the truth, and I was trying to recall where I had seen Stephan James, so went to his Wikipedia page, and apparently he had starred as track star, Jesse Owens in the recent biopic, "Race". Like I said -- good show so far; will be very interesting to see how this turns out. Helen Hunt, Will Patton and Richard Dreyfuss also star.
Becoming Warren Buffett (2017)
I like this guy's laugh!
I saw the latest in the long line of amazing documentaries from HBO DocumentaryFilms over the weekend. This one profiles mega-billionaire, and one of the richest men in the world, Warren Buffett! It goes through his humble beginnings as a number-obsessed boy in Nebraska, to head of Berkshire-Hathaway! This movie was an awful lot of fun, and at the same time, be sure to have zem Kleenex nearby LOL. And I like this guy's laugh...LOL
Without Liam Neeson, It's Not "Taken"...
I managed to watch the first three episodes of this new series off the NBC Roku channel yesterday, of course based on the 2009-2014 film franchise of the same name. At first, I thought the concept would follow the original 2009 film, but instead it's about the earlier adventures of Brian Mills, played by Clive Standen. Clive does a decent enough job in the role, but it seems to me, a big part of what made the original "Taken" the success it was, was the presence of Liam Neeson -- phony American accent and all.. LOL I remember an episode of TV's "Family Guy", when Peter Griffin says that Liam Neeson played "Taken" in the movie "Taken" LOL! Well, he does have a point, "Taken" IS Liam Neeson, so when you remove him from the equation, you just have some boring FBI training show LOL.
Britney Ever After (2017)
They could've used more of the drunk dad character...!!
I do occasionally like to watch these cheesy Lifetime original films, and LMAO at them, make sarcastic comments along the way, etc.. and THIS is just one of those kinds of films! I don't actually have a lot to say about this, but saw it off the Lifetime Roku app the other day, and you know the story,about that pop sensation that is Britney Spears; we all lived it in the news. I don't think this movie proves anything other than, no matter how rich and famous you are, "white trash" is still "white trash"... LOL And they could've used more of the guy who played her disorderly, drunk dad, now THAT guy was a hoot! LMAO
Tony Shalhoub was under-used; other than that, not too bad...
I watched this, along with 2 other movies, this past week off the Lifetime Roku channel, and while the other 2 ("From Straight A's to XXX" and the Britney Spears one) were your usual laughable Lifetime fair, this one was actually pretty good. Viola Davis, who just won the "Best Supporting Actress" Oscar for "Fences", really steals the show here, showing how a judge's personal life can not only affect her attitude in the courtroom, but maybe even, to a certain extent, her sentencing? This had a really good ensemble cast for a Lifetime original; and I was sorta surprised, and maybe disappointed, that "Monk" himself, Tony Shalhoub, was kinda under-used in this?? Catalina Santino Maria (if I have that name right?), the star of "Maria Full of Grace", Dan Fogler (in a rare serious role, perhaps showcasing a future romantic leading man series of roles?), Hayden Paynettiere, etc.. co-star.
When We Rise (2017)
Nights 3 and 4 Won Me Over...
Wowza; I managed to watch this entire ABC mini-series, all 4 2-hour parts! -- over the weekend off HULU. Remember the days of the TV mini- series back in the '70s and '80s?, such classics as "Rich Man, Poor Man", "Roots", "The Thorn Birds", etc... These were on for several nights in a row, like ten hours long. It seems nowadays, a mini-series (on network television anyways) is usually no more than a 2-parter. Well, this one you do get your fill; that's for sure.
"When We Rise" covers the gay activist movement from the '70s, and the Harvey Milk era, all the way through to the monumental SCOTUS ruling a couple years ago. Just about every actor and their brother must've rushed to be in this; I have no idea where to start, but there are 3 principle characters this series follows, and 2 actors of different ages play each of them, with the ones you'll recognize being Guy Pearce, Mary-Louise Parker and Michael K. Williams.
I thought the first two nights were decent enough, but it's the 3rd and 4th nights, this show really took off for me. For Pearce, one could argue this was a good bookend to 1994's "Adventures of Priscilla"? His character seemed to be the central figure throughout this whole journey. And as usual MK Williams proves what a great underrated talent he is; he practically steals the show with some really heart-wrenching moments.
The Mick (2017)
Female Version of "Sons of Tucson"-??
I've seen the first several episodes of this new Fox series starring FX star, Kaitlyn Olsen (of "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia"), and she could easily be that same character -- a spin off? She stars as the sister to a socialite -- who after an embezzlement scam goes into hiding with her hubbie. So this white-trash auntie (Olsen) has to come move into their mansion and look after their 3 very privileged/spoiled kids, and one very confused maid! I think the actress who plays the maid has stolen the show for me! LOL
This show also reminds me of another Fox sitcom from around 10 years ago or so -- "Sons of Tucson", anyone remember THAT one?? LOL SO many of these live-action sitcoms come and go on fox. It just seems if they want a long-running half-hour show on Fox, it's gotta be animated-??? LMAO I will recommend this show; and it's got potential to be even funnier down the road -- IF it stays on much longer-??
Training Day (2017)
Completely Different Dynamic From The Film...
I just started watching this new CBS series; seen like the first 3 eps or so -- of course, based on the 2001 film of the same name by Antoine Fuqua, who I had read at Wikipedia would be directing the pilot. For some reason, they brought in Brit director, Danny Cannon ("Judge Dredd" , TV's "Gotham", etc..) to direct instead.
This show is set in the same universe as the movie, 15 years later in the aftermath of the city being left in shambles after most of Lorenzo Harris (Denzel Washington's character)'s cases have been over-turned, and the city is over-ridden with crime. When you try to do a TV series with the same dynamic as the movie in a case like this (assuming you've seen the film by now), it's nearly impossible, and they have indeed changed things up.
The main similarity is that rookie young cop is brought in -- instead of Ethan Hawke from the film, it's actor Justin Cornwell, who I see at Wikipedia hasn't really been in a whole lot yet (TV's "Empire" and a few other things). This character is brought in to observe a veteran cop (played by veteran actor, Bill Paxton) who is suspected of doing some off-the-radar things on the job. Paxton is really good in this role; one of the best I've seen him in, but again, he's no Lorenzo; it would be very difficult to do what they're trying to do with this show, and have the same setup as the movie.
In the movie, Lorenzo was a completely all-around un-redeemable, despicable character LOL. Here, he is not only redeemable, but he's likable, and to an extent, trustworthy! Well, putting the '01 film aside -- I am a fan of that movie; I give this show a thumbs-up so far. I like the chemistry between the 2 leads, and Paxton like I said is especially good.
24: Legacy (2016)
Didn't Think It Would Work W/out Jack Bauer...
I saw the "24" mini-series on 3 years ago, "24: Redemption" I think it was called? -- and wasn't terribly impressed w/ that show really. I had never watched the original series when it was on from 2001 to 2008 or 2009, whenever, but watched the whole series in a series of "bing watches" off Netflix in the early 2010's, and just couldn't imagine having to wait from week to week to see what happened to our hero, counter-intelligence agent, Jack Bauer (played of course by Kiefer Sutherland) from week to week! LOL
This "reboot" of the TV franchise finds a new CTU agent (Corey Hawkins, "Straight Outta Compton") in a similar situation as to many we've previously seen JB in over the years, and I just didn't think I was going to be able to accept anyone other than that character, but to my pleasant surprise, this is a really exciting show - EVEN watching them week to week as I have been the first few shows. Miranda Otto, Jimmy Smits and Gerald McRaney co-star.
Superior Donuts (2017)
Good To See Judd Hirsh Back In PrimeTime...
I've only seen the first two episodes of this new CBS sitcom starring TV legend, Judd Hirsh, and so far, so good. This, in many ways is your classic "workplace comedy", with an assortment of characters -- in this case set in a Chicago old-world-style donut shop. Hirsh plays it's old- school owner who takes in a young protégé to help bring his place (and himself?) into the new century!
One character I find particularly amusing is played by David Koechner. He plays a laid-off factory worker, who now works an assortment of different "for-hire" jobs, and has his own portable fax machine! LOL
Mad Families (2017)
The Racial "Joke-off" Is Only Funny Scene...
I managed to see this brand-new Crackle original comedy the other day. Charlie Sheen and Leah Remini head up a cast of 3 families of different racial backgrounds who compete for a camping spot on one 4th of July weekend, and all chaos ensues. Dennis Quaid has a little cameo as the park ranger, and producer David Spade as an intervention specialist. LOL
I managed to chuckle a few times throughout this, particularly at the series of racial jokes in the "joke-off" scene, but other than that, this is a pretty forgettable and unfunny film. I read one IMDb user say it best I guess -- which it's "not bad for free". I sure wouldn't pay to see this.. LOL
Office Christmas Party (2016)
Wickedly Funny Holiday Flick!
I made it to the local multi-plex to see this over the holidays. TJ Miller (and Jason Bateman, playing his classic straight man role) must save his company branch before his evil CEO sister (Jen Aniston) closes it, and his plan is to have the most awesome-est office Xmas party ever! Well, only the deepest regions of h**l could've conceived THIS Christmas party! LOL
A great cast, with all the right actors in the right roles really make this movie a lot of fun. I do want to do a special mention for Courtney B. Vance, who has played all these really serious brooding, important roles over the years, and here we get to see him do and say some things you've probably never seen him do/say before. He stole the movie for me, and I was LMFAO every time he was on screen!
Rogue One (2016)
3.5 Is A Winner!
I managed to make it to the local multi-plex over the weekend, in spite of some lousy weather, to see this with the family, along with our annual Christmas exchange. I'll try to do my best not to post any major *SPOILERS* but won't promise anything for sure LOL.
For anyone who doesn't know by now, this is not in the "series" of SW films, as far as episode I, II, III, etc.. I guess, however, you could call this "Episode 3.5" since it's set between "Revenge of the Sith" and "A New Hope," and concerns a plot involving the newly-formed "Death Star." Felicity Jones ("The Theory of Everything") is our heroine, and she is great in the lead role -- I see her character's nick-name, "Stardust" actually in her immediate future. I know I've seen her co-star, Diego Luna in a few things over the years, and he's also great in the co-starring role.
I see this was directed by Gareth Edwards, who previously helmed the 2010 CGI-animated "Monsters" as well as the recent 2014 reboot of "Godzilla." He remains true to the storytelling and action format of all the other SW films.
I do notice a couple things about this "Star Wars Story", possible *spoiler*, although nothing too important. The main John Williams "Star Wars March" is not included in the music score, and there is no opening "crawl" giving an update on the latest happenings in the SW universe.
Chinese martial arts star, Donnie Yen, is pretty awesome as a blind warrior who believes in the Force, and I had to look into this, but Alan Tudyk ("Firefly") in many ways steals the show in the "comic relief" dept. as "K-2SO," a Rebel-owned Imperial enforcer droid whose memory is wiped by Andor. He sorta reminds me of a robotic version of "Sheldon" from TV's "Big Bang Theory" (okay so regular version of Sheldon LOL).
Heavy hitters, Oscar winner Forest Whitaker and Mads Mikkelsen, also play major characters. And O-M-G they managed to recreate using a CGI digital technology likeness, Peter Cushing! Absolutely AMAZING!! I give this movie almost a perfect rating -- a 9/10 at IMDb! Loved this!
If You Liked The Long Line of Sandler-produced comedies, you may like this...
I managed to see this Netflix original comedy starring Kevin James over the long Thanksgiving weekend, and this is pretty much what you would expect -- another in the long line of Sandler-esque comedies starring either James, David Spade or Adam Sandler himself. KJ plays a wannabe Ian Fleming who's digital novel, after a little mistaken identity situation, becomes a reality, and the hilarity ensues. I had heard AS had a 4-picture deal at Netflix, and thought this may have been one of them as a producer, but don't see his name anyplace on this.
I think Kevin James is back where he does his best work TBH, on a network sitcom -- "Kevin Can Wait", which is a pretty funny show; as I mentioned in a post earlier, pretty much "King of Queens, Part Deux"... LOL As for this movie, if you generally like his previous work, and the other works in the Sandler-produced long line of mediocre comedies, I think you'll like this.
Hacksaw Ridge (2016)
Do yourself a big favor, and SEE THIS MOVIE!!
I made it to the multiplex over the weekend, and was blown away by this movie -- THIS is exactly what the movie-going experience is all about. After a ten-year hiatus since 2006's awesome "Apocalypto", Mel Gibson directs this true story of WWII American Army medic, Desmond Doss (played by "The Amazing Spider-man" himself, Andrew Garfield). He served during the Battle of Okinawa as a "conscientious objector", or as he put it more fittingly, "conscientious contributor". Rachel Griffiths and Hugo Weaving give in-depth performances as his parents, as do Vince Vaughn and Sam Worthington. Do yourself a big favor, and SEE THIS MOVIE!!