Review : Transformers – The Last Knight

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“Humans and Transformers are at war, Optimus Prime is gone. The key to saving our future lies buried in the secrets of the past, in the hidden history of Transformers on Earth.”

Transformer 5 or which ever one this is, is one of the most convoluted, frenetic, chaotic, and all over the place movies I’ve seen in a long time. The story takes so many twist and turns, and jumps and leaps around its story and the globe, and is a mind numbing task trying to keep them all together. The story itself I kind of understood, but it literally goes a mile a minute, and gives you no reason to fall in line with it. It also doesn’t give you any real reason to feel for the characters and care when they were in dangerous situations. I mean there is a plot in here somewhere, but I also genuinely couldn’t care less by like 30 mins into it. There are also a lot of moments when the movie most certainly pauses for either dramatic or comedic effect, and they pretty much all fell flat, with a silent cinema audience. There were also so many different characters crammed into every nook and cranny of this movie that you never had any time to breathe. The cgi and visual effects are most definitely up to par and then some, everything on screen really does look good, especially the cars when they were zipping around the place, but I must say, I really don’t think I’m a fan of the current character designs of the transformers themselves. Each movie they have gotten more and more anthropomorphic, and I think it really takes away from making the characters stand out more. All in all, Transformers 5 is really a bit of a cluster fuck, and for something so full of things always happening, its actually kind of boring.

Review Score : 3 out of 10

Understanding Rotten Tomatoes

Launched in 1998, Rotten Tomatoes has become one of the largest websites in the world in the space of movies and movie reviews. But even with its 20 years in the business, many of us still don’t fully understand how the site and its metrics work, which isn’t a great thing. Over the last few years especially, the ability of Rotten Tomatoes to add to or take away from movie’s box office revenue has only increased, and seems to keep doing so. This increase in the “power” the website has on the average movie fan, is one I think is both good and bad. It’s great that audiences see it as a tool, that empowers them to avoid Hollywood’s less than best works, while in turn giving those films they deem deserving of, that extra boost. This power however, can be used unfairly, and it is especially used that way when its numbers are played against many peoples ignorance of the way the site really works. So how does it really work, and what do the numbers really mean?

To start with, the most fundamental thing to be understood about the site, is that it is an aggregator for reviews, and does not itself review anything. What that means, is that the site itself collects reviews from reviewers that it approves, and brings all those reviews to one place that is easy to find for anyone who’d like to see what these critics have to say. All of these reviews can be found along with some audience reviews on every movie that they score.

The second thing we have to discuss is the “Tomatometer”, which is where the site gets its famous percentage “scores” of films, only its not actually a score. As we stated earlier, this is an aggregator site, and the Tomatometer score is just that, its and aggregate of all the reviews the site recognizes, which it then converts to a simple and easy to see percentage out of 100. The way the site does this is two fold. First it must judge every review as either “Fresh” or “Rotten”. For a score to be granted a fresh, it must simply register as 60% or higher on its scale (3 or higher out of 5, 6 our higher out of 10 and so on). Conversely, any review that score 59% or less, is granted a Rotten. Now, once all the reviews are categorized as either fresh of rotten, they are all tallied together, and the ratio of fresh to rotten reviews is represented as a percentage, which represents the numbers we have grown accustomed to attaching to a films worth. Lets take two films to example.  The recent Wonder Woman movie currently has a Tomatometer score of 92% and is considered Certified Fresh (this just means it received over a certain of scored reviews). Many people may think, that this score means, the movie is 92 out of 100 in terms of reviews or in quality, but that isn’t the case. If we look at the break down from the critics, we see that the movie has had 298 official scored reviews, of which, 274 were considered fresh, or over 60%, and only 24 where considered rotten, or under 60%. So we can get a better understanding, that that 92% means that 92 out of every 100 critics, had a positive review of this movie, but if we look at their averaged review score, the movie is rated at 7.5 out of 10 based on all the reviews they tallied. 92% and 75% are not insanely off of each other, but you can imagine the headlines if this movie’s Tomatometer score was 75%. Our second example is The Mummy, which currently has a 16% rating. With 215 reviews, 34 of which were fresh and 181 rotten, we get our 16 out of ever 100 critics gave this movie a less than positive review, however, if again we look at the average review score we get a 4.2 out of 10. 42% is more than double 16%, and it certainly looks a hell of a lot better than 16%, no matter if each is still a failed grade.

So I hope we can see that while the Tomatometer and Rotten Tomatoes on a whole is a great and powerful tool, that we can have a better understanding of how it works, and why sometimes we should be less concerned with simply attaching a Tomatometer rating to a movies quality, and thats for better and for worse. Did you know how the Tomatometer and Rotten Tomatoes worked before, or is this all new information to you? Comment and let me know what you think about their system and how much power they should or shouldn’t have on audience opinion of movies.

 

Cheers.

Trailer of the Week!

This weeks trailer of the week goes to:

Detroit (trailer #2)

You might have thought our trailer of the week this week might have been another black centric movie, but as much as I love the Black Panther trailer, I think this Detroit trailer is really something special. Detroit is the next film from acclaimed director Kathryn Bigelow of Point Break (not that new one), The Hurt Locker, and Zero Dark Thirty fame. Set to star a stellar, all be it young cast with the likes of John Boyega, Will Poulter, Jacob Latimore, Hannah Murray, and even the likes of Anthony Mackie, plus so many more, this movie looks to deliver some great performances.

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The story is of course based on true events, with a script penned by Mark Boal who has worked with Bigelow before on The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark. It centers around a police raid that occurred in 1967 which then lead to some of the worst riots in American history, seeing even the National Guard being mobilized. I think this is going to be a really visceral and intense movie, made all the more difficult to watch knowing of how much truth lies behind its narrative. What do you think about the trailer? Does this movies look like something you’re going to want to see, or do you think it will be too much for you?

Review : The Mummy

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“An ancient princess is awakened from her crypt beneath the desert, bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia, and terrors that defy human comprehension.”

The Mummy, not to be confused with our beloved Brendan Fraser’s The Mummy from 1999. This Mummy is from 2017, and stars Tom Cruise and Sofia Boutella in the titular role of “The Mummy” here. This movie also has the distinction of being the start (kind of) of the new Universal Studios “Dark Universe” of connected monster movies, that they plan to create using all the classic monster movie rites that they own. And in that vein, this movie does do well to set that universe up, and it does introduce many of the ideas and things that will return in the future. As a movie itself however, it isn’t as strong. The movie does have a good bit of action, and it is well done, especially during the none cgi stuff, which Tom Cruise of course is famous for. Sofia Boutella also does a pretty good job here, and she brought a real nice presence and a good physicality to the role also. She had to toe a line very often of sexy and scary, and she did a good job with that. Russell Crowe’s role here was also not bad, but it isn’t huge as its meant to really be a tease of the future more than anything else. All in all I do think that this movie has it moments, but overall it seems to fall kind of flat, and makes this movie much more interesting as a setup for the Dark Universe, than a new and compelling action, adventure movie.

Review Score : 6.5 out of 10

Trailer of the Week!

This weeks trailer of the week goes to:

Coco (Trailer 1)

Now I know what you’re thinking, “I’ve seen this movie before, and it was called the Book of Life”, and you’re not really wrong. Coco comes to us from the heavy hitters that are Disney Pixar, who are known for a a laundry list of amazing films, so I think as much as this idea might seem to be taken, I think we have to give this film the benefit of the doubt that it will one of real quality.

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Coco follows a young boy, who find himself on the wrong side of the tracks after the annual Day of the Dead celebrations, putting him in a place where no living person has set foot before. The movie also uses a mostly hispanic cast of voice talent to lend  a lot of authenticity to this project. The movie is directed by two directors who have been main stays in many of the previous Pixar movie line up, getting their bump up to full time directors for Coco. Though this trailer is mostly an introductory teaser trailer, we can really get a scene for the visual style, and their take on the classic Day of the dead imagery, and is a slight departure from the generally more photo-realistic styles used in pervious Pixar films. Are you excited to see Coco, or think its just gonna be a Book of Life knock off?

Review : Baywatch

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“Devoted lifeguard Mitch Buchannon butts heads with a brash new recruit, as they uncover a criminal plot that threatens the future of the bay.”

Baywatch the movie 2017 is here to signal the start of summer, and beach bod season, but its also supposed to make us laugh so does it? Yes and no, what we have here is a tale of two movies, or rather two directions. This movie is rated R, and it should be, and I feel like when its doing its rated R stuff it flounders, but when it does the PG-13 stuff, its genuinely funnier. The raunchy bits of the movie while I can see their appeal, just seem a bit lazy here, you know, going for the cheap shot. When the movie is more heartfelt and orthodox in its humour, its definitely funnier, and even more entertaining. All the cast here is great, even though some of them like Alexandra Daddario have smaller roles than I would have imagined, while some of the smaller roles like Yahya AbdulMateen II’s police officer are pretty well done, and feel impactful. This movie also feels double sided in its visuals. It goes from having some of the most fake fire I’ve ever seen in a movie, to having some stunning tracking and action shots of the cast when they have their full Baywatch moments. All in all I think this movie is a bit of a mixed bag, but with a 69 (that has to be on purpose right?) million dollar budget, I think it has a good chance of making enough to get a sequel, which with the potential from this movie, has the chance to be better.

Review Score : 5 out of 10

Trailer of the Week!

This weeks trailer of the week is:

Logan Lucky (Trailer #1)

 

Another week, another surprise from the trailer Gods with the debut trailer for the upcoming Logan Lucky (yes thats how its supposed to be) movie. First time writer Rebecca Blunt wrote the script that was directed by Steven Soderbergh of the Oceans movies franchise. Teaming up again with this Magic Mike star Channing Tatum, plus a stellar cast including Adam Driver, Katie Holmes, Katherine Waterston, Seth MacFarlane, Sebastian Stan, Hilary Swank, and what looks to be an enormous role from Daniel Craig, Logan Lucky looks to be another hit under Soderbergh’s belt.

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It tells the story of two brothers (Tatum and Driver) who seeks to pull off a daring robbery at a big time Nascar race event, with some help from Daniel Craig’s Joe Bang. It seems like the entire cast here will also be sporting some very distinct, but so far very well done, southern accents, in a film that looks to be a cross between Ocean’s Eleven and Talladega Nights. This movie managed to fly in under the radar really till this debut trailer, and that was a great thing for it as it really allowed them to set the stage for the reveal of this new side of Daniel Craig that we haven’t seen before. What do you think about the trailer? Excited to see this movie, or does it look like a pass? Either way its our Trailer of the Week!