Review: Ocean’s 8

“Debbie Ocean gathers an all-female crew to attempt an impossible heist at New York City’s yearly Met Gala.”

The biggest problem with this movie, is that it isn’t the original. Now I know what you’re saying, “but stef, the most recent oceans movie is a remake”, and you’re right, the problem is, it’s a remake of a terrible movie and thus made itself the de facto original. I’m definitely getting ahead of myself though, let me start over. Ocean’s 8, is for all intents and purposes, a sequel or a continuation of the recent Ocean’s franchise, if maybe at a tangent. To start with, this movie does everything those movies did, except not as good, and well, not as originally. We get the same first third of character introductions, followed by the heist, the antics, and the escape. That in itself would be enjoyable enough, but the movie tries to take things up a notch, but all it does is make everything seem way too easy, and way too convenient. This has less characters, but somehow less character development than those movies, it has a great heist, but no stakes, and there is no real antagonist here. If anyone is wondering, there is a reason for this team being all women, even if it’s delivered in a single throw away line, and the team do all seem very capable and good at what they do. The issue is, we’ve seen it all before, and we’ve seen it better. There are some nice twists and turns, but you never feel like things could fail, and you need those stakes to care. This movie is also too long, and it might not literally be too long, but it feels too long, and that’s not a good thing. There definitely is no shortage of acting talent here, and everyone really does embody their roles and their individual quirks (even if some seem like straight carbon copies from the last films), but to me, the real stand out here is Anne Hathaway. She is given the PERFECT role, and just hits it out of the park and I think will be what most people remember this movie for. All in all, Ocean’s 8s biggest flaw, is that it’s the 4th movie in this franchise, and not the first. That being said, they knew it was the 4th, and they knew a lot of people were ready to write this movie off from the jump due to its all female cast, and it’s a real shame that I can’t recommend this movie higher, because individually all the parts are here, in some form or the other.

Review Score: 5.5 out of 10

Advertisements

Review : Deadpool 2

“Foul-mouthed mutant mercenary Wade Wilson (AKA. Deadpool), brings together a team of fellow mutant rogues to protect a young boy of supernatural abilities from the brutal, time-traveling mutant, Cable.”

The original Deadpool movie was real game changer. For the first time we got a hard R, 4th wall breaking, violent, funny, pop culture referencing, totally unapologetic movie, the likes of which we hadn’t seen before. The problem with being a game changer, is it is really hard to do that twice, and that the real story of Deadpool 2. This movie is every bit as bloody, full of swears, action packed, and somehow maybe even funnier than the first, but it can’t recreate than never been done kind of feel the first had. It seems almost like a harsh criticism, but this movie would be a better than the first, if the first didn’t exist. Everything here is done up, there’s s bigger budget, they’re more characters, more of just about everything, plus some unexpected heart. The only thing this movie doesn’t have is that now we’ve seen it before. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying this isn’t a good movie, or that it isn’t super enjoyable and entertaining and all that, I’m just saying that it sits a bit below the first one, but only for those reasons. We get a bigger plot this time, and with the origin out of the way, we get to spend an entire movie basically, with the merc with a mouth. This movie is also really surprisingly good at hitting you in the feels, and really not under cutting the emotional moments with needless humor, especially as there is already so much of that humor through out, those touching moments can really breathe and they come off super sincere. In many ways, Deadpool 2 is more commercial than the first, and that might not be hardcore fans biggest wish, but it makes this movie much more accessible, and while I won’t go so far as to say it dumbs down the material, there is just that bit of the shock and flair of the original, that’s not here.

Review Score : 8 out of 10

Review : Pitch Perfect 3

“Following their win at the world championship, the now separated Bellas reunite for one last singing competition at an overseas USO tour, but face a group who uses both instruments and voices.”

So this movie may be many things, and none of them is amazing, but what this movie does have to offer is entertainment. Now that entertainment may definitely be geared towards people who are already fans of the series, but it’s the third movie, and I can’t really blame them. This movie feels like, it was given less money, and it certainly has less talent directing wise, it has a smaller cast, and its definitely scaled back, but beneath all of that, is a lot of the same funny writing from the movies before. Trish Sie, is a fine and competent director, but she just doesn’t do anything to try and elevate this movie, and maybe there isn’t anything to elevate, but I can only go off what I saw. The singing and dancing of course is back, but this also doesn’t feel as go for broke as the movies before. The one area where I think this movie doesn’t seem pulled back, is in the comedy, and that’s really the thing that saves this movie. Like I said before, a lot of that humor might be directed at fans of the series, but I am a fan of the series, and this movie is very entertaining and has some genuinely funny moments. This movie doesn’t end the pitch perfect series on a high, but I think it does enough to remind us why the previous movies were so well received, and it’s perfect for s night out, where a laugh is the main goal. Fans of the series might like this one a bit more than neutrals, but I think there is entertainment enough here for everyone.

Review Score : 7 out of 10

Review : Thor Ragnarok


“Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok, the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization, at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela.”

First of all, I must say how continually impressed I am with Marvels ability to keep a lot of the reveals in their movies a secret, and just how much money they are clearly willing to spend to keep them secret. I won’t spoil any of them here, but let’s just say, they paid probably millions of dollars to allow things to be in the trailer, but not in their final forms. The second thing I want to address is the MCU debut of Taika Waititi, who comes in bringing his personal brand and style of movie making, that both fit and doesn’t fit in the MCU. Prior to Ragnarok, Thor had been, and had been used as the MCU’s Shakespearean elements. This iteration of the character however, is so much more comedic and light hearted, that even thought a lot of previous incidental humor is used here, the characters themselves take themselves so much less seriously. This movie is a blast though, and from its opening, which might be one of the best opening scenes in any comic book movie, to its rip roaring end, Ragnarok is an action adventure roller coaster of laughs. They’re so many new characters here, and there’s also a bit of character house cleaning, that would streamline the Thor household going forward. The biggest stand out of all of these though, is Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie, and her final outfit is honestly some of the most stunning costuming I’ve ever seen. Her character ads both depth to the Thor mythos, while also adding a strong female of colour that we don’t get too much off in these kinds of movies. She also allows for one of the best scenes in the entire movie, and I’d probably cosplay as her if I wouldn’t have to shave my beard off. The new look, new attitude Thor here is also really good, as Chris Hemsworth as an actor has great comedic timing, and being able to flex those muscles a bit was very entertaining. Like most all MCU movies, this one also has some villain problems, and while Cate Blanchett brings an amazing presence and gravitas to Hela, the conseit of making her character the way it was, meant there couldn’t truly be a satisfying conclusion for her storyline. The movie itself does sacrifice some of the substance of other MCU movies, but it definitely sacrificed it for entertainment, and a mass appeal this franchise never was able to attain. Scoring this movie by itself , and as a part of the MCU, are two different things, and that’s maybe the only plaice this movie truly falls down. All in all, Thor Ragnarok is the most fun you’re going to have in a cinema for a while, it just doesn’t reach as deep down as some of the movies we praise as the absolute best of the MCU.

Review Score : 8.5 out of 10

Review : American Made

amer-made-poster-large

“A pilot lands work for the CIA and as a drug runner in the south during the 1980s.”

This is one of those movies, where at best, its a Wolf of Wall Street, and at worst they just come off as unauthentic, cheesy, and boring. This movie is pretty much in the middle. It stats Tom Cruise, who as always, is totally committed to his role and plays it very well, the movie on a whole however, is what maybe holds it all back. Its not to say that this movie isn’t good, or isn’t entertaining. Its certainly funny enough, dramatic enough, the acting is good enough, its all enough yes, but the real issue is that its just enough. Nothing here is special, nothing here takes this movie into a category above, where movies like the Wold of Wall Street live. It gets kind of bogged down in mediocrity that make it great probably for an at home stream, but nothing about it says come see me in the cinema. Also, a lot happens here, and it all needs to happen, but it can almost feel a bit overwhelming sometimes, as the movie often needs to keep up a bit of a break neck pace to get from where the story starts, to where the movie ends it. All in all though, this movie is two things combined. Its Tom Cruise being the consummate professional he always is (the man is never bad EVER), mixed with a rest of movie thats good but not great, and I feel like with this story and talent, it could have been GREAT.

Review Score : 7.5 out of 10

Review : Baby Driver

baby-driver-poster

“After being coerced into working for a crime boss, a young getaway driver finds himself taking part in a heist doomed to fail.”

I know this review is late…sorry. That aside, what a wonderful movie. The long awaited return of Edgar Wright is here, and he really knocks this one out of the park. Baby Driver takes us the audience on a full throttle, action packed, tension filled, high energy, but full of fun ride, that starts of hot and sweaty and stays that way till the bitter sweet ending. This movie really does check all the boxes. It has a great sound track, wonderfully done and shot action, amazing driving, and best of all, some really well brought to life characters that were all equal parts crazy, as funny, and dangerous. These characters are more than just caricatures also, as much as they are over the top and intense in their personalities, they also a reigned in just tight enough to fit perfectly into the narrative and only add to the furthering plot. The plot itself is also really tight, and it keeps itself moving at a nice pace, that ramps up and down as the film needs. The entire caste here also from Ansel Elgort, Jamie Foxx, Jon Bernthal, Jon Hamm, Lily James and Kevin Spacey, all do so well to make their characters really feel well rounded and lived in, that as i mentioned before, their sometimes over the top personalities don’t seem so over the top that they feel out of place, they just work. You truly get a feeling for their ideals and beliefs and motivations, and these are the things that keep characters compelling. To be honest, Baby Driver is a damn near flawless vehicle (see what I did there) that allows for fun, action, suspense and whole lot more out of a trip to the cinema.

Review Score : 9.5 out of 10

Review : Baywatch

baywatch_ver13

“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