Hellboy (2019) REVIEW

Plot Synopsis:

Based on the graphic novels by Mike Mignola, Hellboy, caught between the worlds of the supernatural and human, battles an ancient sorceress bent on revenge (IMDb).

Review:

I was a big fan of what Guillermo del Toro did with “Hellboy” and “Hellboy: The Golden Army” he made great use with practical and a bit of special effects in his film to make an interesting story, but his concluding third movie got the kibosh and instead we got this reboot, so- with bad word of mouth, what do I think of it?

I’ll start off with the positives: David Harbour was a pretty good Hellboy (even though I still prefer Ron Perlman) and I thought the creature designs were pretty cool- especially the pig demon henchman. I also liked the father and son relationship between Hellboy and Professor Broom.

Now, let’s traverse the 9 Circles of Hell that make up the bad portions of this film:

There’s some pretty bad CGI that’s noticeable. The swearing and the gore (especially towards the end) felt like it was there just because the film is rated R now with no real purpose (this film feels like it’s trying WAY too hard to be edgy), and the story is very incoherent. Another problem I had is the main villain, the Blood Queen played by Milla Jovovich and she’s a bland villain that wants to destroy the world because she was cut into pieces and put inside boxes, she’s a boring villain that lacks any real personality.

The way they ended this movie introduces a character in a very hokey way and it leaves it open for a sequel that I’m betting money isn’t going to happen.

Grade:

It’s not the worse thing I’ve seen in the world, but it’s not great either. I’m more angry at the fact that Hellboy 3 died for this when no one was asking for a reboot.

I’m giving Hellboy (2019) a 6/10 or a D.

“Glass” Movie Review

Synopsis:

Following the conclusion of Split, Glass finds Dunn pursuing Crumb’s superhuman figure of The Beast in a series of escalating encounters, while the shadowy presence of Price emerges as an orchestrator who holds secrets critical to both men (Rotten Tomatoes).

Review:

I was a big fan of “Split” and I thought the idea of making a superhero movie that’s grounded in the real world like “Unbreakable” was cool… and after three years of waiting for the concluding story in this trilogy, I found myself a bit disappointed with this film.

To start things off, I thought the first act of the movie was great! The scenes with Kevin Wendell Crumb AKA The Horde was suspenseful, and I thought it was cool that David Dunn’s son (who is also the same actor from “Unbreakable”) worked with his dad at his security store to keep tabs on crime in the area.

The second act was kinda slow to me, and you could argue “Well the movie “Unbreakable” was slow so it makes sense.” But my problem with that is it felt like it didn’t fit with the movie that was set up in the beginning.

Mr. Glass, Samual Jackson’s character in the film is in a catatonic state for most of the film, but he has shifty eyes, and you can tell he’s planning something- but you’re unsure of what it is.

Now here’s some of the major problems I had with the film: There’s no way that you have these three potentially dangerous patients in this insane asylum, and have employees that are this incompetent. Another thing I wasn’t too crazy about was during some of the fight scenes, there’s some POV shots that are used- and in concept it should work, but it doesn’t really work in execution.

Sarah Paulson plays a psychiatrist but she mentions comic book facts to try to dispute the fact that these three individuals aren’t superheroes and I felt myself getting annoyed because I was thinking in my head “I know how comic books work, you don’t need to stand here and say these things like you’re dropping some knowledge on me.” And the last thing I didn’t like was the ending… without spoiling anything it’s confusing, messy, and makes no sense.

One thing I’ll mention that I liked before I give my rating was the tender moments between Kevin and Casey, the girl that Kevin let go in “Split” and you feel like there’s a real connection between these two characters.

Grade:

To recap my TL;DR review: The beginning was cool, the middle was too slow, and the ending was sloppy and made no sense. I debated between giving this either a C or a D so I’ll go 6.5/10 or a D+. I don’t know what happened, but this could have been a lot better.

“Escape Room” Movie Review

Plot:

Six adventurous strangers travel to a mysterious building to experience the escape room — a game where players compete to solve a series of puzzles to win $1 million. What starts out as seemingly innocent fun soon turns into a living nightmare as the four men and two women discover each room is an elaborate trap that’s part of a sadistic game of life or death (Google).

Review:

The first thing I’ll say about this movie is the opening to the film had me hooked… it was tense, nerve-wracking, and you want to know what’s going on.

We’re introduced to three characters: Zoey, Bill, and Jason…. we get some information about them in order to relate to them, then when the characters go to the facility to enter the Escape Room, we’re introduced to three more characters.

The cool thing about this movie is the Escape Room puzzles are intricate, and unique in different ways… my favorite room is an upside down billiards room where the floor falls apart during a timer.

Another thing I liked about the movie is normally in movies like this, the characters paired together try to sabotage each other and stab their peers in the back- but for the most part, they’re actually working together to solve the puzzles.

I was having a great time, I knew there were flaws in the movie- but I was rocking with it… I was gonna let this movie slide on a C+, but then came the ending- I’m sorry, I meant the second ending.

This film felt like it had two endings… the first one I was like “well, that’s a bit disappointing- but it’s not awful.” But then they had an epilogue ending, where it honestly felt like Inspector Gadget… and it feels like it’s trying way too hard for a sequel that it ends up betraying the whole movie towards the end.

Grade:

I tried y’all, I really really tried to let this slide, but I couldn’t… that epilogue ruined it for me, but not enough for it to be on an upcoming Worst Of list… so this gets a 6/10 or a D.

“Venom” Movie Review

Plot Synopsis:

Journalist Eddie Brock is trying to take down Carlton Drake, the notorious and brilliant founder of the Life Foundation. While investigating one of Drake’s experiments, Eddie’s body merges with the alien Venom — leaving him with superhuman strength and power. Twisted, dark and fueled by rage, Venom tries to control the new and dangerous abilities that Eddie finds so intoxicating. (Google)

Critique:

Venom is an interesting character because of his relationship with Peter Parker, AKA Spider-Man- and it’s a shame because this movie didn’t seem to care about that fact.

I’m gonna start off with the positives… don’t worry, it won’t take me long. The movie is shot well, Tom Hardy seemed passionate about this character, and the relationship between Eddie and the Symbiote is interesting.

Now let me talk about the problems this movie has:

First off- SONY, you have a Spider-Man problem, you need counseling. SONY seems so dead-set on making movies that are Spider-Man related, and it’s painfully transparent that they fail every time they have something Spidey related. I also find it hilarious that they put ‘In association with Marvel’ in the opening credits twice, you think you’re being clever- but I see through it.

The tone of the movie is all over the place: it doesn’t know whether it wants to be a horror, a comedy, or a superhero film and because of this, the movie seems unbalanced and unfocused.

Some of the dialogue in this film goes from either being decent, to being goofy, to just being plain awful. When I found out the screenwriter also wrote the “50 Shades of Grey” series, I wasn’t shocked, because those films are infamous for having bad dialogue.

The CGI in this film is pretty spotty in some scenes, especially in the huge fight scene between Venom and Riot, that scene in particular I couldn’t tell what the hell was going on because of the CGI mess and the poor editing- speaking of which…

The editing is all over the place in this film, you can definitely tell this thing has been through the cutting room a bunch of times.

The final problem I have with this film is something during the mid-credit scene…

Woody Harrelson plays a pretty important Venom character, but they put a wig on this man, and it looks awful- it honestly looks like they put a red chia pet on his head, and I busted out laughing when I saw that.

Consensus:

“Venom” suffers from being a mediocre superhero film that has tonal issues, poor dialogue, and that PG-13 rating killed this film. Venom is a violent character, and the R rating would’ve helped establish it as a dark, gritty film.

Honestly, this film seems like the knock-off movie to “Upgrade” which came out earlier this year, and was a way better film for having a smaller budget. Venom describes his movie perfectly: an armless, legless, faceless thing rolling down the street- like a turd in the wind.

“Venom” get a 6/10 or a D.

“Slenderman” Movie Review

Plot:

Small-town best friends Hallie, Chloe, Wren and Katie go online to try and conjure up the Slender Man — a tall, thin, horrifying figure whose face has no discernible features. Two weeks later, Katie mysteriously disappears during a class trip to a historic graveyard. Determined to find her, the girls soon suspect that the legend of the Slender Man may be all too real.

Review:

I’m going to be honest, I had very low hopes for this film- but I can’t lie, the beginning of this film was set up pretty well- after that, that’s when we start getting into the problems of this movie.

Oh, and I will be doing a bit of a spoiler talk after I give my grade, because the ending is so incredibly stupid, I HAVE to spoil it. So there’s your warning before you start yelling at me.

So, let’s start with the good stuff: the atmosphere is pretty good. They did a good job of making the woods creepy, and the sound design was good. There’s certain shots where if you pay attention, you can see things move in the background…. and that’s about it.

None of the characters are really likable, on top of that, some of them make dumb choices. For example, when summoning Slenderman, you’re supposed to keep your eyes closed and not look at him, but what does one of the girls do? She looks at him, because why wouldn’t she?! When one of the friends of the main character tries to explain to her that Slenderman is real, and can prove it- the main chick blows her off because she has a date with some dude…. Your friend is clearly under duress, but you’re more concerned about some boy you like? You’re an awful friend.

Speaking of Slenderman, the design of the character is awful… first they tried scenes with CGI, then they tried practical, and just went back to CGI, and none of it worked.

But the main issue of this film is it becomes a generic horror film that abandons the atmosphere it created to instead rely on visuals that we’ve seen a thousand times from much better horror movies- like “The Ring” for example.

Another thing I could tell is this film was cut a bunch of times because this movie felt very incomplete to me. There’s definitely scenes missing, especially from the first trailer- which showed a girl stabbing her eye out, and a girl ripping her tongue out. And there’s apparently a subplot involving the main character being in Track that’s never really fleshed out other than mentioning trophies, or the girl being interested in Track than helping her friend.

Grade:

The real shame is that this film could’ve very well had potential, but classic SONY- that potential gets thrown into the trash can, because risky films apparently don’t equal money.

I had just recently read an article about how this film was gonna be darker, but SONY stopped that after the film’s release got backlash from the father of a child who stabbed her classmate 19 times in 2014 after trying to summon Slenderman (https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/movies/2018/01/03/slender-man-movie-reactions/1002527001/) so this was pretty much DOA.

So with that being said, I’m giving Slenderman a 6/10 or a D. It was generic and boring- and I was alone in the theater, it’s a miracle I didn’t end up falling asleep.

**SPOILER ALERT**

So, here’s the way the movie ended, for those of you who want to know:

After the main character realizes that sacrificing what they love isn’t enough to stop Slenderman, she goes into the woods and tells Slenderman to take her. Slendy turns into a spider-like creature and she starts running away, only to be sucked into a horrible looking CGI Slenderman tree (I’m not even kidding) this is followed up by a voice over of the main character’s sister telling the audience that there’s always a pattern, and that “he drives people to do crazy things, ya know?”

There, that’s an hour and a half of time I saved you- you’re welcome!

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom REVIEW

Plot:

Three years after the destruction of the Jurassic World theme park, Owen Grady and Claire Dearing return to the island of Isla Nublar to save the remaining dinosaurs from a volcano that’s about to erupt. They soon encounter terrifying new breeds of gigantic dinosaurs, while uncovering a conspiracy that threatens the entire planet.

Review:

Before I start, I want to admit something: I haven’t seen all the Jurassic Park movies, I’ve only seen the OG Jurassic Park and the third movie…. Now, going into this movie- if you just wanna see a bunch of Dinosaurs, you’re going to enjoy this movie quite a lot. If you came to see the story- you might as well stay home, because this movie gets dumb REAL quick!

For starters, this movie focuses on a group of people who wanna save the Dinosaurs, a group of animals that have been extinct already- so all you’re really saving are a bunch of Dino clones. Another issue this movie has is a bunch of dumb, incompetent villains… one that willing goes into a cage holding a genetically engineered, dangerous dinosaur. I’ve never seen a movie start off so well, only to trip over itself so quickly until I watched this movie.

There’s a few bright spots in this film: the two scenes that I enjoyed were the group escaping an island with an active volcano exploding… and the scene with the Indoraptor stalking Chris Pratt and a few other characters. The second scene was done better because the director of this movie is known for directing the horror movie “The Orphanage” so when the horror element kicks in… it’s done extremely well! An honorable mention is a scene where a villain points out the fact that the fault isn’t his own, but the heroes in their own way contribute to it… this movie has such a black and white viewpoint so it was cool that for a moment, there was a shade of gray.

I had a few nitpicks and I was willing to let them slide…. then came the ending- Jesus Christ, that ending!

I don’t care how much science fiction you put in this movie, you simply don’t get away with an ending like that! It was dumb, and completely absurd on so many levels, and if they make a sequel, the next movie is gonna have to address repercussions that this movie raises. While we’re on this absurd path, let’s just make a bunch of friggin dragons- because at least that makes sense after what I just saw!

Grade:

It’s just amazing to me how the longer these movies go, the dumber they become… I had some enjoyment here and there, but to me the ending is paramount… and this ending ruined everything good about the movie for me.

So with that, I’m giving Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom a D+

Batman Ninja movie review

Plot:

In this groundbreaking anime adaptation of the legendary Batman franchise, Gotham City is swapped out for feudal Japan, where Batman fights his infamous foes as an armored ninja. With Catwoman, Two-Face and the Joker all showing up to battle the Bat, will Bruce Wayne be able to save the day?

Review:

When I heard the concept to this movie, it had me intrigued. I’m a fan of Batman and a fan of anime, so going in you’d think that this would be awesome right?

Before I get into my review, let me tell you guys how I ended up watching this movie and the version I watched. I rented this movie on Amazon Video for $5.99 and I saw the English Dubbed version because that’s what played first. Apparently this was done in Japan first, and they decided to port this to America with American voice actors, and the script ended up being translated into English.

So, with all that being said, let me get the positives out of the way:

I love the 2D/ 3D animation style that’s done in the film, in pictures it doesn’t work that well, but seeing it in motion is where it really shines. The voice actors that impressed me were Grey DeLisle (Catwoman), Tom Kenny (Penguin), and Tara Strong (Harley Quinn), everyone else is passable in my opinion. The character designs are fantastic for the most part, although I wasn’t really thrilled with Bane’s design. The one on one fights are done extremely well. And there’s a scene involving Red Hood that is done completely in a watercolor style that’s beautifully done.

Now let’s get into the negatives of this Straight-to-Video movie:

The Joker is extremely irritating to me, and not in a good way. The movie goes completely off the rails around the 17 minute mark in the film. Not all the humor worked for me. And the minute a giant robot, that had a Power Rangers type of transformation, started fighting a giant version of Batman, made of monkeys and bats, I immediately tuned out of the film… speaking of which, the deus ex machina ending irritated the hell out of me.

Grade:

Overall this film is completely batty (see what I did there? 😉) and the few moments I liked in this film got squandered away by the bad stuff pretty quickly and too often for my liking.

I’m going to give “Batman Ninja” a 6/10 or a D.

It’s not completely horrible, but that doesn’t mean it’s completely enjoyable as well.

It’s a real bummer because I was actually kinda hyped to see this movie.

“Truth or Dare” Movie Review

Plot: Olivia, Lucas and a group of their college friends travel to Mexico for one last getaway before graduation. While there, a stranger convinces one of the students to play a seemingly harmless game of truth or dare with the others. Once the game starts, it awakens something evil — a demon which forces the friends to share dark secrets and confront their deepest fears. The rules are simple but wicked — tell the truth or die, do the dare or die, and if you stop playing, you die.

Review: Normally I like to lead in by keeping y’all guessing on whether or not I liked the movie I saw…. But I can’t in this case. Y’all have seen the trailers for this, so y’all know this is a bad movie. The surprising thing about this, is it’s unintentionally hilarious!!

Here’s all the things bad about the movie: none of the characters are likable, the stupid Snapchat face isn’t scary- it’s goofy looking to the point I laughed out loud in the theater every time it popped up, the rules to the game make no sense, how the game kills people is laughable, the origins of the game coming to life is completely absurd, and how to stop the game is so convoluted. And on top of all that, there’s every single horror movie cliche: stupid jump-scares, doing research on the ‘antagonist’, the old person who has all the answers, and a open-ended conclusion that makes no sense- and it’s only there for a possible sequel.

Look, I normally don’t do this- but guys…. PLEASE don’t see this movie. At least not in theaters, if you have to- just rent it for a beer and pizza night.

Grade:

I’m giving “Truth or Dare” a 6/10 or a D.

The only reason why this movie isn’t an F like “Winchester” is because I actually get some unintentional laughs in this movie- and I couldn’t in “Winchester” because that movie was SO BORING!

Trust me, I’m trying to help y’all here!

If it helps, I was literally the only person in the theater!

The Strangers 2: Prey At Night

Plot:

Mike and his wife Cindy take their son and daughter on a road trip that becomes their worst nightmare. The family members soon find themselves in a desperate fight for survival when they arrive at a secluded mobile home park that’s mysteriously deserted — until three masked psychopaths show up to satisfy their thirst for blood.

Review:

As a fan of the first ‘The Strangers’ film I was highly disappointed by this film. It’s been 10 years since the original came out and I feel like this was a bit of a step back. The main characters are lifeless and unlikable, there’s barely any tension, and there’s some weird shots of scenes that go on way too long. For example, the camera focuses on a mailbox with a smiley face on it for about 10 to 15 seconds, which would’ve been fine for about 5 seconds. Another issue I had is the fact that it shows the killers in the background too much where it would’ve cool a few times, but it’s overdone. Like I said, I’m really disappointed. Oh, and to top it off, that ending was so horrible I audible shouted “Wait, what?!” I was so baffled that they ended the film that horribly.

Grade:

You’re better off just watching the 2008 ‘The Strangers’ film, because this really wasn’t necessary.

I’m giving ‘The Strangers 2: Prey At Night’ a 6/10 or a D

Insidious: The Last Key

Insidious: The Last Key is the fourth entry in the Insidious franchise and is a prequel in the Insidious storyline, but a sequel to Insidious part 3 (The timeline is a bit confusing)

In this entry to the series, Elise gets assigned to an investigation that’s in Elise’s childhood home- but little does Elise know that the entity that lives in her house is the same spirit that she released as a kid.

Review:

I thought some of jumpscares were effective, I thought the backstory of Elise was heartfelt, and I really liked the design of the new demon named Keyface.

That’s all the positive things I can say about this film, and I felt like this movie is the weakest in the franchise. I wasn’t a fan of the comic-relief sidekick characters, and I didn’t really understand the motivation behind Keyface (and I was disappointed we didn’t get a backstory to the demon.)

The small connections to the first movie was pretty cool, but there’s still some unanswered questions that this movie leaves, and I’m not sure if we’re gonna be getting another movie to answer them.

Grade:

So with all that being said, I’m gonna give this movie a 6/10 or a D