Monday, July 22, 2019

Review: "Point Blank" is an action thriller in search of a tone.

Point Blank Review

We have a nurse whose wife is three weeks away from becoming a dad. We have a criminal who is trying to release information on a corrupt cop ring. Over the course of a day, the two will collide in order to bring down the corrupt cops. This is "Point Blank," with Anthony Mackie and Frank Grillo. So, if you've ever wondered what it would be like for The Falcon to team up with Crossbones, look no further. That's at least the simplified version of the story. "Point Blank" is an action thriller that tries really hard to be clever, and the more clever it tries to be, the more confusing the experience becomes. But hey, we got Anthony Mackie and Frank Grillo to chew up macho-man scenery, the only question is "Is that enough?"

Mackie plays ER nurse Paul Booker, who has to oversee the career criminal Abe (Grillo) who was hit by a car after fleeing a shootout that got a politician killed. Abe's brother Mateo (Christian Cooke) kidnaps Paul's very pregnant wife in order to get Paul to break Abe out of police supervision at the hospital, so they can pay a debt to a gangster. That right there is a nice plot for an action thriller and would have been more than enough to get the movie going on the right foot. A nice time bomb set up for an action movie. "Point Blank" eventually gets bogged down into too much plot. When it starts throwing in corrupt cops, Abe and Mateo being kind of bad guys but not really, and watching a pregnant women unrealistically go through lots of grief without giving birth and you start to understand how "Point Blank" loses its way.

The thing I can't stand the most is clueless the movie is in terms of tone. Is "Point Blank" intended to be an action movie or an action comedy? We get see the mistreatment of a pregnant lady one minute, then a quasi-goofy scene with a popular pop song blasting in the background. We get a scene where a many is severely beaten, then go right to a scene where we have a post-Tarantino gangster talking about movies and video games. Its an odd movie simply to watch from start to finish. Frank Grillo and Anthony Mackie look like their in one movie one minute, then a totally different movie the next.

There is no denying that Frank Grillo is one of the best action stars of his generation, and his performance alone certainly keeps the movie interesting. Sure, you could stack all of his performances up next to each other and he's pretty much made a career doing the exact same thing. But hell, he does that thing very well. Anthony Mackie is probably the only actor that does a decent job rolling with the tone that goes every which way in this movie. He knows when to play a scene straight and he knows when to have a little fun. He's definitely becoming one of the most interesting actors of his generation.

It's a good thing Mackie and Grillo came to play because "Point Blank" would have been an embarrassingly awkward experience to sit through.

FINAL GRADE: C+

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Star Trek: Picard



One of the earliest things my family used to watch was "Star Trek," and the first "Star Trek" show I watched was "Star Trek: The Next Generation." One of the earliest heroes of TV I got introduced to was Captain Jean Luc Picard. I can't say that I remember every episode of "Star Trek: The Next Generation." I also don't think I saw each of the movie with that particular cast, but everything I do remember, I enjoyed.

I love the idea of Patrick Stewart returning as Picard and getting his own show on CBS All Access. The trailer looks awesome, and I really like that he's going back up into space with a new crew. I love that Data is coming back and Jeri Ryan from Voyager will be making an appearance. I have no clue if this will even parallel Discovery in any way, because I really haven't been watching that. I have no clue where at in the timeline that show would fall. All I can say is that this definitely looks intriguing.

It: Chapter 2 trailer



I've been waiting patiently for the second half of "It." I've been a big fan of watching the adult casting come into focus and I am happy to see the actors I know and curious to see the actors I don't know. This second trailer for Chapter Two looks terrifying and I am curious to see how the things that aren't in the book play into the movie.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Marvel Studios' Phase Four Line-Up!

Well in just a few short minutes, the internet blew up!

We got our first look at what the Marvel Cinematic Universe is going to look like post-"Avengers: Endgame." The future looks beautiful.

For the movie side of things; we are getting a fourth Thor movie. "Thor: Love and Thunder" will star Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, and Natalie Portman. Yep, Portman is returning as Jane Foster, and she's going to be worthy! Literally. We are getting female Thor! The next sequel is "Doctor Strange: Multiverse of Madness" it will apparently be the first horror film in the MCU and will star Benedict Cumberbatch and Elizabeth Olsen, which I guess makes sense. The "Black Widow" prequel is coming, and will star Scarlett Johansson, Florence Pugh, David Harbour and Rachel Weisz, a damn good cast.

"The Eternals" is probably the most ambitious movie coming in the future, and will apparently be different from anything we've seen so far. It will star Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Richard Madden, Don Lee, Kumail Nanjani, Bryan Tyree Henry and Lauren Ridoff. From that cast alone, I'm sold. We will also be getting "Shang-Chi" and that movie will involve The Ten Rings and we will finally be getting THE REAL MANDARIN.

The announcement also revealed some shows coming to Disney Plus. Comic-Con Patrons got a look at "The Falcon and Winter Soldier," "Hawkeye," "Loki," and "WandaVision" all live-action shows that will involve the characters we know and love (Loki will be a prequel show). We will also be getting "What If" which is based on a Marvel comic line and asked the simple question of what would happen if certain events happened a different way. It will be animated and will feature our favorite MCU characters being voiced by the actors who play them.

Kevin Feige also announced A new Blade coming to the MCU, will be played by Mahershala Ali! Don't know if it will be a movie or show. But that is big news.

Kevin Feige didn't have time to talk about anything else on the horizon, but he did confirm that "Black Panther 2," "Guardians of the Galaxy 3," and "Captain Marvel 2" are all in the works. Also he announced that "Fantastic Four" is being worked on. He ended the Marvel panel with the quote "No more time to talk about mutants." So that pretty much confirms we will be seeing the X-Men in the MCU very soon too! I know it was a battle to acquire the Fox characters, but its going to be so cool to see a complete Marvel universe in live action! This is the thing I've been dreaming of for years now!

https://www.theverge.com/2019/7/20/20702328/marvel-disney-plus-thor-eternals-doctor-strange-wandavision-hawkeye-black-widow-san-diego-comic-con

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Review: "Stuber" has a few laughs, but mostly routine

Stuber Review
Kumail Nanjani was in "The Big Sick" in 2017, and he also guest appeared on a few episodes of "Archer." I also really enjoyed "Silicon Valley." Dave Bautista got lots of tough guy roles starting out thanks to his macho persona as a professional wrestler. But "Guardians of the Galaxy" proved that he had some good comedic timing and could be surprisingly sincere at times too. The two of them together should make for a pretty great comedy. When it was announced they'd be in "Stuber," a sort of buddy comedy of sorts, I figured it would be a big win for the summer.

For the most part, "Stuber" is pretty good. Both Nanjani and Bautista have some really good comedic timing and they carry the movie with charisma. Nanjani plays a disgruntled Uber Driver named Stu who is forced by an aggressive cop Vic (Bautista) to drive him around town in order to find a drug lord Oka Teijo (Iko Uwais). There is some good dialogue and some silly situations with the pair. Nanjani has that deadpan anxiety that he has very well perfected. Bautista has that mild-mannered persona on full force and that stern voice throughout. They surely are funny together.

The movie itself feels like its over before it really begins. It moves pretty fast. Vic has a dilemma of not being there for his daughter (Natalie Morales). Stu has problems with his other job and also doesn't know how to tell a girl in his life that he has feelings for them. It's all pretty pedestrian as character development and the movie never really takes the time to explore anything to its fullest degree. Things seem to happen out of convenience instead of actual development. While Nanjani and Bautista have some funny scenes together, they are mostly few and far between. In any comedy, the most important thing that should happen is how often I laugh. If I am not laughing that much, I call that a serious problem with any comedy. These guys are both hilarious, they deserved a better script.

One thing I did like was that Iko and Bautista throw down, that was awesome.

"Struber" boils down to pretty much how you think it will. If you don't need too much from your entertainment, these two guys should have enough starpower to carry the day. Its passable, I just wish it wasn't such a rushed experience.

FINAL GRADE: C

Monday, July 15, 2019

The Kings Man trailer

Do you like the "Kingsman" movies?

Well, we are getting a prequel.

I usually can't stand prequels, but this franchise has been fun and I like Raph Fiennes


Review: "Crawl" is big goofball fun

Crawl Review

It seems like we are entering a period of time where we get one summer movie that only exists to please. Last year, we got "The Meg," a big-budget movie about a giant shark. I believe I remember saying that it was like those cheesy movies you see on the SyFy channel, except it happened to star Jason Statham. This year, we get "Crawl." About a strong hurricane that hits Florida and how a daughter must save her father entrenched in a flooding house. Oh, and also, they are being hunted by alligators.

Your enjoyment of "Crawl" is going to depend solely on you. Make no mistake, "Crawl" as a movie does kind of stink. But its not an offensively bad movie. Its not an embarrassingly bad movie. Its not the type of bad movie that will make you feel bad for watching it after. Its a goofy bad movie. It could very well end up ranking highly on your guilty pleasures list. The acting is better than whatever you see on the Syfy channel, so there's that. The special effects isn't bad, sorta. The movie has some one-liners that will either make you roll your eyes or snicker to yourself. Best of all, there is a sweet dog in the movie and it survives to the end. That spoiler I will share with you.

The two main players are Haley Keller and her father Dave Keller. Kaya Scodelario plays Haley and Barry Pepper (where the hell has he been?) plays Dave. Haley has been swimming for many years, and while she's been a very good swimmer all of her life, her father used to coach her. Dave is the kind of coach who is kind of cold and kind of a hard-ass, which rubbed Haley the wrong way, so he doesn't coach her anymore. Alas, she still loves him, so when a Category Five hurricane hits their home deep in Florida, she goes to check on him while their town gets evacuated. Haley finds her dad in a flooding house and like I said, alligators eventually attack. There is pretty thin layer of character development just to get things going, but not much development is inflated from there. We get just enough to set up two characters to survive and work with each other against the alligators. But do you really go to a movie like "Crawl" for character development?

No you don't. This is a great audience movie. This is something you go to a big auditorium full of people who want to see it. This is a movie to hoot and holler for. You can't get that kind of experience at home. This is not a movie you nitpick for what makes a movie a movie, because "Crawl" only exists to please, that is all. 

Do you need anymore reason to see this?

FINAL GRADE: B-