Tuesday, August 9, 2016


A secret government agency recruits a group of imprisoned supervillains to execute dangerous black ops missions in exchange for clemency, which inevitably leads to chaos.

Starring: Will Smith, Jared Leto, and Margot Robbie

Directed and written by: David Ayer

  There’s a lot going on in the “Suicide Squad,” particularly in the beginning. First they have to introduce the audience to the group of bad guys that will eventually make up this squad. The audience gets to see them locked up, and how they got there. Some characters like Deadshot (Will Smith) and Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) get a decent introduction to their backstories. Batman (Ben Affleck) makes appearances in both of their intros, and with Harley comes a look at the Joker (Jared Leto). While it’s nice that they didn’t do extended looks for all the characters, some aren’t introduced sufficiently and are almost afterthoughts.

In the mist of the introductions, the plot for this movie is setting up. Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) makes her case to government officials that this group of villains can actually be usefully. She assigns a loyal soldier, Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) to be in charge of the keeping the squad in line. Part of her plan backfires, which creates an enemy that almost destroys them all. The problem here is that there’s an imbalance between the introductions, and the story set up. It’s like here are some bad guys, here’s a developing problem, now watch them magically fix it.

Speaking of magic, the true villain in this story is a witch named Enchantress (Cara Delevingne). She’s creepy looking, and very powerful especially after bringing in a close partner in crime. They create an army of weird looking creatures. Too bad they end up serving as nothing more than target practice for the squad. It’s really disappointing that they don’t do more than just prolong the squad from getting to Enchantress.

To no surprise the best action does come from this showdown with Enchantress. Through most of the movie, it’s clear that Deadshot, and Harley dominant this group. However, the Enchantress’ partner is almost unstoppable until one unexpected member of the squad steps up in a big way. The entire time the question has been whether or not the rest of the squad can put their differences aside, and make the most of their individual talents to take the witch down?

Overall, there are too many moving parts in the “Suicide Squad.” They have to get through intros while building the story at the same time. They have to create a new villain while tying in Batman, and the Joker. It almost seems like they should have gone the Avengers route, and introduced some of these characters before this movie, especially with all the Harley and Joker moments. It really needed to be a little more organized, some better action besides tearing up creatures, and even a good catch line or two would have been nice. Can’t complain about the music though so I give it 2 stars!


**Yes there is an extra scene midway through the credits

Sunday, August 7, 2016


 When three overworked and under-appreciated moms are pushed beyond their limits, they ditch their conventional responsibilities for a jolt of long overdue freedom, fun, and comedic self-indulgence.

Starring: Mila Kunis, Kathryn Hahn, and Kristen Bell

Directed and written by: Jon Lucas and Scott Moore

  “Bad Moms” is a comedy that might fly under the radar, but it’s definitely worth watching. Amy (Mila Kunis) is trying her hardest to be the best mom to her young daughter and son, even putting up with the crazy women who run her kids school PTA. She does everything for them while holding down a part time job, and gets little help from her husband. When things go wrong in her marriage, things start to go down hill, and the true ‘bad mom’ in her comes out.

 Amy quickly finds out that she isn’t the only struggling mom, as she befriends Carla (Kathryn Hahn) and Kiki (Kristen Bell). What’s great about Carla is how she’s portrayed similarly to the typical single guy who hits on any woman who crosses his path. She’s loud, speaks her mind to everyone, bullies people, and yes hits on everyone! Kiki is shy, slow at times, and is overly obedient to her husband. The funniest parts of the movie are when the three of them are together. One of best moments is when they get drunk, and decide to go grocery shopping.

 There’s another threesome in this movie who act like they are the complete opposite, but aren’t deep inside. Gwendolyn (Christina Applegate, Stacy (Jada Pinkett Smith), and Vicky (Annie Mumolo) rule the school with Gwendolyn serving as the President of the PTA. She strikes fear in all of the other moms, and even the school staff. She pushes Amy too far resulting in the two squaring off for the presidency. Lets just say it’s a lot of fun watching Amy try to win over the other moms house party style.

If your a mom, then it might be pretty easy to relate to “Bad Moms.” However, you don’t have to be a mom to like this movie. All of the women are hilarious in their own ways, and provide several memorable scenes. It’s always great to see women in ways you never imagine them to be like. Yes, there are a few emotional moments, but nothing that gets in the way of the humor. This is certainly a 3 star comedy in my book!


Wednesday, August 3, 2016


 The most dangerous former operative of the CIA is drawn out of hiding to uncover hidden truths about his past.

Starring: Matt Damon, Tommy Lee Jones, and Alicia Vikander

Directed by: Paul Greengrass

Written by: Paul Greengrass and Christopher Rouse

  In a summer movie season where sequels have struggled, “Jason Bourne” looks for the return of Matt Damon to revive the franchise. Jeremy Renner wasn’t bad in “The Bourne Legecy,” but this franchise really belongs to Matt. The movie starts off with Jason having no real purpose other than to torture himself over his past. Things quickly change when Nicky Parsons comes to find him, and gives him a piece of information about his past that he can’t ignore.

 This leads to an absolutely chaotic scene in the middle of a huge protest in Greece. Protesters are fighting with police all over the place, while Nicky and Jason have been spotted, and are trying to be taken down. There’s fighting, fires, and a crazy motorcycle chase that has a shocking conclusion. This chase reminds the audience why they love this franchise.

 However this love connection is short lived. From here there’s a lack of action, as Jason searches for clues about his past. At the same time, the CIA, with the help of a new agent, Heather Lee (Alicia Vikander), are trying to figure out how to stop Jason. They are also trying cover up another mess that CIA Director Robert Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones) has gotten them in. Everything really amounts to some fast moving scenes filled with very loud, and dramatic music.

 They make up for all the missing action in the middle with another amazing car chase in the final scene. Jason chases after an armored swat truck, as it absolutely destroys everything in its path. Of course this this leads to a predictable showdown between Jason and another asset. However this fight isn’t better than fights he’s had in previous films.

“Jason Bourne” amounts to plenty of loud music and dramatics, but not enough action. It’s good that Matt Damon returns to a role he excels at, but it would’ve been nice to see him in some more fights. A good opening and closing chase scene just isn’t enough for a Bourne movie. The overall story in between is interesting enough, but the will audience expect more. With that, I give this movie 2 stars.


Wednesday, July 27, 2016


The USS Enterprise crew explores the furthest reaches of uncharted space, where they encounter a new ruthless enemy who puts them and everything the Federation stands for to the test.

Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, and Karl Urban

Directed by: Justin Lin

Written by: Simon Pegg, and Doug Jung

  “Star Trek Beyond” definitely goes above and beyond. There are many things to like in the next chapter of this franchise, the first being the tribute and respect for the original crew. In particular, they go out of the way to salute the one and only Mr. Spock, Leonard Nimoy. Zachary Quinto does justice in role as Commander Spock, and uses his role to share the audience’s pain over the loss of Leonard. They top it off with a classic picture of the original cast.

In another sad note, the USS Enterprise gets absolutely demolished. On the bright side, it’s a truly awesome scene. This new enemy launches a very coordinated attack on the ship ripping it apart both inside and out. The crew scrambles in defense and survival, as Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) squares off with the leader of this new found enemy, Krall (Idris Elba).

The story seems kind of standard, as the crew gets attacked, separated, and struggles to find a way to defeat the enemy. However, there are a few subtle twists that make the difference. For one, there’s more than meets the eye in regards to Krall. He’s not just another alien out to destroy the Federation for no reason. Also, there’s a couple of songs played that the audience probably would never think would be played in a Star Trek movie.

In between some of the aforementioned emotional moments is a good mix of comedy and action. Bones (Karl Urban) and Spock have their usually back and forth, while Chekov (Anton Yelchin) has his spots following Kirk around. However the best pair might be Scotty (Simon Pegg) and his new friend Jaylah (Sofia Boutella). The action is non-stop, and the pace picks up after a slow opening. As expected, it ends with a very dramatic showdown between Kirk and Krall.

It wasn’t until after the credits started rolling that the biggest surprise happened, which was Simon Pegg’s name coming up as one of the writers. It’s hard to tell exactly how much he wrote, but that might explain why movie comes off as if it’s truly written by a Star Trek fan. From the tribute to Leonard, Bones and Spock’s interactions, and a cool time lapse scene at the end, it’s all things fans want to see. Add the great action, and acting from a terrific cast, and I give “Star Trek Beyond” 3.5 stars.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016


Tarzan, having acclimated to life in London, is called back to his former home in the jungle to investigate the activities at a mining encampment.

Starring: Alexander Skarsgard, Rory J. Saper, Christian Stevens, and Samuel L. Jackson

Directed by: David Yates

Written by: Adam Cozad, and Craig Brewer

  Many of us already know about “The Legend of Tarzan.” Tarzan’s parents are killed in the jungle leaving him to be raised by gorillas. While growing up, he develops relationships with all kinds of animals as he becomes one with the jungle. Then the day comes when he meets a woman named Jane (Margot Robbie). From here, it becomes the love story of Tarzan and Jane, which is more or less where this movie picks up.

 It’s almost refreshing that they pick up Tarzan’s story after both Jane and him have settled into a home in London. However, the movie repeatedly flashes back to his time in the jungle to cover the aforementioned backstory. Yes, it’s about the legend of Tarzan, but couldn’t they just move past it. The flashbacks completely slow down the movie, and are only really useful in the few newly introduced moments of his backstory.

 Being a huge fan of the T.V. series “True Blood,” it’s exciting to see Alexander Skarsgard land the lead role as Tarzan. Maybe not the typical look for Tarzan, but definitely someone who physically looks like he could survive in the jungle. What’s unfortunate is that his “True Blood” character is so much more lively, while this Tarzan is kind of boring. Tarzan is too serious for most of movie.

 They leave most of the comedy for Samuel L. Jackson, who plays the side kick type role as George Washington Williams. He certainly does a good job adding comedy to the film, but there are moments when it may make the audience wonder why Tarzan needs a side kick. Surprisingly, it isn’t Alexander or Samuel who stand out. It’s Christoph Waltz who plays the villain Leon Roam. He plays the role so smoothly that the audience can’t wait for Tarzan to get his hands on him.

Everything leads to this face off between Tarzan and Leon in the final scene. Before the two come face to face, Tarzan leads his friends, the many animals in the jungle, in an attack on Leon’s forces in a small town. The excitement builds as the animals rapidly approach the town, but the scene fizzles out too quickly. Much like the rest of “The Legend of Tarzan,” the action isn’t big enough, and the pace is constantly slowed down. Good casting is the true driver of this movie, even tough some might not have been needed while others could have done more. In the end, I give this movie 1.5 stars.