Monday, July 17, 2017


Peter Parker, with the help of his mentor Tony Stark, tries to balance his life as an ordinary high school student in New York City while fighting crime as his superhero alter ego Spider-Man when a new threat emerges.

Starring: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, and Robert Downey Jr

Directed by: Jon Watts

Written by: Jonathan Goldstein, John Francis Daley, Jon Watts, Christopher Ford, Chris McKenna, and Erik Sommers

  With D.C. Comics needing a hit and getting it with “Wonder Woman,” it’s Marvel’s turn to see if they could continue their run of solid superhero movies. Spider-Man is a pretty big superhero to tackle, especially with the run of recent Spider-Man movies. Those movies might have made some tired of Spider-Man by now. So the challenge is to bring something new and refreshing to the table, and it looks like they did in “Spider-Man: Homecoming.”

  One refreshing thing is that they assume everyone already knows the story of how Peter (Tom Holland) becomes Spider-Man. At this point, it’s hard to believe audiences wanted to see that again. Instead, most of the backstory is covered in a quick, funny conversation with his best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon). As for his aunt May (Marisa Tomei), there’s mentions of the tough time she’s had, but there’s never any conversation about what happened. The best backstory given is at the start of the movie showing how Spider-Man found his way into the battle in “Captain America: Civil War.” Those few moments were a whole lot better than any retelling of Peter’s story would have been.

  What’s also refreshing is seeing Peter really just be a kid, even when learning how to be Spider-Man. In some of the previous films, Peter was just too serious, and acted more like an adult at times then the kid he’s supposed to be. It also adds a lot of humor like when he’s doing some basic crime fighting. It’s funny watching him stop someone from stealing a bike or car, and not really know if a crime is being committed. All of this is done because of a pretty good performance from Tom Holland. He definitely is nails acting younger than he is.

  It’s even nice seeing the villain, Adrian Toomes aka Vulture (Michael Keaton), not going over the top as a bad guy. He’s really just the average guy looking to make a good living, and support his family. He’s relatable to many in the audience, and they can almost root for him. Once Spider-Man gets on his tail, he gets a little out of control, but again for the right reasons.

  It turns out seeing Spider-Man back in theaters is a good thing. The franchise needed a new start, and it got one. It brought Spider-Man back to the beginning, but without the backstory fans have seen plenty of. Seeing Spider-Man truly be the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man actually turns out to be a good thing, which works out perfectly with a more low key villain. Throw in some humor, well timed appearances by Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), a twist, and of course some good action, and you get another solid Marvel movie. With that, I give “Spider-Man: Homecoming” 3.5 stars.

 *There are two after credit scenes*

Tuesday, July 11, 2017


Autobots and Decepticons are at war, with humans on the sidelines. 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.

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Anthony Hopkins, Laura Haddock, and Josh Duhamel

Directed by: Michael Bay

Written by: Art Marcum, Matt Holloway, Ken Nolan, and Akiva Goldsman

  For those who grew up watching Transformers they might have mixed feeling about the franchise at this point. It’s awesome to see them transform on the big screen, and even better when they’re fighting each other. However, there always seems to be something to complain about. As for “Transformers: The Last Knight,” there’s no shortage of complaints!

  The first thing to complain about is where in the hell is Optimus? There’s a short scene of him when he meets Quintessa, and is put under her command. Then a great deal of the movie goes by before he appears again. He supposedly has turned bad, but that lasts for two seconds, which makes it almost pointless. When the final battle begins he’s nowhere to be found again, and no one can give a good explanation to why he’s gone missing. He does pull off an awesome move when he eventually returns again, but it doesn’t make up for his lack of film time.

  As for the other Transformers, there seems to be so many of them this time, yet not as many great fight scenes between them. While there’s a shortage of Optimus, at least Megatron gets some action. There’s a strange introduction of the Suicide Squad of Decepticons, who unfortunately don’t last long in an early fight. The Dinobots finally make an appearance, which is fun while it lasts. As for other Autobots, there are some familiar faces, but mostly just the same annoying ones. Really, it’s Bumblebee’s show from beginning to end.

  Which brings us to the overcomplicated story this time around. The audience gets a little history lesson, as they discover Transformers have been on this planet going way back in time. They even have an effect in the days of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round table. In present time, Cade (Mark Wahlberg) is still helping the Autobots, and becomes too much of the focus. In other words, he’s not a good replacement for Optimus! Of course he has to have a so called love interest, who is Vivian (Laura Haddock), and too much time is spent on why they play an important role in the fate of the planet. 

  Even with all the complaints, I’m still a sucker for Transformers. However, when they make the next film, they need to try a different formula. Many of these complaints can be said in the previous films as well. Try telling a simpler story, give screen time to Transformers that actually matter, less focus on the military please, and for crying out loud have Optimus in it for more than five minutes. With that said, sadly I generously give “Transformers: The Last Night” 2 stars.


*There is an after credits scene*

Wednesday, June 28, 2017


Gru meets his long-lost charming, cheerful, and more successful twin brother Dru who wants to team up with him for one last criminal heist. 

Starring: Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, and Trey Parker

Directed by: Eric Guillon, Kyle Balda, and Pierre Coffin

Written by: Cinco Paul, and Ken Daurio

  When “Despicable Me” hit theaters in 2010, Gru (Steve Carell) started out as one of the world’s best villains. It turned out that only the love for three little girls could change his evil ways. Now in “Despicable Me 3,” he finds himself working for the good guys, and trying to stop evil villains like his former self. However, after some hard times, he’s tempted to go back to a life of crime by an unexpected person.

   The movie opens with the introduction of Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker), and his mission to steal a giant diamond. Bratt is a former 80’s T.V. star turned evil villain because he can’t get over his show being cancelled. Only in an animated film could a villain like this exist. He wears a terrible 80’s purple outfit, and uses bubble gum as a go to weapon of choice. The only thing truly good about him is the 80’s music that plays when he has dance offs with Gru.

  When Gru fails to capture Bratt, he’s fired, but is more concerned with how the girls will take the news. Before the girls get too worked up by it, Gru finds out he has a brother and is invited to visit him. The family makes a trip to meet Dru, who is a much more successful version of Gru but just as awkward. To Gru’s surprise, Dru want him to return to the family roots, and be a villain again. What makes the brothers entertaining enough is that Dru knows nothing about being a good villain, and Gru has to carry them on their mission to steal back the diamond.

  Unfortunately, the minions play a minor role this time around. Yes, Gru is where this franchise started, but they add so much more to the comedic value of the films. Early on, most of the minions want Gru to return to his evil ways, but he refuses. This leads the minions to walk out on him, and get into some trouble of their own. As expected, the minions go on a pointless journey that just leads them back to Gru. Probably their best moment is when they’re in jail.

  “Despicable Me 3” will entertain the young audience it’s intended for. If the audience can’t get enough of Gru, they certainly will with the addition of Dru. The girls are still cute, and cause a little trouble of their own. The action is just enough, including a fun ending scene. Bratt will make kids laugh, and some of us older people dance in our seats. However there’s nothing that makes this more than just another sequel, which is short on minion action. With that, I give it 2.5 stars.


Thursday, June 22, 2017


Captain Jack Sparrow searches for the trident of Poseidon while being pursed by an undead sea captain and his crew.

Starring: Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, and Javier Bardem

Directed by: Joachim Ronning, and Espen Sandberg

Written by: Jeff Nathanson, and Terry Rossio

  Yo ho, yo ho, a pirates life for me… again and again! Sorry, while some are tired of the pirate movies, I say keep them coming. Maybe it’s just the Disney fan in me, but I say if I can continue to ride the ride, I can watch another movie. So keep your hands and feet inside the boat, and lets get this review sailing!

  The story opens with a young Henry Turner (Brenton Thwaites), vowing to his father, Will Turner (Orlando Bloom), that he would find a way to free his father from his curse. Years pass and Henry is searching for the notorious pirate, Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp). What an entrance for Jack, as he and his few remaining crew members are prepared to steal a safe. Just think about the scene in one of the Fast and Furious movies when they drag a vault through the streets. However the pirates take the whole bank for a wild ride with Jack jumping on and off of it until there’s nothing left but the safe. 

  After Jack is left with nothing to show for this, and gets some help from the young Turner, they turn their focus to finding the trident of Poseidon with the help of Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario). Of course this wouldn't be a pirate adventure if Jack wasn’t being chased by other pirates. This time he’s being chased by an old foe, Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), and a new one, Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem). The audience knows all about Barbossa, but Salazar is an interesting pirate because he’s basically a zombie. His crew and himself wreck havoc on any other ships that get in their way. Salazar has a long standing score to settle with Jack, but has one weakness that keeps Jack alive.

  One of the biggest reasons I enjoy this franchise is because of the pirate himself, Jack Sparrow. I believe Johnny Depp was born to play this role, and has done a terrific job in every movie. Jack is such a funny character filled with so much dumb luck. At one point he’s bouncing around in between two ships with dangers coming from every direction. Anyone else would be done for, but he lands in the perfect spot each time. Yes, he’s the hero and can’t die, but just the way things happen for him is so crazy. Being drunk half the time and having so many enemies, you would think he would’ve walked the plank a long time ago.

  Overall, if audiences liked the previous movies, then they should like this one as well. There’s wild adventures on land like the safe stealing scene, and on the sea like the scene with some awesome zombie sharks. There’s plenty of familiar faces up to their old tricks, and the audience knows you can never trust the intentions of pirates. Young Turner and Carina become nice additions to the story, and of course it’s great to see Jack stumble his way around. With that, I give “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” 3 stars!


*There is an after credits scene*

Tuesday, June 20, 2017


Before she was Wonder Woman she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained warrior. When a pilot crashes and tells of conflict in the outside world, she leaves home to fight a war to end all wars, discovering her full power and true destiny.

Starring: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, and Robin Wright

Directed by: Patty Jenkins

Written by: Allan Heinberg, Zack Snyder, and Jason Fuchs

  When it comes to DC vs. Marvel movies, it’s safe to say it hasn’t been a fair fight so far. Overall, the Marvel movies have just been better. While “Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice” didn’t do enough to change that view, there’s plenty of hope that “Wonder Woman” can. So did “Wonder Woman” live up to the hype?

  In typical first time super hero movie fashion, the audience has to be introduced to how the character came to be a hero. So most of the movie is a flashback, starting when Diana (Gal Gadot) is a little girl being raised by Amazon women. She has an urge to fight, and eventually finds out that she has something special in her. After saving a pilot, Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), who crashes lands in the water, she gets a chance to fight for real against the Nazis that shot down the pilot. Without a doubt, Diana and the Amazons taking on the Nazis on the beach is one of the best parts of the movie. The way they go on the attack is awesome, and leaves the audience wanting more.

  Unfortunately, that’s it for the Amazons, as Diana soon leaves the island with Steve. She wants to help Steve end the war, but for her own reasons. There are some funny moments when she gets a taste of the real world, including ditching her sword and shield for some new clothing. She actually has several awkward moments as she tries to fit into a strange new world for her. Besides for the humor, it’s nice to see this because it reminds the audience of her true human side.

  She also has an emotional side that brings out the hero in her like when she decides to run right into a battlefield. It’s really cool watching her fight off the bullets, and eventually go on a tear through the enemy. It might seem a little extreme but that’s why they call her Wonder Woman. Of course she has to meet up with her ultimate villain in the end, and again she goes to the extreme to win this fight.

  So there's nothing left to wonder about because “Wonder Woman” does live up to the hype, and finally puts DC on the map. Even though the movie is almost entirely a flashback, it’s good to see what makes Wonder Woman a true superhero. She’s born to fight, and shows it in some awesome scenes with her Amazon family. After adjusting to a new world, she brings the fight against the Nazis before facing her ultimate foe. Overall it’s a good mix of emotion, light humor, and superhero action. Most of all, it proves audiences can handle a woman superhero, and others deserve to come forward! With that, I give this movie 4 stars!