Friday, December 21, 2018

Aquaman (2018)

Rated: PG-13 - Runtime: 143 min
tesg's Rating: Four stars (out of four)

This obviously won't be a four-star movie for everyone, but I was suckered in from the word go.  It's got the love story, it's got the humor, it's got the predictable plot twist (which, despite the fact I guessed was coming, still practically made me shout out "YES! YES!  HOLY SHIT YES!" when it came), it's got the cheesy internal battle for control of an ancient fantasy world, it's got the fight scenes, and it's got the epic battle, and they're all some of the best in the superhero genre.  The fight scenes are shot single camera video game-style with the visuals circling and hovering above the action in a way that can't possibly be real.  And the battle scenes aren't blurry incomprehensible messes.  They ACTUALLY MAKE SENSE as you watch them.  It's like the biggest budget Roger Corman movie ever.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

The Mule (2018)

Rated: R - Runtime: 116 min
tesg's Rating: Three stars (out of four)

This is apparently based on a true story of a 90 year-old drug mule who got away with some significant runs based on the fact that nobody would suspect him. It plays at a slow, low-key pace that kind of aligns with the primary character. I've seen some reviews complaining about that, particularly in regards to the parts Lawrence Fishburne and Bradley Cooper play as DEA agents, but as someone who spent 20 years working closely with DEA and other agencies, I can attest this is pretty much how they operate.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

Rated: PG- Runtime: 117 min
tesg's Rating: Two and one half stars (out of four)

Peter Parker has been Spider-Man for around ten years now. He's the only Spider-Man. That is, until Miles gets bitten by a radioactive spider and Kingpin builds a supercollider that...inadvertently?...brings in a bunch of other Spider-people (and one Spider-pig) from parallel universes. Basically, they stole the idea of the Multiverse from the CW Arrowverse and not only made a movie, they released it the same freaking week the Arrowverse had its annual crossover shows revolving around a plot that relied heavily on the Multiverse.

The animation sometimes has a very computer look to it, sometimes a very comic book look to it. It's too long and not as fun as it should have fact, I'd go as far as to say it's darker than any of the live-action Spider-Man films...but I wouldn't call it a bad movie either. I suspect comic book fans will be way more into this than movie fans.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018)

Rated: PG - Runtime: 112 min
tesg's Rating: Three stars (out of four)

Remember the first movie, Wreck-It Ralph?  Wouldn't it make more sense for the sequel to be called Ralph Wrecks the Internet?  WELL WOULDN'T IT?  HOW FREAKING HARD WOULD THAT HAVE BEEN.

I found this a far more entertaining watch than the first one.  The depiction of pop-up ads and clickview sites as street panhandlers is dead on.  There are cameos galore from the Disney, Marvel, and Star Wars universes, but the scene that really elevates the movie is the Disney princesses scene.  That alone is worth the price of admission.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

BumbleBee (2018)

Rated: PG-13 - Runtime: 119 min
tesg's Rating: Two and one half stars (out of four)

You remember the low budget action flicks of the eighties where high stakes  things happened and kids inexplicably broke into military installations and saved the day?  This is EXACTLY one of those.  Maybe not even as well done.  It couldn't hold a candle to "Wargames".  It's not even on the level of Michael Bay's first Transformers movie.

But the kids...the little kids...ate this up.  They LOVED it.  Teens?  I don't think so.  Adults? can make a drinking game out of spotting the wide open plot holes.  You'll be so smashed by the end you'll need a cab to get home.

Green Book (2018)

Rated: PG-13 - Runtime: 130 min
tesg's Rating: Three stars (out of four)

If you're expecting a high tension race drama political piece, forget it.  While it has its moments, it's actually more of a comedy budding bromance.  Lots of laughs and way more fun than you're expecting.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Widows (2018)

Rated: R - Runtime: 128 min
tesg's Rating: Three stars (out of four)

This is the darkest Ocean's 11 sequel ever.  It's not really, of course.  It has nothing to do with that franchise, but it uses that template.  It's far better written and far less fun than any of those movies.  Most characters are desperate, nasty and relentless.  This is a tale of survival of the fittest more than anything, and it's really well done.

Where it weakens is the ending.  Without spoiling that, I don't see how the direction they go could be plausible.