Archive for 4 Star Rating

Atlas Entertainment, Cruel & Unusual Films, DC Entertainment,

Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Danny Huston, David Thewlis, Connie Nielsen, Elena Anaya, Saïd Taghmaoui, Ewen Bremner, Lucy Davis

Introducing Diana Prince, daughter of the queen of the Amazon, we see Diana (Gal Gadot) as a little girl, growing up on an island of powerful women hidden from the world. But it’s clear she’s a special girl, destined to be a fighter with powers that she doesn’t even understand. But it’s clear she has a history that is amazing and is going to be become a superhero for sure. Distraught by the horrors of War, Diana heads out to help thwart the Germans from developing a most horrible chemical weapon that will allow them to rule the world, but it’s not going to be easy as only she understands who the real enemy is, and only she has a chance to stop him.

This is not the Wonder Woman we watched on TV each week as kids. The Diana Prince in a suit working for the government. But that’s okay, as a whole new generation of people need to meet Wonder Woman in order to bring her into the future Justice League films which will probably be an awesome thing to see. They need to meet the original Wonder Woman before she was domesticated and this movie does the trick. I have a couple minor complaints with the film, but I did see it in 3D and I really enjoyed the movie. The story is fun, and the fight scenes are awesome, with some really great chases and explosions all over the place. Suspense level if very high, and though it feels really long, almost 2 1/2 hours, it was quite entertaining. It’s just the they went a bit overboard on the CGI. It was so very fake looking and I felt it took away from the experience a bit. I think I enjoyed movies a bit more back when the CGI wasn’t so all in your face. I feel sorry for the actors spending weeks and weeks in front of a green screen. How boring it must have been to react to all the imaginary stuff that didn’t exist yet. All in all though, Gal Gadot did an excellent job, and was brilliant as Wonder Woman and she really pulled it off. Chris Pine backed her up really well, and the evil “take over the world” plot of the Germans was believable. The final battle was a bit anti-climactic, as if all the planning went into the CGI and they really didn’t know how to end it, but all in all it was a good film, and well worth the ticket prices.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Paramount Pictures, Flynn Picture Company, Fremantle Productions,

Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, Priyanka Chopra, Alexandra Daddario, Kelly Rohrbach, Jon Bass, Ilfenesh Hadera, Hannibal Buress, Rob Huebel, Pamela Anderson, Belinda, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jack Kesy, Amin Joseph, Charlotte McKinney

Mitch Buchannan (Dwayne Johnson) is the leader of the Baywatch team of lifeguards on the Bay. It’s Spring and time to tryout a bunch of new folks for the Summer, but screw-up double Gold Medal Olympic swimmer Matt Brody has been assigned to perform his public service as a lifeguard on the beach. Immediately he and Mitch are at odds with each other. But the main thing on Mitch’s mind is to solve the crime syndicate that has moved in and is taking over the entire bay. Fighting the local police and the corrupt city officials, Mitch and the team can’t help but trying to figure it all out despite all the messes they make.

Hollywood has had a very hard time trying to turn amazingly popular TV series into a feature film. This is another one that is going to have a tremendous uphill battle trying to gain any traction in the theater, and may end up being mostly a rental flick at that. But that’s because it has really hard competition to fight to gain a shot at some attendance. Let it be said that on Saturday Night here in the Los Angeles area, the theater was full except for a couple seats on the very front row. But Baywatch may be more popular here in it’s original stomping grounds. Nationally it seems to have struggled, but it might pick up as word goes out that it’s not nearly as bad as all of us thought it would be. I admit I assumed this was going to be awful, but surprisingly (at least to me) it wasn’t that bad. It’s childish humor, with it’s raunchy jokes and such, but it had a half way decent story line, good supporting cast, and some really funny situations. It was simply fun to watch. The challenges to win a place on the squad were reminiscent of classic summer movies like Meatballs, and other summer camp movies like that. The mystery was rather bland and easy to predict, but the chase scene was very well done, and a lot of fun. I really had a good time watching this, and for once came out of the theater wish a smile and a clear mind, all problems put away for a little bit. For the sheer entertainment, I would recommend this as a change of pace for all the superhero movies of the summer.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 


 

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Legendary East, Atlas Entertainment, China Film Group,

Matt Damon, Tian Jing, Pedro Pascal, Willem Dafoe, Andy Lau, Hanyu Zhang, Eddie Peng, Lu Han, Gengxin Lin, Kai Zheng, Xuan Huang

William (Matt Demon) is a European mercenary who will fight for whomever offers the most money. He’s on a mission, with some of his men, to find out the truth about the black powder that those in China supposedly have to protect The Great Wall from the Mongols. So they show up just as they Chinese under their commander, Lin Mae (Tian Jing) is about to go into a major battle. They are captured and put into the dungeon, but it turns out the battle is a lot more sinister than the Mongols invading. The Chinese have been hiding that they are actually defending their country from some nasty alien creatures who, if they overtake and conquer the soldiers, will spread over to the whole world. William decides to join the Chinese to fight, and uses his skills to help Lin Mae to destroy the Queen and hopefully win the battle.

This is a very intense action film with great action sequences. It’s an odd story. Some years ago I picked up a science fiction paperback from the 99 cent store and found it to be the story of a modern day man who had the unfortunate incident where he passed through a portal to an iron age, medieval like kingdom in need of a leader, but there was also a pathway to a futuristic society. When I finished the book, I found out it was a trilogy, and I searched a bookstore and found the second novel with ease. When it came time to read the third book in the trilogy though, I was hooked on the story, but quickly found that Tor Books, the publisher had discontinued the book which was out of print, and not available anywhere. I was devastated until my oldest son found a copy in a rare book shop and he bought it for me. That unusual story of three different realities, past, present, and future, reminded me a lot of this film. What appears to be a very decent period piece of life centuries and centuries ago, immediately turns into a futuristic science fiction movie and it blew my mind. The special effects, particularly the alien creatures themselves, are quite impressive, and the battle scenes defending the wall are quite entertaining. The action is fierce and vicious, and it’s certainly very lifelike. I didn’t expect a lot out of this movie, but I was very pleasantly surprised at how really good it was. I thoroughly enjoyed the film, and though the theaters had this one in and out in the blink of an eye, for a DVD rental (if anyone still does that anymore) or a streaming evening, it’s very well suited. If the you like Lords and Ladies, Asian customs, and outer space bugs, this one has it all. I promise an interesting evening.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Walt Disney Pictures, Jerry Bruckheimer Films, Infinitum Nihil,

Johnny Depp, Javier Bardem, Geoffrey Rush, Brenton Thwaites, Kaya Scodelario, Kevin McNally, Orlando Bloom, Stephen Graham, Martin Klebba, Golshifteh Farahani, David Wenham, Paul McCartney

Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) is back in the 5th installment of the most successful franchise based on a Disneyland Attraction of the lot. Captain Jack has been marooned on the land, and is taking up time drinking, fooling around, and the occasional theft, like this one where he’s robbing a bank. Jack seems very unhappy, but those that are looking for him have not given up hope. Rumor is that he’s dead, but not only the English Navy is looking to capture him, but the Ghost Ship full of dead pirates lead by Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem) is out to put an end Jack and his crew and to break the curse on them. And of course Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) would like to kill Jack as well. But there is a new twist. Henry Turner (Brenton Thwaites) son of Will Turner (Orlando Bloom)and his wife (from the very first movie) is out to fulfill his Dad’s dream by capturing a hidden object that can break ALL the curses. Of course only Jack Sparrow is able to find it, but he and a young lady named Carina (Kaya Scodelario), who has a rather famous parent herself, are leading the pack to find Jack to find the object if none (or all) of the others don’t find him first.

It is amazing that a fifth movie in the franchise movie has just been released. Time has flown by so fast since we set out on this journey. This movie relates back to the original film, and as such, it is a lot better, in my opinion, than some of the other sequels. The story is really simple, but the effects are getting better and better as each film develops. Technology is pretty advanced today, and they have learned to bring the CGI in, but it a way that is not obtrusive, without ruining the effort. It’s hardly noticeable most of the time, until you realize you are looking at a ghost shark that is nothing but a skeleton, or a sunken ship that somehow rises and floats along without much structure at all, mostly holes. The action is exciting and practically non-stop, but the story is solid enough to keep our interest in what is going on. I was very impressed with this movie, and I was glad I saw it on opening day on a BIG screen in a reclining chair with a huge bucket of popcorn with my Diet Coke. The sound was awesome, and the 2+ hours flew by so fast I forgot to get bored. I highly recommend this film as probably the biggest film of the summer and a great way to spend the holiday weekend. Be sure to see this film in the theater. It’s worth every penny!

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Black Label Media, Gilbert Films, Impostor Pictures,

Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, John Legend, Rosemarie DeWitt, J.K. Simmons, Finn Wittrock, Meagen Fay, Callie Hernandez, Sonoya Mizuno, Jessica Rothe, Tom Everett, Josh Pence

Mia (Emma Stone) is a wannabe Hollywood actress, but stuck working as a barista in the studio commissary. She is frustrated, but full of ambition. Meanwhile, she keeps running into jazz pianist Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) and tempers flare until sparks begin to fly. But each is filled with ambition and drive, and their paths are certainly separate from each other, so they have to face many difficult choices along their way for a relationship that seems to be doomed from the beginning. This is certainly a musical, but it’s filled with nostalgia for Hollywood yesterday, and old fashioned falling in love.

This film will ever be remembered as the film that Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway announced as the Best Picture winner at the Oscars in 2017 when it actually lost. This was a classic screw-up of massive proportions. But was this film the Best Picture, really? La La Land is a paradox of ups and downs, goods and bads. On the good side, Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling were absolutely great in their roles. They nailed the style and motif of the film perfectly. They both pulled off some really amazing skills that blew everyone away. For example, the plan was to use a pianist to play the piano with Ryan only pretending to do it. But he took lessons constantly that allowed him to play the music himself and perform the songs effortlessly. Even John Legend was impressed. Emma has a huge audition scene which she also performed herself, flipping between acting and singing without any the usual prerecorded track. The cast was very impressed. The cinematography is very well done. The look and feel of Hollywood is colorful and beautiful and show many of the sites and locations that mean so much to those of us who live here in LA. The story is very nostalgic, but that’s what we are really looking for. It pays homage to the Hollywood of yore and does it very well. It’s a simple boy-meets-girl, boy-loses-girl story, told with music. Now for the bads. The music is highly forgettable. When was the last time you heard a huge hit song from the new musical LA LA Land on the radio? It’s really simplistic and seems to mostly just fill in time. That part could have been done very much better. The story is rather simplistic. The drama seems really contrived and not really very believable. But the negatives don’t really destroy the experience, and it was very popular with the Foreign Press! For those who have had the acting or musician bug, it’s right up your alley, but not everyone is going to love this. I did not think it was best picture by any means, but it is good enough for a high recommendation. It is a great opportunity, like watching and old movie on AMC, to kick off your shoes, lie back, and enjoy a couple hours of pure unadulterated nostalgia. Finally a word about the ending. This may catch some folks by surprise, but there is an epilogue to the film that is a performance art sort of piece showing the “what ifs” of what life could have been. This film is about wishes and dreams, more than about love and romance, and it’s an interesting way to send us off think about that. The final ending is stunning. Wait for it.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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