The Babysitter (2017)

Release Date: October 13, 2017

A fantastic comedic horror movie, once again showing how Netflix handily beats out the bigger movie companies.

POSSIBLE SPOILERS

The story is pretty straight forward, a boy just entering teen years who is picked on by bullies and who is afraid of everything.

Cole is surrounded by a lot of people including his parents who love him, but are distant. A close female friend that encourages and supports him. Then there is Bee, the babysitter who is attractive, smart and loves spending time with him. It is unfortunate that he is then surrounded by a satanic cult, and large tarantulas.

The movie is fast paced. Shortly after you learn to like Bee, you learn to hate her about as much as Cole accidentally learns that Bee leads a Satanic cult, intent on drinking blood, praying to Satan and killing Cole.

The Satanic Cult is priceless. I loved Max, the bad guy quarterback (played by Robbie Amell, first cousin of Stephen Amell who plays Arrow). John was also a great character, wanting sex, but screaming a lot when trouble happens. Unfortunately I wasn’t as impressed with the two other women in the cult, not because they were bad actresses but because of their roles.

I cannot express how much I loved Max being a murdering satanic cultist chasing Cole, who stops and shows Cole how to defend himself against bullies. I won’t say anymore, but that scene is the high point of the movie for me.

The movie is directed by McG, the same person that brought us Supernatural, and you can see his influence. The movie feels like something that could happen in the Supernatural world.

The good: Everything about this was good. I especially enjoyed the back and forth between Cole and Max.

The bad: That it was over in less than 90 minutes (actually that is probably good, they didn’t let it drag).

This just shows why I will almost always watch anything done by Netflix. Even with a few stinkers, Netflix usually supplies what I look for.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017)

Not as good as the first, but still very entertaining

Recreating the exact feeling of the original movie will never be possible. It was a new take on old things and that is what made it different. However, this movie was pretty darn good anyways.

There were new characters introduced, and while I personally wasn’t as enticed by the American brand of Kingsman, overdone cowboys with even worse names then the Kingsman. Even so I felt it was fairly funny. The storyline itself was similar to the first movie, but did have some interesting twists that included implying the horribleness of capitalism and a very pessimistic view of our government.

There was a sex scene I was uncomfortable with, but I don’t think it was rapey or as bad as others  have talked about. The other item I disliked happened at the beginning of the movie and involved two close friends of Eggsy. I don’t want to spoil things so I wont say anymore, but I was disappointed we didn’t get to see more about them in this movie.

While I said it isn’t the same height of fun as the first one, it was a good, solid, funny spy movie. Not in the same class as Atomic Blonde, but they weren’t trying for that anyways.

The good: Funny, great fight scenes and I am fond of the Eggsy/Merlin interaction.

The bad: The American stereotype was pretty basic, I wish they could have done more to either make the Statesmen from somewhere more traditionally Old West, or switch the character types out to something more Southern.

I am definitely in for future movies for this series.

It (2017)

Absolutely worth seeing.

I am a bit biased, I have always liked Stephen King’s books, and his movies. Yes, even the horrible ones. I do love the original tv series with Tim Curry, but Bill Skarsgard is just as good, but in a more horrific way.

POSSIBLE SPOILERS!

 

The first thing you have to know, this is only half the book. This is the kid portion of the story. They have already hired the writer and are starting the sequel which is supposed to be the adult story. They even ended the movie with a “chapter one” meaning they knew they were going to do it.

So let’s focus on the kids. They are all great, including the mouthy Finn from Stranger Things. The acting was great, the stories for each kid were interesting, and horrifying in their own ways (especially Henry and Beverly’s, yes even the bad kid Henry had an interesting and almost heart breaking childhood).

The effects were great, but they didn’t lean on them too much, a lot of darkness, a lot of charging attacks, but nothing so horribly CGI that it would jar. Although the greatest effect was Bill Skarsgard himself. The voices he could make, the looks he gave, especially the intensity, were the most horrifying thing in the movie.

The directing was great too. They cut the story down, made it lean by doing something I wasn’t sure about, only covering half the book. They also got rid of the group sex scene from the book, definitely made it less skeevy that way. All the decisions I saw made the movie better.

I rank it up there with Kubrick’s the Shining as one of my favorite King movies.

The good: Everything. The acting, directing and of course the source material.

The bad: I did feel like I was missing something, but that is because I have read the book and watched the mini-series and it felt strange to not have the adult half of the story. It was a good choice, and that bad is on me, but it was the one thing that made me hesitate.

GO SEE IT!

Dunkirk (2017)

Overhyped, and ultimately a disappointment.

It is great to see a World War II movie come out this year. It is even better that it isn’t American centric. I love my country, but we have made it this idea we won World War II by ourselves which isn’t the case.

The movie has some pretty spots, taking the story of three groups that intertwine. The first group about British Spitfires (fighter planes) trying to give some cover, and engaging with German air force. Resulting in Tom Hardy having the only interesting action in the movie.

The second story about a small civilian ship as part of the armada of civilians coming to rescue the trapped soldiers and the story that unfolds when they pick up a soldier from a sunk ship.

Finally the third story is about two soldiers trying to survive on the beach, and wait for the rescue coming from the civilian ships.

It was interesting that all three stories occurred over different period of time but ended together. The fighters story was within an hour, the ship within a few hours, and the soldiers within a couple of days. I think this could work in other movies, and I suspect this will spark a lot of copycats for that style. We will hate this just as much as other niche storytelling styles within a few years.

The problem is there is actually very little story. It is hard to see that because the story keeps jumping around, but when you step back the story itself lacks anything. I have seen documentaries on Dunkirk that had more story. I don’t know if there was never a full story, or if maybe the story got lost when Nolan was trying to break it up to fight the weird timing, but either way it is pretty barren.

I cared nothing about the soldiers at all, Nolan provided nothing for the audience to care about. Tom Hardy was interesting, but that was because of him, not because the story gave him anything. The only story I felt a little compelling was about the civilian ship, its crew of two teens and an older man and how they handle picking up a survivor. Even this story though was lacking on details and when you step back you wonder where the other half of the story went.

I will admit the possibility that the hype was so big that my expectations may be too high. I was told huge action sequences, and I didn’t see that. This isn’t Saving Private Ryan, or The Battle of Britain even. It was fairly boring for me, and I can really like slow movies. The movie has a short run time, but I was still looking at the clock before it was over.

The good: It is an interesting way to tell a story, and it is nice to see a non-American based World War II movie.

The bad: The pacing was slow, very little action or story, and very overhyped.

This is a movie I would recommend if you are a die hard World War II fan, but even then wait until it hits Netflix.

Atomic Blonde (2017)

So close to being great, but that said it is still a good movie.

POSSIBLE SPOILERS!

The good parts overall are the actors. Charlize Theron is great in it. I think she makes a great action star. I think it is far past the time that they put women in those same roles. She outdoes the last several James Bond movies. The supporting actors are great too, even Mcavoy, whom isn’t my favorite actor. The story itself is a good one. However, it is a lot more “spy” movie then John Wick type action movie the trailer lets people see. I was happy to see Sofia Boutella in the movie as well, I liked her playing the Mummy in the Mummy earlier this year and it is good to see that movie won’t be an albatross around her neck.

The action itself is good. It is gritty, dirty fighting. Ms. Theron is beaten, and in turn beats people back. I felt the slow exhaustion as a fight wears on seems about right. As the movie progressed her bruises didn’t go away, her aches didn’t stop and even makeup couldn’t cover it all up. Also, her and the use of keys is pretty awesome and gross at the same time.

It feels weird to see a “period piece” movie that involves the same year I graduated high school. I guess that just shows me how old I am getting. However, the period piece may be the problem a lot of people have. The setting was East and West Berlin in 1989, the Soviets and the Allies are in constant struggle in the shadows. The problem I see for others (I didn’t have it myself) is connecting with the time period, the wall, and just the overall ambience. Like I said, I liked it. I just suspect the period might not be everyone’s style.

The pacing however was the part I didn’t like. This could be once again because the trailer was cut in a way that this was a John Wick style fight movie, when it was paced differently. I couldn’t even say the pacing was good for the story it was trying to tell. There were times that the movie felt way too long and slow. That is the part of the movie I think dragged everything else down. Maybe the most recent spat of movies has made it harder for me to enjoy this, but I think it was probably just not pacing well for itself. It would have lulls in weird spots, then bits of action, then back to a slow period.

The good: The acting was great, finally time to see another kick ass female main character.

The bad: The pacing dragged everything else back. Reduced it for me from great, to merely good.

I would see a sequel, but hopefully they would learn from that pacing.

War for the Planet of the Apes (2017)

How do they make me get so many feels for CGI apes? How?

POSSIBLE SPOILERS!

I won’t go into a lot of details about the plot of the movie itself. I will say however that the trailers are misleading… as in a lot misleading. Don’t get me wrong, there is action, there is adventure, there is laughter and sadness. Yes that little girl is in the movie and she has an impactful role, but it isn’t what the trailer implies.

Woody Harrelson does awesome as the cray cray commander of the humans. The fact that he emotes so well with a CGI character just means he is as good as I remember him.

The movie itself I doubt will win any Oscars except maybe for effects, and probably not that with so many Marvel/Star Wars movies this year. However, it is good enough that I didn’t get dragged out of my suspension of belief. Also, this movie is a great way to wrap up the trilogy, and sets it up for future movies if they want.

Oh, and don’t mind the tears, the husband is cutting onions.

The good: Almost everything is good, especially if you watch it as what it is, a Planet of the Apes movie. Acting, effects, story, etc. It is a great journey into the world of the Apes, and I definitely could come back to it.

The bad: Seriously though, attack choppers don’t do strafing runs normally. They are quite capable of standing off in a distance and laying down death. Just saying that was my one annoyance (and probably one break from suspension of disbelief).

Spider-Man Homecoming (2017)

I was very surprised, I liked the movie quite a lot.

I have to say I expected this to totally suck. I am so tired of Spiderman reboots that I want to scream. I liked Sam Raimi’s Spider Man, I hated the reboot and this was seeming on a suck trajectory as well.

I am tired of origin stories, and I am tired of high school and this seemed to be both an origin/reboot and high school characters. I wasn’t even sure about going, but the husband wanted to see it so I agreed.

I am glad I agreed, and I can say I was wrong. I am still not keen on high school age. I have a hard time identifying with high school now that I am 3 times the age of the character. However, it was written very well. It did follow some tropes but it tended to write them in a way that kept it interesting. Even his teen angst at being kept back from doing real superhero work wasn’t overwhelming and just felt right.

It wasn’t a reboot origin story. I had assumed this would be the movie showing how Peter Parker got his powers and arrived at Captain America’s movie. I was wrong, this continued after the movie and didn’t bore you with flashbacks or callback to his origin. It was refreshing, I liked meeting MJ and his sidekick was pretty damn cool.

The biggest surprise that made it as good as it was, was casting Michael Keaton as a blue collar turned villain. It is the only blue collar bad guy that I have seen that felt right. Keaton is a great actor, the story was written well and I really liked what happened at the end. How he talked with Spiderman and how he dealt with his own family.

I definitely recommend the movie, and I will definitely be seeing the next one that comes down the road.

The good: Michael Keaton, the lack of an origin story on film, and just the acting and writing overall.

The bad: Teenagers, I like it, but I would like it better if they were all adults.