Here we go again, rebooting an old movie series for a new audience, and this time it's Bruce Willis in the old Charles Bronson series, Death Wish. The original from 1974 has been updated for a more modern feel, but the basic premise is still in tact.
Dr. Kersey (Willis) is a surgeon and his wife is killed, and young daughter is brutally attacked in a home invasion. And the good Dr. decides on a life of vigilantism. This is based on a very successful book from 1972, that actually refutes being a vigilante, as where the original and this, embrace it. This movie is not totally tone deaf to violence. This has many scenes where gun laws and our culture are put on wide display. It does make its feelings known on its stance on gun laws, and accessibility to getting potentially dangerous information. This also takes on directly the current violence problems in Chicago.
This is very violent, and very graphic at times. But in the end, what this is, is a dad protecting his family much like the original. This will find a following, and this is set up for more. But is this good movie making? Well, not really but the basic story and premise are timeless and so there is always room in the early spring for a movie like this. Better than some, worse than others.
Death Wish. Again, driving down memory lane.
I understand that is almost a crime in today's movie going world to not rave about a Jennifer Lawrence flick, but I can't here yet again. This new political thriller is not a total wash, but is riddled with problems and overall comes up very short.
First of all, could this be any longer? And any more belabored than it is? This anti-Russian Intel / anti-CIA flick takes far too long to make its point. Sparrows, are Russian women who are secretly trained in very sexual and specialized areas to root out foreign spy's, and diplomats, and Lawrence plays one of them. But, what this does is make you wait for something to actually happen that matters. Yes, there are compelling moments here, but overall this is drawn out to the extreme.
Also, there is a certain level of predictability that makes this all the more cliche'. This has a nice supporting cast with Joel Edgerton and Jeremy Irons, but they seem under utilized and trivial in the end. This is Lawences flick, and being fair, she holds up her end of the bargain for the most part. But some bad writing editing spoil the party. This is also very brutal at times with torture and moments of general tastelessness that will be tough for some.
Red Sparrow. Not so good.
This heavily anticipated thriller is finally out and is going to have nice opening weekend. Natalie Portman chooses fine projects and even though this has a name that may make it sound like a B- grade action flick, it is not.
This is the story of an entity that has shown up on Earth somehow and is altering everything in its path. A group of all female experts enter this thing called, "The Shimmer" to find out its origins, and to see it it can be stopped. Many groups have entered and not returned, so this group seems to be one of the last hopes to see if this can be contained.
This is written well, and this is a story that is totally original. But this is a bit long, meaning when you think this may be over, it's not. There is far too much after the movies big climax. But being fair, it is not a deal breaker. This is a good, solid movie that has a story to tell, and tells it well. Don't be fooled by its aggressive title, this is not a cheap action, sci-fi flick.
Annihilation. Very good.
OK, occasionally a comedy comes out that has the right idea. Or ANY idea in today's Hollywood is a nice change, and this is pretty funny. This little 80 plus minute comedy really had the audience laughing with it's original premise and really good casting.
Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams are Max and Annie, a married couple who are huge "game night" players with their group of friends. And in their never ending quest to take their board and classic game night playing the next level, somehow find themselves in a situation they think is a live action game, that is actually a very real, dangerous situation. And it takes them a while to figure that out. Their naivete at first is very funny, then their discovery of reality is even funnier.
The script is very original, and the decisions to not let this become raunchy are really good, when most modern comedies do. This has a line and stands behind it. McAdams is really funny as the very fun and affable Annie, and many times steals the show. Bateman and the very well cast supporting actors are a fine compliment. Great use of music and also the willingness to lampoon their generation is very funny. Plus, ending this short was a very good decision. It said everything it had to say, and it was time to go home on a high note
Game Night. Funny, and clearly set up to be a franchise.
Lots of anticipation on the first huge superhero movie of the year. This is expected to take in about 180 million this weekend, and it just might. Up front, this is a comic book movie like you've not seen. This deal exclusively on the origins of what will be a series of the character, Black Panther.
This is wonderfully written, and the special effects will be very impressive to those who are taken with that type of thing. But you must be prepared to not see him save the world, or mankind. Very little of this takes place in a city, or metropolitan area. There really is no villain, such as we are used to. But imagination here is high, as is creativity. The scenes you see in trailers, are the exceptions, and not the rule.
But this will be very popular for many reasons, and among them is we've been waiting for a blockbuster to go to, and the look of this movie is very good. This is available to you in various formats, 3D, IMAX, IMAX 3D and regular showings, so check the one carefully you want to see.
Back Panther. Very original.