REVIEW: ‘Ready or Not’ is a fun way to end summer 2019

Before this movie whenever I heard the phrase “Ready or Not” I thought of the Fugees song. Now, I might think of a very bloody wedding reception.

“Ready or Not” follows the character Grace, played by Samara Weaving, on her wedding day. While nerves are nothing new for a person on their wedding day, Grace is having a bit more anxiety than usual because she happens to be marrying into a massively wealthy family.

She’s calmed down a bit, though, by her fiance Alex (Mark O’Brien) and her new family, who provide pleasantries and reassurance. That is until it comes time for the family tradition of having a game at midnight. The family decides to play a game of Hide and Seek, with Grace being the person to hide. At first Grace just thinks it’s a silly quirk, until it turns out the family is actually hunting her as part of a sacrificial ritual. As a result, Grace’s wedding night turns into a fight for survival.

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REVIEW: ‘Meters Down’ sequel doesn’t rise too much in quality

Young characters do something they shouldn’t and end up having to deal with a force of nature. Pretty straightforward stuff for a shark movie.

Going into a little more detail here, “47 Meters Down: Uncaged” is a sequel to 2017’s “47 Meters Down,” which I didn’t see. Despite not being brushed up on my “47 Meters” lore, though, this one is pretty easy to dive right into.

The movie follows four teenage girls, with the main characters being step-sisters Mia (Sophie Nelisse) and Sasha (Corinne Foxx). Their father is a diving explorer who is researching an ancient underwater city.

On one afternoon, the two girls and their friends decide to check the location out for themselves, but in doing so, they come across a shark that’s evolved to live, and hunt, in the dark. As a result, the four now have to try and survive with limited oxygen in a what’s basically an underwater maze.

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REVIEW: ‘Blinded by the Light’ is blinded by cliches

Bruce Springsteen’s music works well in movies, as shown in “Jerry Maguire” and “The Wrestler.” But if just one Springsteen song in a movie isn’t enough for a person, they may find the jackpot in “Blinded by the Light.”

Set in late 80s Britain during the time of Margaret Thatcher’s leadership, “Blinded by the Light” follows the story of teenage student Javed Khan (Viveik Kalra) under a lot of stress. In the midst of a recession, his parents Malik (Kulvinder Ghir) and Noor (Meera Ganatra) who immigrated from Pakistan are struggling to make ends meet.

In the face of financial hardships, signs of racism and pure teenage angst, Javed searches for some escapism. He ends up finding it in the music of Bruce Springsteen. After hearing a few tapes, he becomes hooked and turns into a mega-fan, with the music even inspiring him to become a writer. However, his new style and swagger runs into conflict with the ways of his father.

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REVIEW: ‘Bernadette’s’ mystery isn’t worth checking out

Director Richard Linklater is a great talent in the film industry. The “Before Sunrise” trilogy, “Boyhood,” 2011’s “Bernie” and even 2017’s “Last Flag Flying,” have all been solid entries to his filmography in this reviewer’s opinion.

However, when it comes to “Where’d You Go, Bernadette,” the filmmaker, along with the cast and crew, drop the ball.

Bernadette, played by Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett, is a retired architect who now spends most of her time trying to restore the home where her family now resides. Her leaving the industry, though, has led to her enjoying life less and less, and it doesn’t help that she’s not exactly sociable.

The latter is especially portrayed by her having a bad relationships with other women in her neighborhood and her marriage becoming strained. As the movie progresses, these stress factors eventually become to much and Bernadette ends up leaving to pursue a sort of self discovery journey. By itself that’s not a particularly bad thing, except she doesn’t end up telling anybody.

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REVIEW: ‘Fallen’ series rises back up with third installment

Alright, listen up. This movie features a fugitive. What this piece will entail is a hard target review of every character, plot detail, and the set design of every White House, hen house, out house and dog house on screen.

“Angel Has Fallen” once again features U.S. Secret Service Agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler), who now protects President Allan Trumbull (Morgan Freeman). In the previous movies, Trumbull was House Speaker while the president was Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart). But now, Trumbull is running the country and he’s under the protection of a super agent.

It’s an action movie, though, so of course something has to go wrong. In this case, a massive attack with dozens of drones rigged to blow are set loose on the President and his security detail while on a trip away from D.C. In the aftermath of the attack, the only survivors are Trumbull and Banning, making the latter the prime suspect. Banning, being innocent, quickly sees he’s being set-up and goes on a journey to clear his name and protect the president from the next attack.

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REVIEW: ‘Good Boys,’ good comedy

Those transitional years between the elementary level and high school level can be a rough time for kids, and that’s especially true for the three characters featured in “Good Boys.”

The movie stars Jacob Tremblay as Max, Keith Williams as Lucas and Brady Noon as Thor. The three best friends are on the more nerdy side of things in their school and as a result aren’t shown to be with the “in crowd.” However, opportunity arises when Max and his friends are invited to a party where there may be, gasp, kissing.

The trio is hyped to go, but days before the party, an incident involving a broken drone and drugs causes them to skip school and go on a quest of sorts to set everything right without their parents finding out.

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REVIEW: ‘The Kitchen’ doesn’t serve audiences anything good

There are some movies that on paper, look like they might be pretty good. “The Kitchen” certainly was one, with a pretty good cast and a writer looking to make a debut in a classic genre. But when the movie is put to screen, one sees that the positive appearance was just a mirage.

“The Kitchen” is set in the late 70s, taking place in New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen area. The picture follows three women who are married to members of an Irish crime syndicate, including Kathy (Melissa McCarthy), Ruby (Tiffany Haddish) and Claire (Elisabeth Moss). The flick picks up in the midst of a robbery by their husbands, which was being watched by the FBI.

As a result, the three men are sent to prison and their wives are left to fend for themselves. Having not enough to survive and getting little help from the Irish mob, they decided to go into “business” for themselves, and end up becoming powerful figures in their burrow.

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REVIEW: The ‘Scary Stories’ here weren’t too frightening

This is one of those movies where I don’t really know who the audience was supposed to be. “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” carries a PG-13 rating and has some serious subject matter but there are times where it feels like it’s made for a younger audience.

The movie mainly follows three friends, Stella (Zoe Margaret Colletti), Auggie (Gabriel Rush) and Chuck (Austin Zajur), who meet another teen on Halloween named Ramon (Michael Garza). After pissing off some jocks with a prank, the four eventually find themselves at an old abandoned house and stumble upon a book.

Allegedly, there was once a woman who lived in the house and wrote scary stories which resulted in the deaths of youths in the community. That book just so happens to be found by Stella, who opens it and reads a few entries. It turns out to be a mistake, though, as new entries in the book begin to appear and lead to the disappearances of teens in the town.

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REVIEW: ‘Dora’ offers a fun adventure for the family

Adaptations of kids shows can go wrong sometimes but fortunately, “Dora and the Lost City of Gold” isn’t one of those films.

The movie, in a way, acts as a sort of sequel to the actual animated series, following Dora (Isabela Moner) as a 16-year-old. After growing up for most of her life in the jungle with her family, Dora’s parents send her to live with her aunt and uncle in California, as they have an expedition to go on.

There, Dora has to experience high school with her cousin Diego (Jeff Wahlberg). However, while she’s optimistic at first, her upbeat attitude takes a hit because of her experience in public school. When Dora and some of her classmates are abducted by treasure hunters, though, she has to both learn to connect better with other students while also relying on her knowledge of nature to survive.

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REVIEW: ‘Hobbs and Shaw’ is all foam, no beer

I don’t mind turning my brain off and enjoying a movie more cheesy than mac and cheese. But this “Fast and Furious” spin-off just pushes things too far.

If we want to get technical, this is kind of the second spin-off movie in the series, since “Tokyo Drift” was basically a side-story too, but I digress.

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