Sunday, March 18, 2018

Tomb Raider Review: True to its video game roots

The Hit:

Tomb Raider has had films made before which were great, but this adaptation doesn't hurt it in the slightest with a great story and adventure to go along with it. 

Cast: Alicia Vikander, Dominic West, Walton Goggins, Daniel Wu, Kristin Scott Thomas. 

Pros: The thrill of an adventure movie like Tomb Raider is always something I enjoy and Alicia Vikander as Lara made that great to see. Nothing against Angelina Jolie's take on the video game character which those were great too but Alicia's take on Lara was more in tune with the story from the video games. Action scenes and parts where she had to use stealth made it feel like a video game and it was exciting. I liked the tomb and all its deadly traps. The objective of such tomb, in the end, was really cool if you were in detective mode throughout the movie to put the pieces together, which I wasn't and I was surprised. 

Cons: You get a typical villain of the story and I just couldn't take him seriously -- maybe because the last time I saw him was on an HBO comedy called Vice Principals but Walton Goggins still had some good moments where he made you hate him on screen but only some. Alicia Vikander, bless her heart, got annoying with her grunts and screaming. Great actress, but it got in the way of the movie.

Tomb Raider ended with a setup for a sequel and you'll see that she's up against an evil bigger than just herself so seeing more Alicia Vikander as Lara is something to be excited for. Trust me when I say this, this was a whole lot better than that last crappy film video game adaptation, Assasins Creed. Go check out this entertaining movie!

The Verdict:
GREEN LIGHT (Go see it)

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Red Sparrow Review: Jennifer Lawrence excels in this dark thriller

The Hit:

From a famous Russian Ballerina to a sparrow 'Russian intelligence service,' Jennifer Lawrence has no choice but to serve her country until she meets a CIA agent that offers her a chance for a new life in return for information. Red Sparrow is a spy story I wasn't really ready for. 

Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton, Matthias Schoenaerts, Charlotte Rampling, Jeremy Irons, Douglas Hodge. 

Pros: Jennifer Lawrence's performance really made this story very interesting. I could never tell if her character was on a particular side. She pulls off a decent but not great Russian accent. Training to be a Red Sparrow was something I've never seen before but I could see how seduction could be used to get information. The rest of the cast did well and the story kept me intrigued from start to finish. Red Sparrow is rather deep so be prepared to really pay attention — stories like this really keep me on my toes. It's not all action but watching a slow spy movie is good once in a while. Jennifer really stole the show, she did great. 

Cons: Some scenes were awkward and disturbing. I've never seen anyone walk out of a theatre before but some people did while I was watching because of moments through the film. I don't want to spoil too much but scenes from the part of her training were pretty hard to watch, and torture scenes as well. Like I previously mentioned I got lost while following the story but that's my fault, just don't lose track and the pieces will fall together in the end. 

Red Sparrow isn't a film that made me leave and say damn that was great or that sucked but it was just okay. Jennifer Lawrence really made this film enjoyable and she continues to be a great actress in any role she takes. This film might be one of her most challenging roles yet. If you're a fan don't miss out. 

The Verdict:
YELLOW LIGHT (Proceed with Caution)

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Black Panther Review: An all-star cast breaks the Marvel mold

The Hit:

Black Panther is not my favorite Marvel film but it does its job to show us a rich backstory of where he comes from and it was beautiful.

Cast: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong'o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman,  Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Sterling K. Brown, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Andy Serkis, John Kani, and many more. 

Pros: I liked the story we got and how we dove into the culture of Africa and also what makes Wakanda such a technological wonder that it is kept secret. Seeing T'Challa take the mantle of a king and the process that takes was something I didn't expect. Not knowing anything really about Black Panther, in general, it was an eye-opener. The fight scenes were epic and the higher tech involved made it so much better, I think even Iron Man might have a tough time against Wakanda's inventions. A lot of reviewers are saying Michael B. Jordan's character Killmonger might be one of the greatest villians since Loki and I will have to agree. He's not just a villian who is going to just destroy the world which in turn the heroes have to stop him but he helps T'Challa find something within himself to become a better hero and king to his people, almost like a Batman and Joker type of relationship. I liked Killmonger's motives and somehow you could side with him which made the story more interesting. Chemistry was great within the whole cast and with big top actors involved you could tell scenes went by smoothly. 

Cons: Notieceable cons were really just the CGI, Instead of going out and shooting scenes with actual mountains or grass in the background you could tell the CGI took their place. It didn't really hinder the entirety of the film but with a big Marvel movie like this, I don't know why they couldn't go out and add little things like that in their budget. 

Black Panther is a great Marvel Film and opens the whole franchise even more with access to new technology and an even greater cast. And just like always, stick around for those classic end credit scenes. 

The Verdict:


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The 15:17 to Paris Review: An awful adaptation of an amazing true story

The Hit:

Clint Eastwood is a legend and very highly praised for his own roles in movies and directorial films as well. But The 15:17 to Paris, sad to say, was his worst. 

Cast: Alek Skarlatos, Anthony Sadler, Spencer Stone, Judy Greer, Jenna Fischer.

Pros: The only pro thing I can say about this movie is the courage it took to stop a terrorist from killing innocent people. I cannot take that away from this film in the slightest. So much respect for the heroes in this film and the only great scene is the ending scene when they stop the terrorist and it was amazing how brutal it became in the conclusion.

Cons: Again, I don't want to take away from the heroic acts of these brave people but Clint should have brought in real actors to portray those heroes. Instead, he used the same people that saved the train and God bless them in every way but their acting was utterly and totally awful. It pains me to say that but there were a lot of scenes that were real cringy. At one point my friend leaned over to me and wanted to laugh and asked about the acting. I mentioned that it was the real heroes and he then realized why it was so bad. Dialogue was also something the writers should have fixed and the scenes of events of their childhood to their present lives was really a huge question mark and felt unnecessary. It was really hard sitting through this film and I felt bad for those three individuals, you definitely realize what a difference professionals make.

I sadly do not recommend seeing this on the big screen but if you still want to I suggest waiting for it to come out on Blu-ray/DVD and watch the last fifteen minutes only because these heroes deserve their recognition. 15:17 to Paris as a film was awful and should have been acted out by professionals and written better. Thank you to those courageous heroes, you have all our respect and gratitude. 

The Verdict:
RED LIGHT (Don't See it)

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Hostiles Review: a solid addition to Old West cinema

The Hit:

Not even I expected the outcome of this film and for that reason, I thought it was a great story that didn't have any characters with plot armor.

Cast: Christian Bale, Rosamund Pike, Wes Studi, Rori Cochrane, Jonathan Majors, Jesse Plemons, Adam Beach, Tanaya Beatty, Q'orianka Kilcher, and Xavier Horsechief.

Pros: Hostiles was brutal and by that I mean not everyone makes it out alive and that was surprising. I liked seeing Christians Bale's character "Joseph" change from hating Native Americans to having empathy for them in the end. Seeing the old western story come to life is something we don't see often in film now adays and it was a good refresher. We need to tell more stories like this on the big screen. Performances by other cast members helped in the development of the story. Rosamund Pike was a great addition and flourished only after being on the journey with Joseph. Seeing Wes Studi as Chief Yellow Hawk made this journey possible to begin with. Having him change Joseph's view that not all Native Americans were bad was a big impact even though he did wrong in the past too, time can heal and change a person.

Cons: A friend of mine pointed this out and it makes sense but Joseph having a whole bag full of reasons to hate indians softened pretty quickly throughout the films journey and I brought up traveling all that time would be weeks so maybe his heart would of been softened but it would of been nice seeing a time lapse of some sort to follow along. Rosamund Pike's performance in the beginning of the film was hard to watch in my opinon but I enjoyed her more when she was on the journey alongside Joseph. Minor Characters dialogue could have been cut out because the length was a little too long. 

There's some other movies out there that might catch your eye but seeing an old western with great actors is one not to miss so check it out. 

The Verdict:

Maze Runner: The Death Cure Review: A solid resolution to the series

The Hit:

The last installment of the Maze Runner series did not leave any stone unturned. It ended with a worthy conclusion for a young adult adventure novel. 

Cast: Dylan O'Brien, Ki Hong Lee, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Dexter Darden, Will Poulter, Rosa Salazar, Giancarlo Esposito, Patricia Clarkson, Aidan Gillen, and Barry Pepper. 

Pros: Story was a lot better than the previous film (Scorch Trials) and in my opinion, the slow parts of this film filled any questions you might have had about the storyline. Dylan O' Brien is becoming one of my favorite up and coming actors to watch out for, he has grown from being on MTV's Teen Wolf to so much greater in the film industry, he was a great selection to play Thomas in this series. The rest of the cast, even though minor main characters ended this movie with a bang. The ending was action packed and left me on the edge of my seat. Seeing both sides of finding the cure made this more realistic with it being a real problem if not solved. 

Cons: What can I say without spoiling? The ending is tough because not all of the beloved characters we know make it out alive and although that helps a movie and story it was something I wasn't expecting. I was hoping everyone would have made it. The Death Cure was long so I only put that as a con because some of you might not like it, but it did fill in plot holes so it sort of had to be. 

I never read the books so I have no idea what was added or taken out but I sure did love this series and this third installment was a great ending in my opinion. Go check it out and be entertained. 

The Verdict:

Friday, December 29, 2017

Flick Hit's Top 10 Movies of 2017


1. Logan
A great film including story, actors, and all-around entertainment. A stupendous film send-off for Hugh Jackman as the Wolverine. Definitely my number one.

2. Only The Brave
This story of everyday heroes battling fires as a living was something else. The ending had me in tears and I appreciate those that do something so dangerous. Very emotional movie.

3. Coco
Disney and Pixar never seem to falter in their animation and this story hit me at home because of the culture they shared with us. It was eye opening and I learned a lot. It was very beautiful. 

4. Spiderman: Homecoming
I have enjoyed all the Spiderman movies to date and am finally glad that he has made his appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Tom Holland's performance as Spiderman finding his way into being a hero was astounding. 

5. Wonder Woman
Gal Gadot IS Wonder Woman and she brought back DC films from the brink of death. The rest of DC will have to follow what this film did to make a comeback. Truly a film DC needed and a director and leading actress that made it happen. 

6. Baby Driver
This movie flowed like a river with it's music and how they did it so great, I have no idea. It was very entertaining and had a real soul all the way through, and man can "baby" drive when the tunes hit.

7. Star Wars: The Last Jedi
One of the most controversial Star Wars movies. Sure some things are new, but different is always a great thing. I was glad it didn't follow the original trilogy path because that would of been real dumb and no one likes a copy cat. Can't wait to see how Episode IX turns out! 

8. John Wick 2
The adrenaline flowed with this movie. Keanu Reeves is such a bad ass and the logic behind guns only lasting what the clip really holds and are not always unlimited like any other movie, made this even more realistic. I am always entertained watching this film and its story of secret assasins. 

9. IT
Not really a total horror flick because sometimes it made me chuckle. Bill Skarsgärd as Pennywise was thrilling and exciting in a weird way. The kids themselves made this movie even more exciting than Pennywise. Stephen King is surely happy how this turned out. 

10. Beauty and the Beast
One of a select few of my favorite disney films as a kid was Beauty and the Beast. Seeing it brought to life was awesome. Emma Watson as Belle was really just magical and Beast was horrifyingly great. Disney's live-action films haven't faltered and I want more! 

Honorable Mentions:
  • Split
  • Thor: Ragnarok
  • War for the Planet of the Apes
  • Get Out
  • Wind River


1. Logan

A stunning, haunting film all the way around. Hugh Jackman had the perfect exit as the Wolverine and the supporting cast was fantastic as well. I loved the direction they took with the Mutant Universe. Logan didn’t pull any punches and set a new standard for “superhero” films.

2. Coco
After a couple of misses, Pixar knocked this one out of the park. A beautiful blend of story, song, and animation, Coco isn’t just one of my top movies for 2017, it’s one of my favorite Pixar movies of all-time. 

3. Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Not going to rant at all the haters here. Yes, there were some clunky scenes and a few lines that fell flat. Even so, The Last Jedi took the Star Wars saga in a bold new direction. I’m glad that JJ Abrams is taking the reins to finish off this trilogy but will still look forward to Rian Johnson’s standalone trilogy. #PorgNation

4. Logan Lucky
A clever heist film with a stellar, all-star cast. In a culture of action films and sequels, Logan Lucky was a breath of fresh air that didn’t get enough love. The twists and turns and deadpan humor came together in a wonderful film. Before you knock Adam Driver because of Kylo Ren, check him out in Logan Lucky.

5. Thor: Ragnarok
I would have never guessed Thor Ragnarok would have made my Top 10 at the start of the year. Before this, the Thor films were my least favorite in the Marvel Universe. But Ragnarok was a fun ride with snappy humor and a solid storyline.  Another great example of cast chemistry and my favorite superhero flick of the year.

6. Beauty and the Beast
The tale as old as time is Disney’s best live-action film to date, in my opinion. The cast was fantastic (Josh Gad, Luke Evans and Emma Watson in particular) and the music as good as the original.

7. Wonder Woman
By far the best DC film since The Dark Knight Rises, Wonder Woman sets the bar high for female-led superhero films. Gal Gadot was phenomenal and the overall storyline was a better war movie than the original Captain America. The romance between Diana and Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) was just right. In fact, the only miss in this movie was keeping David Thewlis’ body as Ares in the big reveal at the end.

8. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Yes, there were more over-the-top stunts than ever before in Pirates. But if you look past that (also talking to you Last Jedi haters) it was a solid film and a fitting end (?) to Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow. How can the farewell of such an iconic film character not make my top ten? I appreciated the loose ends tied up but not sure what I think about a potential return of Davy Jones.

9. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
2017 took itself WAY too seriously which is perhaps why so many lightweight, fun movies made it into my top ten. I love anything King Arthur and this Guy Ritchie adaptation was no different. There was plenty of action (the slow-mo style from Sherlock Holmes was well done), an awesome musical score refreshing twists to the legend of King Arthur. I would love a sequel.

10. Kingsman 2: The Golden Circle
Speaking of sequels, Kingsman 2 rounds out my top ten. It was just as funny and gruesome as the first but I appreciated the serious undertones that made the film more than a bloody laugh. I had a few issues with the way the story played out but can’t wait for a third.

Honorable mentions

  • John Wick 2
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
  • Kong: Skull Island

Tommy B

1. Coco
The perfect blend of humor, heart, and family, Coco had it all. The animation was unique and captivating and the characters were well-developed and interesting. This is one of my favorite animated films. It's on par with Moana.

2. Logan
Admittedly I'm not a super-hero junkie, but Logan was not your typical superhero flick. It was a dark and gritty portrayal of a complex character and had just the right amount of action mixed with humor and drama. Hugh Jackman's performance was tremendous.   

3. Get Out 
This flick was funny, scary, and had plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing. The movie was far more than just an action/horror flick. It was controversial at times because it made a lot of not-so-subtle statements and race and social status. 

4. The Zookeeper's Wife
This was an under-the-radar flick that shouldn't be missed. It is a powerful story of a man and wife struggling to survive and help others in worn-torn Europe that will move your emotions. 

5. Lady Bird
A funny and quirky coming-of-age story about a young rebellious teen in California. This a flick that many young people will be able to relate to, and it doesn't follow the typical Hollywood formula.  

6. Wind River
This was an intense flick that tackled a real-life subject I knew little about: brutal crimes on Indian reservations. The cinematography, acting, and plot were all excellent.  

7. Wonder Woman
Again, I'm not the biggest superhero fan, but I did appreciate many aspects of this film, including the story, special effects, and acting abilities of Gal Gadot. She was the perfect choice for a strong female lead, and it was refreshing to see. Sure, it was a bit cheesy at times, but I was willing to overlook that (hey, it's only at #7 anyway). 

8. The Big Sick
I'm always relieved when Hollywood comes us with something fresh and new, and while this flick wasn't great, I appreciated its originality. It offered a unique spin on the romantic comedy genre and provided some interesting insights into what it's like dating outside of your culture.  

9. Baby Driver
This was a fun action flick with a great soundtrack and some interesting characters. The car chase scenes were well-done, and I found myself rooting for the main character along the way. 

10. Split
The acting talents of James McAvoy were on full display. This was a creepy, unsettling flick that will leave you with more questions than answers, but it will keep you engaged the entire way. 

Honorable mentions

  • Thor: Ragnarok
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • IT

Flick Hit's Top 10 Movies of 2017

(Based on an average of the above rankings)

1. Logan
2. Coco
3. Wonder Woman
4. The Last Jedi
5. Only the Brave
6. Get Out

(4-way tie)
7. Spiderman Homecoming
7. Baby Driver
7. Thor: Ragnarok
7. Logan Lucky
7. The Zookeeper's Wife