Sunday, August 23, 2015

American Ultra Review: An interesting take on agent movies

The Hit:

American Ultra starts with a stoner who used to be an agent and was brainwashed into forgetting his past. He's the result of a program created by the CIA experimenting on inmates to make the best agent and although the movie states that some are successful, others are failures.Things get going when his previous skills are activated by certain words.

Mike Howell (Jesse Eisenberg) is the ultra agent in this flick but he's not alone. The only person who can put up with him and his addiction is his girlfriend Phoebe Larson (Kristen Stewart). Although he doesn't seem like it at first, Mike is the best success they ever got out of the program and when agent Victoria Lasseter (Connie Britton) finds out the CIA plans to terminate Mike, she goes head-to-head against the man behind the plan, agent Adrian Yates (Topher Grace). Lasseter goes out of her way to save Mike but soon comes to realize he is able to take care of himself. 

American Ultra features action and gory scenes. Not over the top gory, but just right. Mike and Phoebe's relationship was not over the top lovey dovey either, and enjoyable to watch. The acting was good but one CIA agent was just too into his role. Luckily, he makes his main appearance at the very end and doesn't ruin anything.

If you want to see what a stoner ultra agent can do, you will get a kick out American Ultra. You'll laugh at some scenes and wonder why would he do that in others. This is not your typical save the world agent movie, but one where the agent saves himself and it's fun to watch. 

The Verdict:
Yellow Light (Proceed with caution)

Sinister 2 Review: An average horror film to kick off the scary season

The Hit:

Horror movies are slowly making their way back in the big screens now we're only a couple of months from October. That can either be a good thing or a bad thing — it all depends if the movie is good enough to scare you or boring enough to swear off horror movies forever. Sinister brings its sequel to the light (or dark in this case) to kick off the season. 

If you remember the first, it is about an evil that somehow takes control or manipulates a child from a family and that said child films himself killing his family in the situation he's in and in return the bagul or "boogeyman" takes his soul and moves on to his next victims.

In Sinister 2, the deputy who was helping the family in the first returns to prevent the same tragedy from happening to another family. He (James Ransone) meets with a mother by the name of Courtney Collins (Shannyn Sossamon) and her two boys Dylan (Robert Daniel Sloan) and Zach (Dartanian Sloan). The way he meets them is by shock — he was going to burn down the house they were staying at for reasons you need to see for yourself. Instead, the deputy helps out the family who the bagul has set his eyes on next. 

Sinister 2 was a good change of pace from summer action flicks. I'm not saying this is the scariest movie I've ever seen but it had some good scenes where I jumped a few times. The story was a good follow up for the first but go in with low expectations. You will see more of the origin of the story of bagul and the souls he takes because without those souls he would have a harder time convincing his next victim to do the same dreadful things to their family. 

The Verdict:
Yellow Light (Proceed with caution)

Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Man from U.N.C.L.E Review: Don't miss this dark horse spy thriller

The Hit:

The premise of The Man from UNCLE revolves around the Cold War and the production of nuclear bombs in the 60's — specifically trying to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands. Two unlikely agents from two different countries have to work together to save the world despite their differences. 

On one side, we have United States CIA man Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill) and on the other, a Russian KGB operative Illya Kuryakin (Armie Hammer). At first they are in a quarrel over Gaby Teller (Alicia Vikander), a girl who has secret ties vital to their plans. Later on, Solo, Illya and Gaby are sent on a mission together. There's a whole lot of bickering between Solo and Illya and that's when the comedy of the flick turns on. 

It's a constant contest about which agent and which country is doing a better job, and a feud emerges in several scenes. Later on, they become brothers-in-arms but still carry on that rivalry that makes it fun to watch. Gaby is forced to play a mother role between the two arguing agents, a job she doesn't relish.

The main antagonist of this film is Victoria (Elizabeth Debicki), a beautiful and cunning villain that nailed the role. She's too much for one agent alone — only teamwork can take her and her evil plan down.

The Man from UNCLE was a fun follow up to the latest Mission Impossible, and I especially enjoyed the time setting. The past culture lifestyles and fashion statements shown were creative and enjoyable to watch. I also didn't know this, but the movie was actually based on a TV series from back in the 60's/

The Man from UNCLE doesn't have any misses and keeps you entertained all the way through. Don't be sick of agent movies just yet — go check this out.

The Verdict:
Green Light (Go see it)

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Fantastic Four (2015) Review: A great buildup ending with disappointment

The Hit:

This Fantastic Four reboot was good — I'm not gonna say it was the greatest thing since the Avengers but it was okay. We get a new set of heroes and they all did a fine job of acting out the characters: Reed Richards (Miles Teller), Johnny Storm (Michael B. Jordan), Sue Storm (Kate Mara), Ben Grimm/ The Thing (Jamie Bell) and villain Victor Von Doom/ Dr.Doom (Toby Kebbell). 

The way our cast acquires their powers this time around is through going to another dimension and becoming infected by the energy in that other place. Reed Richards helps Victor in the making of a machine where they get transported and that's when the team is born.

On the plus side, this is a Marvel movie, meaning it can only be so bad. I enjoyed the build up, the action and how each member brought their own personality into the mix.

Negatively, the build up was rising and rising until really nothing happens and then the movie is over. The final half hour tried to wrap up and end the movie quickly and that was disappointing. Fantastic Four should have either been longer or split into two movies. 

The storyline was great, but it was a build up that ended too quickly.

I hope this cast gets a second chance at being the Fantastic Four. Give this movie a chance and you might enjoy it, but go in with low expectations or wait for DVD.

The Verdict:
Yellow Light (Proceed with caution)

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Mission Impossible Rogue Nation review: I'll have another!

The Hit:

Mission Impossible without Tom Cruise would be no Mission worth accepting and Tom Cruise takes stage not only as an agent who can do the Impossible but as an actor willing to do his own stunts. As seen on clips he is on a plane taking off in air — some might think it's a green screen, but in fact the scene is real and it's actually Cruise. Tom has my respect for soaring in the skies just to shoot a scene.

But Mission Impossible is more than Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) doing the unimaginable for his country and even the world. Rogue Nation begins with IMF disbanded and Hunt on the run from the CIA. His only way to keep from getting caught is by losing all traces of himself and not involving those close to him. There's just one catch: in order to take down another organization similar to the IMF, he needs the help of his team, past faces we all know like William Brandt (Jeremy Renner), Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg), and Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames). Together they go Mission Impossible to take down a Rogue Nation. 

Mission Impossible: Rouge Nation is full of action like previous installments and has that James Bond vibe in addition to humor from Benji bringing out a few laughs. After watching Rogue Nation, I can say the franchise is still strong and I believe there's no reason for Mission Impossible 6 not to happen.

Will Ethan Hunt and company take down the Syndicate? Will the IMF be reinstated at the end of this movie? You'll have to go see it yourself. If you're new to the franchise and want a movie similar to the James Bond films, I recommend Mission Impossible. Summer movies are almost over and Rogue Nation is not one to miss.

The Verdict:
Green Light (Go see it)