Sunday, May 29, 2016

X-Men Apocalypse Review: An apocalyptic ride

The Hit:

Set ten years after the events of Days of Future Past, the mutants are now known around the world. Some are still in hiding while others are at Professor Xavier's School for Gifted Children. The events of the last movie are still on everyone's minds, Magneto has gone into hiding from the damage he has done and has started a little family. But things get grim and he becomes the evil Magneto we all know too well.

Next, we see who the Apocalypse is, and the type of power he possesses. He can collect other mutant powers and when he is about to die he chooses a new host to live longer. Things go awry back in the ancient pyramid days and he undergoes a deep sleep. Then in the 80's he is accidentally awoken and his reign upon the land begins. Apocalypse sees himself as a god and decides to destroy everything on the earth. The only thing standing in his way are the X-Men.

X-Men Apocalypse introduces new characters and those we know from the previous film. It's good vs. evil and those on Professor X's (James McAvoy) side are Hank McCoy/Beast (Nicholas Hoult), Raven/Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), Moira Mactaggert (Rose Byrne), Peter Maximoff/Quicksilver (Evan Peters), Jean Grey (Sophie Turner), Scott Summers/Cyclops (Tye Sheridan), Alex Summers/Havok (Lucas Till) and Kurt Wagner/Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee)  and with Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac) enhancing the powers of his team, Eric Lehnsherr/Magneto (Michael Fassbender), Angel (Ben Hardy), Ororo Munroe/Storm (Alexandra Shipp) and Psylocke (Olivia Munn) his "Four Horsemen," it turns into a hard fought battle.

We get to see many backstories and some characters will surprise you. All in all this movie is definitely worth watching and from the trailers you do get a brief cameo of Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) tearing people apart so that was nice to see. X-Men Apocalypse had good story but some acting was plain in some parts. Not to spoil the ending, but it will be familiar to fans of the franchise. There is another X-Men movie set to come out, but in the 90's. At this point I don't' know what else they could do with the story so we'll see. Worth watching and enjoy the ride.

The Verdict:
GREEN LIGHT (Go see it)

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising Review: Another sequel dud

The Hit:

Another fun movie to watch and if you enjoyed the first a lot, you might enjoy this one as well. I would be lying to you if I said Neighbors 2 was as good or better than the first, though. The original is clearly better. Sure there were some funny scenes here and there but that was about it. The scenes that were shown during the movie trailers were basically all the funny parts. 

Neighbors 2 wasn't awful but definitely not great as the first. If you like the cast as in Zac Efron, Seth Rogan, Rose Byrne, Dave Franko, Jerrod Carmichael, Christopher Mintz Plasse, and Ike Barinholtz  from the last movie and new comers like Chloe Grace Moretz, Kiersey Clemons, and Beanie Feldstein then seeing them in this comedy will be a little more enjoyable.

The story takes place a couple years after the first, and while Mac and Kelly are trying to sell their house, a sorority moves in but the problem is the house is in escrow for 30 days, which means in those thirty days if the buyers don't like something they can back out of buying and mac and kelly would be owning two houses and that's not good on their budget, so like the first flick, they are trying to get rid of the sorority instead of a fraternity. Basically it's the same story but with chicks. Not only do girls play dirtier than the boys but they are much smarter. 

Zac Efron's character Teddy has not really found himself in life like his frat brothers have, so he helps the sorority get started but then gets kicked out and ends up helping Mac and Kelly join the fight. The end is basically a good close to this series and Teddy finds what he is good at and everyone, including the sorority, is happy. But everything leading up to that point is comical. If you really just want to wait for the DVD release of Neighbors 2, I wouldn't blame you, but if you liked the first one and/or if you ladies just want to see Zac Efron then go enjoy this flick. Zac and Seth's chemistry is what really saves this movie from being awful.

The Verdict:
YELLOW LIGHT (Proceed with Caution)

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Captain America Civil War Review: Marvel's best to date

The Hit

When I get asked which universe I prefer, DC or Marvel, I go with DC most of the time. Although Superman vs Batman got so much hate I still loved it dearly but in this case, Marvel has yet again come out on top. DC does a lot better with their TV shows but Marvel is still king of the big screen.

Captain America: Civil War was for me probably the best Marvel movie so far. The Russo Brothers were behind this great story and nailed what a comic book movie should be: part story and action. Those two things were both equally balanced and that's what made it great.

Civil War revolves around Captain America and the Avengers deciding whether they should be supervised by the government or continue to operate as a private party. In some aspects it is a good way to see them being watched because of the destruction they cause while saving the earth countless times. But also with United Nations in charge, who knows how their hands could be tied, preventing them from helping in times of need? That's when Cap disagrees to sign his soul away. Iron man decides to sign but for really good reasons and that's when the civil war begins.

Besides the great story this movie brings we get to see every single Avenger and up and coming Avengers join the fight against each other. Captain America's (Chris Evans) team consists of The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Scarlett Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), Falcon (Anthony Mackie), and Ant Man (Paul Rudd). Iron Man's (Robert Downey Jr.) side includes Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), War Machine (Don Cheadle), Vision (Paul Bettany), Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and your friendly neighborhood Spiderman (Tom Holland) himself. Understandably, some of our heroes have troubles picking a side and are conflicted. In the end each person makes their decision but with a cost. 

As for the new guys, Black Panther was portrayed marvelously and if any of you know his back story, they did great. Spiderman, well, there is a whole lot more of him than what you see in the trailers and trust me, although he's just a kid he can hold his own. Ant Man, although not new, is full of big surprises when he enters the fight as well. I know I will watch this movie again and if you weren't planning on seeing this flick, I urge you that it's worth it. There is a mid credits scene and after credits scene, of course, so don't just get up and leave.

The Verdict:
GREEN LIGHT (Go See it)

Keanu review: Funny, but misses full potential

The Hit (by T-Betar)

I’m always on the lookout for the next “Hangover”—a comedy that comes out of nowhere and becomes an instant classic. Keanu, starring Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key, has an interesting premise in a movie landscape that has become oh-so derivative, but sadly it can’t fully deliver on its potential.   

The basic plot of the movie is that Rell, a lonely black man who is recently single, finds a kitten serendipitously and falls in love. The cat becomes a replacement for a girlfriend but, of course, it is soon stolen by a ruthless gang member. Rell recruits his bumbling, oblivious, and high-strung cousin Clarence to track down the thieves and retrieve his precious kitten, Keanu. Chaos ensues and let’s just say lots of people are shot.   

Keanu certainly doesn’t take itself too seriously and that is both its strength and weakness. It is completely outlandish and unrealistic but that is also part of its charm. I found myself laughing more at the dialogue and some of the “one-liners” than the scenes themselves, which were far too often drawn out and overdone.  

The movie does have some depth lurking below the obvious crass surface; the strip club they visit is named “HPV.” Clarence character provides an interesting take on what it means to be “black.” Do black people have to use the “N” word? Can they listen to George Michael?  

I do have to say they did a great job with the casting—particularly the little kitten. It is one of the cutest kittens I have ever seen and you can’t help but find yourself smiling and rooting for Keanu as he races across a field of bullets and dead bodies.  

Overall I liked the film but I probably wouldn’t see it again. It has a few surprising twists at the end but falls flat in the middle and does a poor job with character development. But if you want a few laughs and to see an adorably cute kitten fly like a ninja, this one’s for you.   

The Verdict
Yellow Light (Proceed with Caution)