A Good Filler: Visuals over Plot Do Not Make The Movie

The Good Dinosaur

            What if Dinosaurs never died out? This question continues to plague minds to this very day of a world where the gigantic lizards reigned. Fortunately Disney/Pixar have decided to take a crack at answering this with another culmination of their animation studios. Today’s review is on the Good Dinosaur. With all the advertisements, Disney certainly has faith in this film not only in their overzealous trailers, but also making it in 3-D much like their last movie (Inside Out). Does Pixar strike gold, or is it only fool’s gold being sent to the masses? As always, read on to find out.

 

The Positives:

 

  1. The Animation: No surprise that Pixar continues to push boundaries of computer animation. Once more the team has crafted characters that not only move as expected of their anatomy, but also integrate human like qualities to them that represent the western theme of the movie. Watching the Apatosaurus family farm the land or seeing the T-rex galloping as if they were on horses, added that spunk Pixar is always known for. Even more impressive for this reviewer was the scenery. Whether it was designing a forest strewn with bugs or unleashing the ferocity of storm upon the prairie plans, Pixar captures the details in extraordinary definition that it is difficult to determine if it is real footage.

 

  1. The Emotions: Recently Pixar has missed the mark in eliciting any real emotional response in me, but in the Good Dinosaur that is not the case. Disney tries their usual tactics to get you to cry, but those overdramatic moments are old hat to me. However, this movie uses the animation and a killer soundtrack to craft a number of scenes that radiate the feelings of our characters. I felt myself feeling the excitement as our characters ran through the plains, felt the fear of being caught in situations that pushed your limits, and mostly the love between friends. So many emotions ran through me as I watched these two grow scene by scene. Those with strong bonds to their pets will fully appreciate what Spot and Arlo have, overlaying their experiences into the movie, perhaps to the point of shedding a tear.

 

  1. The Cuteness/Laughs: Pixar keeps the cuteness rolling in this movie not only in the design of the characters, but in their antics. If their design doesn’t get you, then the relationship between Spot and Arlo will certainly melt your heart. As for comedy, little kids were screaming in delight throughout the movie, primarily at Spot biting Arlo. Eventually the tactics got old for me, but the more clever jokes kept me chuckling throughout the movie, especially from Forrest Woodbush whose craziness was well timed.

 

 

The Negatives:

 

  1. Formulaic/Predictable: No surprise here The Good Dinosaur is not the most original tale. Disney’s throws out the usual tactics to establish our character’s background and get the story rolling. Some of you may cry, others may be like me and laugh at the illogical elements in this tale. Even after the cliché opening, the tale doesn’t throw many surprises at you as Arlo and Spot go through the typical character building elements we’ve seen time and again. This normally isn’t too bad when it comes to Pixar movies, but in this film it left me bored at parts.

 

  1. Loose ends: The point of this movie is obviously a character building one centered on Arlo, but that doesn’t mean we get sloppy on other plot elements. In this film there are a couple of elements left untied that were a bit annoying. A few of the characters were in the film for mere minutes before disappearing from the story. Family, side characters, even villains vanish hastily in an all too convenient manner that was a little sloppy for Pixar’s team. Even the ends they did tie up felt a bit rushed and again illogical if you’ve seen other movies (I guess evolution didn’t favor them in this case.) Fortunately the emotional aspect of this movie makes up for the lacking plot, but not the best for Pixar.

 

  1. Scary to Kids: This factor all depends on the kids, as well as the parents, but I want to warn parents about the scarier aspects of the movie. Unlike other Pixar creations, this one is not afraid to dive into the darker elements of story telling. Those with a fear of thunder and lightning may end up wailing through the movie providing a grand distraction that is very irritating.. The high definition surround sound amplifies the sounds further, and the dinosaurs fierce roars were able to shake the younger audiences.

 

 

The Good Dinosaur is certainly a cute addition to Pixar’s library. The adorable characters and heartfelt relationship are certainly the strongest elements of this movie and the animation further amplifies the emotions of this movie. Unfortunately it isn’t their most entertaining tale lacking some of the fun surprises and elements that we love in their creations. Therefore I can’t say this one is worth the trip to the theater (especially in 3-D) and would recommend a home rent for this installment.

 

My scores are:

Animation/Adventure/Comedy: 8.0

Movie Overall: 7.0

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Gruesome, Dark, Somewhat Boring. Only Acting Keeps the Spark Alive

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            Happy Thanksgiving everyone! This glorious holiday is a day filled with turkey, football, family, and monsters. Wait did I just say monsters? Yes I did my friends. Although it is a holiday, movies do to take a break from premiering on the silver screen. My holiday movie assignment is a little unorthodox this year, and comes in the form of Frankenstein. The patchwork nightmare from Mary Shelly’s imagination has had many iterations, but Paul McGuigan has delivered us a movie that promises to be darker in tone. Today we cover Victor Frankenstein, headed by the dynamic duo of Daniel Radcliffe and James McAvoy.

 

The theme of this movie focuses on the Mary Shelley’s classic tale told through the eye of the assistant Igor. Radcliffe takes the lead in this origin story, as Igor is dragged into the world of 19th century scientific medicine and its unethical practices. The main plot of this film corresponds to the classic book, but Victor Frankenstein is laced with multiple subplots that provide some variety and character development. Almost all of these side stories are laced with darkness, many involving the obsessive pursuit of answers by immoral means. While the variety is a nice welcome some of these elements I felt were hastily pieced together and lacked the emotional fervor they were looking for. In addition the plot was also kind of boring, lacking the suspense and excitement I was hoping for. This was especially true in the horror element.

For a horror movie, Victor Frankenstein was not the scariest thing to grace theaters. Instead I felt it went more down the disturbing avenue. This is especially true of the visual effects and make-up, which were fantastic in this film. I was impressed when I saw organs and muscles pulsate and contract, in a high-definition shine that amplified the effect. The computer animation also was well done, blending into the live action with fluid transition and texture. This realism certainly establishes nightmare-inspiring moments, where festering creatures and a beefed up Lunk from Goonies roam about unbound by any rationality or restraint that mirror their creators’ desires. Even our human characters are not spared from inhumane torture and gore strewn injury that is truly skin crawling. I felt that some of these moments were a little over the top, and took too much focus from the story. Nevertheless, those with weak constitutions or religious zealots should avoid this tale.

For this reviewer, the acting was the best quality of this film. James McAvoy as the mad scientist was a fantastic pick by the casting director. The man continues to impress me with how he can juggle his characters emotions without crossing over into annoyance. McAvoy’s portrayal of insanity in voice work, facial expressions, and body language itself is first class. Daniel Radcliffe also doesn’t disappoint as Igor, committing to his character from the start by portraying the shuffling gait of the hunchback (not an easy task). Radcliffe’s charm was nice to see, which made for a likeable character that I could to root for in this miserable setting. As usual it’s the chemistry between the two that is the most impressive component. They played well off each other’s emotions, with a synergy that was dynamic, energetic, and somehow dark at the same time. I hope to see these two reunite for further films. Jessica Brown Findlay deserves some mention, for she provided the touch of elegance in this chaotic slew of science. Not only is she beautiful, but Findlay radiates the classiness of her character that commanded respect and provided a love story. Andrew Scott once more steps into the mad, obsessive role, though ironically plays an inspector this time around. Scott not only captures the mannerisms of the insane, but somehow adds that hint of uneasiness to really sell the part. If only he had been utilized a little more.

Victor Frankenstein is a movie that truly calls for those who love the dark and grotesque. The acting and special effects will immerse you into the world and deliver the realistic horrors you have been looking for. While I did enjoy the focus on Igor this time around, I have to say the movie wasn’t as suspenseful as I had hoped. This left me bored at times and waiting for the move to end. I cannot recommend this movie for a theater visit, but would encourage you to give a shot when it comes to RedBox.

 

My scores for this film are:

Drama/Horror: 7.5

Movie Overall: 6.5

Happy Holidays for Stoners

Twas the Night

Twas the night before Christmas a line that has rang in our hearts throughout the ages. It’s simplicity opens up a story of light, one that ignited the excitement of our younger selves in eager anticipation of the magic of the holidays. Well this weekend Hollywood has changed the meaning of that line, giving it one that is a less pure and perhaps more spirited. My final review of the weekend is on the latest comedy starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, and Anthony Mackie.

 

If you haven’t seen the numerous trailers, the plot of this movie is another simplistic telling of three friends who made a pact to uphold a tradition every year. And of course this film focuses on the one night where that pact is threatened by each of the bros special problems. Despite how unoriginal the problems may be, they do set up the comedy stunts that fill this film.. Surprisingly they do an okay job of developing the characters, allowing things to hit the fan just enough to keep pushing our characters towards that convenient moment of self-discovery. The morals are presented in a creative manner similar to a Christmas Carol, a nice twist that fit well with the theme of the movie. Unfortunately all this development is hastily concluded in a nicely wrapped package only Hollywood can create.

 

However, if I truly came for the story of this movie I would truly be an idiot, much like our characters. The comedy is by far the aspect that received the greatest attention to this film. Twas the Night focuses on the big three of comedy: sex, drugs, and booze (which yes is a drug but deserves a category on its own). Being a Seth Rogen movie, one shouldn’t be surprised that drugs drive the actions of our curly headed jester. Weed, among other psychotropic remedies, fuel our characters’ journey through the city and ironically is a medium for their self-discovery. Of course not everyone handles their drugs accordingly, which leads to them acting like boobs who can’t seem to shut up. Throw in alcohol and the stupidity gets amplified into wreckless chases, ridiculous conversation rants that drag on, and stumbling into unrealistic situations that you can find on most TV comedies

 

And yet…there were still some cleverness to the chaos. I myself loved the movie references in the film, each given a modern twist that was fun to watch. My particular favorite part was when the trio played the floor keyboard in the toy store (can you say Big?). The surprise cameos, one of which I should have seen coming, smoothly transitioned into the story and provided a reprieve from the generic jokes they kept spewing. Heck even some of the drug moments shined brightly, particularly an incident involving a manger, which although random and stupid, still held some class. Unfortunately our writers are not always in good taste, and with how easily offended people get; they have crossed the line more than once in this film.

 

As for the acting, it is pretty much on par with what I expected. No surprise, Rogen plays the drug-addicted fool, spouting total nonsense in that same awkward and goofy manner he always portrays. If you loved it once, you’ll love it again, because his delivery hasn’t changed much as well, which somehow continues to be entertaining. Mackie keeps to his normal professional bravado, adding a little craziness and chaos to the mix. His comedy came more from well-delivered dialog and poking fun at the social media popularity. Lovitt is kind of a hybrid of these two, taking the best of each character and delivering perhaps the most dynamic character of the trio. His main gimmick is his lack of emotional control that drives him to doing some petty stupid things. While these actors are funny alone, their greatest strength is the chemistry they have with each other.

 

Let’s wrap this up! Twas the Night fits in well with the other films this studio has made. It is stupid, but it’s fun and gives you everything you can expect from the trailers. The chemistry between the three actors sells the relationship, and their different styles of comedy work well to bring the maximum laughs to the silver screen. Sure it’s the same monotonous jokes being bashed over your head, but there is some cleverness added to the mix that helps tune it up. However, I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t warn that those easily offended will need to brace themselves for the religious jokes in this movie. And please, DO NOT BRING YOUR YOUNG KIDS TO THIS MOVIE!

 

Is this movie worth a trip to the theater? No, it can be enjoyed from the comfort of your own home. However, definitely check it out on RedBox I a few short months.

 

My scores for this film are:

 

Comedy: 7.5

Movie Overall: 7

You Can’t Regift This Film

Love the Coopers

            Better late than never I always say! Hi I’m Robbie K and this review is on a comedy designed to be a holiday treat for the bunch. The name of the movie is Love the Coopers, which from the trailers looked to be packed with stars who were ready to make you bust a gut with lots of laughs. Of course…we do know that multiple big names in one movie often leads to disaster in terms of quality and plot (Valentine’s Day and New Years Eve anyone?). Anyway, let’s get started on the review.

 

For a comedy, Love the Coopers has a bit more wit involved in terms of making you laugh. By wit I don’t mean the dry comedy that you have to be in the loop to understand, but more so in how well it is integrated into the story. The dialogue happens naturally, flowing into the normal routine instead of shoving a comedic ploy into our faces. In addition the variety of the jokes helped keep the movie fresh and fun, ranging from sexual innuendos and first time kisses to insults and the art of lying. Even better was how all of these jokes fit into place and worked with the individual’s story to further maximize the timing. And yet I think all of it would have failed had it not been for the actor’s delivery. Whether it was John Goodman’s sarcasm, Olivia Wilde’s angst and attitude, or June Squibb playing the clueless aunt it all was maximized by how well they sold the lines. Or in some cases it might have just been a facial expression that got me laughing, primarily from Rags the dog who continues to take the drama and roll with it in some way.

 

So strong comedy must mean good story right? Wrong! Love the Coopers’ plot was very lacking in entertainment for this reviewer. As I feared, the tale was very fragmented with multiple mini-plot lines slowly converging until they all meet in the end. This tactic has worked in the past, but like most modern comedies, they lack balance. Some of these plot lines are strong, taking constant screen time and establishing the backbone. Others however would have their 15 minutes of fame and then not be seen for some time, often hastily concluded with the reunion of plot lines. Fortunately it’s all wrapped in a nice Christmas package, however untraditional it is. This isn’t the run of the mill, feel good movie that you see on Hallmark though, but instead one that uses the Holiday as a means for character evaluation. Love the Coopers is actually a downer, especially at the beginning where all the problems come to light. Thus with the poor plot and depressing tone, I felt this movie dragged at a lot of the parts, making the 107 minutes feel more like 180 minutes. I’ll admit I nearly nodded off a few times as well, so that might be something to take to mind. No surprise…everything comes full circle in the end and you’ll get some grand lessons if you keep your mind open, but it certainly isn’t the most moving piece I’ve seen.

 

As I mentioned earlier, the actors really are the strongest part of this movie. John Goodman was my particular favorite as the big man continues to impress me with his wide spectrum of characters. He’s funny, serious, and keeps the stories tethered together and plays exactly like the stereotypical head of the household. Diane Keaton unfortunately was not in my favor this time not so much for her acting, but that her character was so annoying. She’s a good counter to Goodman’s calmness and a great source of drama, but it was a little too much for me. Olivia Wilde steps back in the light with a decent role that combines sexuality with mischief and uses her gorgeous looks to complete the character. Ed Helms is a little more down to Earth in this film, trading in overacted arrogance and stupidity for a more believable character. It was nice getting to see a more serious side of things, and helps add a bit of awkwardness to an otherwise cut and dry family. Alan Arkin is great as always, though underutilized in my opinion and would have been great to have a few more quips and lessons to add to the mix. Heck even the kids impressed me with how fitting their characters were taking components of a Christmas Story, Christmas Vacation, and a Hallmark kid and wrapping it into one. And Steve Martin as the narrator added a nice tree topper, fitting right in line with the various narrators of classic Christmas stories.

 

Love the Coopers is an okay film, but certainly isn’t your run of the mill Christmas tale. Sure the comedy was a nice variation, and the acting certainly made the characters alive and relevant. Unfortunately this movie was just too monotonous, long-winded and depressing to make this movie fully entertaining. I’m sure you can guess from my review that this movie really isn’t worth the trip to the theater, not only due to lack of entertainment but also a lack of special effects. Therefore this reviewer recommends skipping this movie at the time and finding an alternative to this movie.

 

My scores for this film are:

 

Comedy: 6.5

Movie Overall: 6.0

The Walking Games: A Dark Edge Wrap Up To the Series, True to the Book

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            The four-toned call sounds through the distance, the three-fingered salute extending on the screen to unite a band of rebels in a dystopian era. No I’ve not gone crazy, I’m just talking about the latest Hollywood blockbuster. Yes my friends tonight we discuss the epic final chapter of the epic Jennifer Collins’ masterpiece that you’ve been waiting a year for. Tonight I review… Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 2.

 

If you remember my last review, you’ll know I wasn’t the biggest fan of the “epic” part 1 with its heavy dialogue and overdramatic songs. Part 2 was supposed to bring the explosive action with Collins dark edge of dystopian war. The good news is that Mockingjay part 2 definitely had more excitement than its predecessor, it just took a while to get there. Like the book, this installment had our heroes walking through the desecrated landscape, and commenting how bad things are. All the walking and talking made me feel like I was back in a Peter Jackson production, alleviated only by some heavy laden special effects that stimulated our cast to yes you guess it run. Eventually we get to some actual excitement that brings that familiar sense of heart pounding horror and displays our warriors skills outside of complaining, despite some shaky camera work in the beginning. After that the action is tempered down to a level many “action” fans will like.

 

At this point you might be thinking, “I don’t come for the action. I come for the story, drama, and relationships this movie has.” Well the directors heard you and filled most of this 137 minute time span with these qualities, integrating them with all the walking. Much of the drama centers on Katniss’ indecisiveness as to whom she loves, which is only distracted by her lingering hatred of Snow fueling her desire of revenge. The inner turmoil of our characters is brought to full life in these moments, but I wasn’t emotionally stimulated in this movie at least not by the characters problems. Unfortunately they didn’t add flare for other important moments in this movie, leaving them rather dull. Oh well, can’t say they didn’t make this somewhat realistic.

 

Story wise this film sticks to the book closely, but the team has made some alterations to fill in the book’s vague moments. Some moments add a little more glory to the extras, though the hype of the characters was greatly over exaggerated such as the best shooters unable to hit anything. In addition some of the alterations (especially those at the end) were not really needed and only dragged out the film further. Before you dislike the review hear me out. I get these scenes were to illustrate Katniss’ time of healing as she accepts and copes with all that has transpired in the trilogy that the book fortunately glossed over. That didn’t mean I wanted to see more bouts of overdramatic screaming (which I hadn’t gotten enough of at this point) and verbal animal abuse. At least the epilogue was more fulfilling compared to what the book did.

 

In terms of production quality, the movie is certainly impressive. Our film crew was able to design a war torn world that was savage and unforgiving, just like war. While I didn’t feel for the characters in this movie, the cinematography certainly brings out the horrors of the Hunger Games. While the action wasn’t what I had fully hoped for, the special effects are still an incredible visualization of Collins work, something truly worthy of the Game Masters… especially those mutts. The added movie references, whether intentional or unintentional, were also a nice touch to maximize the darkness of this film.

 

As for the acting, Jennifer Lawrence carries the torch as always. She plays Katniss as strongly as ever while still adding more depth to an already deep character, despite playing the same role she always plays (a pissed off woman). Josh Hutcherson surprisingly impressed me this time, managing to make Peta not as annoying as he was in the book. His portrayal of mentally disturbed was well done, and surprisingly kept in balance to make you feel for the guy. The other cast members did a great job (mostly), and fit well with each other to make a team, even if they took a back seat to the two leading roles.

 

Mockingjay Part 2 ends the series on a good note. It stuck to the book fairly well, brought the world to life, and had impressive special effects. I can’t say it’s as action packed as everyone says, unless walking counts, but it still had an edge that got my heart pumping. It is definitely worth a visit to the theater, as if you would miss it, and I feel many fans will enjoy this fitting conclusion to the epic trilogy, or quadrilogy in this case.

 

My scores for MockingJay are:

 

Adventure: 8.0

 

Movie overall: 7.0-7.5

Same Peanuts Fun, Different Peanuts Art Style

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It’s a shame to see what passes as cartoons these days. Much of the cartoons are low budget attempts to tell a story, while choking audience members with incredibly stupid, over the top, antics that continue to numb the mind. However, despite the acceptance of this new “standard” of cartoons it is always nice to see a diamond (usually a classic) emerge from the rough. This weekend Charlie Brown and the gang come to the big screen to bring us the Peanuts movie, which hopefully will inspire future studios in their production quality. What is in store? Read on to find out.

If you’re like me, Charles Schultz’s comics always brought a simplistic, sense of fun as Charlie Brown questioned his place in life. The Peanuts movie has pieced together all of your favorite moments into one continuous, albeit simplistic, story that brings both fun and nostalgia to the theater.  I couldn’t help but smile watching our crew skate across the ice, or watch Charlie attempt to conquer his fears of speaking to the little red haired girl. Even better was how they integrated Snoopy into the movie to follow in tandem to his owner’s adventure, and adding a little excitement to the mix (the flying ace anyone). Whatever tale you enjoy more, know that you and your kids will get moral filled lesson in one form or another that has that same Schulz feeling. While it was disappointing to see some of these scenes dialed down, like deleting Snoopy’s ability to fire at the imaginary red baron, the fun remains for both kid and adult alike.

Comedy wise, Schulz’s humor still remains untouched by time. The young and young at heart will love watching Snoopy tease the children, high-pitched laughing and squealing usually getting an extra set of laughs. I myself enjoyed the well-timed responses to the jokes, especially with the voice actors delivery mirroring the emotion of our gang. And yes my friends, the classic crazy dancing that was made famous in the Christmas episode is there, and just as ridiculous as ever. I will admit I would have loved some original jokes and some more wit added to the movie to spice things up, but that would rob Peanuts of its charm established so long ago.

My favorite part of this movie though was the art style. The Peanuts movie portrays our cast in a style that looks as if computer and comics were blended into one. Animation wise it is fluid, our characters jumping, soaring, flying, and dancing in a manner more impressive than the classic films did. In addition the colors are incredible, popping out at you and bringing energy to the scenes at hand. Clearly much of the art was designed for a 3-D showing, which I did not see, but Steve Martino and his crew gave me a spectacle that was aesthetically pleasing. Plus, seeing some of the classic sketches being intermingled in thought bubbles was a nice touch that blended the old with the new.

As for the voice acting, our cast of characters didn’t do a bad job of portraying a group. Assembling a cast of kids to voice kids was a step in the right direction, and I felt the casting department did a great job finding mimics to the original characters. In addition, they sold me to the character’s struggles, capturing the emotion of hurt, happy, obnoxious, and so much more with each line they spouted out. While it certainly doesn’t win any Oscars for voice acting quality, this cast of kids are sure to take the screen by storm if they continue this quality of acting.

The Peanuts movie is not the best movie in the world, and certainly doesn’t win points for originality. However, it gave me everything I expected while bringing back the fun I had with Charlie Brown and the gang so long ago. With a new art style, snippets of my favorite moments, and the cute, adorable charm of the original, the Peanuts movie goes a long way for providing entertainment. I certainly recommend this one for a theater visit, especially those looking for simplistic fun at the movies. Whether you should see it in 3-D or not, I leave to another reviewer, as I avoid 3-D if possible. However, I do hope you will take the time to see this movie and once again witness cartoons at its finest (I’m talking to you television cartoon makers).

My scores for the Peanuts movies are:

Animation/Adventure/comedy: 8.5

Movie Overall: 8.0

Solid Bond Movie, but Lackluster in Action

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His name is legend among the spy films, his actions so big that one actor could not handle them alone. And this man with a license to kill likes his martinis shaken not stirred. Yes today I’m focusing on the latest James Bond movie Spectre. Actor Daniel Craig has carried the torch of England’s elite killer for the last three installments, facing many ups and downs in terms of movie quality. What treats does Spectre offer? As always I will do my best to answer these questions in the latest Robbie K review.

If you have seen the commercials, then you have seen the taglines that this is the best Bond movie ever. After seeing the movie myself, I have to say that Spectre feels like a classic Bond adventure. The movie focuses on the espionage and information gathering area, as Bond seeks areas left by a cryptic message while trying to connect all the pieces of the puzzles. While the dialogue may a bit dry, I found this to be a well done spy movie that utilized thought and manipulation over more aggressive forms of information gathering. And all of it is done with 007 suaveness, as Craig uses silver tongue and skillful craft to uncover the mystery.

As for the story itself, it too has many classic Bond elements that have been modernized to appease today’s audience. Spectre contains a bad guy with too much power and a thug who seems practically invincible that stands in our “hero” way. However, this series continues to tie more of Bond’s personal dram in the film for character development. I didn’t think the story was bad, but I can’t say that I was impressed with the predictable “twists” the movie had and the convenient tie up in the form of Waltz’s character Oberhauser. I guess I was expecting a little more cleverness and surprise to Spectre than what I got, and a little more excitement to further support the 2.5 hour time length.

Speaking of action, Spectre did not have the spark of excitement its predecessors had. Most of the scenes are chase scenes, with Bond showing off his gorgeous, bulletproof cars as he puts the petal to the metal. These chases were not thrilling to me, simplistic speeding down roads with some comedic jibes thrown in instead of the cliché pings of bullets sailing through the air. The fistfights have a little more gusto to them, with a savagery that looks like something off the Discovery channel. However, the bashing lacks any real suspense, and the near invincibility of the thug makes him worthy of being in a comic book. As for gadgets and gunplay, they have been diluted to quick bouts of Bond wiping the floor with the extras, again lacking any suspense. This mentality bled into the ending as well, leaving us with yet another anticlimactic chase scene that was unsatisfying and boring.

The spectacular aspects of this movie are the acting and the production quality. Craig still brings his calm, collected, and rather monotone delivery to the role, truly bringing the Bond style we have come to expect. Waltz does a great job playing the role of the deranged, delusional vision (which seems) to be second nature to him now, and is a nice rival to Bond, despite his limited involvement in the film. Lea Seydoux as the new Bond woman brought both familiarity and a refreshing spin, while still retaining that classic Bond girl sexiness. As for Q, the nerdism continues, with Ben Whinshaw adding that edge we all love of the organization’s lead inventor.

Production quality wise Spectre is fantastic. The film is loaded with over the top special effects with pyrotechnic explosions lighting up the theater. Stable camera work keeps all the details in focus and captures the emotion of the characters to the full effect. And all of it comes together with incredible sound effects that make the theater rumble with triumphant thunder. Despite how lackluster the action is in this movie, our production team managed to truly escalate and capture the fullest potential for most of the movie.

Spectre certainly has all the atmosphere of a Bond film, delivering the charismatic charm that only 007 can bring. With witty dialog, character development drama, and a cast that brings it all to life, it certainly is hard to dock points. However, Spectre is lacking in excitement and suspense, with lackluster action and a rushed plot. At the length the film is, such dull really takes away from quality for this reviewer. Is it worth a trip to theater? Outside of the sound effects, Spectre was not worth the ticket price and better saved for a rent at home.

My scores for Spectre are:

Action/Adventure/thriller: 7.0

Movie Overall: 7.0