Bourne To Be Wild or Bourne To Be Walking



Robbie K back again with the third movie review of the week. Tonight, we move away from the comedy/drama and move into the action film of the seven-day spread. Our film to review today is Jason Bourne, the fifth installment (fourth if you don’t count Legacy) in the spy with the same name. Upon seeing the trailer, I didn’t know what to expect with this movie and could only pray the fifth film could maintain the spark. Has the Bourne series returned to the glory of the first trilogy with the return of Matt Damon, or is it another Hollywood sham? As always, let’s get started.



  • Acting is top notch
  • Decent crime/conspiracy plot
  • Exciting conclusion…ish


Let’s kick off the review with a quality you might not really care about in terms of a movie like this…the acting. At this time I must say that the emotional spectrum in this movie is limited to stoic faces, slightly angry outbursts and looks of alarm when loud noises are made. But our cast does this so well that you have to appreciate how good the edge works for them. Matt Damon has not let the time delude the sharpness he had as the assassin from years ago. While he certainly looks the part, Damon also keeps his emotions in check and delivers his anger in a manner that is not overdone. As for Tommy Lee Jones, well he still has the reliable delivery that we all know and love in his various agent roles (again not showing any emotion). Alicia Vikander as the new leading lady gets thumbs up as well, but she isn’t quite as endearing as the others outside of providing a great connecting character for the story (and potential sequel).

Now that the acting is put aside, let’s talk plot next. Jason Bourne’s plot is decent, a very technical movie that explores the complex web of lies the agency likes to weave. This film does a great job of reintroducing the classic hero (though the opening is a little slow) and helps get the audience prepped for the tale at hand. The focus of this movie involves explaining a little more about Bourne’s origin stories and just who is the source of all his anger is. While certainly not the most unique tale I have ever seen, it does fit well with the Bourne universe and provides the backbone for all the chaos to be had. And perhaps my favorite part of it all was the exciting finish.

Speaking of the finale, man did Bourne’s tale end with a bang. All of the tension comes to full boil, forcing Bourne and his allies to make some hasty decisions that leads to adrenaline pumping chases. What starts out as a foot race quickly amps up to vehicles and gunplay where the special effects come to full life and the sound grips you harder than a vice grip. Yes it is a bit over the top, and the amount of damage is ridiculous, but it certainly is good for a laugh.






  • Slow to take off
  • Action masked as lots of walking
  • Nicky Parsons limited role


I already mentioned this, but the Borne movie took a little time to take off for me. Yes, the set up is building some tension, but it took a little too long to get to the good action parts. There wasn’t as much drive to the set up and the dry dialogue did not help things along at all. Maybe if there had been a little more emotion in our characters or some symphony score to amp it up it could have been better for me. However, the slowness is forgotten once you get to that first chase scene that proved Bourne still had skills, outside of punching untrained guys.

And then the action hits the wall that makes you wonder how it is considered the most action packed of the series. After the chase scene, most of the action is actually our cast speed walking around various cities in an attempt to escape the technology superior government. While the cinematography certainly gave you great shots of these locations, seeing the actors get a good cardio workout is not my ideal vision of action. Seriously, I was waiting for the Lord of the Rings walking music to play. Even when the action scenes hit, the camera work got quite shaky and could be difficult to follow at times. At least the finale restored my faith in the series a bit.

And finally Nicky Parsons. The woman was certainly awesome in the first trilogy, but in this movie she was robbed of the much needed screen time. As impressive as she was in the opening, her character exited the stage too soon to satisfy the promise the trailers provided. Maybe the story, the action, or the delivery could have been more exciting had they teamed up some more.




            The fifth Bourne movie has everything you expect in the series including a convoluted plot, intense chase scenes, decent gunplay, and emotionless flat characters who only care to kick butt. While I don’t agree that it is the best movie of the series, it still fit in well with the series and provided some entertainment. True, I did want a faster tale, better action, and a little deeper story, but hey there is always another movie to accomplish that goal. Would I recommend it for a theater visit? I can say yes, especially for die hard fans of the series, but would suggest other films in place of this one.


My scores are:


Action/Thriller: 7.5

Movie Overall: 7.0

Mom’s the Word and The Target Audience

bad moms.jpg


Moms, everyone at some point has had one in some shape or form. Our world today focuses on portraying these lovely women (and sometimes men) as either saints or monsters depending on the acts. Over the years the image of a mom has changed, often gearing towards being a perfect role model who does no wrong and should she make a mistake is cast as a cretin. However, tonight’s film decides to explore a different venue, one that is certain to be entertaining to some audiences. Yes, I’m talking about Bad Moms, a comedy that is certain to start up online riots. Hi Robbie K here and I’m back with another review, let’s get started.



  • Delivers what’s promised in the trailers
  • Short run time
  • Decent story with good morals
  • Good acting


This review is difficult to write, because I have to keep in mind the target audience the developers had in mind. If you haven’t seen the trailers, then you might not know that Bad Moms is an over-the-top, ridiculous comedy geared towards moms, and guess what… that is exactly what you get. If you were expecting something different, then you will be disappointed, but this movie certainly delivers the silliness promised. It’s comedy is geared towards what many of my female friends joke about including sexual innuendos, superficial lust jokes, and more meme worthy quotes than you can count. Especially in the beginning, the movie is a one-stop joke box that draws as much stupidity as possible, which kept much of the audience laughing.

While the comedy may not have been up my alley, to my surprise Bad Moms had a decent story. Again one shouldn’t be surprised that the movie has a plot geared towards mothers and the issues they face. I myself began to roll my eyes at the cheesy drama of the plot and the emphasis on superficial things like sex, alcohol, and a bit of drugs. However, the second act packed that sentimental punch that really hooked me into the movie. The morals embedded in the over dramatic speeches and symphony laden sequences are very powerful and may teach significant others and kids an important lesson. I applaud the directors for being able to drive such a message in a comedy like this, but that certainly gained bonus points in my book. Again, mothers will feel this point the most, but those who have an open mind might feel it in your heart as well

Another saving grace is the acting in this movie. I went in expecting really bad work to mold out of the word work and shallow talent. And in truth I kind of got what I expected, but also got some surprises. Mila Kunis did a nice job in this simplistic role, and was able to inject some depth into it. Kathryn Hahn is your number one comedy guru, doing nothing but acting like an ass and having a mouth to go with it. Kristen Bell is…cute, but her character’s awkwardness has a limited role of providing a few good lines and very empowering moment. As for the bad girls, well nothing really magical about this performance, other than yeah they are good at being a five-letter word for a dog.


  • Very lazy writing
  • Stupid
  • Not really unique


This is tough to write and not upset people, but I’ll do my best. Yes, the movie does deliver what the trailer promised, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best quality when compared to other films. Bad Moms writing is essentially how many rants, shouts, and one-liner quotes can be fit in a ninety-minute run time. It’s fun and enjoyable, but it certainly is lazy writing, especially once the F bombs and penis grenades are dropped. Sometimes these jokes are timed very well, or delivered in a manner that capitalizes the fun (thank you Kathryn Hahn). However, the sheen does dull after the tenth iteration and had me bored until the story picked up.

The lack of cleverness also shows just how stupid the movie is as well. Something else that may cross the line is some of the more intense party moments our directors filmed (alcohol anyone). As such, the unique quality of this film is very lacking and quickly falls into the mediocre milieu that plagues the theaters these days. In addition, some of the comedy could be “insulting” to the more traditional member. Therefore exercise caution, pay attention to the rating, and avoid the movie if you are easily offended.


The Verdict


Bad Moms is certainly not the best film to arrive at the silver screen, but it is also exactly what you expected from the trailers. The team certainly created a movie geared toward the mom audience and I have no doubt most in this category, and a few significant others, will laugh their heads off. Therefore I have to give points to the directors for delivering the promised laughs and story. However, it still is a very simplistic movie that does not contain anything really unique, nor the best comedy I have seen. It’s just fun. Other than for a girl’s night out, I cannot recommend this one for the theater, but certainly take a look at it on RedBox.


My scores are:


Comedy: 7.5-8.0 (because it delivers to its category)

Movie Overall: 5.5-6.0

Do You Have The Nerve?



The Internet, it was a revolutionary idea that was designed to connect people and share information to expand our knowledge. And then comes the modern era, where information is second nature in response to entertainment, trolling, and occasionally a uniting purpose. In fact, most of us know how the most popular thing on the internet (past pornography) are vines, memes, and other ranting media. Tonight’s film decides to highlight current Internet trends and makes a story that looks dangerous, thrilling, and fun at the same time. My review is on Nerve starring Emma Roberts and Dave Franco. Let’s get started



  • Fun Adventure
  • Great Acting
  • Decent Story


When I saw the trailer, I though the movie was going to be more of a serious thriller. Thankfully, I’m very pleased to report Nerve is a very fun movie filled with excitement, energy, and adventure. Our two heroes start their night out performing tasks and stunts that we only dream of performing (for the most part). The dares from the anonymous Watchers are diverse, but mostly remain grounded in the realistic zone. While certainly stupid, and often quite dangerous, our actors looked liked they were enjoying themselves as they became lost in the moment. As a result, I couldn’t help but get reeled into the moments with them and enjoyed the fun atmosphere it painted.

But then like any good movie, the tone switches and soon the fun evening out develops into something much tenser. Multiple tiers begin to form as the mystery unfolds as to what our couple has fallen into. The story takes multiple turns that leads to some decent character development that fits in well with the overall plot. As more secrets are uncovered, the intensity only builds up until it hits a cheesy, overdramatic fight that is both eye rolling and well done at the same time. Nevertheless, the tale takes a few good twists and plays out in a very morale heavy ending. Pay attention and you can see most of the twists coming. Pay really good attention and the audience may learn something that might save the Internet. Again the story is fun, but the twists help save it from becoming another teenage dramedy filled with thrills, chills, and laughs on the way.

And to play out this story is none other than two talented actors who truly brought what looked to be simple characters to life. Emma Roberts portrayal of Venus (yeah interesting name) was fantastic, developing over the course of the film alongside her character. She brought both beauty and emotion to the role and was certainly a fantastic protagonist to follow on this ninety minute journey. Dave Franco as “Ian” was a wonderful counter character who had poise, pizazz, and a sense of suave that was very welcoming. It’s amazing what you can see actors do when they don’t act like idiots (aka Neighbors). Franco’s dynamic acting helped keep his character fun, but also stays in the dark, brooding side that reels you in. The supporting cast was wonderful too, but we need to move onto the limiting factors of this movie.



  • Not as suspenseful/thrilling as portrayed
  • A few character building moments are rushed
  • A plot point that was kind of worthless


Yes I had fun, and the plot did grow darker, but the suspense was much more dilute than the trailers promised. The Watchers certainly were powerful (we are talking well versed in the art of hacking), but their power wasn’t used to its full potential. This mass media entertainment was a bit underwhelming though, whose bark was worse than their bite. I was expecting such expert computer users to lob more threats at the duo, or perhaps pursue them in some Purge like manner. Instead, they chose to use phones as their weapons and film everything that was happening. Sure the phone angle provided some interesting shots and allowed for integration of famous accidents.

In addition, there were some character development moments that also were a bit underdone. Ian himself has a traumatic past, and you would think facing his fears would have a bit more I don’t know struggle to it. Instead, his challenges were a bit blown over, washed away in a fast pace that could have been more. Fortunately Venus’s drama has more gusto behind it and her obstacles require more bravado to overcome. Unfortunately, she has some plot points that were practically worthless despite the setup at the beginning of the movie. There were few explanations to some of the family dynamics, the struggle for choosing a school wasn’t as big an issue, and her introverted nature disappeared rather quickly. Oh well, at least we got plenty of fun thrills and a good morale lesson right?




Despite the shortcoming, Nerve is definitely one of the more fun and thrilling adventures I have seen in a long time. The dynamic duo of Roberts and Franco are the shining factor for this reviewer, who really brought the energetic fun vibe to the screen. In addition the multiple levels of the plot also made for some engaging moments, and some rather suspenseful moments. Sure there are some missing/blown over moments, but for the most part this adventure gets a seal of approval for unique fun. Worth a trip to theater? I’m going to have to say yes it is.


My scores:

Adventure/Crime/Mystery: 8.5

Movie Overall: 8.0

A Kiddie Collision of Fun and Blandness

ice age 5

Sequels, sequels, sequels! It seems that the only thing that Hollywood wants to make is a sequel these days, at least in the animation world. And what franchise is a better example of this than Ice Age. Years ago, the idiotic animal cast warmed our hearts with an adventure that was fun, funny, and cute. Over a decade later, the adventure still continues, but it has now crossed over into the ridiculous zone (especially with the last movie Continental Drift). Nevertheless, we have the fifth installment dropped onto our laps and yours truly is back into the theater to give you some insight. Let’s get started.



  • Same cute feeling to it
  • Voice Acting is just as good as always
  • Science behind the magic
  • Return of Buck


No surprise, Ice Age remains cute to appeal to the target audience of families. Manny (Ray Romano) and his crew continue to stumble, bash, and insult each other in a manner that is kid friendly and semi-entertaining. Your little ones will be laughing in high-pitched delight as Sid is smacked, Scrat is consistently punished, and insults fly through the air in some ridiculous screaming manner. Yep despite the new gags, it certainly feels like an Ice Age Movie. And when the comedy dries down to a trickle, there are those touching moments, well there are those heart warming, morale filled sequences that will make you say Awwwww.

While the dialogue and storyboard have certainly set the groundwork for the silliness, it is the voice acting that brings it to life. For this reviewer, John Leguizamo (Sid) was my leading voice as he delivers consistently stupidity and forlorn through the movie. Ray Romano’s sarcasm and timing help support this, but Manny’s role has been reduced ever since the birth of his daughter. As for the rest of the cast, well they do their parts justice, despite the limited characters they play, but not enough to call props on (more on that later).

The exception to this is Neil deGrasse Tyson (Buck). Once more Tyson brings energy, whit and well-timed delivery that we loved in the third installment. Buck is just as chaotic as you remember, which often leads to action and genius wrapping into a product that continues to be impressive. And in this installment, Buck brings a lot of scientific principal, some realistic and others purely a stretch of imagination, that can at least stimulate some thoughts. It’s an engaging character one I hope to see in the inevitable sequel to come.


The BAD:

  • The characters are not balanced
  • Crossed into the kiddie zone way too much
  • Rushed story with pointless bad guys


The biggest thing I had an issue with, was how disproportionate the characters were in this movie. It’s no surprise that as the cast continues to expand, there is less time for each character to make a worthy contribution. Ice Age has officially hit that road focussing again on the Mammoths and Scrat and forgoing most of the other characters. Sure Sid and Buck get their fair share, but the other characters are reduced to only a few lines of dialogue and nothing more (I’m talking about your character Jennifer Lopez). Such unbalanced character emphasis is a flaw for me and like many of the characters we need to move on from them rather than pointlessly include them.

As mentioned earlier, the movie is family fun, but each installment continues to go deeper into the kiddie pool. Crash and Eddy have been reduced to very stupid humor that involves mindless banter and getting into fights. Manny’s filter has been set to full power as his adult jokes have been reduced to just straight up bitterness. Even Sid has managed to dumb down his comedy so that is kid friendly. Wanda Sykes’ edge that we got in the fourth film had flare and sassiness, but they limited that role so much in this installment. Therefore, the adult spectacle of the first Ice Age continues to be lost with each continued sequel.

Finally, we address the villains of the movie. The new cast members in the film have great voice work, when they are actually on the screen. However, the raptor birds of this movie have little danger, edge, or even threat compared to the natural disaster careening towards Earth. In the first few movies, the villains that were hunting our crew had bite, edge, and terror. These villains were just sad, and another medium for comedic ploys. Throw in a rather rushed and blunt tale with a hastily concluded ending and you only get further lack of suspense.




Ice Age: Collision Course is certainly continuing the trend we’ve seen in the series. While it is certainly kiddie, it is still somewhat entertaining and funny, and not the worst of the five movies. However, it still is not anything like the first Ice Age and the studio should think about dropping it to Netflix for the future instead of polling it in theaters. Therefore you can guess it probably isn’t worth a trip to the theater, and certainly not in 3-D.


As a result, my scores are:


Animation/Adventure/Comedy: 6.5-7.0

Movie Overall: 5.5-6.0 

Beyond The Federation, There Lies An Okay Adventure


            Space, the final frontier, a line that continues to repeat over the years in one of the most popular science fiction movies to grace entertainment. Less than a decade ago, J.J. Abrams decided to reset the series and open up a new universe in the Star Trek universe that led to a lot of controversy. This weekend the third installment of this series has warped into our theaters this weekend and I assembled a crew to journey into the unknown and report our findings, (aka a review). So bold up, get set, and read up on my review of Star Trek Beyond.



  • A true Star Trek adventure
  • Beautiful special effects
  • Comedy that kills
  • Great acting


As mentioned by a few fans, Beyond drops back from the federation centered tales and returns back to exploring the unknown. Beyond goes into the exploration of nebulae, running from CGI crafted natives, and facing technological warfare that always seems to be deadly to extras. As Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) and his crew are forced into the seemingly abandoned world, you get pulled into the nostalgic voyages made famous all those years. While some of the wild live and environmental hazards are a bit lacking, this adventure focuses on what the crew must do to complete their mission with the most members possible. Just like the Star Trek episodes of yore.

How this adventure is brought to life, is by the special effects department.  Abrams use of special effects is top of the line, blending live pyrotechnics with computer generated magic. All of the space stations, starships, and stunt work are incredibly animated, flowing into sequences that are somewhat exciting and worthy of the silver screen. The alien world as well holds the same magic, and feels like a Star Trek landscape, albeit a little more simplified and unimaginative than some of the other places we have visited. Regardless the special effects will certainly be the wow factor to the audience members and will help break up some of the mundane parts of the movie.

My friends and I agreed though that the most entertaining feature was the comedy in this movie. Kirk gets a few laughs in here, but Pine’s character takes a more serious role in this installment, but his well timed snipes got a chuckle from the audience. Scotty the ever angry/irritated engineer still brings the laughs with his irate venting rants and Simon Pegg’s delivery to maximize the enjoyment factor. But it is the dynamic duo of Spock (Zachary Quinto) and Bones (Karl Urban) that really had me in stitches. Spock’s neutral stating of the obvious and his failures in love provide enough ammunition for the good doctor to bash with it. The constant bickering between the two continues to evolve which leads to great character development and dialogue that continues to remain funny throughout the two hours. As I mentioned, none of this would have been possible without the insane acting abilities and fantastic deliveries of our acting cast.


  • The lack of danger/challenge
  • An almost pointless plot device

It was somewhat hard to find faults in this movie for me, but one thing was the lack of challenge our heroes faced in this movie. Think about the Star Trek saga, our crew gets pulled into some crazy situation and it takes every ounce of energy to penetrate, attack, or defend their target. In this movie, both enemy and hero had too easy a time accomplishing their goals. Our crew snuck into places without much resistance, and even when their presence was known the confrontation was a little too one sided and quite poorly executed. Therefore the movie was a little on the boring side for me at times, or at least dull to say the least. It was missing the adrenaline rush and suspense of the second movie, which must have been traded in order to achieve the adventure part of the movie. Even newcomer Jaylah was a bit lackluster, with her combat stances and speeches more impressive than the skills she displayed. And despite the visual effects, the blaster fire was colorful, but seemingly pointless in the ship-to-ship battles. Oh well, number four may be able to correct this…if there is a number four.

In terms of the plot, the movie is pretty sound and focuses a lot on character development than anything else. Don’t get me wrong…this is a good thing, but I was still hoping to have a bit more in terms of action/suspense balance to keep me engaged in the tale. Krall’s (Idris Elba) goal in this movie was almost pointless, his path to revenge centering on a trinket that almost pointless in the grand scheme of things. There was little strategy, and again struggle, to implementing this device and as such I found the central plot of this movie a tad daunting.



Nevertheless despite these weaknesses, Beyond’s delivery is solid. The visual effects craft a wonderful world for our crew to explore and the cast certainly looks the part on all fronts. The biggest strength is certainly the actors bringing characters that we love to an even deeper self, and the comedic punch many provide gives you the laughs. However, I don’t think this one reached the level that Into the Darkness did, especially in terms of excitement and suspense. This reviewer though has to recommend a visit to the theater for this one though, and was the best of the three I saw.

My scores:

Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi: 8.0

Movie Overall: 7.5

When The Lights Go Out, The Creeps Crawl In

Lights OUt

            When things go bump in the night and the amount of light is limited at best, your imagination plays tricks on you. Often we perceive the worst thing lurking in the shadows, waiting to wrap its tendrils, claws, or whatever appendage around your body and finish you off. Well a short film project by David Sandberg laid the groundwork for a major motion picture that plays off of that fear. Welcome to another Robbie’s movie reviews and today we focus on the latest horror film to grace the theaters entitled Lights out. Lets get started!



  • The story
  • Teresa Palmer
  • The creepiness


Surprise, surprise, we actually have a horror movie with a plot this weekend. Lights out writers were able to craft a tale that had a little more depth than some of its fellow scare thrillers. One part digging into the past and another part progressing forward, Lights out does a nice job of balancing both sides of the coin during its short ninety minutes. The pace of the story is set nicely for most of the movie, though it does skip on the details sometimes that added the corny edge to it. For once, I wish the movie was a little longer so that we could explore a little more into the past (primarily Rebecca’s story). Those details could have added a little more depth and uniqueness to the tale and perhaps robbed the cheesiness we saw.

Fortunately, the lovely Teresa Palmer’s acting enriches the story. She hasn’t had the greatest roles, but this movie worked with her. Her edginess, sincerity, and attitude all mixed well to craft a character that was easy to latch onto and root for. Yeah some of the writing was a little corny at times, and her tough girl attitude was cute to see as she took on the spirit. Regardless, she played the mature, older sister very well and carried the movie. Her supporting cast only further supported her talent with Gabriel Bateman and Alexander Dipersia making an excellent pair to bring the tale to life.

In regards to the scare factor though, Lights Out’s strongest aspects is the creepy level. The trailers speak the truth when it says it makes your nightmares come to life. For me the shadows and feeling abandoned in the dark were the biggest thing to freak me out, especially in the realistic environments this movie takes place in. Seeing Diana (the ghoul in this movie) emerge from the shadows in her misshapen form only further sending a chill across my skin. All these factors build an epic suspense and heighten your fear of what lurks in the dark. But…



  • Lackluster Scares
  • The ending


Despite all the build up and being stuck in the shadows, the actual jump scares were lacking for my friends and me. Most things involved the abrupt start of music and became very predictable in what tactic they would use. Perhaps it was due to Diana not doing much, or maybe they just couldn’t keep things fresh enough, but the scares were missing in some sense for me. Or maybe the actual face of the woman wasn’t as messed up as I though (those eyes though). Therefore, those looking to have themselves frightened to the point of peeing their pants are out of luck. Oh well, the creepiness will linger in your mind longer to tell the truth.

And despite all the good of the story, there were still some things that needed a little tightening up to get the full effect. As mentioned the pace is a little rushed, the background stories are lacking, and the lines are cornier than a maze in the fall. However, it is the ending that made me sigh in disappointment. After a prolonged, semi-exciting battle against Diana, the ending occurs rather bluntly. Yes it had some emotional fervor behind it, and it will make my more dark hearted audience members reel in delight. I just wish it had more kick behind it instead of the compromise we got. My guess is the fast pace led to the abrupt ending, either that or they couldn’t think of anything to finish out the fight in that epic manner (a.k.a Star Wars Episode III). Whatever the reason, the ending wraps things up and could be vague enough to allow for another sequel to grace the screen.


The Verdict:

   Lights out is certainly not the most original ghost story we’ve received. However, it still has the edge, presentation, and story to put this movie on an upper shelf of horror quality. In terms of scare factor, again the creepiness will leave you afraid to venture into the dark, but its not going to leave your hair white anytime soon. However, in terms of intriguing tale it definitely gets points in this category for me. Is it worth a trip to the theater? In my opinion…not really, and your money would be better spent on say Star Trek this weekend.


My scores are:

Horror: 7.5

Movie Overall: 6.5-7.0


If you want Silly, That is real Cheesy, Who You Gonna Call?


“If there’s something strange, in your neighborhood. Who you gonna call?” The answer to that question was so much simpler before this year. Ever since the announcement of the reboot, there has been epic debate about the quality of this upcoming film. Quotes like this will suck because it’s not the original cast, or how dare they replace the Ghostbusters with females! Well putting the stupid sexism battles aside, this reviewer is back to share his thoughts on the latest movie to haunt the theaters. So let’s get started



  • A fun story
  • Leslie Jones
  • Visuals


Okay, lets get if off our chests right now, the story is not as good as the original. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s bad either. This installment’s tale is a decent origin story that places our heroines against a deranged, albeit lame, bad guy with an obsession for ghosts. As simple as it is, the story has many entertaining moments and set a fast pace to keep those with short attention spans into the mix. While it certainly lacks the mysterious, darker qualities that brought suspense to the first installments, it still has some fun to it and sets us up for a potential sequel (especially the end credits scene)

Perhaps a bigger topic of debate though, is the cast itself. I’m going to lay it out right now that I have no biased towards male or female actors, my analysis is based on what they bring to the movie. This assembled cast is notorious for comedy, and they bring their usual bag of tricks to the screen in hopes of getting you to laugh. Of the leading ladies, Leslie Jones was my favorite of the bunch. As promised in the trailers, Jones brings bold, brash comedy that nearly had me rolling in the aisles. While her loud rants and meme worthy faces are entertaining, I mainly enjoyed her sarcastic jabs, statements of the obvious, and bitter monologues the most.

In terms of visuals, modern technology continues to be impressive as our ghosts were brought out in a grand visual display. While the make up and realism were tapered down, the ghosts had the wispy, ectoplasmic look that we often associate with ghosts. Fortunately the new technology allowed for fluid animation and very unique looking ghosts. Even the proton packs, and the assorted other gadgets, have some flare as well, with dazzling sound effects and flashy colors. These provided some exciting action scenes, again being a bit on the overdramatic side that brought nostalgia back.



  • Forced humor
  • A story missing suspense


As I feared from the trailers, the biggest fault for this reviewer was the forced humor of this movie. If you remember the classic films, the writers produced clever dialogue, witty insults, and relied on the actors’ delivery to provide the comedic punch. Not the case in this movie. Our SNL cast has brought their modern touch to the mix, which means less cleverness and more infusion of overacted silliness. Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy deploy their usual stunts to spur out laughs, this means lots of prolonged banter, recurrent jokes, and sometimes overrated comedy. I know it’s their method these days, but it would have been nice if they had injected some more wit into the mix. And Kate McKinnon had some well timed moments, but like the others the overzealous antics get stale and lost it’s punch. As for Chris Hemsworth, well this movie attempted to make him funny, but failed immensely for me. Our writers focused on his looks being his selling feature, while belittling his intelligence to that of a rock. His lines can be humorous at times, but making him a complete boob (or better phrased idiot) got old…quickly. Fortunately there are a few moments where the stupidity lightens up, especially in terms of the well-placed cameos, but for the most part the comedy is overstretched and overdone

Despite the story being fairly entertaining, it did lack a lot of the suspense and mystery that the other tales had. We know who the main villain is from the start, and I must say he wasn’t that impressive. You remember Goza the Destroyer, or even Viggo the Destroyer? They were terrifying and dark in their control of the paranormal forces. But Rowan wasn’t that well developed and his ability to manipulate the dimensional portals was a bit of a stretch even for me to swallow. Thanks to the comedic approach of the movie, the story lost much of its edge, the danger essentially absent until the very end when the action stirs up and the girls kick butt. Sure these scenes have little suspense behind them as well, but it finally gets things stirred up a bit. Perhaps if the team had traded some story for the comedy things would have been better, but Hollywood still refuses to find balance.



Is Ghostbusters the worst movie of the summer? Not even close, but it certainly has ground to make up in the sequel that I believe will come. The cast is not the worst part of the movie, but more of the writing and direction they took it. If you want the Ghostbuster cleverness with well written dialogue and sarcasm, then you best skip this film altogether. However, those who are fans of the current SNL theatrics will surely find entertainment in this film. While the visuals are certainly impressive, I can’t say they warrant a 3-D showing due to the lacking story and action. This reviewer does encourage catching it at home though.


My scores are:

Comedy/Fantasy/Sci-Fi: 6.5

Movie Overall: 5.5

Pets On The Run, Makes For Silly Family Fun

Secret life of pets

Kids movies continue to swarm into the theaters, and Hollywood’s trailer editors have been hard at work baiting us in. With Disney owning the box office this summer, Illumination Entertainment (the creators of Despicable Me) are taking a shot at the box office run. This weekend we got The Secret Life Of Pets, a movie that has been highly anticipated since it’s trailer debut from so long ago. It was indeed a very entertaining trailer, but we all know how trailers can be deceptive now don’t we? So I have headed into the trenches again to report on the latest film to hit the silver screen.



  • Cute/Kid Friendly
  • Funny
  • Good animation


When you watch, or for many rewatch, the trailers you most likely saw the characters as cute, cuddly animals doing hilarious things. Good news! The trailer is accurate this time and provides the cute factor you expected (including the very scenes you saw in the trailer). All of the characters are adorable, the main ones being bouncy, fluffy, high-spirited animals that will make you want to say Awwwwww. Our design team found a way to maximize all the cute features of an animal and sell it to the families that will lead to merchandising. Even animals you wouldn’t think cute (like snakes, gators, and lizards) get the cuddly personifications. Hopefully you have gathered from this, that the design is kid friendly and will have your little ones enamored.

But cute is only the hook, what keeps the interest going in this film? The answer is the comedy of course. The stunts the animals pull are entertaining and the dialogue itself had me chuckling at many of the media references. Voice acting only helps sell the comedy more, especially Kevin Hart and all his high pitched screaming. Your kids though will be the ones to enjoy the comedy the most though, as it is slapstick, simplistic antics with digital pets. Running into walls, making funny faces, or going to the bathroom on the floor are just some of the things you will see that had toddlers chuckling in their seats.

And a small bonus, that really shouldn’t be a surprise, is that the animation is good. Illumination Entertainment certainly has their anatomy and physiology down being able to superimpose human qualities while still maintaining there animal qualities. Glad to know that our animation studios are still able to produce great works. If only they could have put that effort into the next few qualities.



  • The Story
  • Lack of Uniqueness
  • Trailers showed you a lot of the movie


With the comedy and animation being the obvious focus, you have to wonder how the story fared in this movie. Unfortunately…it didn’t fare that well. Oh it’s not that bad at all, but the problem is that it lacks anything memorable or emotionally driving for me. The writers crammed a lot of plots into a short 90 minutes run time, and the resulting production was a very rushed, shallow tale with little development. A split focus resulted in little emotional build-up, and there was no intriguing qualities to keep my attention on any of the cast. And the goal they were trying to achieve was very limited and didn’t really set any time limit or urgency to the tale.

To add more fuel to that fire, The Secret Life of Pets wasn’t really that unique of a movie. We’ve had talking pet movies before, where anthropomorphic animals traverse a city or town that often involves a very extreme villain (think Oliver and Company or Homeward Bound). Those tales stick home because they had edge, depth, and moments that stick out in your mind. Not the case with this movie, as again there was no drive to make our pets grow, develop, or even go through much struggle at all. It doesn’t have any twists to mix things up either, and therefore leaves little to spoilt. In addition, much of the movie, including a lot of the funny parts, is revealed in the three trailers out and therefore you can save yourself some major bucks by just rewatching all of the trailers. Yeah, I know that is definitely a disappointing factor.


The Verdict

            The Secret Life Of Pets is exactly what the trailer promises, fun, entertaining, and wildly adorable. Younger audience members, as well as those very young at heart, are the target group for this movie hands down. It has the laugh factor certainly, and the cast of characters are a motley crew that I certainly enjoyed. However, the story is very simplistic, the lack of emotional suspense, and that much of the movie is told in the trailers make this movie not the most memorable of the summer. I can’t say it is worth a trip to the theater in comparison to some of the other kid movies, but it makes for a good family outing.


My scores are:


Animation/Comedy/Family: 7.5-8.0

Movie Overall: 7.0

The Purge 3: A Vote For Violence, a Vote For Suspense

Purge 3

            With the holiday coming up, the movie industry is doing its best to rope people into the theaters. You would think something patriotic like a war story, a biography of a founding father, or some type of political coming of age movie. But my first review is on a horror instead…that has to due with politics. My review is on The Purge: Election Year, the third installment in a series I never expected to have this much ground. Yours truly heads into the trenches to provide you another review and help guide your thoughts on how to spend your tickets in the theaters.



  • Comedy
  • Semi Decent plot
  • Suspenseful


The first point has to be a surprise, but yes the Purge: Election Year has some decent comedy to lighten up the aggressively somber mood. I mainly laughed at the commentary from Joe, a local deli shop owner with an interesting background on his own. Joe’s lines are a menagerie of one-liners, quips, and racial banter that had the audience laughing. Despite some of the intense moments, the writers made the lines very tasteful, making sure to add a fun edge that hopefully won’t insult the masses. Some of the other characters have their moments as well, timed equally well to maximize the laughs.

But you didn’t come for laughs, you came for suspense that the night of legalized murder has provided in the past. You might think that a third installment has lost its edge, but surprisingly Election Year keeps the same on the seat moments as the last one. Like its predecessor, this movie takes our characters onto the streets, each forging their own path through the chaotic forest of crazy violence. I was pulled into the movie not by the mindless killing, but by the wonder of which member of the merry band would bite the dust.

Part of what helped this was a semi-decent, albeit rushed, plot that had a little more backbone than mindless murder. Election Year’s plot brings us further down the rabbit hole as to the point of the Purge and fills into those pot holes left at the end of the second movie. It’s nothing special, but the character profiles were what kept my interest and fostered a bond with all the characters.



  • Pointless cursing/overacting
  • Violence substituted for plot
  • All the political issues it can drum up


No surprise, but a Rated R movie is going to have cursing, I get that I do. But as always the case, our writers get a little overzealous with dirtying the mouths of characters. Election Year unfortunately is not spared that fate as characters, mainly extras, fill their roles with overacted, dramatically-emphasized cursing that is more annoying than anything. I know it is to make you hate the character who will certainly die in the end, but they could have done it without such grandiose tactics. The silver lining of this, it is for limited run times so yay for that.

A second weakness for me, is substituting the violence for the plot. Now don’t rip my head off, it is the Purge, a holiday that is only about violence and celebrating death, of course there will be violence. However, the Purge really needs to drop the glorified torture scenes and disturbing dances of craziness to provide more kick to their tale. That doesn’t mean get rid of it all, after all there were plenty of jump at you moments where the violence was perfect, but Election Years tangents showing mask-wearing extras dancing or setting an elaborate trap that really doesn’t work. This is another example of editing not eliminating all unnecessary scenes.

But perhaps the biggest weakness for me is the political issues this movie is sure to spark. Back in the day, you could make a movie like this and not start a revolution, but modern times have left our people a little more easily offended these days. The Purge’s overdramatic antics, dialogue, and factions are certainly going to divide people and perhaps incite their own revolution on some level. All of the excessive violence, racial slurs, and political issues are over glorified, and I saw these effects take fruit in my theater with a few overzealous fans. So why did I bring this point up? Two reasons. The first is the political rants and corrupt speeches are cheesy, overdone, and eye rolling. The second is that if you are easily offended, no matter how much you like horror, you should not see this movie.


The Verdict

Despite being a third installment, The Purge Election Year certainly brings the same bite it always has. Yes, it is overdramatic and glorifies violence, and at times is certainly reflective of a mad man’s mind. However, as far as horror movies go, it is surprisingly decent in terms of plot, action, and suspense that will entertain many of this genre. With interesting characters and a fast moving pace, you certainly won’t be bored for the 105 minute run time. Necessary for a trip to the theater? Not really, but those who love the dive into the mad realm of murder, will certainly enjoy this tale.


My scores:


Action/Horror/Sci-Fi: 7.0

Movie Overall: 6.0