Crazy, Rich Cliche

Crazy Rich Asians Poster

            In this modern day, the way of peace is about understanding cultures and trying to respect many things that come with someone’s values.  No this isn’t a political paper for a social studies class, but it makes up a big theme of the movie I’m reviewing tonight.  Tonight’s film is all about the traditions and heritage that comes with certain families and how they can complicate aspects of life for many. Naturally, we love the drama that comes with it, as it provides stories to become immersed into, especially when the pursuit of romance comes with.  Based on a popular book, tonight’s rom-com hopes to bring a lot of people into the box office in hopes of wrapping up the summer with a good romantic aspect to tie us over.  Will it work? Robbie K here to shed some light on the subject as he reviews:

 

Movie: Crazy, Rich, Asians (2018)

 

Director:

Jon M. Chu

Writers:

Peter Chiarelli (screenplay by),  Adele Lim (screenplay by)

Stars:

Constance Wu,  Henry Golding,  Michelle Yeoh

 

 

LIKES:

 

Fun:  The movie is overall a fun take on the romantic-comedy aspect.  It has plenty of drama, but somehow uses the traditions and culture to really craft an entertaining tale that incorporates a number of colorful characters to bring out the full emotion.  In addition, the movie has a lot of aspects that the rich culture brings that brings more entertainment to please the masses that come to the film.

 

The Tasteful Jokes: You’ll need to go in expecting stereotypes, but based on what modern TV and movies can do these days, Crazy, Rich Asians keeps it quite tasteful.  Clever wit, a well-timed joke, and the fantastic delivery of lines will have you howling in delight at all the awkwardness this situation brings.  Even better, is how most of the jokes are well embedded into the story, and not just thrown in for the sake of making a joke. Throw in a little justice being dropped and the result is jokes that will have people nodding or smirking in delight at the pokes it brings.

 

The Gorgeous Set/Sequences: With crazy money, comes the ability to get super creative with the parties and celebrations that fill this movie to the brim.  The elaborate houses are certainly a wonderful start, but the shores of Singapore are lined with tourist destinations galore that will have you craving a vacation sometime soon. As boats, towers, and shopping centers begin to unwind. In addition, the movie scores points at bringing a lot of fun into these immaculate settings, fully bringing out the fun and helping you dive into the celebrations at hand.

 

The Music:  The music is fun, fresh, and in the Asian tongues and melodies that fit well into the movie.  While certainly more covers than anything, Crazy Rich Asians does a nice job selecting tracks that either fully agree to the scene, or at least bring the emotions out in full force.  This is certainly most prevalent at the romantic intense moments, primarily in the wedding you saw in the trailer.

 

The Characters:  I’ve already said this before, but the movie’s characters are certainly my favorite aspect of the movie.  Constance Wu and Henry Goldingare fantastic protagonists, managing to bring the passion out in full strength, but not cross over into corny levels as we often see.  Gemma Chanand Michelle Yeohdo their parts justice as well, acting as subplots that run-in tangent with the main plot, but yet add to the story.  In addition, their support of the main story keeps their involvement relevant and fun.  Finally Awkwafinaand Nico Santos, steal the show in their own regards as they help amplify the fun and contribute to the growth of the characters in their own regard. As for the other collection of characters, they play their own part in crafting grandiose farces that are meant to only irritate the nerves of the audience.

 

 

DISLIKES:

The Cliché: It’s a romance movie, and sadly Crazy, Rich, Asian follows the tried and true plot of the genre.  It’s formulaic, romantic bouts are flattering, sweet, and full of that mushy love Nicholas Sparks fans loves, yet it is so bluntly predictable that it makes for a yawn inducing plot at times.  So, originality wise it doesn’t win points.

 

The Cheesy Tertiary Characters:  Dramas are all about extreme characters to stir the pot and get people addicted to the madness to come.  This film takes those moments a little too extreme, making these ridiculous characters even more eye rolling than needed.  I could have stomached it better had they integrated this group into the plot, but sadly they were reduced to a diluted farce whose sole role was to bring a big joke, or jab at the main character.  Not the best use of these groups, but hey at least we got a laugh.

 

The Incomplete Story: A book has load of time to develop the story and give you the in-depth details that many crave.  The film though did it’s best to balance the imagination into a 2-hour run-time and keep it entertaining.  While they accomplished the task of making the rich lifestyle explode on screen, and infuse the girl power, strong woman role, the other parts of the story were sub-par.  I’ve hinted this up in the characters, but there was strong underutilization of characters, including Awkwafina, and I would have liked to see their involvement span out more.  In addition, there were other family dynamics that showed potential, but then flunked out and went broke with only a few gags to try and recover.

 

Trailers Revealed Much: I don’t think there is much explaining, but there are a lot of scenes that have been elaborated too much by the trailers.  So hopefully you haven’t been obsessed watching the trailers too much.

 

 

THE VERDICT:

            Overall, Crazy, Rich, Asians works for the romance movie, not crossing too far into the cheesy realm, but still not escaping it either. You will find the scenes fun, entertaining, and at times charming, but the film is also a spectacle of what you can do with obscene amounts of money.  Still, the formulaic presentation is rather stale and incomplete, meaning you should rent the book and get the full story.  My recommendations are it is worth checking out, but better reserved for the home viewing over the actual theater minus maybe a date movie or girl’s night out.

 

My scores are:

 

Comedy/Romance:  7.0

Movie Overall:  6.0

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Dare To Join This Clan For the Film?

BlacKkKlansman Poster

 

Robbie K back again with another review, this time on a biography that showed promise for being a wild, crime filled law.  Yet, there was the potential political game embedded in it that looked to get in the way, bringing concern that this movie may go down the wrong pathway.  Nevertheless, I’m back to give you yet another review in hopes that I can help shed some light onto whether the movie is worth its weight in money.  Let’s get started on the review of:

 

Blackkklansman (2018)

 

Director:

Spike Lee

Writers:

Charlie Wachtel,  David Rabinowitz

Stars:

John David Washington,  Adam Driver,  Laura Harrier

 

 

LIKES:

 

Great Setting

Costumes And Makeup

Clever Comedy

Awesome Sound Editing

Fantastic Acting

Strong Lessons

 

Blackkklansman is one of those movies that brings you back in time to all the crazy events of history.  The setting alone feels like a blast from the past, as we drop into the war against segregation from the unique perspective of an undercover agent. Amidst the world building of this movie, comes an impressive display of retro fashions of the time, bringing nostalgia and a certain panache to the film.  In addition, the fantastic soundtrack and sound editing brings that needed dynamic that represents emotion.  While the film is certainly strong in the drama/crime aspect, the comedy is reserved for those with a dryer sense of humor.  Clever wit awaits the audiences for this movie, forgoing the over the top slapstick for a richer laugh generator.  Of course, all of this fails without great acting, and this film’s two leads reach the goal of bringing the times to life and representing the story it wanted to tell.  This strong work helps sell the strong lessons of what history can teach, wrapping it up in very grandiose, preachy method that rolls with the movie.

 

DISLIKES:

 

Aggressive dialogue

Too Dry at Times

Slow Pace

The Ending?

 

 

Back in the day, the politeness and filtering were highly more advanced than today’s standards.  Sadly, the accurate yelling and vocabulary is a little too much for me, hearing all the derogative slanders, hating, and passionate politics just got to eye rolling proportions.  Fan who don’t like all the forbidden words of sailor talk, need to already turn away from this movie, though it still has nothing on Django Unchained and Phone Booth. Trying to offset this is the comedy that totally goes down the dryer route, but sometimes it becomes more a desert wasteland devoid of the usual comedic ocean.  This leads to some fewer entertaining choices, and with it a slower, dragged out piece.  Blackkklansman is horrible for pacing with me, establishing fantastic details, but sort of shirking the time management thing in advance of a complete story Still, the movie needed some spice to well spice things up so that the monotony could be broken up at times.  Finally, the ending.  Symbology and tributes are there to help motivate and teach the life lesson contained in this viewing.  However, the real error I have is that the ending itself seems out of place for me. I get it, the movie was showing some current events, but it just didn’t fit with the story they were trying to tell, which was about the past.

 

The VERDICT:

 

Blackkklansman is an artistic piece of work, that makes some parts of history fun to revisit.  However, the movie still needs some help with maximizing the entertainment/suspense element in their work.  Given the dry, barren joke pool and an ending that doesn’t quite click, you can see why the film gets some points docked away from it.  Still, looking for the informative, big-budget portrayal of the events that took place, the movie does warrant some applause for the ability to make history come to life once more.  Worth a trip to the theater?  Can’t say so, unless you want a political work of art… literally.

 

My scores:

 

Biography/Comedy/Crime: 7.5

Movie Overall: 6.5-7.0

Slender Thin Plot/Characters, This Horror Needs To stick To Video Games

Slender Man Poster

 

Horror movies are flooding into the theater almost as fast comedies, and despite the mediocre reviews they continue to be churned out at the breakneck speed.  Tonight, despite a Sci-Fi horror releasing this week, a second horror wants to take a stab at winning the box office battle.  Robbie K here, bringing you another movie review to help guide your viewing pleasures.  Let’s get started as I share my opinions on:

 

Movie: Slenderman (2018)

 

Director:

Sylvain White

Writers:

David Birke,  Victor Surge (based on a character by)

Stars:

Joey King,  Julia Goldani Telles,  Jaz Sinclair

 

 

LIKES:

 

Short Run Time

Good Cinematography

Makeup/Visuals

Design of Antagonist

Okay Acting

 

Slenderman doesn’t have much going for it for me, but at least the movie is at a short run time of about 80 minutes, so you don’t have to put up with too long of a movie (assuming you stay for the whole show).  The faster pace film has packs plenty of creepy-crawly mood to it, mostly thanks to the cinematography and setting designed for the movie. Bring in the makeup and visuals to further add that shadow of sadness/doom alongside the realistic setting and you an even strong case of being disturbed by the movie. Slenderman’s various actions really can get under your skin, and once his form is solidly captured on set, you might get the final ambience of shivering in your skin as the CGI monster stalks the “heroines”. As for the cast, they do well with the direction they were guided down, but I can’t say more outside of that.

 

DISLIKES:

 

The Characters

The Disturbing Imagery

Plot Holes

Chaotic Camera Work

Aimless Direction

 

Unfortunately, the dislikes pile up, more so in how stereotypical this movie went forgoing any originality and potential for superficial gimmicks.  The first aspect are the characters, very shallow teenagers who not only dug themselves a major hole in this film, but refusing to change.  The static development leaves little to root for, nor any promise that things are going to go well for the teenage girls.  Sadly, the girls primary growth occurs in their ability to tolerate the awful images the CGI ghost brings with him.  Like the Ring, these visuals are not the most pleasing to watch and some felt unnecessary to include, thereby making their inclusion all the more pointless.  Instead they should have worked on the story, for it had many plot holes and dead ends that were disappointing to say the least. Slenderman’s avenues are quickly interrupted by prolonged bouts of cat and mouse games, where the camera work fails to capture all the details you wanted to see.  In addition, the movie did not succeed in taking a firm direction, leading to this spiral of hodge-podge horror that left me bored, listless, and counting the minutes for this predictable film to end.  I’ll applaud the nods to other horror movies, but this piece meal needed some refining to bring Slenderman out to his full horror.

 

The Verdict:

 

Slenderman looked insane, and it delivered on that quite well in regards to the mental war it plays on the girls.  Your scares come from realistic setting and camera work, but outside of that there is little to harp on.  The movie’s story is unfocussed, needing some editing and rewrites to really dive into the tale they wanted to present.  In addition, deeper characters and better focus on the CGI villain is a must if the series is to survive.  As such, I can’t recommend this movie for theater, nor is it worth your time at most rental sites (unless you are a teen looking to test your merit). Given everything coming out save your money and target those movies in the near future.

 

 

My Scores:

 

Horror:  4.0

Movie Overall: 3.0-3.5

A Mega Sized Shark Film? The Meg Review Trying to Bite Into The Box Office

The Meg Poster

 

 

The shark movie has a huge cult following, and the fan base continues to grow with each delectable, gore filled bite.  So much so, that SyFy channel can’t stop filling their air times with ridiculous films that throw any excuse for mega beasts munching on airheaded characters who look good.  Despite some famous movie sticking out in the television about the prehistoric predator of the deep, the big screen is calling for a film of its own in hopes of drawing crowds back to the welcoming halls of the theater.  Based on the book series I recently saw in Barnes and Noble, the Meg is here to try and entertain.  Yours truly is back to share some thoughts as he reviews:

 

 

Movie: The Meg (2018)

 

Director:

Jon Turteltaub

Writers:

Dean Georgaris (screenplay by),  Jon Hoeber (screenplay by)

Stars:

Jason Statham,  Bingbing Li,  Rainn Wilson

 

 

LIKES:

 

Animation:  CGI companies can make just about anything these days, including a 75 foot shark with a ferocious appetite.  The Meg has some awesome design in bringing the beast to life, capturing the grainy, rough texture of the hide and making its swims delightfully fluid.  This shark moves beautifully in its hunt for humans.

 

The Characters:  Most of these movies fail to bring the full talent of actors out, often resorting to making the characters glamorized fish food that we root to actually be eaten (some exceptions of course).  The Meg though, their cast has more to their mettle, recruiting a bunch of dynamic actors to portray scientists that have a little more to their skill set than looking good.  With this team, I was able to actually invest into the human characters and once more root for the team to find a way to solve the problem.  And while the acting is not Oscar worthy, the dialogue, writing and delivery have been grounded to be enjoyed and not scoffed at.

 

The Story:  Again, most of these films hold very little in terms of quality story, only designed to maximize the blood and kills.  The Meg though, takes a step back to the storytelling roots and actually does a nice job of balancing the kills with a purpose for the carnage.  From how the shark came into the modern world to side stories portraying character flaws, this film had surprising amounts of detail to actually give a reason to the movie. Don’t freak out though, there are still plenty of superficial carnage scenes to tickle your fancy, but for those like me who like balance, this movie gets better props.  In addition, there are some twists to help add some bite to adventure.

 

The Pace; A movie like this can sometimes drag, especially if you hate these types of films and you were dragged in to going by friends.  Again, the Meg succeeds in this journey of keeping the film moving, the adrenaline pumping, and the laughs/carnage keeping pace.  The film has enough action and close shaves to keep you on your toes, which plays to the nature of this genre.

 

The Nostalgia:  The Meg does have a lot of individuality, yet it is also packed with countless references to the shark movies that came before.  The movie has plenty to offer, and the shark movie fans should have no problem picking up the Easter eggs submerged in the Megalodon infested waters.  Nice job adding this layer of fun guys.

 

DISLIKES:

 

Over the top moments: The whole movie is ridiculous, I understand that and will accept it, but even suspending reality goes only so far. A giant shark movie sometimes goes too far and hits those eye rolling moments that sort of diverge from the path of balance it was achieving.  Some of the structural integrity inconsistencies and speed of our humans are a few examples, but hey that’s a shark movie.

 

Plot Holes:  The movie did a nice job of putting a story on board, but the movie does have some gaps that even for the ridiculous tale shouldn’t have been skipped.  It goes with the opening scene more than anything and with it, sort of diverges from the explanation they gave, sort of undermining the semi-logical conclusion they had.  Again, a small dislike, but a noticeable one that is a bit annoying to me.

 

Predictable:  Even worse than the holes and the ridiculous level, comes the predictable plot that this genre suffers from.  The Meg has more obvious foreshadowing than the theme music of Jaws, and with it comes some suspense being tempered away.  While secondary characters are kind of the group to bet on for surviving vs dying, the rest of the cast has their paths blazed from the start.  You’ll be able to predict most of everything, though a few twists managed to spice a few things up.  I’m still looking for that Jaws like quality, but The Meg does get points for trying.

 

The uneven character spacing:  I love Deep Blue Sea, because the characters had narrow misses, epic survival strategies, and the gradual picking off of the groups.  It allows for more suspense, pulling you into the game of cat and mouse, or in this case shark and human.  The Meg started out this way, but then succumbed to munch fest and lost the structured plot to the demands of carnage.  It’s not the worst case I have seen, but it was disappointing to see that build up sort of fizzle out, though I must admit it did happen in the later part of the film so kudos.

 

 

The VERDICT:

            Let’s be honest, The Meg is a ridiculous movie that many will agree is a pure popcorn eating flick.  Surprisingly though, the movie has improved on its storytelling abilities, and finds a balance between the superficial and deeper aspects of the film. Still, the shark movie is very entertaining, with a good pace, suspenseful action, some well-timed laughs, and nostalgia to get you into all the adventures to come.  Yet, the film still suffers from some of the stereotypical faults of this genre, which takes away from the strengths of the movie.  If you are the fan of this genre, then please hit a local theater to check it out, but otherwise hold off until it swims into television/streaming waters.

 

My scores: 

 

Action/Horror/Sci-Fi: 7.0

Movie Overall: 6.0

Dog Days Go Byyyyyyyyy!

Dog Days Poster

 

Man’s best friend is always the subject of at least one movie of the year.  These films are often filled to the brim with emotion, many of which are capable of making you shed a tear (let’s not go down Marley & Me).  Yet despite the potential heart break, I and many others are hitting the theaters to scope out if the pooches got the power to entertain. Robbie K is back again and here to share his thoughts on the latest films in hopes of helping you with your viewing choices.   So, let’s get started, as I review:

 

Movie: Dog Days (2018)

Director:

Ken Marino

Writers:

Elissa Matsueda (screenplay by),  Erica Oyama (screenplay by)

Stars:

Nina Dobrev,  Vanessa Hudgens,  Finn Wolfhard

 

 

LIKES:

 

Cute/Adorable:  A movie about dogs often has the factor that melts our heart and Dog Days is no exception.  The numerous relationships between man and dog are incredibly sweet, a family atmosphere that will thoroughly make fans of many ages smile. You’ll get a wonderful sense of pet ownership as the tales interconnect, and plenty of furry faces to make your cheeks hurt from smiling.

 

Good Pace:  The movie trailer suggest a film that was going to drag in its ridiculous, multi-tale way.  Surprisingly, the movie achieves a presentation speed that will keep most people’s attention and get you out of there feeling like you haven’t lost 4 years of your life.  Again, it helps that the puppies are in a majority of the shots, but the brisk pace cuts out the drab and leaves more for fab.

 

All Characters Used: A star studded cast often suffers from skewed use of characters.  Happily, I can announce that Dog Days achieves the balance that many strive for, keeping both animal and human members integrated in a rather even time interval. Well done guys, well done.

 

Good Chemistry:  The relationship between pet and owner is sacred on many levels, and to capture that relationship in the acting is a challenge that is difficult to obtain.  Fortunately, our cast was up to the challenge, and managed to solidly execute the acting they wanted.  While not Oscar worth, the humans do a great job interacting with each other, bringing believable relationships to the silver screen.  Throwing the dogs in there, the magic only further explodes as the personalities of each group unfold, and begin reshaping into something grander as world’s collide.

 

Good Dialogue:  What can I say, I’m a sucker for a good script for the actor’s to bring to life.  Dog Days may not have the most memorable quotes, meme worthy t-shirt jargon, or even those scenes that will go down in history.  However, much of the dialogue feels like it was grounded in reality, with our character spouting words that feel like normal conversation. It fits well with the theme of the movie, brings a nice freshness into the Hollywood style, and further creates likeable characters that don’t feel as fake. Plus, the good themed morals and heartfelt lessons are not diluted by a grandiose speech.

 

The Dogs:  Of course, this is my favorite aspect, the four-legged wonders are the heart and soul of the movie.  The animal cast hold the personality of most of the shots, come trained with some impressive moods and discipline, and manage to say so much, but yet make little noise.  It’s all of these qualities mixed with those energetic faces that really secures your interest in the film and doesn’t let go until the very end.  Whoever directed the cinematography to fully utilize them, gets an A+ in my book for maximizing the full effect of the crew.

 

DISLIKES:

 

Predictable:  A movie like this is going to rely on the straight and narrow so that they can secure a wide age group.  The movie drops so many clues messily, you can surely be prepared for what is to come and see it coming a mile away.  I had hoped to be wrong for multiple reasons, but only one clue managed to lead me astray, the rest painted arrow signs to the story.  Perhaps it is to get you prepped for the deeper moments, but a little more surprise would have been nice.

 

Editing:  The movie is nearly 2 hours long, and while I love seeing cute puppies for so long, the tale didn’t need to be that long.  We had at least 20 minutes that could have been directed to different areas, or just cutting it out altogether.  A minor dislike indeed, but still, utilize your editing crew a little better.

 

Silly moments:  The realism is fine, and some of the laughs are cute gimmicks, there are times where the realism is shattered for ridiculous gimmicks.  It’s a little something for everyone, but at least one sequence in particular was a little overdone.  In addition, some of the running jokes should have stopped sooner rather than later. Still, these moments will crack people up, and get those squeals of delight from the younger crowd.

 

The Stories:  While they achieved the goal of integration, and managed to sew in some inspirational, emotional moments, the story of this film did suffer from what felt incomplete.  Oh, sure they had a nice wrapped up ending, but like many of the cross-tale films, so much sustenance is left out.  Some tales more than others, Dog Days multiple subplots feel like they are bare boned short stories that managed to get tied in hastily.  Cute as they can be, I like a little more depth to the tales, and perhaps decreasing the number of stories was the way to go.

 

 

The VERDICT:

            Overall Dog Days turned out better than I anticipated. It’s a good family movie, where dogs rule and the people don’t do bad too.  This cute, cuddly, moral infused project is really good for a variety of age groups, and will probably pull at the heartstrings as most dogs do.  Given all the fun though, there are some editing and story development areas that still require tweaking primarily to help mature the story into a major hit, and perhaps drop some of the predictability. While I did enjoy the theater presentation, I don’t feel this movie was needed to be seen in the big screen, but if looking for a good family film, check this out, because it was supported by MoviePass.

 

My scores:

 

Comedy/Drama:  7.0

Movie Overall:  5.5

Is The Theater A Pit Where Cleaning Occurs, Or Soars High In The Sky?

The Spy Who Dumped Me Poster

 

Comedies continue to flood the theaters, and as such waiver in their quality of laughs, story, and whatever other gimmick they are going for.  Despite big names trying to lead the fun, the increasing demand and limited supply doesn’t always work out, lead to the generic tide we are seeing.  Still, it’s up to reviewers like me to shed some light on the topic and help inform you of the movies you are thinking of seeing.  Tonight, we dive right into the action-comedy thriller, that hopes to get the month of August in a comedic light.  Robbie K here reviewing:

 

Movie: The Spy Who Dumped Me (2018)

 

Director:

Susanna Fogel

Writers:

Susanna Fogel,  David Iserson

Stars:

Justin Theroux,  Blanka Györfi-Tóth,  Vilma Szécsi

 

 

LIKES:

 

Good Pace:  A comedy that doesn’t take long to dive into all the fun, and keeps that fun going.  The Spy Who Dumped Me has very few scenes that involve our characters doing nothing, leading to a well-paced movie that keeps you immersed in all the shenanigans at hand.

 

Surprisingly Action Packed: The movie may just seem like a giant farce of spy thrillers.  While this is true, the movie still managed to have some impressively choreographed battles, loaded with special effects, movie magic, and that rage bending destruction that we action junkies love. Kudos to the team responsible for thinking up the stunts, for they kept it diverse and relevant to the story and not just some ploy to rope in more bucks.

 

The Chemistry:  Mila Kunisand Kate McKinnonhave a fantastic chemistry together, able to form a friendship and really play off the obsession each has for the other.  Their energy is infective, bouncing off of each other’s quirks to continue stoking the comedic flames higher with each passing second.  Yet, below the funny surface is a deeper relationship that helps fuel the adventure and intensity even more.  In regards to all the secondary players in this interesting game of chess, each having an outstanding integration with our lovely ladies.

 

Funny:  The movie absolutely had me busting a gut a few times, the writers playing to my strengths of good timing and the actors bring fantastic delivery to the lines.  The Spy Who Dumped Me has much diversity in their comedic presentation, ranging from witty remarks and humorous responses to the crudest jokes that are about your favorite body part on both sexes.  Nevertheless, this diverse presentation and lovely ladies leading the ridiculous run, really accomplished the funny aspect of the movie.

 

DISLIKES:

 

The Predictability: The movie really needed to try and surprise me a little better when it came to twists and tricks.  While the linearity is appreciated from the comedic stand point, it did take away from the story when you could predict so much from a mile away.  Too much foreshadowing and not enough planning leads to some jokes getting ruined due to how obvious the next step was.

 

Some Plot Elements/Character Integration:  Many of the characters got their just time on the silver screen, proving their purpose for being including in the adventure at hand.  Yet, there are a few plot points that were boring, or full of holes that didn’t quite impress me.  Much of this has to do with the random characters introduced haphazardly about midway through the movie, not really needed and not as fleshed out as they had probably planned. I know it’s not supposed to make sense, I get it, it’s a comedy. Yet the story element is still important and in need of tweaking for the next installment should they continue on with the series.

 

The Crude vs Ridiculousness: The movie’s comedic ploys were very reliant on the two starlets, hoping that nothing would go stale in their delivery. Some of the crude moments are not tasteful, a little insulative that crosses some lines in my book (including seeing a male genetalia). Other times the running jokes were only okay, but grew stale at times when you figured they would learn once the information was fed to them.  In regards to how ridiculous this can be?  It gets about a 500 on my meter, with McKinnon being the source of whimsical, serious, Mad Hatter attitude, the level of weird and over the top is raised in this film.  Get ready for a lot of random lines and pick them up with caution depending on the jokes that come your way.

 

Violence too Much?: Spy who dumped me is not anyone’s friend, and the spies playing in the game sometimes go insane with gore laden moves that are slightly sickening to watch. Be prepared for very graphic kills and sickening sounds to come your way, and exercise caution prior to taking younger audience members to see it with you.

 

THE VERDICT:

 

The Spy who dumped me surprised me to be quite honest. My friend Rashad was right that the film is incredibly entertaining, and the leading ladies bring much of that success alongside talented dialogue writers. Even more so, the genius move of bringing action scenes to the movie was also a giant plus for me, as it kept me engaged in all the madness coming.  Still, the movie has some balancing to do, primarily in trying to make an engaging storyline even though they have been shared with the rest of the group.  Yet, really make sure to exercise caution with your friends/families with younger kids, for their impressionable minds may pick up a habit/nightmare you don’t want.

 

My scores are:

 

Action/Comedy:  8.5

Movie Overall:  7.5

Will Your Eyes Glow Bright As You Dive Into Darkness?

          The Darkest Minds Poster

  Literary works seem to come a dime a dozen, but to many they became the spring of hope that a movie will be made to bring their imagination to life.  With giants like Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and the Hunger Games, some studios can do the masterpieces justice with their films.  Others though, well they take a wrong turn or two to make subpar renditions that disappoint many.  Tonight, my first review tests me with another teenage drama to hopefully bring in the bucks.  Robbie K here to bring another review, to hopefully help your movie choices picking. Let’s get started on:

 

Movie:  The Darkest Minds (2018)

 

Director:

Jennifer Yuh Nelson

Writers:

Chad Hodge (screenplay by),  Alexandra Bracken (based upon the novel by)

Stars:

Bradley Whitford,  Mandy Moore,  Amandla Stenberg

 

LIKES:

 

Decent Acting:  The group does a nice job of bringing these teens in the dystopian world to life, paranoid enough to be believable as kids being hunted, yet also capturing the desire to be normal.  These youthful actors hold great potential in the future, but they’ll be iconic heroes to the target audience.  Stenberg does a beautiful job in the lead role, using a wide array of emotional delivery methods to narrate the thoughts of the story, while also interacting with her crew.  Her fellow survivors get their characters quirks out to the light as well, each focusing on one extreme quality to maximize.  My favorite was Skylan Brooks, who was funny, respectable, and perhaps the only with logic and a sense of morale justice.  Yep, the casting director hit the mark with this group.

 

Pace:  Based on the quarter of the book I’ve read so far; the movie has certainly sped the movie up.  By foregoing all the emotional turmoil of Ruby, the film itself moves at a brisk pace to get the story delivered in the 2-hour run time.  For action lovers like me, this was a step in the right direction, to try and pump as much excitement in this movie.

 

The Eye Color Effect: Simple, yet sophisticated, the eye color effects added a little stylish pizazz to our delightful teens and tweens.  In this day of trending fashions, it is not a surprise that these simple adjustments can be the next wave of cosplay.

 

The Music:  The movie’s biggest like for me is the fun and fitting soundtrack pumping through the high definition speakers.  The Darkest Mind’s songs help bring life to the scenes, a few in particular providing the biggest emotional force of that scene or sequence. Nevertheless, the music is worth a check out for those that don’t get to the theaters.

 

DISLIKES:

 

The Story:  We know the movie is seldom better than the book, but in this case it’s one of those films that really missed the mark in terms of plot.  I don’t think the minds came together as strongly as they could.  The fast pace might have been more entertaining, but it felt like it was just short skits messily pulled together in a very quick manor. While the romance had the bite to it, the rest of the movie was less impressionable than the nearly worthless guns of the bad guys.  It’s fragmented style left many story components lost to the wind, and others so limited it almost shouldn’t have been included.

 

Not suspenseful:  Because of all the haphazard editing and rushed story elements, the movie lacked the suspenseful bite that it really needed (and strived) to achieve.  It’s focus on the romance and drama is going to speak volumes to the teenagers of today, but for those looking for that on the seat moment… not really there.  As such, the movie is a little boring if you aren’t ready for nearly two hours of dystopian romance.

 

The Lackluster Villains: Most of them are grandiose jerks, talking and shouting more than anything else.  In this movie, didn’t deviate far from that formula, but in this case they were really lame and boring for the most part.  A few had some skills that barely made an appearance, but others only tool seemed to be an intense stare and that was it.  Sorry guys, next installment needs bad guys who have more bite than bark.

 

Underwhelming Action: Some moments shined like the eyes of the chosen, but much of the exciting battles mentioned by fans are far from the truth for me.  Cheap parlor tricks of impressive CGI make up much of the epic fighting they were trying to bring to the screen.  These confrontations did little to add to the movie, something felt randomly thrown in, and concluded in very underwhelming manners that again felt skipped over.  Guess action gets in the way of love huh?

 

 

The VERDICT:

 

The Darkest Minds had potential to be awesome, but it fell to the bottom levels of the book to movie script for me.  Sure, there is decent acting to bring the love story out, and there are some special effects that are simplistic and neat, but the movie’s foundation is very shaky to me and not off on the right foot for a potential movie franchise.  It needs to dive into the dystopian waters of rage, fighting, strategy, and suspense to try and breathe life back into the dark nature of the film.  Therefore, you can guess I don’t recommend this one for the theater and instead encourage to wait for it on Netflix (or read the book again).  It’s not awful, but the movie has much improvement to achieve in the near future.

 

Sci-Fi/Thriller:   6.0

Movie Overall: 5.0