Friday, June 30, 2017

Sausage Party Rating

All will be made clear on Movie Chat.
Sausage Party, 6/30/17, 4 Stars, 80%, B-.
Plot
-Is it well paced? 9, Yes
-Did it make sense? 10, Yes
Characters
-Were the main ones relatable? 7, Yes
-Were the main ones well developed? 7, Yes
Picture
-Was it clear? 7, Yes
-Is everything there for a reason? 8, Yes
Soundtrack
-Did it convey the appropriate emotion(s)? 8, Yes.
-Was it used appropriately? 8, Yes.
Dialogue
-Was the humor appropriate, and did it work well? 4

-Were there few, if any unnecessary/uncalled-for profanities? 4

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Rise of the Planet of the Apes Spoiler Free Review.

I wasn't kidding.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes, 6/24/17, 4.5 Stars, 89%, B+.
Plot
-Is it well paced? 9, Yes.
-Did it make sense? 6, No.
Characters
-Were the main ones relatable? 7, Yes.
-Were the main ones well developed? 8, Yes.
Picture
-Was it clear? 10, Yes.
-Is everything there for a reason? 9, Yes.
Soundtrack
-Did it convey the appropriate emotion(s)? 10, Yes.
-Was it used appropriately? 10, Yes.
Dialogue
-Was the humor appropriate, and did it work well? 10, Yes.

-Were there few, if any unnecessary/uncalled-for profanities? 10, Yes.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show Spoiler Free Review

Note: Due to the strain of writing such reviews as this one below, effective with Rise of the Planet of the Apes and beyond, I will reduce the spoiler-free review to the Flixster/iTunes stars and a new numerical score-letter grade pairing, with a list of the questions, my scale of zero to ten for each one, and a yes (seven or higher) or no (six or lower). This is to make it easier for me to crank these out and make me detail my Movie Chat scripts better. I decided tonight (about a whole day after writing this review below), so enjoy my last written review before I switch to the simpler, formulaic posts.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show, 6/23/17, 4.5 Stars, 92%, A-.
A musical for the ages, which holds up especially well in the age of anything goes. We open with a bright red-lipped mouth singing a song about science fiction. We’re then introduced to our leads who are attending a wedding: Brad Majors (Barry Bostwick) and Janet Weiss (Susan Sarandon) meet and it’s love at first sight. After singing their love to the world, the criminologist (Charles Gray) shows up to offer his take on the situation that leads to their disappearance. When Brad and Janet get stranded in the middle of nowhere, they seek help from the residents of the Frankenstein place, and what follows is the impurification of the engaged couple and utter insanity set to the most high-voltage soundtrack ever, so much so I felt burned out after the first few songs, my only major complaint about this movie as a whole. Throughout, they’re introduced to Riff Raff (Richard O’Brian), Magenta (Patricia Quinn) and the show stealing scientist Frank N. Furter (Tim Curry), who seeks to make Rocky Horror (Peter Hinwood) a man in just seven days. From the opening song to the closing one, the story makes sense with the only confusion coming from if you’re a little burned out after the first few songs like I was, especially if you just feel the need to sing (and maybe dance) along. The main characters of Brad and Janet were relatable as the eyes and ears of the audience who likely haven’t been exposed to this type of content before unless they’ve seen this movie before. They’re fairly well developed, but we could have had more. Anyway, with a few cheesy effects that not only don’t detract from, but add to the story, the picture is brilliant, and whether or not everything feels like it belongs there is irrelevant, because it’s just so energetic and weird. The music is just so energetic and weird too, with hits like “Science Fiction/Double Feature,” “Dammit Janet,” “The Time Warp,” and “Sweet Transvestite,” among others, which I felt was amazing and fun. Overall, The Rocky Horror Picture Show is the unwholesome, family unfriendly entertainment you’ve been seeking. So you can wa-wa-wa-wa-watch it, so you can get dirirty! And afterward, you’ll wanna go back and do the watch through again! There’s a light shining wherever you can get this movie! Follow it, get it, and watch it!
Plot
-Is it well paced? 6, No.
-Did it make sense? 9, Yes.
Characters
-Were the main ones relatable? 10, Yes.
-Were the main ones well developed? 8, Yes.
Picture
-Was it clear? 10, Yes.
-Is everything there for a reason? 9, Yes.
Soundtrack
-Did it convey the appropriate emotion(s)? 10, Yes.
-Was it used appropriately? 10, Yes.
Dialogue
-Was the humor appropriate, and did it work well? 10, Yes.

-Were there few, if any unnecessary/uncalled-for profanities? 10, Yes.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Cars 3 Spoiler Free Review

Cars 3, 6/17/17, 4.5 Stars.

You thought the Cars movie franchise was over when Cars 2 became Pixar’s first rotten movie on both Rotten Tomatoes and Flixster users. You were wrong, Pixar (and Disney’s merchandising) decides when the Cars franchise is over. We start with Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) getting started on a new season of race car driving, where he’s upstaged by newcomer Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer), and throughout the season, McQueen has his worst one yet in the face of these newcomers. In the final race of the season, Lightning gets into the accident the first teaser showed, and what follows is his seclusion, followed by Rusty and Dusty (Ray and Tom Magliozzi) selling Rusteeze to a rich business car named Sterling (Nathan Fillion) so Lightning can get the most up-to-date training from Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo) and what follows is a tale of Lightning getting back into the game, with help from Cruz. Mater (Larry the Cable Guy) is also there, but in smaller doses in comparison to the Mater-centric Cars 2. It feels really dragged out for the most part, though I resisted checking my watch, because I felt invested in these characters between the way Pixar showed them and the fact I’ve been following some of them since I saw the first Cars movie in theaters in 2006. It was, however, coherent from the beginning lap to the finish line (and the victory lap in the form of a post-credits scene), with an odd choice made in the climax that’s quickly explained. However overlong it may be, the animation is gorgeous to look at thanks to Pixar’s attention to detail, subtle easter eggs, and a solid story to go along with it. Whether it advanced the story or was a fun easter egg, everything shown was there for a reason. Another great addition is the return of Randy Newman to the soundtrack, providing a warmer vibe for a warmer score than the previous Cars movie, that conveys the  rush when needed and keeps it easy for the most part. There’s a good amount of humor and clean language, although there may be an adult reference or two hidden like Disney and Pixar tend to do (you’ll know it when you see it). Overall, Cars 3 is a return to form for the Cars franchise as a decent movie, but still doesn’t hold up to the rest of their library.

Friday, June 16, 2017

The Gunman Spoiler Free Review

The Gunman, 6/16/17, 3 Stars.

With weak characters, a muddled plot, and a sluggish pace, there isn’t much to say about this movie. Everything they show tries to convey social commentary on blood minerals, but isn’t reinforced strongly enough in my opinion. Pierre Morel simply doesn’t give it the same flair he gave Taken. With a soundtrack by Marco Beltrami that does its job, an appropriate tone, and reasonably salty language, The Gunman may be better left forgotten. That’s really all I gotta say, except that it’s best for background noise.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Spoiler Free Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, Perfect Score.

Tra la laaaa! I grew up reading Captain Underpants as a kid, and aspiring to be like George and Harold. This movie is the perfect sum of those books that I had to be dragged away from to sit down for my own birthday cake. No really, I was that big a fan. When I heard Dreamworks was making a movie based on it, I feared the ever shifting release date would make it a mess and in hindsight, I'm glad they didn’t try forcing any modern references, but stayed true to the material (99% of the time, but the heart was there). We open with George Beard (Kevin Hart) and Harold Hutchins (Thomas Middleditch) making the Captain Underpants origin story. To make a long story short, Principal Krupp (Ed Helms) rips up the comic and goes off on a rant at them. After that, he announces the mandatory inventions convention, and we get a real taste of his tyranny. At the invention convention, Melvin Sneedly (Jordan Peele) bores his peers with inventions that really aren’t that cool, and after Mr. Krupp falls asleep, George and Harold tamper with the turbo toilet, and what follows after they’re caught on camera doing it is Mr. Krupp separating the main leads by putting them in separate classes, and after some debate, they try to steal the evidence, only for them to come across their confiscated goods, including the hypno ring that fans of the books will recognize, but for those who don’t, George uses it to hypnotize Mr. Krupp into various animals before hypnotizing him into the amazing Captain Underpants (perfectly voiced by Ed Helms, even if I imagined the voice in a higher-pitch, but it was so fun, I forgive them), and what follows is a hilarious story that involves Professor Pippy Pee-Pee Poopypants (Nick Kroll) trying to eliminate laughter. The story is a perfect balance of nods to the original books, adherence to the spirit of said books, and a new story with familiar characters. Like the Peanuts Movie, they handle the source material with amazing respect, but this time, don’t force modern pop-songs into a 1950s/1960s setting, although in the fourth wall breaks where the ratings of Krupp/Underpants’ fart orchestra parody real life things, which give the adults a laugh, adds a layer of reliability for viewers, and just adds to the not-at-all-serious-tone. They also don’t waste any time, to the point I never checked my watch, a true accomplishment in the age of shrinking attention spans. You also may question a few things, but this requires a strong suspension of disbelief, and this film doesn’t take itself seriously at any point, which perfectly reflects the source material and gives us a fun movie for kids and adults (at least those who grew up with the books, like me and the friends I saw this with). George and Harold were always reliable as kids who just wanted to have fun, and they perfectly capture that spirit and develop them as rebellious youngsters who seek to fight against “the man” through classic tropes like the treehouse and the mean authority figure. We learn enough about them to care about them, and they act as narrators, breaking the fourth wall throughout. Not only do they capture the spirit, they capture the visual aesthetic of the book covers beautifully, staying true to the 2D visuals in 3D CGI, while also having fun with sock puppets and traditionally animated sequences featuring the best of Treehouse Comix Inc. Everything there adds to the story, the not-so-serious tone, and is just plain fun with a message about having a good laugh at yourself and others. To add to the fun is appropriate pop songs that fit the scenes perfectly. Also, Theodore Shapiro did a soundtrack. Overall, Captain Underpants is a hilarious family movie with enough toilet humor for the kids and the adults who read the original books to feel “this is so right.” And it stays funny throughout, even when serious things happen. Overall, Captain Underpants is also the feel-good movie of the summer. It’s not some super-deep introspection like what Disney and/or Pixar would do, it’s not some dumb animated flick for the kids, it’s the perfect love letter to the books I grew up enjoying, and definitely not your typical superhero movie in this age of superhero movies. Here we go again (I hope to say at the start of the sequel).

Friday, June 9, 2017

Judge Dredd Spoiler Free Review

Judge Dredd, 4.5 Stars out of 5.

I am the movie law! Judge Dredd opens with a text crawl narrated by none other than James Earl Jones, followed by Fergee (Rob Schnieder) being released back into a deplorable society after serving a prison sentence for hacking. When he arrives in his new living quarters, he’s greeted by a firing squad who partake in a riot, and results in him hiding a food recycler that perfectly showcases how stretched resources are in this society. To deal with the riots, street judges, which are cops, judges, juries, and when they decide, executioner, and it is here we meet our lead: Judge Joe Dredd (Sylvester Stallone), along with other judges Hershey (Diane Lane) and a few others, who wait for backup that comes in the form of Dredd. Long story short, he stops the riot, and even figures out that Fergee hid in the food recycling machine, sentencing him to jail right there, despite explanations that he wasn’t hacking the machine. What follows is Dredd being forced by Chief Justice Fargo (Max Von Sydow) to train cadets two days a week, and after a frame-up, Judge Dredd is sentenced to prison, where he reunites with Fergee on the transport, and escapes when a group of wackos living outside the mega city shoot it down, and what follows after that is them working together to get back to Mega City 1. It’s short and sweet at less than a hundred minutes, and is clear from beginning to end what’s going on and why Dredd does what he does. He’s developed as a hardcore follower of the law who realizes that the man made law he’s enforcing may not be perfect, as emphasized by Fergee, the eyes and ears of the audience, which helps me transition into my next point: the social commentary. This is obviously a commentary on crime and the criminal justice system, which is timely when you recall the crimewave of the early 1990s, which may have been an influence on this movie. They do a really good job at being subtle on that and focusing on Dredd and Fergee’s journey home. My only complaint would have to be the dated visual effects that give the Star Wars Prequel CGI a run for their money. There were a few obviously fake green-screens and there was a certain level of fakeness I couldn’t get out of my head with the CGI. Otherwise, everything there enforced the dystopia and the message of what happens when government overreaches. Alan Silvestri soundtrack conveys the appropriate emotions, and feels appropriate in the dystopian setting, though a little more techno would have helped. Judge Dredd, the character and the movie, lack a sense of humor, but it’s ok for the tone, and there are a few laugh-worthy lines here and there, with surprisingly clean language for an R-rated movie. The themes and occasional blood may be the reason for it, but that’s just me, because like the legal system in this movie, the MPAA is difficult to understand.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Wonder Woman Spoiler Free Review

We sat through a Superman origin, his fight with Batman and a team up with our lead in this one, then something about supervillains that really had nothing to do with the larger story. All of those were enjoyable in my opinion, but severely flawed. Now we get the resurrection of movies based on DC comics with a woman’s touch. We start with Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) receiving the original picture we saw a scan of in BvS, and the what follows is the tale of her origin: Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen) of the Amazons explains the god-killer, a weapon that comes into play later, and after she refuses to train her for reasons that are clarified eventually, Diana goes ahead and trains for war that Amazons like Antiope (Robin Wright), a general in their army and Diana’s aunt, pray will never come. After a man by the name of Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) is brought to shore after crashing in the ocean near Themyscira within the magic barrier, the war to end all wars (World War I as we call it now) comes to them. What follows is a hero’s journey for Diana that balances fun and serious as well as any Marvel movie can, and this is the story of her loss of innocence, going from Diana, Princess of Themyscira, to Diana Prince, AKA, Wonder Woman. We start with Shakespearean family drama between mother and daughter, and end with finding out how she became the woman we met in Batman V. Superman and will reunite with in Justice League after seeing the darker side of mankind. Hey, it’s a prequel for all intents and purposes, so not a spoiler. It all moves smoothly, and doesn’t cram a huge amount of DCEU set-up into the movie: we see Diana in the present getting the picture at the beginning and end, with no appearance (though one small reference I’ll let you figure out) by any other major player in Justice League. Thanks to that, we can focus on her story arc, which is loss-of-innocence and origin story. The various characters that surround her prove to be worthy characters, and the villain’s only real development is (spoilers), but otherwise, a plot device, which is all we need, because it’s not about the villain, but again, the loss of innocence she endures when discovering man’s world. That world may have several horrors in it, but it is visually well-done, from the amazing landscape of Themyscira to the godly exposition animations, high octane battle scenes that aren’t overloaded like a certain movie that makes you wonder why this woman didn’t get this movie before that, and finally, the historical details and believable CGI. It all adds to the hero’s journey Wonder Woman goes through, proving it’s not just for men. Rupert Gregson-Williams brings back the high octane Wonder Woman theme from BvS to add adrenaline to this already exciting and thematic film. I mentioned earlier that the humor and seriousness was balanced well, especially compared to Man of Steel and BvS. Suicide Squad tried, but fell a little short with characters we maybe shouldn’t glorify, but Wonder Woman finally hits that balance mark perfectly in a way that puts this universe on equal ground with the first shared universe I shall not name here, and has clean enough language that the only thing you have to worry about for child appropriateness is Steve Trevor’s bath scene and one or two disturbing images I can’t guarantee not to stay with an elementary schooler, but wouldn’t exactly scar them for life either. Held to the same standard as the male-led comic book movies of a post-Avengers world, Wonder Woman shines brighter than and stands above anything DC’s put out following the Dark Knight Trilogy and brings hope to DC fans that the DCEU can and will succeed after its rocky start in 2013 and worrying plummet last year. All of DC’s hopes were pinned on Wonder Woman’s movie, and she stopped a bad streak with the long-overdue Wonder Woman movie we deserved, and the top-notch DCEU film we needed.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Blazing Saddles Spoiler Free Review

Priceless. That’s all I got to say. We open with a nice Western ballad, followed by the craziest Western film ever made. Basically, Attorney General Hedley Lamarr (Harvey Korman) wants to destroy a small town named Rock Ridge. To get the town out of his way, he decides to appoint a black sheriff to said town because people would chase him out (it was 1874) because they’d be offended by him. So he sends Bart (Cleavon Little) a railroad worker he decided not to have hung in order to achieve this. Bart’s rejected by the town as Lemarr and Governor Le Petomane (Mel Brooks) predicted, but after Bart meets the “Waco Kid,” (Gene Wilder) they work together to get the townsfolk (aka, the Johnson family) to save the town in one of the most wild, wildly hilarious, high flying ist, rootin-tootin Westerns ever made, thanks to Mel Brooks’ sense of humor, turning the genre on its head like he would with sci-fi in Spaceballs 13 years later, and of course, breaking the fourth wall, a part of which brings up my only problem I can’t discuss without spoilers. Bart and “Waco Kid” prove to be a dynamic duo who clearly don’t take anything seriously in this unserious world they create. Cleavon Little and Gene Wilder make for hilarious comedy that doesn’t even have to play the race card (much). They do their bits and become best friends in a semi-believable manner in this fast paced comedy that doesn’t need to be perfectly coherent. The soundtrack also sets the hilarious mood with John Morris’ zippy tunes that stay true to the Western genre. The humor was highly controversial in theory, but hilarious in practice. Don’t try these words at home or out in the streets, or anywhere except if you’re watching this movie and are saying it in anticipation of hearing the line. If you take out the offensive stuff, you won’t have a movie, this stuff is comedy gold. It’s meant to be offensive, it’s to make fun of how brutal the Wild West really was, and how it was glorified in Westerns of old. So heads up: there are a lot of slurs and a few swears here and there, so you probably didn’t come across this channel surfing, or if you did, then the point was lost. Anyway, Blazing Saddles, hilarious comedy, check it out, now if you’ll excuse me, I got a review to read within this review.