All Posts By Emilio Giron

‘The Little Prince’ Review


The Little Prince is about a little girl who discovers a story that teaches her lessons that free her from an oppressive world of mediocrity, and introduces to her a world filled with hope and insights on the importance and beauty of things unseen. Philosophical, I know… But The Little Prince is a loose adaptation of its novel source, which happens to be a critically acclaimed literary masterpiece.  The material is very powerful stuff, and this film does its best to capture a message for both adults and children.

Where do I begin? Honestly, I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I streamed this limited-release on Netflix.  I thought this was going to be the usual run-of-the-mill computer-generated children’s animation, but to my surprise, The Little Prince is so much more.  There is a message (several, actually) in this story that creates a heavily layered fruitcake of philosophical substance which might appear heavy-handed at first, but comes off as something so heartfelt that even I (a hardened stoic) caught feels.


“OK, I’m about to drop some real talk Little Girl.”

What I loved the most about this movie was its ability to pierce the callused and aged leather of my being a grown ass man.  This movie has dialogue–I mean BARS–that require some thought for those willing to listen.  “It is only with heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” I mean, how in the seven hells do you even start pre-digesting that for your little millennial toddler child?  Luckily, the movie does some hand-holding, but doesn’t explain the deeper matters with cheap exposition.  The Little Prince SHOWS how The Little Girl comes to understand the deeper matters when she’s given a problem to overcome.  One theme of the movie, and something The Little Girl had to come to grips with, was the subject of Death.  It was heart-breaking to watch, but inspiring when done the way it’s done in The Little Prince.  I thought this movie was beautiful.
The film employs two types of animation: the typical CGI we’ve all come to expect, but also this stop-motion style that gives the story some refreshing nuance.  Also, the film has a star studded cast–I was actually surprised to note the voice of Paul Rudd at some point in this movie!  Rudd is on fiyah.  I recently caught him in the Netflix Original: The Fundamentals of Caring.  Anyway, I mentioned before how this film came off a bit heavy-handed at first, but it was something I believe benefits children who catch this movie.  The world’s setting is practically timeless, and it depicts a world filled with overworked dream-shattered shells that appear as lifeless, soul wretched grown-ups.  They dress and move uniformly through a world that stresses standardized efforts of mediocrity.  Much of it is depressing, but it helps to highlight the messages delivered throughout the movie.
I also love how much of the material here takes shots at certain archetypes of society, while jabbing at what an education might mean in today’s world.  This film really does have layers, and is something that I believe adults should watch (and discuss) with their kids.  There really is something beautiful going in this film, and if I had more time I’d definitely cover as much as possible.

“Hear with your eyes, and listen with your soul.”

I worry that some kids (and adults) might find this movie boring, because it isn’t exactly brimming with action or outlandish humor.  Not saying that there isn’t humor, or action… Well, okay, there’s not that much action, but there is definitely some comedy happening.  Also, the philosophical messages in this movie does raises some emoji question marks.  I mean, I got it, because deep ass metaphysical conversations and cosmic talk is my deal–I’m all for it.  But I can’t say the same for someone (especially a kid) who isn’t ready to step through the doors of perception, y’know?  However, even with that worry, I’m confident that the writers of this movie did a great job of translating all that literary lingo.
I’ve said it more than once: I believe that people should definitely peep this movie if they have Netflix, and they should watch it with their kids.  Keep the Kleenex on deck, just in case those tear ducts decide to put in some work.  I was very touched, and impressed, by The Little Prince; I can honestly say I was not expecting this movie to come across the way it did. It’s not exactly a summer movie for kids who just want to have fun, but it’ll make them think and that’s where the heart of this film finds itself.
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‘Suicide Squad’ Review


I believe there was a time when the idea of a Suicide Squad (or Taskforce X) film gave me doubt more than anything else. However, I was promptly relieved of such concerns by a spectacular Comic-Con trailer from last year. It was the first in a series of neon soaked trailers that showed so much promise, and dare I say, appeared to be more attractive than Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice. That first trailer was perfectly crafted. It was exceptional, and definitely whet the ravenous appetites of comic book fans and audiences alike. It gave Suicide Squad about a year to ride a bullet train of fan anticipation and high hopes. At first look, Suicide Squad appeared to be a dark and gritty action-packed superhero drama, but as August drew closer, the overall theme became distorted by a colorful audience of friendly trailers–which suggested that something changed, and in hindsight, I now realize, I probably should have tempered my personal expectations of this film.


Oh, a superhero shot! STRIKE A POSE!

Today’s colorfully promoted Suicide Squad doesn’t appear to be last year’s much darker and foreboding Suicide Squad. The bane of DC films, Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, cast a shadow of criticism so large that it endangered the advancing Suicide Squad gravy train. Shaken but undeterred, Warner Bros./DC was determined to steer itself away from another critically devastating mishap (BvS), which ultimately lead to some costly last-minute reshoots  and changes that became all too apparent within a slew of new and an unusually upbeat trailers–which leads me to this review.
Suicide Squad is a pretty straightforward story along the lines of the John Carpenter classic, Escape from New York, in that a government agency “recruits” dangerous people to save the day. Among the striking and foolishly courageous cast of motley revengers are standout characters such as Deadshot (Will Smith), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), and Diablo (Jay Hernandez); all villains, but villains with special abilities the government needs. Throughout the story, there’s plenty of gunplay, twists and turns, and the proverbial third-act light show that comic book movies are known for.
What I like the most about Suicide Squad was Will Smith’s return to form. Smith hasn’t had a definite hit in a long time, but manages to deliver one of the most entertaining performances in this movie. Smith plays Deadshot, an assassin for hire who never misses his mark, and sharing some of the limelight with him is Margot Robbie’s character, Harley Quinn, a sociopathic killer who just wants to be reunited with her equally unhinged psychotic boyfriend, The Joker (Jared Leto). Deadshot and Harley are both given plenty of screen time, but it’s Smith’s character who appears to be the more developed of the two. Deadshot is not only fleshed out and charismatic, he’s given a plot that makes him the most relatable character in the entire cast.

I smell ‘spin-off’…

Suicide Squad also delivers on one of its trailers promises: action. Director David Ayer, who has made such impressive films like Training Day and End of Watch, knows how to capture the cacophony of big guns and ringing bullet shells. Again, Smith’s Deadshot lends himself well to this type of movie, because guns are his thing–it’s the reason he gets some of the most outstanding moments and it makes sense that a man with his talents could be used. There are helicopters falling from the sky, people and monsters (that look like the Putty Patrol from Power Rangers) dropping like flies, and special effects that constantly fill the big screen from beginning to end.  Quiet moments are far and few in between, and the dialogue between characters are punched up with just enough humor that things never appear to be too dark.

She’s like an evil Lauryn Hill that sold out to The Man.

I’d also like to add that besides Robbie and Smith, the character of Amanda Waller, played by Viola Davis, is crazy af, and quite possibly, is one of the most feared villains I’ve ever seen in any comic book movie. I refer to her as a villain, because she instills fear in the entire cast and hangs death over their heads throughout the entire run-time of this film. Many of the highlights of this film–Davis, Robbie, Smith (action)–give me hope in future DC movies. DC appears to be finding its footing on producing good comic book movies, but that’s not to say that this film isn’t riddled with missteps.

So Suicide Squad was one of the best comic books ever?!

I found a major fault in Suicide Squad’s marketing and promotion: the trailers are quite misleading. The promotion and hype promised that DC would provide a dark take on comic book villains. Initially, it looked like these villains were tasked with saving the world against a malevolent force, presumably, The Joker–with a healthy dash of colorful rip-roaring fun! The confusion here is that people like me were expecting one thing, and got something else entirely.  Mixing light-hearted and dark tones in a movie has been done; it’s not something that’s unheard of because this year’s Deadpool masterfully pulled it off without a hitch; but Suicide Squad fumbles many of its attempts at creating a cohesive film.
Here’s the problem(s): the movie doesn’t juggle dark and humorous themes gracefully, which makes the tone, editing, and pacing of the film seem staggered. There are good moments sprinkled into this movie, but it’s a patchwork of hit-or-miss bits and careless developments that work better separately–like in a trailer–but appear messy as a whole movie. It looks like the reshoots were a double edged sword of sorts, in that they were designed to improve the movie, but simultaneously had the effect of damaging it.

All of that critical chit-chat’s gonna getcha hurt…

Suicide Squad also fails to deliver on The Joker, who had been billed as a main attraction, but for some inexplicable reason is relegated to a subplot that could have easily been excised at a moment’s notice.  I’m sad to say that much of Leto’s performance can be seen in the trailer, and that some parts if not much of his scenes ended up on the cutting room floor. It’s difficult to critique Leto’s take on The Joker because he never seems to really get going in any of his scenes–they’re so short. His scenes are short, and serve only to develop the character of Harley Quinn. The Joker is a bizarre and slithery secondary character, who reminded me of the ecstasy-peddling Russian dude from Bad Boys 2, in regards to his importance to the movie’s story.  The Joker’s physical appearance is striking, but his scenes are unremarkable. Don’t be fooled by the trailer. The Joker is inconsequential.
And that goes for this movie on the whole. I was hyped up to see this film, but found myself underwhelmed the moment I realized The Joker was an unimportant character. It was at that point that I felt I might have been bamboozled.  Despite this, the movie creeps forward with plenty of gusto, light, and noise to appease me just enough to forget that the editing was disturbingly bad. Suicide Squad takes great pains to remind the audience that these characters are not only bad guys, but they’re expendable. Some people die in this film with little consequence; deaths here aren’t mourned for long, and carry very little weight. The stakes never appear to be too high, and when it comes time to shed light on the humanity of the characters, I’m at loss because it’s quite unconvincing.

Don’t blame the studio. Blame The Squad. Don’t forget, they’re the patsies.

Truthfully, I think this movie is a mess. But it’s an entertaining mess. It’s kind of funny to watch a rain-soaked character walk into a bar, and immediately enter it with dry clothing. Or have the entire cast escape certain death without a scratch on them. Or watch as the film fails at copying the Guardians of the Galaxy’s music motif. Suicide Squad fails to live up to the enticing trailer that rocked the Internet many months ago; however, this film is a step forward in DC’s world-building campaign.
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‘Star Trek Beyond’: A Great Summer Blockbuster


Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness were two awesome sci-fi movies directed by J.J. Abrams (who’s blessed moviegoers with Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Super 8).  Star Trek Beyond is no longer in his hands, but that doesn’t mean the spectre of his vision is nonexistent.  Star Trek Beyond provides a story with an original villain that allows the franchise to side step the idea of having to follow the path that it rebooted from.  The story here is about the Star Trek Enterprise’s break from its 5-year exploration mission.  The crew lands on a Starfleet base to resupply their ship, but their R&R is cut short when a stranger shows up asking for help.  Heading into an uncharted Nebula, the weary crew of the Enterprise are unaware of the hidden dangers that lie ahead, and how it will force them to come together.


Does anyone know how to drive stick?

Usually, the third film of any movie franchise gets dumped on January (the landfill of horrible movies and hopeful sleeper hits) or the tail end of August, or worse: a straight-to-DVD/daytime cable event; but Star Trek Beyond avoids this pattern by delivering a funny, heartfelt, and action-packed blockbuster. There was something intimate about Star Trek Beyond, and it was satisfying watching the crew’s interactions, chase scenes, and witty banter (I could go on). First and foremost, this movie gives most of its lead cast some worthwhile character development.  The first two films put much of the spotlight on the relationship between Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) and Commander Spock (Zachary Quinto), but Star Trek Beyond shares the limelight.  After some exciting and death defying events, the crew (by that, I mean the lead cast) is separated into – coincidentally – pairs on an alien planet.  These pairings produce an amusing dynamic that shakes things up and makes this entry into the franchise feel readily accessible to new fans while simultaneously indulging old ones. Exciting things are happening, and thanks to some strong writing, the story and dialogue are both tight and fluid. The film is never stagnant, it’s quiet moments are matched by its loudest ones–story-wise, nothing is overdone or unnecessary. I was worried that the absence of J.J. Abrams would have left his vision of the reboot altered, but director, Justin Lin (Fast and Furious franchise), leaves it untouched while still managing to add in a miniscule dash of his own flair. And by flair, it looks like Lin got rid of the proverbial J.J. Abrams lens flare (ha, get it? Flare/Flair? You’ll get it).  With that said, Star Trek appears to be in the safe hands of Justin Lin and Simon Pegg (who plays the role of Scotty while also being credited as one of the writers).
Star Trek Beyond has everything that makes a summer blockbuster movie great, which makes critiquing it a bit difficult. However, I can nitpick…

“Go on, I’m listening…”

My one and only MAJOR gripe about this film are some of the fight scenes. There were close-ups that made much of the fight choreography hard to follow (think Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins fight scenes).  Maybe that’s Lin’s thing, claustrophobic shots of people (or aliens) fighting, but I find them disorienting.  Who the hell is winning? I can’t tell.  Anyway, does this movie do anything new and exciting or change the game at all? No. Does Lin take Abrams vision in a new direction? No, but who says that it’s necessary? What this film does is keep the ball rolling, in regards to the franchise’s success. That’s three Star Trek reboot-era films in the can, and they’re all good.  If I wanted to nitpick, I’d say that this is just another installment in the franchise (“nothing to see here, folks”), and it could’ve been more than just that; but that’s not where I’m going with this. This movie is tight. I like it, and I’m sure audiences will enjoy themselves.

“That wasn’t so bad. I think we might make it–”

Oh, there’s one thing I should mention. Nothing too big, but the introduction of new characters, such as Jayla, played by Sofia Boutella, puts other lead characters on the back-burner for much of the film.  Is it unfair? Is there something the producers, writers, or director of the film could have done to have made it so that everyone in the cast got a fair share of screen time? I don’t know. Maybe. But will it take away from this being a good movie? Nope. Not all.
Star Trek Beyond is as good, if not fantastic, a summer blockbuster that we’re going to get this season, so please do go out and enjoy this film.  Fans are going to watch it and definitely get their money’s worth too. New fans who aren’t privy to the first two films (and they don’t have to be), will not leave disappointed, and that’s a testament to the direction and writing of this film. It’s brisk, well-paced, fun, endearing, and everything someone would want in a sci-fi film.
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Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Review


Finally, the epic comic book movie our collective childhoods have been waiting for, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Yes, the Batman, the Superman, going one-on-one before our very eyes.  I’ll try to touch on what the movie is about without spoiling anything: Bruce Wayne, played by Ben Affleck, is pissed that Superman’s brawl with General Zodd ruined the lives of, well, pretty much anyone who lived in the surrounding area (see the climactic events of Man of Steel).  Donning cape and cowl to become The Batman once again, Bruce decides it’s up to him to do something about Superman, while Clark Kent, played by Henry Cavill, wrestles with the global criticism of his alter ego’s presence in a world, both terrified and awestruck at the realization that they’re no longer alone in the universe.


How to explain this situation? He’s Batman. Just go with it.

First of all, Ben Affleck’s Batman is dope. I had my doubts initially, but Ben Affleck really nailed the whole brooding aspect of Batman/Bruce Wayne, and dare I say it, his Batman was actually scary.  I mean, he was incredibly INTENSE, and brooding aside, there’s even more!  He’s dispatching bad guys with a certain Steven Segal-like prejudice, karate-chopping necks and breaking arms left-and-right, branding criminals, and delivering badass dialogue throughout (this is surely a testament to Mark Millar’s interpretation of Batman in The Dark Knight Returns).  I’d have to say everything that was Batman — Batcave, Bat-Wing, Batmobile, Alfred (played by Jeremy Irons, a great casting choice), and Joker references — made it into this movie. With that said, I’m surprised this movie wasn’t titled Batman: Justice League Rising, because Ben Affleck’s Batman steals the show. He’s interesting, he has better scenes, and every time he’s on screen, he’s dynamic — whether he’s a man tortured by the death of his parents, a playboy billionaire, a detective, or even as an unhinged super-violent superhero. Don’t believe me? That’s fine, but the movie literally opens up with Bruce Wayne, and then a brief (and at this point, unnecessary) Batman origin story. This pseudo Man of Steel sequel doesn’t open up with Superman doing super things; no, it’s Bruce Wayne doing Bat-things.

“Hail Hydra.”

There were plenty of action sequences towards the tail-end of the film, and needless to say, I’d have to pick Batman’s sequences as the standout (could you tell what I loved about this film?).  One amazing Bat-action sequence (Baction?) would have to be the warehouse scene that was briefly shown in one of the film’s many spoilery trailers.  The full sequence looks like something straight out of Batman: Arkham Asylum (video game), because here he is taking on multiple enemies at once while utilizing his Bat-arsenal. If the director of this movie, Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen, and Sucker Punch), got something right, it was Batman’s movement in action.  Christopher Nolan, the legendary director of The Dark Knight Trilogy, made masterpieces of film, but (in my opinion) never delivered on any of Batman’s fight scenes. Snyder gets it right, and I’m all the more grateful for this.
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman was also surprisingly good. I did not see that coming, because I thought she didn’t fit the Amazonian build; however, she manages to pull it off. She doesn’t get enough screen time to explain her origin — she’s just a part of the movie’s plot — but it’s interesting to see her move about because her part plays out well.  Again, Bruce Wayne/Batman gets the interesting scenes by interacting with Gadot’s character, and later when she shows up in her Wonder Woman outfit, she steals the show.  This movie did a hell of a job introducing her character, even for a brief moment, but what I feel sells her presence is her theme song. I mean, seriously, the theme music for Wonder Woman is crazy! The music rattled me in my seat (a breath of fresh year, I should say); it’s different from the sound of Batman or Superman, and I felt as if her sound didn’t fit with the tone of the movie, BUT, when it plays, it PLAYS, and it demanded my attention. Matter of fact, this is her theme:

Doesn’t that make you want to ride a warhorse into the fiery depths of Tartarus while waving a flaming sword in the air? Or, I don’t know, lift weights? Anyway, it got my blood pumping, and — I won’t lie — I was, at that moment, ready to throw my money at the upcoming Wonder Woman solo movie.  Anyway…
Zack Snyder delivers outstanding visuals as usual, and makes another movie that appears to have been ripped directly from the pages of a comic book — or in this case, an episode from Justice League Unlimited (that’s an animated series).  There are short cameos of future Justice League members in this movie, and it’ll momentarily allow people who recognize them to geek out.  That could be a good thing and a bad thing; in this case, it really took away from BvS as a whole, yet still delivered as a treat for anyone still paying attention.  Which leads me to…

Me trying to watch BvS…

A laundry list of things I didn’t like, and I wish I wasn’t aware of those things during my viewing, because I wanted to like this movie.  However, right off the bat (not THE Bat), BvS does the same thing Man of Steel did: pooping itself in the second half of the film.  There was a certain scene, a certain possible saving grace that could’ve been the turning point in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.  A certain moment when there were hints of an interesting political thriller waiting to happen, but just as quickly as it was introduced, it was instantly removed and forgotten.  Instead, BvS tries too hard to be good.  BvS is like a classroom assignment, a powerpoint presentation that went too long, and failed to bring a message home; but even though it might’ve failed to deliver an informative and cohesive point, it still gets a ‘C’ for effort*.  That’s the thing, much of this movie does drag on, and I caught myself wondering when this was going to end.  I was waiting for it to be over, because it ultimately didn’t feel like a focused movie. I felt like I was just watching things happen in BvS. At one point, it felt like I was watching one scene after the other, and many times I caught it going off the rails because it kept trying to expand the world of Batman and Superman.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to see all these other characters make cameos — that’s cool — but it takes away from the main plot.  The story is no longer fluid. It just doesn’t work.  Everything that’s stuffed into this movie felt forced.  So, as a FILM, this movie doesn’t work. Not one bit.

“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles…”

As for the rest of this laundry list of things I didn’t like, well, where do I begin?  First thing I noticed? Batman is killing the shit out of people in this movie, but Michael Keaton’s Batman (my favorite) killed people as well, so… it is what it is?  Doomsday, that big gray ninja turtle (pictured above) that was in the trailers, looks horribly rendered, and its fight scene with the proto-Justice League (Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman) was anti-climatic.
Let’s talk casting: I’m not a fan of Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor, or Amy Adams’ Lois Lane.  The entire cast did their jobs, but the direction taken with some of the characters wasn’t my cup of tea.  Lex Luthor is apparently The Riddler in this movie, or some form of this jokester, because Eisenberg did not play him as the calm, collected, and composed genius villain that Luther is supposed to be.  Instead, this Lex Luthor is erratic, a man with a nervous ticks, and an inability to speak in front of an audience without falling apart (really?).
On the other hand, Lois Lane is kind of a tool in this movie. Now give me a second to explain myself, because there were attempts to depict her as a strong, go-get’em journalist, but from the get-go and up until the end, she appears to be more of a device to give Superman a weakness (other than Kryptonite). Ultimately, she appears to be a liability, a damsel in constant distress — I actually kind of felt bad for Superman, because he obviously had bigger issues to deal with (being depicted as both a god and an enemy). Which leads me to another problem here: wasn’t this supposed to be a sequel to Man of Steel? It’s more of a spin-off that happens to have Superman somewhere in there. I felt bad for the guy. Like Lois Lane, he isn’t given much to work with. He’s flying around solving other people’s problems, but never given a considerable amount of character depth. It appears that this movie used Superman’s platform to deliver a considerably interesting take on Batman, a pitch for a Wonder Woman movie, and yes, a Justice League follow-up. Superman, the star of this film, is put on the back burner (there’s literally a scene where he just stands and says nothing).  I mean, look at his mug throughout the film.  He looks like he understands what’s happening, and doesn’t like what he sees.  There isn’t one moment here where Superman comes off as a winner, and it’s sad, because I had the same face after watching this movie.

Look at him. Superman was once Beyonce, and now he’s Michelle Williams…

But hey, it’s Batman versus Superman, of course I’d recommend that you’d go watch it. It’s not a terrible film and it’s not a great film — it’s teetering somewhere in the middle ground, losing its footing several times as it laboriously makes its way towards an anti-climatic end. If you’ve seen the trailer, you’ve seen the movie.  The kids are going to love it, and it does enough to kick off this year’s season of blockbuster events. Although, I was disappointed initially, I have to say that it could have been worse. I mean, it’s not like there’s going to be a longer version of this in the near future, right?
*God, I hope that analogy reaches you.
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Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Review photos courtesy of Warner Bros 

‘Deadpool’ Review


Hi, I’m movie blogger, Emilio Giron, and I’m writing about a modestly budgeted superhero movie titled Deadpool.  It stars reasonably handsome color book enthusiast turned super actor Ryan Reynolds. He plays the movie’s titular character, Deadpool, aka Wade Wilson, Marvel Comic’s “Merc with a Mouth.”  Like most romance movies, this is the usual run-of-the-mill Valentine’s Day story cliche: guy meets girl, girl meets guy, they fall in love, a shadowy agency turns guy into an immortal slave designed for the sole purpose of murder – wait, what? Okay, let’s run this back real quick. A movie titled Deadpool isn’t exactly a romance movie (but it comes close!). It’s a superhero origin film. And there’s a particular R-rated zest that makes this story different from other comic book movies.  This movie is all about Wade Wilson and his warpath revenge bloodbath that fails to nail the bad guy (Ajax).  Once thought dead, after the aforementioned power-giving experiments, Wilson has to deal with the repercussions of his exposed identity, namely the abduction of the love of his life, Vanessa.  If you think about it, there’s no better way to show your love by disappearing yourself off to some underground lab for super illegal torture-filled experiments, and then coming back to save the day, despite a horrible disfigurement and irreversibly twisted psyche.


“Perfect” Valentine’s Day movie, right?

Ryan Reynolds shows once again why he was born for this role.  From beginning to end, this movie is hilariously entertaining, and doesn’t let up.  Like his character, Deadpool, this movie moves quickly, brisk enough that I didn’t even feel it running towards the 2-hour mark.  The film cuts back and forth between past and present and future. Whether it be through the movie’s action or the character’s dialogue, it achieves this through some well-timed transitions.  Early on, I thought that these edits would have confused viewers, but my worries disappeared as the film went on.  What I liked the most about this film was its uncensored, unadulterated fun.  Just like in the comics, Deadpool breaks the fourth wall (ala Ferris Bueller style) throughout the entire film.  It’s a colorful and brilliant nuance that breathes new life into the comic book movie genre. Speaking of which, one would think that the film’s rating would hamper this movie, because it’s gratuitously violent (which it is), the on screen deaths (which it has), nudity (lots of it) and uses of foul language (f-bombs left and right). There hasn’t been many R-rated comic book movies because of this.  But with that said, I have to say that this movie is just so well done, I can’t imagine a world in which more of these types of films don’t come into production.  Also, the movie’s just so fun.  There’s little treats in here in the form of easter eggs and references to other X-Men movies.  I think it’s because the crowd is allowed to participate in a lot of what Deadpool has to say, and I found myself smiling and laughing throughout the entire film.

“Hi, folks. Keep calm and eat tacos. This review is almost over.”

This movie was good, and because of that, I find myself too entertained to really pick out anything I didn’t like about it. Well, I should say that I found Colossus’s (our metal-skinned character pictured above) design borderline cartoonish, but it wasn’t bad.
Deadpool is the perfect film for an adult couple to watch on a romantic evening. I stress adult, because this movie is not for kids (even though there were kids in the theater I was in).  There’s way too much violence and booty for a 5-year-old to handle. Leave the kids at home, and let the hilarity ensue with Deadpool.
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‘Deadpool’ Review photos courtesy of and

Why The Revenant is Oscar Worthy


Leonardo DiCaprio stars in the Revenant, a thrilling tale about survival and revenge.  Leo is phenomenal as the character, Hugh Glass, a  man who is mauled by a bear, buried alive, and left for dead after witnessing the murder of his son by the hands of a rival fur trader (Tom Hardy). Despite his seemingly fatal wounds, the incapacitated Glass musters what little strength he has left to crawl out of his shallow grave, and begin his journey for revenge.
The Revenant has a lot going for it (but I’ll be honest, I came for The Leo), but the one thing that impressed me the most about The Revenant is that it’s a visually stunning movie.  The direction was very artistic – and of course it is – as it was directed by none other than the incomparable Alejandro González Iñárritu, director of last year’s Oscar winner for Best Picture and Best Director, Birdman (lead by the homie, Michael ‘My Batman’ Keaton). He really leaves his mark here, with long takes of brutally intense action sequences, and the unbelievably beautiful cinematography. There were scenes in this film that left me wondering a lot about all the hard work involved in its execution.  Much of the film contains visually awe-inspiring national geographic-like natural lighting, which made for some truly breathtaking moments that were equally matched by the gripping and grit-filled acting chops of DiCaprio.  I don’t want to spoil anything, but Leo doesn’t say much in this movie. I think Tom Hardy has more lines, so DiCaprio’s performance for the majority of this film is a physical one. And when I say physical, I mean dirt-filled mouth and performing in freezing waters physical. I really sat there and wondered how the hell he didn’t die of hypothermia in this film. Like, seriously, we could’ve been discussing the circumstances of his death instead of reviewing this movie, but we’re fortunately covering this film and his Oscar-worthy performance.

The Revenant 4

Must. Win. Oscar.

This movie had some really great moments, but there were lulls in between the action.  Unlike, Alejandro’s Birdman, where the entire movie had a brisk pace and narrative, The Revenant slows things down during its dream sequences. They could’ve been hallucinations, too, I’m not really sure, but either way, I feel like they could have made the movie a tad shorter had they cut those parts out.
The Revenant 3

But the lighting and sets were amazing, I mean, look at this.

At 2 hours 46 minutes, this movie is worth watching if you want to see why Leo is getting so much Oscar buzz, but I don’t foresee it being the movie to watch.  The film is provocative because of its feats in cinematography, but it’s a slow-cook towards a big pay off.
“But wait, Emilio! Is this movie winning the Oscar or not?”
The Revenant

Yeah, man… is it?

What’s that? Is this movie Oscar-worthy?
Yes. Yes it is.  Of course it is!  This movie could win one of or any combination of Best Picture, Best Director, and/or Best Actor, but I’ll admit that it’s facing some pretty stiff competition.  Personally, I’m rooting for Mad Max: Fury Road.  If there was a movie that gave me life in the theater, it was Max.  Did Revenant give me life?  Here and there, sure. But it wasn’t Max.
The Revenant 2

But we have Tom Hardy, so… what’s your point?

Let me stay on topic though.  For Best Picture, The Revenant is up against Bridge of Spies, directed by da gawd, Steven freakin’ Spielberg (winner of three Oscars); the aforementioned Mad Max: Fury Road; Spotlight (which has been making noise – even though I don’t know anyone who’s watched it); The Martian, directed by another gawd, Ridley Scott (who’s been nominated for Best Director three times); The Big Short; Room; and Brooklyn.  For Best Director, it is up against Mad Max: Fury Road, The Big Short, Room, and Spotlight.
Leonardo DiCaprio is nominated for Best Actor, and his chances look good. Eddie Redmayne won last year’s gold for his role in The Theory of Everything, but I haven’t heard much buzz about his performance in this year’s The Danish Girl.  Michael Fassbender, Byan Cranston, and Matt Damon are the other nominees vying for the Oscar, but I must say that Leo, who’s been nominated five times, has done enough in The Revenant to earn himself the Best Actor trophy.
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Star Wars: The Force Awakens Review


Rey (Daisy Ridley), a young girl from a lowly community on desert planet, Jakku, becomes part of a larger world when she rescues a droid carrying highly valued information.  The droid, BB-8, belongs to a high-flying pilot ace, Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), who is captured by enemy forces, but is soon aided by Stormtrooper FN-2187.  FN-2187, or Fin (John Boyega), had been raised and trained for the purposes of war, but quickly becomes disillusioned after a bloody skirmish that ends in Poe’s capture. Seeking redemption and a one-way ticket away from The First Order, Fin’s employers and the galaxy’s newest Big Bad, Fin joins Poe on his mission to find a legendary figure who could bring balance to the world of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
I’m a huge Star Wars fan and I have to say that I was very impressed with Star Wars: The Force Awakens.  J.J. Abrams, director of such films as, Super 8, Star Trek, and Star Trek Into Darkness, just keeps producing these dynamic tight-knit films that have audiences foaming at the mouth for more.  His style keeps viewers’ eyes glued to the screen, and his penchant for practical effects provides just enough nuance for an otherwise fantastic sci-fi that could have played out as just another run-of-the-mill global blockbuster.  I think what made much of this film work was its cast. I was sickened by the awesomeness of these actors.  The cast, particularly Fin and Rey, have so much chemistry it makes my freakin’ eyes water.  The depth that these two characters have are initially hinted at early on in the movie but with so much happening in the story, there’s not enough time to discover what made these characters who they are.  Much of who they are shines in what they do.  Actions speak louder than words, and every time I saw them on screen I was enchanted. Once I found myself invested, I knew I was in for a treat in the rest of the movie.
The Force Awakens isn’t your usual blockbustery special effects extravaganza.  J.J. Abrams has been staying true to his style by keeping the ratio of special effects leaning towards the side of practicality.  Unlike, let’s say, some Michael Bay Transformer flick, or even worse (and I shudder at the thought), some green screen orgy such as Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, The Force Awakens fills its sets with real creatures, real explosions, and sets that any one of us can actually visit. Moreover, the action set pieces were very engaging – there was a real sense that things might take a turn for the worst. I’ll use the Stormtroopers as examples, because unlike the earlier films, these guys actually instilled some fear in our characters.  Usually, Stormtroopers are blind as Mr. Magoo – or whatever kids these days understand as being blind as a bat (Stevie Wonder memes?).  The Force Awakens gives these guys some respect.  The Stormtroopers in this film don’t miss as much; they’re merciless, and therefore, frightening.
There’s too much in this film for me to love. However, if I had to nitpick, I’d say it was the CGI characters in this movie that were lacking.  I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but there was just something about them that felt like they didn’t fit.  The graphics were good, but for me, maybe it just wasn’t good enough.  Still, though, they didn’t distract much from the flow of things in this movie – and ultimately, that’s what matters most. I was still invested.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is one of the best movies I’ve seen this year.  It doesn’t pander to its audience so much so that it marginalizes potentially new fans. It flawlessly caters to moviegoers everywhere while offering nods to anyone else who has seen the last six Star Wars films.  If there is one thing to take away from this movie, it’s that it is in good hands, and well deserving of a sequel.
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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 Review


The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 continues Katniss Everdeen’s (Jennifer Lawrence) journey towards a takeover of Panem. At first, she was unsure of her role in the Panem war, but her traumatic experiences in The Hunger Games and the great losses she’s experienced since then appear to have strengthened her resolve.  After recovering from a nearly fatal encounter with Peeta, Katniss sees red and decides that she must sneak into enemy territory to assassinate the crap out of President Snow.


Coming up for air after watching MJ: Part One.

Firstly, I must shout out Jennifer Lawrence and her incredible ability to breathe life into a character that inhabits a franchise I have long since given up on. I’m not even a big fan of J-Law, but she commits to Katniss, giving her a depth on screen that shows more visually than it does on script.  Her dialogue isn’t impressive, but it’s the delivery and execution that keep me watching.  It reminds me of the movie Tropic Thunder, when Kirk Lazarus (played by the masterful Robert Downey Jr.) upstages Ben Stiller’s character, Tugg Speedman, by unnecessarily crying on cue.  Speedman’s agent advises him to, “Cry Harder!,” if Lazarus tries it again. And in Mockingjay Part 2, J-Law definitely cries harder, and it’s impressive.  She sells this character and sells her hard.  I was bored for much of this movie, but I reluctantly bought it – the whole package – mainly because of J-Law’s acting.

My fiance convincing me Part 2 will be better.

Also, I’d like to mention how The Hungers Games: Mockingjay Part 1 was, by far, the weakest film of the franchise. It was all yap yap-yap yap, and much less a Kidz Bop Running Man (and even more less a Battle Royale).  The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 is much better, in terms of action.  The action scenes were pretty good, and there were some chase scenes also that made me rub my eyes and get off my seat.  However, the on-screen violence wasn’t as bloody as Catching Fire, but they were impressive as a testament to the horrors of modern warfare.  There must’ve been a message there too, but it currently escapes me (and that’s a political discussion outside of this review).

Katniss, remember, we’re here for overbearingly depressing dialogue. Not blockbustery action.

Despite the improvements, I’d have to say that The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 still put me in metaphorical sleeper hold.  The action scenes were good, yes, but it’s between those set pieces that this movie suffers.  Nothing about this film is really interesting.  Like Mockingjay Part 1, this film felt stretched out and entirely unnecessary.  Many franchises are now doing this, splitting a finale into two parts at the cost of sacrificing a good story.  One could say that, in the case of The Hobbit, which was split into three movies, things seemed to have worked out.  That’s true. But The Hobbit has a world I would love to be in – like, for real.
At this point in the story, the world of the The Hunger Games isn’t a fascinating one. It’s a dystopian future where young people are sacrificed for the amusement of the rich and the suppression of the enslaved.  What part about that sounds worth visiting?  I’m here for Katniss and her story, and her story was practically over after Catching Fire.  I didn’t read the books, but I know a good story when I see it. This wasn’t it.
If I were a fan of this series, I’d probably had been let down by the third film, and more than likely, would have skipped Part 2 – which is what I’m suggesting viewers do in this case. The movie is well-made, it has Jennifer Lawrence, an incredible supporting cast and some cool action scenes, but doesn’t earn my hard earned dollars. It isn’t a must-see. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 isn’t catching fire. In my opinion, it’s smoldering without enough tinder to spark anew.
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Spectre Review


Recent world events have spurred action towards the elimination of MI6 and the double-o program, but James Bond (Daniel Craig) won’t let that stop him from going on one last secret mission.  Bond discovers a super secret cryptic meeting of evildoers, the head of which is cast solely in the shadow of some impressive back-lighting.  With MI6 prohibited from taking action, it’s up to James Bond to stop this organization, known as Spectre, from achieving global domination.


First order of business: new light bulbs. Seriously, guys, I can’t stress this enough.

The first scene of the movie is a brilliant long take shot in Mexico City, during a Day of the Dead celebration.  The music is bumping, the people are dressed in macabre fashion, and an impeccably dressed James Bond is in the middle of it all. The camera follows our dapper do-gooder through a bustling crowd, a building, its elevator, and up towards the roof.  All of it is captured in one take, and I’m not sure if there was digital editing involved — it could be possible — but I was very impressed.  Director, Sam Mendes (Skyfall), returns to direct, starting off the film with a dusty palette of colors in the Mexico scene, and as the movie went along, I grew to appreciate the cinematography even more. It gave this film a different look.  Mendes makes sure to capture vast exterior shots of beautiful landscapes before taking a closer look inside buildings or facilities that occupy the space.  I’ve always appreciated the Bond films for making me want to go to places I would never think of visiting, and this film just gave me more places to add to my bucket list.

This is Daniel Craig’s fourth time playing James Bond, and he doesn’t play the role weary-like. In fact, he plays it as an unimpressed spymaster, like he’s basically seen it all and there isn’t much this movie’s villain can do to surprise him.  There’s a fight scene where he basically points at one guy after punching him, and points a finger at him while yelling, “No!” He doesn’t even have to pummel these guys anymore, he’s so good. He just applies the right amount of beat down to anyone dumb enough to get in his way.
Usually Daniel Craig’s version of Bond would eliminate someone with extreme prejudice, but here he’s got a softer touch. I noticed a few henchmen weren’t even killed. One guy took a well-aimed bullet to the knee (aw, how thoughtful).
I noticed that this movie’s James Bond isn’t as grimy as he used to be.  He’s almost too much of a classic Bond.  He doesn’t make mistakes, he never misses his mark, and even the Bond theme music capitalizes his every Bond-ism.
Smart remark? Cue the Bond fanfare.  Bond girl says she’s totally not going to sleep with him, but then sleeps with him anyway? Cue the horns! I LOVE it! It might be silly at times, because some of it makes me want to roll my eyes, but I love it because it’s Bond fulfilling my expectation of who he is. He’s the epitome/parody of an international man of mystery (not Austin Powers).

Everything is falling apart, except me…

However, as much as I love a silly Bond, I’m a bigger fan of fan of Daniel Craig’s Casino Royale Bond, a Bond that was raw, super physical, and struggling with deep character building conflict.
Christoph Waltz, who was deliciously evil in Inglorious Basterds, is rarely used to his full potential in Spectre.  Waltz plays the head of the film’s titular organization and this movie’s Bond villain, and one would think that he’d nail it (which he did), but it’d be difficult for him to be an unforgettable villain when he gets barely any screen time.  Spectre is pretty formulaic. Matter of fact, it reminds me a lot of the Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation plot, except MIRN was a summer blockbuster, and Spectre is more a nuanced action drama.  Even though the movie’s opening was awesome, it does feel a lot like the rest of the story has been done.

Martini! I wanted the martini shaken, not me, you bloody fool!

I’ve been watching every James Bond movie since Pierce Brosnan’s Goldeneye, but I became a bigger fan since Casino Royale, so when I say that this movie was pretty good, believe that it’s a wholly biased and one-sided conclusion I reached before the film’s credits began rolling.
Now, as for my objective perspective? This movie was somewhat, “it’s okay, I guess,” and more of nothing worth writing home about. Spectre isn’t a must-see Bond movie, because it does just enough to clinch another sequel, which I would undoubtedly head out to go see — I’m a fool, I tell you — but I’d honestly wish that the whole of the film would have matched the quality of the film’s opening.  But that’s just not the case. Spectre misses its mark, but not its audience.
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Black Mass Review


Black Mass is a movie about the rise and fall of the notorious Winter Hill Gang leader turned mafioso crime kingpin, James “Whitey” Bulger (Johnny Depp).  This true life film takes some liberties with the history of Bulger, but mostly covers his rise to power after establishing his unholy alliance with the FBI.  You didn’t read that wrong — unlike most “gangster” films where the cops chase the bad guys, Black Mass is about a bad guy benefiting from a deal with the good guys (and vice versa).  Bulger’s childhood friend turned federal agent, John Connolly (Joel Edgerton), seeks his help in nailing the Italian mafia, who happens to be Bulger’s competition.  Bulger seeing the benefits from such a deal, but noting the potential “rat” implications eventually acquiesces.  Bulger goes from a neighborhood street thug to a federally protected crime boss. With his competition behind bars and the FBI looking the other way, it appears that no one can do much to stop the spread of black mass that is “Whitey” Bulger… You know, because he’s like a cancer in Boston. Boston, Massachusetts. Mass. He’s a dark brooding figured that is ironically nicknamed, “Whitey”. Anyway…

I’m not going to front and act like I went mainly for the story, because I didn’t. I went because the gangster character that this movie was about was being played by none other than Johnny Depp.  The dinner scene trailer and official trailer also helped out a lot in bringing my butt into the theater.  Either way, Johnny Depp’s performance was phenomenal (as usual), a breath of fresh air from his performance in Transcendence.  There’s not much I can say about how good an actor Johnny Depp is that hasn’t been said already, but I’ll wholeheartedly say that he pulls off a solid performance in Black Mass. An unforgettable one? No, not necessarily, but for a fan of Johnny Depp, this will be worth the money spent, because he gets plenty of screen time to creep out viewers with the sinister character he portrays.  The movie also has some great shots of Depp’s character mulling over his life, brooding, or doing something as simple as daydreaming — adding to the mystique of his character.  When not filling up the screen with his commanding performance, we’re treated to both Benedict Cumberbatch, whose character, William Bulger, plays foil to his brother, “Whitey,” and Joel Edgerton, the aforementioned FBI agent who, for some reason, I found likeable. His character was so desperate to make a name for himself that he was willing to break the rules to make it happen.  Edgerton manages to carve out a place for himself on screen, especially when sharing it with Johnny Depp.


… ugh, “sharing,” for lack of a better word?

I recently watched a documentary about “Whitey” Bulger prior to viewing Black Mass, and the story behind it all was terrifyingly intriguing.  I couldn’t take my eyes off throughout the entire run time, but unfortunately, I can’t say the same thing about Black Mass.  Johnny Depp’s performance aside, the theatrical adaptation of Black Mass isn’t quite as engaging as it should be. It has great material to work with; I mean, to some extent, I kind of wish they would’ve taken even more liberties with the actual story, because the only dynamic character there was Johnny Depp (Joel Edgerton gets an honorable mention) and that wasn’t enough to make the story interesting.
Black Mass is a movie that offers the chance to witness a legendary actor flex his talent.  There is the intriguing gangster story line, but aside from the whole FBI-in-cahootery twist, the movie grows stale as it inches towards the two-hour mark.  Johnny Depp’s brilliance as an actor is ultimately hindered by a story that doesn’t do enough to compliment it’s character. So, what I’m saying is: go only if you must see Johnny Depp. Otherwise, Black Mass is a decent fact-based gangster movie.
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The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials Review


The Maze Runner: Scorch Trials continues immediately after the events of the first film, The Maze Runner. Tomas (Dylan O’Brien) and the other survivors are picked up by a militant organization seemingly bent on saving them from the clutches of the evil organization known as WICKED.  Everyone is given a hot shower and some hot food — so, everything seems cool at first. However, Tomas has some suspicions that are raised almost immediately after Teresa (Kaya Scodelario) is separated from their group for “testing” purposes. Tomas begins to scratch the surface of a new mystery, and the possibility that even though they left the maze, their fight for survival was far from over.

Scorch Trials seems to stick to their key ingredient — running away from something.  That’s about it. And I’m fine with that. In this case, it keeps the movie moving forward even if it doesn’t provide much toward making the story any better.  Watch them run through labs. Watch them run through a desert. Watch them run from weather, or, I don’t know, watch them run from some sort of I Am Legend infected-vampire-zombies. Yeah, let’s see what the audience thinks about THAT. I mean, even though this is just another young adult dystopian thriller (among a slew of other YA dystopian), Scorch Trials appears to nail action sequences, particularly when it comes to showing a real sense of urgency. The Maze Runner brand has clinched action, and that might be the main selling point of this movie in this genre — so in that aspect (action), this movie delivers. Also, the movie’s first act is gripping, and everything I was hoping to see in a Maze Runner sequel, but just as the narrative moves to the second act, things take a turn for the worst (again).


Wait for it…

Even though this movie delivers some exciting chase scenes, it does remove the one thing that let me enjoy the first film: mystery.  The clues and exploration in the first film allowed the viewer to experience everything Tomas was experiencing; he was our avatar.  There was a sense of investment in the first film that was abruptly taken away at the very end. That abrupt abduction of something worthwhile is not only repeated in this film, but this time around, the ending wasn’t as exciting and it didn’t leave me wanting to know more about what was happening in Tomas’s world. I was over it.  The mystery of the first film made me want to watch a sequel to see if there was more to it, but The Scorch Trials takes a lot of that away by giving Tomas very little to work with.  We pretty much knew everything we had to know about Tomas, and instead of exploring the other characters, maybe fleshing them out a bit more, we are treated to watching Tomas run from one scene to the next.  The film closely veers into mindless entertainment because of this.  In lieu of depth, we’re given more underdeveloped characters who suddenly appear in Tomas’s life, and suddenly care about Tomas and his friends — granted, that might be because their group is technically a highly valuable asset capable of providing the science towards a cure to a plague that has devastated all of mankind, but… meh.  Anyway, the film’s narrative becomes formulaic, and eventually suffers from another cliched and stale ending.  Just know this: there’s going to be another one, there might be love triangle there, and… yeah.
I had high hopes for The Scorch Trials, but as most movies trying hard as hell to make a salel on a mediocre story, all the good parts appear to be in the trailer.  The Scorch Trials is an action-packed movie where more is pretty much less; it does a hell of a job improving their action sequences, which, for the most part, were technically great, but despite that, there’s very little reason to watch this movie unless you were a diehard fan of the book.
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Fantastic Four Review


A reboot to 2005’s cutesy attempt at a Fantastic Four franchise, Fant4stic Four is Fox Studio’s revitalization of their second Marvel property (after X-Men). There were some notable changes made in an attempt to modernize and differentiate this version of the Fantastic Four from its last films, but it still went ahead and delivered another unbelievably unnecessary origin story.

Four scientists gain unnatural powers after a botched experiment in inter-dimensional teleportation. The sponsor behind this project is the American military, and they’re none too happy about this accident. However, they figure they’ll recoup their losses, make some lemonade, and use the roasted bodies of the scientists to do it. Realizing the military applications of creating super-powered soldiers, they immediately began plans to test and experiment on the survivors: Reed Richards (Miles Teller), Ben Grimm (Jamie Bell), Sue Storm (Kate Mara), and Johnny Storm (Michael B. Jordan).  Oh, but there’s one thing: Victor Von Doom (Toby Kebbell).  He was the brainchild behind inter-dimensional teleportation. He was the only rational voice that said they should be weary of the military’s interest in their project.  And he was one of the four who actually traveled to this, ugh, second Earth? Yeah, I’ll go with that. Anyway, Doom didn’t make it back from that primordial hellscape, where some of the survivors were lightly spritzed with a taste of this power-imbuing planet’s nectar (I’m sure this is an understatement). Doom, on the other hand, was engulfed by it (now this is pretty accurate), but the government is too preoccupied to worry about those little deets, amirite? It’s not like that’s going to come back and bite them in the ass, right?
Wrong. VVD comes back with a vengeance, and now the Fantastic Four have to work together to stop him.

FF The Thing

Literally, what this movie was doing to me.

Fant4stic Four is much different from its earlier versions. Some of the things that make this film superior to Fantastic Four (2005), in my opinion, is the spot-on casting, and the darker and more serious tone. I enjoyed watching Miles Teller, Kate Mara, and Michael B. Jordan working together. They really made this experience considerably more tolerable than I’d imagine (yes, I was totally against this movie). The seriousness of this movie’s tone did not escape me, I noticed there was a hint of horror elements in there too — something you wouldn’t normally catch in today’s blockbuster superhero summer movies.  It was, er, “interesting,” I guess? It was sort of like watching The Fly, you know, because of the teleportation element, something going wrong — “ahh!,” a transformation that seemed cool at first, but was pretty messed up in hindsight.  So, as far as tone goes, it was aiming for The Dark Knight kind of feel.
But in all honesty, this film is an ungodly monstrosity that must be banished from whence it came.

I’m sorry Kate. But…

Where do I start? It’s supposed to be a superhero movie, right? With a trumpety heroic soundtrack, a fun action driven narrative that everyone can digest, something that doesn’t require that much focus — but no, this movie was emotionally draining (and not in a good way)! Fant4stic Four did some “interesting” things here, but I didn’t come for “interesting.” I came for a movie, something that has a beginning, middle, and an end, but this film avoids the most necessary of narrative guidelines. The film’s setup wears out its welcome, and then nothing really happens until the end. The majority of this movie is just watching things happen with little audience involvement. There’s barely time to care for any of the characters, and their relationships with each other.  Also, don’t let the trailer fool you. The trailer is misleading, because parts of it don’t make it into the actual movie and all the good parts have already been seen before even going into the theater. Do yourself a favor, and save your money.  Or, at least, go watch Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation or Ant-Man, if that’s still showing.
The verdict? The saving grace is the cast, but it’s just not enough to save this boring movie.  This is a glorified B-movie destined for Redbox. Sorry, folks. No bueno.
P.S. I feel bad for the cast, but I’m sure Miles Teller can act like this movie never happened.
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