Cinema Dispatch: Deadpool

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Deadpool and all the images you see in this review are owned by 20th Century Fox

Directed by Tim Miller

Despite being 2010’s Sexiest Man Alive, Ryan Reynolds isn’t really your traditional leading man.  The guy had a long string of successful comedies through most of the 2000s, but it wasn’t until they tried pushing him into a leading man position that everything started to go to hell.  He’s been keeping himself busy with films like The Woman in Gold and Self/Less just to keep his name out there, but he has bet everything on this movie to finally put him back on top and as the comedic actor he wants to be.  Was it a wise move to bank on this character making a splash with main stream audiences, or is this going to be the last straw before Hollywood finally gives up on the one time super star?  Let’s find out!!

The movie begins with Wade Wilson (Ryan Rynolds) having finally tracked down the man who turned him into the un-fuckable immortal wearing the red onesie known as Deadpool.  The man in question AJAX (Ed Skrein) seems to be heading somewhere with a caravan of tough guys that are dispatched with ease as we saw in the trailers.  During said assault, we get flashbacks to Wade’s life before the super powers and learn more about his relationship with Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) prior to getting multiple terminal cancers.  After being diagnosed, he’s visited by a mysterious man (Jed Rees) who offers him a chance at a cure which Wade eventually take him up on which leads to him being under the care of AJAX.  Things go south however as it turns out the mysterious organization running horrifying experiments is not quite what you would call “ethical” and so Wade finds a way to escape but can’t bear to face Vanessa again until AJAX either fixes his face or is buried six feet under.  Donning a snazzy outfit and a the moniker of Deadpool, he proceeds to cut his way through AJAX’s known associates which leads back to the boss and neatly lands us back at the beginning of the movie.  Speaking of which, the commotion on the freeway doesn’t go unnoticed as a member of the X-Men Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) and his student Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) catch wind of it from news reports and they go to see what the hell Wade’s doing.  Will Deadpool get his revenge on AJAX before these two buzz kills get in the way?  What will AJAX do now that Wade has resurfaced and is broadcasting his intent to kill him?  What the hell is Ryan Reynolds gonna do if this ISN’T a hit!?

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“Look, if this doesn’t work out I’m gonna have to star in my own porn parody.  I know some of you want that, but I’d rather not go down that rabbit hole… so to speak.”

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Cinema Dispatch: Donald Trump’s The Art of the Deal: The Movie

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Donald Trump’s The Art of the Deal: The Movie and all the images you see in this review are owned by Funny or Die

Directed by Jeremy Konner

If we’re gonna keep getting subpar dreck like Dirty Grandpa, The Fifth Wave, and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, we might as well turn to the Internet for all our movie viewing needs… at least until Deadpool comes out, but AFTER that we can probably just hide away until March.  So Funny or Die (the premiere site for famous comedians to post YouTube videos not on YouTube) has been secretly working on a Donald Trump movie and finally released it to the masses starring none other than Johnny Depp (the star of such classics as The Lone Ranger and A Nightmare on Elm Street) as the prominent business man in this adaptation of his most notorious literary contribution, The Art of the Deal.  Does it manage to give us a satirical yet poignant look at the man who has taken over the public spotlight, or is this just a chance for even more people to jump on the Trump bandwagon before he flames out in the next couple of months?  Let’s find out!!

The movie is presented to us as a Made for TV special (found by Ron Howard in a yard sale) that Donald Trump (Johnny Depp) directed, edit, and starred in among other duties he takes credit for that is a somewhat autobiographical tale based on his best-selling book The Art of the Deal (second only to the Bible in number of sales apparently).  The framing device for Trump to espouse his philosophy on business as well as tales of his prior accomplishments is a kid who steals a copy of his book from a display and just so happens to evade the security guard by ducking into Trump’s office who takes this opportunity to mentor the boy for an afternoon.  It just so happens to also be Trump’s fortieth birthday and his one goal in life (at least according to this movie) is the purchase of the Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City from Merv Griffin (Patton Oswalt) who’s not too keen to sell to the big blowhard… I mean brilliant business man.  As Donald continues to try and goad Merv into selling, he goes on and on about his accomplishments with accompanying flashbacks and even gets his lawyer (Alfred Molina) to chime in every once in a while to reassure the kid of just how awesome of a life the orange demi-god standing before him has led.  Will Donald get his hands on the Taj Mahal before the day is over?  Will the kid learn a valuable lesson about business and negotiations along the way?  Could anyone imagine a better time to release this than THE DAY that Trump won the New Hampshire primary!?

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“You see this man?  This is the greatest real estate mogul of all time.”     “You don’t really look like you do on the cover.”     “Don’t worry about that kid.”

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Cinema Dispatch: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

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Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and all the images you see in this review are owned by Lionsgate and Screen Gems

Directed by Burr Steers

As much as camp and shtick have grown in popularity in the last decade (coinciding with the rise of the internet as a daily tool for the masses), it’s still not something that’s easily recreated and more often than not happened by accident.  That’s why films like this one annoy me right off the bat.  You can spend a million dollars trying to recreate a Big Mac perfectly, but that time would have been better spent making something good.  The flashy visuals, confident swagger, and knowing winks to the audience tend to makers of a terrible film covering up its faults than a genuine fun throwback to exploitation films of yore.  Still, that’s just the vibe I’m getting from the trailers and trailers have a tendency to be misleading; just look at the ones for Hail Caesar.  Can this movie succeed at being fun trash, or will it be the cinematic equivalent of dumpster diving?  Let’s find out!!

The movie essentially follows the story of Pride and Prejudice, in that it follows Elizabeth Bennet (Lily James) on her journey about navigating the British upper class, the relationship she eventually forges with Mr. Darcy (Sam Riley), and the choices her sisters make that affect her family.  It starts with her sister Jane (Bella Heathcote) and Mr. Bingley (Douglas Booth) falling in love during a party at the Bingley estate where Elizabeth first meets Mr. Darcy and immediately finds him to be an unpleasant and haughty ass.  Over a series of weeks and months, things only become more strained as they run into each other quite often due to Mr. Darcy’s friendship with Mr. Bingley as he and Jane continue their courtship.  Oh, and this all takes place after the zombie apocalypse where all of Britain (though I have no idea if this has spread to the rest of the world) is under threat from the undead masses.  Their numbers grow so large that they basically make that city from Attack on Titan, i.e. they big a giant wall to keep everything else out.  Despite the protection afforded to them by their isolation, the threat of the outside world constantly looms and the entire Bennet family has been trained in some form of martial arts, as has Mr. Darcy and I believe Mr. Bingley.  I think the idea is that EVERYONE in the upper class knows how to fight, but we never really see that many people clash with the zombies and instead just run away.  None of this though seems to have much impact on the story at hand which is about Elizabeth constantly fighting against the wishes of her mother to settle down with whatever lout with have her, including her own cousin Mr. Collins (Matt Smith) and her steadfast refusal to agree to marriage for anything less than love.  Will she and Mr. Darcy eventually find out that they’re perfect for each other… for some reason?  Will they be able to stop the zombies from getting any closer to wiping out all of Britain?  Couldn’t we have just ended this shtick with the one about Lincoln?

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“Look!  Another dead horse!”     “GET HIM!!!!”

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Super Recaps: Sailor Moon Episode 11 (Usagi vs. Rei: Nightmare in Dream Land)

Sailor Moon and all the images you see in this recap are owned by Toei Animation and licensed by Viz Media

Episode directed by Kunihiko Ikuhara

We’re back with another episode of The Three Amigos: Moon Edition!  After gaining another ally in their fight against evil, the Sailor Scouts are ready to face whatever challenges will be set out before them!  With Jadeite’s impending retirement on the horizon, will he be able to stop three Scouts when he couldn’t even stop one in prior schemes?  Will the new dynamic for Team Moon work in their favor or will they get in each other’s way when fighting the forces of evil?  Let’s find out!!

The episode begins with a Sailor Scout team meeting as Luna catches everyone up to speed on their current goals for the coming fiscal year.  Sadly, they have yet to find the Moon Princess, but the increase in staff will surely mean success in the coming months!  That is, if Rei and Usagi can keep from killing each other.

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“I wanna read it!”     “I’m reading it!”     “No you’re not!  You only grabbed it after I started!”     “It’s mine and I don’t have to share!”     “LUNA!!  REI WON’T SHARE!!”

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Cinema Dispatch: Hail, Caesar!

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Hail, Caesar! and all the images you see in this review are owned by Universal Pictures

Directed by Joel & Ethan Coen

Now that January is finally out of the way, we can get to the GOOD movies, right? Well… February isn’t exactly the best month for movies EITHER what with Valentine’s day being an invitation to release terrible rom coms, but then we ARE dealing with the Coen Brothers who have a pretty damn good track record when it comes to movies. Is this going to be another classic film in their catalogue, or is way below their usual standard of excellence and just be a decent film? Let’s find out!!
The movie follows around Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin) who is the head of Capitol Pictures and an all-around problem solver for everyone who works there. He makes sure the bills get paid and that the movies stay under budget, but he also pulls actors out of embarrassing situations, pays police to stay quiet, and that Capitol Pictures keeps a respectable image despite the chaos that is brought before him each and every day. The day that the film takes place on turns out to be an eventful one as Baird Whitlock (George Clooney) who is the star of the studio’s biggest film, Hail Caesar, has been kidnapped. Not only that, but another big star at the studio DeeAnna Moran (Scarlett Johansson) is having a baby out of wedlock which Eddie needs to find a way to cover up, and another one of the movies on the lot needs a lead actor but the only guy available is Hobie Doyle (Alden Ehrenreich) who has only starred in cowboy pictures and they need him to somehow act in a classy movie about New York socialites. Will Eddie be able to deal with these problems and more as the day goes on? Will the world finally get an idea of just how mad the movie business is, or can Eddie keep everything on the down low despite several reports prying into the studio’s affairs? Do we get to see Josh Brolin slap the shit out of George Clooney!?

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To answer one of those questions… yes.

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Cinema Dispatch: The 5th Wave

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The 5th Wave and all the images you see in this review are owned by Columbia Pictures

Directed by J Blakeson

I’ve been able to avoid a lot of the Young Adult adaptations until now.  Never saw a Hunger Games movie, any of the Divergent films, not even The Giver.  I can’t avoid these films forever though, so here I am reviewing the latest entry into the genre.  Could it possibly be one of the better examples though?  Well they released in January, so I’m gonna say no but I have had at least one surprise this month with The Boy.  Hope for the best but expect the worst I guess.

The movie begins in an idyllic all American town where Cassie Sullivan (Chloë Grace Moretz) is living the Teenage American Dream, i.e. partying, meeting boys, and being the perfect daughter for their parents.  Okay, technically the movie begins AFTER all this, but we flashback within five minutes of the movie starting.  Anyway, things are going great for Cassie until the Earth is visited by a bunch of space ships that just hover overhead.  No communication from the aliens; no attacks; no nothing.  The aliens are dubbed The Others (I guess we ran out of ACTUAL proper nouns to use) and their silence doesn’t last forever as four strange events (which are called Waves) happen around the globe.  Electricity goes out, natural disasters occur, and it all ends with most of the population decimated and fighting for survival against the aliens who are finally revealing themselves but look just like humans.  Now in all this chaos, Cassie loses both her parents and her younger brother (Zackary Arthur) is drafted by the military to fight the alien menace.  I mean, there are PLENTY of adults around or even older teenagers, but the military is taking in the kids too.  I guess shit gets real once the aliens start attacking.  Cassie however is none too thrilled about all this and resolves to walk her way to the military base in order to get her brother out of it… somehow.  On top of all this, the boy she liked in high school Ben (Nick Robinson) has also been conscripted and is now her younger brother’s commanding officer (I guess he has seniority being sixteen and all) and on her way to the base, some mysterious guy named Evan (Alex Roe) saves her ass and decides to help her on her journey.  Will Cassie save her brother from the military industrial complex?  What secrets is Evan hiding from Cassie?  What is the fifth and final Wave that the aliens are planning for humanity?  Has anyone actually read this book!?

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“What the fuck have I gotten myself into?”     “Oh quit complaining.  You were in Spotlight while I had a bit part in Jurassic World.  Guess who DOESN’T get to be in the damn sequel?”

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Cinema Dispatch: Jane Got a Gun

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Jane Got a Gun and all the images you see in this review are owned by The Weinstein Company

Directed by Gavin O’Connor

January began with Oscar overflow from 2015, and it plans to end with… well not Oscar bait, but something MUCH classier looking than the usual January fare.  We’ve got Academy Award winner Natalie Portman producing this western about a woman making a stand against those who wish to destroy her.  Hell, take off the cowboy hats and replace the pistols with legal briefs and you basically have Erin Brockovich!  Still, if they expected this movie to be any good, they wouldn’t have released it in January.  Then again, we got The Boy in January, and that one turned out to be pretty great.  Could it be that we have ANOTHER January success story on our hands?  Let’s find out!!

The movie begins at a small house out in the country which is the homestead of Jane Hammond (Natalie Portman) and her young daughter.  Her husband Bill (Noah Emmerich) is arriving home after… doing cowboy things, but is in pretty bad shape as he had a run in with the Bishop Boys gang.  He managed to get away by the skin of his teeth, but the Bishops’ aren’t about to let him escape after what he and Jane had done to them in the past.  It won’t take them too long to find their house, and with Bill out of commission Jane must prepare for what happens next.  He drops off their daughter at a friend’s house before seeking out Dan Frost (Joel Edgerton) who was her fiancée at one point, but all that changed some time ago in a backstory that we are drip fed throughout the movie.  The sad bastard has been drinking himself to death since finding out that Jane had married someone else, but he eventually agrees to help her fend off the bad guys for some money, though it’s clearly an attempt by him to get back in her good graces.  Armed with a couple of guns, some dynamite, and a few tricks that Dan picked up in the Civil War, the two of them prepare for the attack by the Bishop Gang led by John Bishop himself (Ewan McGregor).  Not only that, but they finally have a chance to discuss what had happened between them all those years ago which could lead to some unexpected revelations for the both of them.  Oh, and Bill’s hanging around there somewhere in the back; slowly dying from his multiple gunshot wounds.  Will they be able to put aside their differences long enough to stay alive, or will this uneasy love triangle be the death of them long before the Bishops get there?  Will there be very reasonable explanations for Jane’s actions that Dan should have PROBABLY guessed about instead of sulking for the last few years?  Did anyone manage to sit through this entire movie without passing out from boredom?

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“Just hit the target.”     “Okay.  I got this.”     *Bang*     “Hold on.”     *Bang*     “Hold on.”     *Bang*     “hold on, wait.  I got it.”     *Bang*     “Hold on.”     “Ugh…”

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Cinema Dispatch: The Boy

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The Boy and all the images you see in this review are owned by STX Entertainment

Directed by William Brent Bell

Today is a day of celebration!  As hard as it is to believe, there is a movie released in January that is actually worth seeing.  It’s not just good; it’s GREAT and honestly hasn’t been selling itself as anything other than a low budget gimmicky horror cash grab which oddly enough ISN’T a Blumhouse joint.  Hell, maybe that’s the key difference here.  Blumhouse releases so many films a year (some good, some bad) that it took a fresh studio to get this right!  Oh wait.  This is STX Entertainment, and their only other releases were Secret in the Eyes which is one of the most poorly executed drama’s I’ve ever seen, and The Gift which is supposed to be really good but is also a Blumhouse collaboration.   Eh, they’re still a pretty new studio and this defiantly a great film to have as your third outing!  Just how good is it?  Let’s find out!!

The movie follows Greta (Lauren Cohan) who has recently been hired by the Heelshire family (Jim Norton and Diana Hardcastle) to be the nanny for their son Brahms for a few weeks as they go out on holiday. For some reason, this family living in a preeminent estate in the British countryside (where there obvious is no wi-fi or cell reception) hired a nanny ALL the way from freaking Montana but Greta is more than happy to get away from her old life and hopes to get a fresh start or at least some time to get herself together.  Seems perfect, right?  Well what they failed to mention in their want ad is that the boy in question is actually a porcelain doll with the perfectly parted hair of Joseph Gordon-Levitt and eyes that stare into the darkest depths of your soul.  Clearly the two owners of this house have… issues that need to be resolved but they certainly aren’t taking this holiday to see a therapist, so Greta is all alone in the house with the doll and the only company she has is the weekly visit from the grocery delivery guy Malcolm (Rupert Evans) and the occasional phone call from her sister.  Now the couple has entrusted her with their son and have given her a list of rules and daily activities that she needs to follow in order to keep him happy, but Greta reasonably (though obviously wrongly) ignores these as the doll is… well a doll.  Strange things begin to happen however and with no rational explanation for these events, she begins to turn to the irrational which could mean that the doll is actually alive.  Will she be able to survive in this house with the doll constantly creeping on her?  Has she simply lost her mind due to the isolation of this estate and the over looming threat of her past coming back to find her?  WHY IS IT STILL LOOKING AT ME!?!?

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“Turn around, or I SWEAR I’ll start drawing dicks on your face!!”

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