Author Archives: Matt Vetrano

Cinema Dispatch: Incredibles 2

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Incredibles 2 and all the images you see in this review are owned by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Directed by Brad Bird

So it’s time to once again return the Pixar well, isn’t it?  After the underwhelming sequel to Finding Nemo which was then followed by the much more interesting and engaging Coco, you’d think that Pixar would have leaned into new properties they can exploit down the road rather than relying so heavily on sequelizing their back catalog, but this one is a little bit different than say Monsters University or yet another Toy Story movie.  People have been clamoring for a new Incredibles movie since the first one came out which is particularly exasperating considering it’s been well over a decade since then, but Brad Bird finally came back to the company that made him and is finally giving us the movie we’ve all been anxiously anticipating for all that time!  Was it actually worth the wait, or should Pixar left well enough alone?  Let’s find out!!

The movie picks up right after the events of the first film with the Parr family fighting the sinister UNDERMINER (John Ratzenberger) and in doing so reaffirming their strong familial bond!  Actually, they barely manage to stop anything and the city is pretty ticked off that they got involved in the first place; particularly since the dude was just robbing a bank and the money in there is insured anyway.  Heck, they could probably just trace the bills that were in there and arrest the UNDERMINER when he actually tries to spend it, unless of course he’ll convert it into bitcoins or something ridiculous like that.  Anyway, the Parr family is let out of custody, but are forced to lay low once again to avoid raising the ire of the authorities who are still enforcing a strict NO SUPER HERO policy despite seemingly unprepared for dudes with giant drill vehicles tearing up the city.  Things look particularly grim right now as Agent Dicker (Jonathan Banks) is retiring and can’t keep covering their butts on this, but a ray of hope comes through as Lucious Best AKA Frozone (Samuel L Jackson) arrives to give the parents Robert and Helen (Craig T Nelson and Holly Hunter) some news of an eccentric business man ready to offer them a deal.  The man’s name is Winston Deavor (Bob Odenkirk) and he wants to bring Super Heroes back into public favor, so with the help of his sister Evelyn (Catherine Keener), they plan on using one of them to solve a few low level crimes on camera so that people can actually see a Super Hero in action instead of just witnessing the aftermath of their fights.  The duo feels that Helen AKA Elastagirl is gonna be the best choice which incenses Robert AKA Mr. Incredible, but he capitulates and stays home to watch the kids Dash, Violet, and Jack-Jack (Huck Milner, Sarah Vowell, and Eli Fucile) until they can get Super Heroes legalized once again!  THEN he’ll be able to don the spandex once again and fight criminals instead of helping with math homework or reading bedtime stories!  It’s not as easy as it sounds though for either Robert OR Helen as the former has to deal with the evolving and terrifying powers of their youngest child Jack-Jack while the latter all of a sudden finds herself an arch nemesis called The Screenslaver (Bill Wise) that’s ready to stop her crime fighting ways before she even has a chance to really make a difference.  Will Robert manage to be a good dad while dealing with all these Mr. Mom shenanigans?  What can Helen do to stop this latest threat, and is there more to the story that she’ll need to uncover?  Wait, didn’t we already go through most of this the last time around!?

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“Can we have just ONE meal without property damage!?  IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK!?”

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Cinema Dispatch: Tag

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Tag and all the images you see in this review are owned by Warner Bros Pictures

Directed by Jeff Tomsic

I don’t know about you, but I really liked the trailer to this when it started to go around!  It was a clever enough premise to be sure, and there’s a really decent cast behind it; particularly Jeremy Renner who may have gotten screwed out of Infinity War but at least gets a nice juicy starring role here!  Does Benedict Cumberbatch get as much screen time in that movie as he’ll get here?  I sure as heck doubt it!!  In a year that’s certainly had its ups and downs as far as comedies (Blockers on the high end, Gringo on the low), will this be another standout to tip the year in to the GOOD side, or will this fail to live up to the expectations we got from such a good trailer?  Let’s find out!!

The movie follows the adventures of Hogan, bob, Randy, and Kevin (Ed Helms, Jon Hamm, Jake Johnson, and Hannibal Buress) who are four lifelong friends that have managed to stay close over the last thirty years by playing tag for the entire month of May with the man left as IT at the end of the month being saddled with shame for the rest of the year.  Oh, but it’s all in good fun, right!?  Well, there’s actually one more friend in the group named Jerry (Jeremy Renner) who’s NEVER been tagged in all the years they’ve played the game; to the point that it’s downright scary.  Dude has Sherlock Holmes powers where he can see everything go in slow motion, and he has the cat like reflexes of a superhero that might be popular but expendable enough that they won’t call him EVERY time the group assembles.  To make matters worse, it seems that Jerry plans on retiring at the end of this season and Hogan is more determined than ever to finally lay his hand upon his friend and confer the status of IT to him once and for all; breaking his streak and proving himself to be the best tag player of them all!  However, Jerry has thrown a clever little wrench into Hogan’s plans by putting his own wedding right at the end of the month which will hopefully deter the crew from their mad pursuit; at least long enough to not ruin the big day for his fiancée (Leslie Bibb) and make it THAT much easier for him to retain the title.  Will Hogan and his heroes (along with his wife played by Isla Fisher) manage to stop the reign of Jerry once and for all?  Just how far will they go to tag him, and how far will Jerry go to NOT be tagged?  If any of this is supposedly based on a true story, how are NONE of these people dead!?

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“THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!!”

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Cinema Dispatch: Superfly

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Superfly and all the images you see in this review are owned by Sony Pictures Releasing

Directed by Director X

Look, the only thing I know about this movie going in is that I’ll FINALLY stop seeing ten seconds ads for this every time I watch a video on YouTube.  That seriously got annoying really quick, but I guess I can’t blame them for YouTube’s crappy algorithms that somehow targeted me to play this same commercial over and over again, and I’m at least glad it meant I didn’t see those homophobic advertisements they got busted for (seriously YouTube, what the hell is going on with you!?), but I digress.  I know nothing about the original other than that it’s pretty well regarded as a cult classic from the seventies (but then how many movies from the seventies AREN’T considered cult classics at this point?) and the trailers for this new film, while repetitive and obnoxious to sit through all the time, didn’t look all that bad!  Does this movie redeem itself for annoying the hell out of me for a month straight, or was YouTube trying to warn me to stay far away from yet another subpar remake?  Let’s find out!!

On the mean streets of Atlanta, a man named Priest (Trevor Jackson) is working his way up the CRIME LADDERTM and has certainly earned the respect of many of his peers.  Why?  Well he knows how to use google for one!  And… I think he knows Kung-Fu?  In any case, he always manages to have the upper hand on whoever he’s dealing with, and he can get himself out of a tricky situation if the occasion arises which is good for staying alive but not so good for those around you.  Case in point, when some brash newbie on a local gang known as The Snow Patrol (yes, they’re being serious) starts bucking up to Priest, it ends with an innocent woman getting shot with a bullet intended for him and he realizes he needs to get out of the game before it takes away whatever’s still left of his soul.  With the support of his two ladies Georgia and Cynthia (Lex Scott Davis and Andrea Londo) as well as his best friend and partner in crime Eddie (Jason Mitchell), Priest will have to come up with a plan so big that it will set him and his family up for life so he can finally leave this all behind him.  I mean, he could use his considerable skills to make an honest (or honest-ish) living, and it’s not like he’s hurting for THAT much cash as it is, but I guess one more big score couldn’t hurt, right? Well when it involves your former mentor (Michael Kenneth Williams), the leader of a drug cartel (Esai Morales), and even the corrupt police right around the corner (Jennifer Morrison and Brian F Durkin) all wanting to take a piece of you for themselves, things can get pretty complicated pretty fast.  Will Priest be able to get his and get out before he gets got?  What exactly is THE SNOW PATROL planning, and will it be as laughable as their ridiculous name?  Is he super hood, super high, and a super dude?  He’s more than that!  HE’S SUPER FLY!!

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That is hair so good, it requires its own insurance plan.

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Super Recaps: Tom Goes to the Mayor (Saxman)

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Tom Goes to the Mayor and all the images you see in this recap are owned Warner Bros and Adult Swim

Created by Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim

We’re back with another episode of Mayor as Folk where Tim & Eric introduce their first explicatly queer character in the series; though after watching it becomes pretty clear why GLAAD didn’t throw a Media Award their way.  The episode begins with a sweeping view of Jefferton’s pier district where we get a nice snapshot of people going about their daily lives (which mostly consists of them standing around), all set to the third sexiest saxophone song of all time; first and second being Careless Whisper by George Michael and Runaway by SunStroke Project & Olia Tira respectively.  But wait!  These mellifluous melodies are not merely an audio track layered on top of this idyllic scene during the editing process!  This lovely tune is coming from The Saxman (Tom Kenny); a homeless dude with great musical talent but is about to lose his home on the pier.  Why is that?  Well a Mattress Mogul known as Captain Lew Peterson (Robert Loggia) is gentrifying the area with a new outlet store and so the homeless in the area are basically getting muscled out.  At least that’s what I THINK is happening as we only have Saxman’s word on any of this, and as we’ll soon learn he’s not the most reliable of sources.

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“I was rooming with this starfish for the LONGEST time, but then this new store polluted the hell out of our pad, so now I’m out here playing for my meals.”     “Well shirt!  That’s just not fair!”

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Cinema Dispatch: Trailer Talk (Halloween)

HALLOWEENTTCD0Halloween is owned by Universal Pictures and all the images you see in this trailer talk are the property of their respective owners

Directed by David Gordon Green

So it’s no surprise that we were gonna get another Halloween movie at some point.  In fact, last time I heard at least, it was going to be a sequel with Michael in jail on the day of his execution and running wild in the prison which would have been an INTERESTING idea I guess, it was eventually scrapped once Dimension lost the rights to the franchise in 2015.  Instead, we’re going back to basics with one last tale of Michael and Laurie resolving their differences with extreme acts of violence, and they even got Jamie Lee Curtis to take up the mantle one last time.  So now that we have a trailer, what do I think of it?  I guess I LIKE it, but I’m not in love with it.  Jamie Lee Curtis is always great, and David Gordon Green is an… interesting choice for director (this is the dude who did the stoner trifecta of Pineapple Express, Your Highness, and The Sitter), and yet it doesn’t seems suspiciously safe for a movie about a guy who commits vicious knife murders.

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“Hey, how’s it going?  Having a fun Halloween?”

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Cinema Dispatch: Hereditary

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Hereditary and all the images you see in this review are owned by A24

Directed by Ari Aster

You know… I’m starting to feel like the old man yelling at clouds.  For whatever reason, THIS kind of horror film (mostly put out by A24) is the new hotness in horror and I just can’t understand it.  I’ve sat through far too many weighty and slow paced exercises in excessive cruelty that still manage to get critical acclaim, and I just can’t understand it.  Now they had to make one of these with one of my favorite actresses which means I HAVE to go see it even if it’s probably gonna be more of the same.  GREAT!  I LOVE sitting through things that ruin my day, don’t you!?  Anyway, will this be the one that manages to be thoughtful, interesting, and GOOD instead of just provocative for the sake of pretension, or will this be yet another film I’ll want to bury in the backyard with cement so that even if it comes back as a zombie it’s not going anywhere?  Let’s find out!!

Annie Graham (Toni Collette) is a mother of two who just lost her own mother and is having trouble coping with the loss; mostly by repressing her feelings, but also because her mother was a… shall we say COMPLICATED person, and whatever secrets Annie is dealing with are not something she’s ready to share with everyone else.  Unfortunately her daughter Charlie (Milly Shapiro) had a particular attachment to her and is lashing out in her own way which is only bringing more and stress onto the family.  Her husband’s pretty cool with it though (Gabriel Byrne) as he’s a PEACE KEEPER who really just floats in and out of situations trying to cause as little fuss as possible, and their son Peter (Alex Wolff) is well on his way to being an emotionally repressed mess of his own, though that might just be the teenage angst talking.  Anyway… let’s just say that things get PRETTY bad from there as the death of Annie’s mother turns out to be the LEAST of their problems as… things get pretty bad from there.  Annie’s slowly unraveling from the stress and the guilt of… whatever happens, and it’s tearing the entire family apart; especially Peter who… let’s just say isn’t quite equipped to deal with all this.  With so much chaos at home and very little support outside of it other than Annie’s friend Joan (Ann Dowd), will this family manage to get past this… very bad thing that happened, and come together as a functional family?  How much hardships, horror, and emotional scarring will they have to go through for even a hope of surviving… whatever this is?  Why… you know what, just why.  WHY!?

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Do YOU know what the heck is going on here!?

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Cinema Dispatch: Ocean’s 8

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Ocean’s 8 and all the images you see in this review are owned by Warner Bros Pictures

Directed by Gary Ross

I’ve never had much interest in the Ocean’s movies and even though I’m PRETTY sure I saw the first one, the only things I remember is George Clooney on a payphone in the beginning and everyone looking at a fountain at the end.  Needless to say that had they gotten the gang back together for Ocean’s 14, I’d have easily checked out and just went to whatever else was playing that week.  Recasting the entire thing with AMAZING actors in a sort of soft reboot though?  NOW you’ve got my attention!  Don’t always discount reboots, kids!  You’ll find one someday that’s right up your alley!  Does this latest entry in the franchise prove to be a necessary and extraordinary fresh start, or is the title the only thing worth remembering about this movie?  Let’s find out!!

The movie begins with Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock), who is the sister of the PRESUMABLY deceased Danny Ocean, getting out of jail on parole and IMMEDIATELY starting up her life of crime once again; scamming stores, sneaking into other people’s hotel rooms, and of course getting ready for her BIG score.  Yes, the one she’s been planning ever since she went inside and is chomping at the bit to get started on.  After all, who wants to ENJOY their freedom when they can just risk it all on a foolhardy heist!?  Speaking of hardy fools, she also reaches out to her old crime buddy Lou (Cate Blanchett) who’s been holding her own but clearly anticipating Debbie’s next big score, and the duo start to lay down the groundwork as well as scope out some new talent who can pull this whole thing off.  So what is the heist you may ask?  There’s this SUPER expensive necklace valued at about one hundred and fifty MILLION dollars that’s sitting in a vault somewhere which is such a shame because it could be going to better use, like enriching a bunch of thieves who are smart enough to figure out how to steal it!  For this to work they’ll first need a patsy to get their hands on the necklace so that they can steal it from HER, and who better to use than one of the most famous actors on Earth, Daphne Kluger (Anne Hathaway)?  To convince Miss Kluger to use the necklace for her ensemble that evening AND THEN to steal it right off of her neck, Debbie and Lou will need a crack team made up of expert jewelery forger Amita (Mindy Kaling), street hustler Constance (Awkwafina), desperate fashion designer Rose Weil (Helena Bonham Carter), MOVIE HACKERTM Nine Ball (Rihanna) and retired fencer Tammy (Sarah Paulson).  Wait, that’s only seven.  Hmm… maybe there’s more to this plan than even WE know!  Can Debbie and her crew pull off this heist without a hitch?  What could Debbie be hiding from the rest of the team, and could the secrecy cost them everything?  Is this yet another awesome and well-made movie for the internet man-babies to cry about because there are too many ladies in it!?  Well I sure hope so!!

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“Hashtag Feminism, BRO!!”

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