Late Night and all the images you see in this review are owned by Amazon Studios
Directed by Nisha Ganatra
I’m fairly certain that my usual theater had a poster for this and then just decided not to actually screen it so this is yet another trip to the far away theater (i.e. thirty minutes away) which honestly is usually a good sign. Not always, in fact this is the exact same story that preceded The Green Inferno, but the movies that aren’t wide enough for my local theater to get are usually have a lot more going for them; for good or ill. I hadn’t heard much about this movie and only have a vague idea of the premise, but the cast is very talented and I’m always intrigued by entertainment that’s ABOUT the making of entertainment which is always a journey in its own right. Does this glimpse into the world of late night television give us a funny and insightful look at the behind the scenes action, or will this end up being as boring as… I don’t know whichever one of those shows is the worst? Let’s find out!!
Katherine Newbury (Emma Thompson) is the host of a late night show that has been running for over twenty years, yet despite such a phenomenal legacy and a small army of Emmy awards behind her, the new network President Caroline Morton (Amy Ryan) tells her that the show will be cancelled in a few months and that she’ll be replaced with a hip young talent that gets those pesky millennials! With basically nothing left to lose, she starts to do the one thing she has come to fear in the last ten years; actually try. I know, truly a fate worse than death. Part of her initiate to revitalize the show includes hiring someone in the writers room whose only qualification is to NOT BE A WHITE GUY, and as luck would have it Molly (Mindy Kaling) is interviewing that day and meets those very stringent qualifications! Sure, she’s never written for a comedy show ever, but why should that stop her from filling up space and shielding the show from further criticisms of being too old and too white? AH HA! It’s not as simple as that however! For you see, Molly is not JUST a blatant diversity hire! She actually has good ideas, some decent writing chops, and may just be what this crusty old talk show needs in order to genuinely appeal to today’s audience instead of whatever crap Katherine and the other writers were gonna try to fake their way into relevance! Can Molly learn to thrive in this dinosaur of a work place and find the right balance between respecting its legacy and changing it for the better? Will Katherine realize what she’s been doing wrong all this time and genuinely change for the better before losing the best thing she has in her life? Well I mean she has her husband (John Lithgow), but is he paying the bills around here!? I DON’T THINK SO!!
Monster Trucks and all the images you see in this review are owned by Paramount Pictures
Directed by Chris Wedge
Like alien crop circles and the Loch Ness Monster, this movie about trucks and the monsters that inhabit them remained a legend as the story behind it was ludicrous (some executive’s kid came up with the idea) and the release date kept being pushed back. The day has finally come however for theaters to finally keep this around for maybe a week or two before it disappears forever and everyone forgets that they spent over a hundred million dollars on it. Well, maybe that’s a bit harsh. A troubled development doesn’t NECESSARILY mean the final product is going to be a mess, and maybe it will work better for the target audience than people give it credit for! Will this be a film that lives up to the legend around it, or is this the last chapter in a long tale of infamy? Let’s find out!!
The movie begins with some oil baron with a REALLY bad accent, Reece Tenneson (Rob Lowe) digging for that sweet bubbling crude right in the heart of Dakota, but they manage to hit something else instead. Three monsters come out of the hole they drilled, and while they aren’t quite the heraldersof Cthulhu that you would expect from monsters that rise up from the Earth’s core, they still are gumming up the works for Reece’s operation. Therefore, he orders all his hired goons which includes the head goon Burke (Holt McCallany) and The ScientistTM Dr. Dowd (Thomas Lennon) to round these creatures up and… do something with them. One manages to escape however and finds its way to a junk yard MANY miles away where supposed high school student Tripp (Lucas Till) works at all the time; even on school nights. He finds the creature and eventually finds that he JUST SO HAPPENS to like hanging out inside of his truck, so he modifies the it for his new monster buddy who he calls Creech to surreptitiously drive it with his Monster Magic. Of course, things can’t quite go the way he wants them to as Burke is out there looking for the monster, his step dad Sheriff Rick (Barry Pepper) is already pissed at him for… reasons, and will probably do… something, and Reece is HELL BENT on killing all these monsters so he can get to the oil beneath… even though discovering monsters would probably net him just as much cash. Can Tripp and Creech, along with the extraneous love interest Meredith (Jane Levy), save these monsters from the evil Rob Lowe? What kind of hi-jinks and mischief, as well as felonies, can this lovable crew get involved with in the process? Did Paramount REALLY have to sink a hundred million into this!?
The Infiltrator and all the images you see in this review are owned by Broad Green Pictures
Directed by Brad Furman
So… Bryan Cranston is going back to the well, huh? You can hardly blame him though! Breaking Bad is one of the most influential and critically praised shows to ever come out, so if anyone deserves to be in a movie about drugs and violence, then it’s the guy who made that shit work for five seasons! Does Bryan Cranston come out on top once again with a movie tailor made for his particular set of skills, or will this just be an actor trying to relive their glory days before sinking back into obscurity and finding a niche in shitty comedies (*cough* Why Him? *cough*)? Let’s find out!!
The movie which is BASED ON A TRUE STORY (ugh…) follows Robert Mazur (Bryan Cranston) who is a Federal Agent working for US Customs and primary does undercover work to bust drug dealers. Apparently petty drug dealers work with a lot of fifty year old dudes who look like Target managers, but I guess that just makes Robert that much more of an unassuming figure. Anyway, his colleague Emir Abreu (John Leguizamo) gives him a tip that some big players in the Columbian Cartel (at the time being led by Pablo Escobar as this movie takes place in the eighties) will be in town and are in the market for a money launderer (at least I think that’s what the tip is about) and so he starts posing as an accountant who’s more than willing to handle the Cartel’s money; hoping to bust them for the drugs and the bankers at The Bank of Credit and Commerce International who are willingly doing this for them. Of course with any undercover work, there’s always the danger of getting himself and his fellow agents caught, especially Kathy Ertz (Diane Kruger) who is playing his pretend fiancée who’s only part of this mission because Robert fucked up at one of the meetings with the drug lords; not to mention that with any undercover work there’s always a chance of getting in too deep. Can Robert bust these guys before getting a bullet in the back of the head or worse? Will his real life crumble to pieces as he gets more and more engrossed in his work? WILL HE BE THE ONE WHO KNOCKS!?
Central Intelligence and all the images you see in this review are owned by Warner Bros Pictures
Directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber
That HAS to be the greatest tagline of all time, am I right? For months now, I’m been cautiously optimistic of this buddy film starring Kevin Hart as an everyday business man and Dwayne Johnson as… what can only be described as a puppy operated meat robot. Seriously, is there anyone more adorable than The Rock? Honestly, that’s the main reason WHY I was interested at all. The story looked average and the spy stuff looked simplistic, but damn do I love this guy and pairing him up with Kevin Hart seemed like a brilliant move. Well the movie is finally here, so does it live up to those expectations, or is this yet another non-starter for two actors who are absolutely fantastic but don’t always know how to pick a decent script? Let’s find out!!
The movie follows Calvin Joyner (Kevin Hart) who’s been coasting through life for the last two decades now without any real vision or goals. Now it’s not like his life is terrible because he is married to his high school sweetheart and he did land a good job as an accountant, but in high school he was the most popular kid in school and was voted most likely to succeed by his peers, and now he’s looking down the barrel of a twenty year reunion with nothing much to show for it. The day before the reunion though, things take a very odd turn as one of his fellow classmates Bobby (Dwayne Johnson) gets in touch with him on Facebook and convinces him to hang out that night which he agrees to and is surprised to see the fat kid everyone made fun of has turned into… well Dwayne Johnson. Things seem to go well that night as Bob pours his heart out about how Calvin was the only guy in school to ever treat him with kindness and respect, and they end up having a great time. That is until Bob starts asking Calvin to look into some files for him which inadvertently pulls his ass into one big terrorism plot where an ALL POWERFUL COMPUTER CHIP is gonna get sold to the highest bidder and Bobby’s the only one who can stop them. OR IS HE!? The CIA get involved as one their agents (Amy Ryan) gets in touch with Calvin and lets him know that Bob is bug-fuck nuts and is probably gonna kill everyone. Not an unreasonable assumption to make considering how much shit he fucks up and how much he REALLY idolizes Calvin, so now it’s a race against time as Calvin has to find out who to trust, how to not get killed, and possibly save America in the process!
Goosebumps and all the images you see in this review are owned by Columbia Pictures
Directed by Rob Letterman
Well if Nineties Nostalgia is going to be a thing now, I guess we’ll be seeing movies like this pop up from time to time. Hell, they’re making a Power Rangers movie, so why not a Goosebumps creature feature (which will hopefully be followed by an Are you Afraid of the Dark reboot)? The trailers for this were pretty bad though with Jack Black doing his usual shtick, which I tend to like but can also be way overdone, and a story that feels like it’s been pulled right out of the hack’s guide for easy movie adaptations. So does this turn out to be a Halloween kid’s classic like Monster Squad or Hotel Transylvania, or is this another marketing exercise gone horribly wrong like The Smurfs or Alvin and the Chipmunks? Let’s find out!!
The movie is about “young” Zach (Dylan Minnette) and his mother who have just moved to Derry Maine… no wait, Madison Delaware. They’ve just moved from New York so that his mother can be the principal of the local high school that he will be attending which I guess is embarrassing or something. Anyway, Zach’s neighbor is a reclusive dude (Jack Black) living with his daughter Hannah (Odeya Rush) and the both of them seem rather strange. He and his new friends Champ (Ryan Lee) eventually find out that the mysterious dude is legendary writer RL Stine and that his original manuscripts contain all the monsters he has ever written about. They find this out to late however as some of the monsters have escaped including one who seems to be pulling the strings as it were. Can Zach, Champ, Hannah, and Mr. Stine stop these creatures from destroying the town? Will Zach win the heart of Hannah because every movie has to have that subplot? Can this please be a hit if for no other reason than to get Jack Black enough clout to try and make a Tenacious D sequel!?