Doctor Sleep and all the images you see in this review are owned by Warner Bros Pictures
Directed by Mike Flanagan
Now that we’re a good few years into the Stephen King revival that was kicked off by IT (actually Stranger Things if we’re being honest) it was about time we start calling back to OTHER Stephen King adaptations, and not just that brief shot of the original Pennywise in IT or the numerous random callbacks in The Dark Tower. This is a sequel not only to Stephen King’s original Shining novel, but is the sequel to Stanley Kubrick’s film adaptation, so describing the making of this movie as Quixotic is not that much of a stretch. Then again, there’s no reason not to swing for the fences if you’ve got the chance, and the director has proven time and time again with films like Gerald’s Game and Ouija: Origin of Evil that he’s capable of making very good horror films, so perhaps the untouchable triumph that was The Shining is not so out of reach after all! Is this a worthy sequel to the original film and a great movie in its own right? Let’s find out!!
Dan Torrance (Ewan McGregor) has had a rough time of it since he and his mother managed to escape from the Overlook Hotel where his dad tried to murder the two of them before dying in the snow. It seems that he took after his father in the second worst way possible as he may not be an axe murderer, but he is an alcoholic who’s using his addiction to avoid dealing with his own problems as well as the powers that seem to have done nothing but cause him trouble as the ghosts from the Overlook Hotel try to haunt him to this day. He manages to find a bit of stability though in the town of True Knot where he meets a friend named Billy (Cliff Curtis), manages to give up the booze, and even gets a job as an orderly in a hospice care facility where he uses his power to sooth those who are about to die with those gifts that have given him nothing but heartache for the past thirty years. He also seems to have made a connection with another psychic user as they communicate with each other anonymously, but circumstances are about to change that will force them to finally meet one another. It turns out that there is a cult of other psychic users who have found out that eating the souls of psychically powerful people will give them everlasting life and so they roam the country looking for people to eat (mostly children as they are the most potent) and are ostensibly led by Rose the Hat (Rebecca Ferguson) who’s powers are among the strongest out there. Our mysterious pen pal to Dan whose a young girl named Abra (Kyliegh Curran) catches psychic wind of these monsters as they feast upon a child, and Rose the Hat catches a glimpse of her as well, so now that both parties know of the other’s existence there will surely be some serious X-Men like conflict coming soon and Abra could use all the help she can get to bring these fiends to justice. Will Dan be willing to help his friend Abra with her little problem of cannibal psychics trying to hunt her down? Who exactly are these murderous psychics, and why is one of them wearing such a distinctive hat? Will they find an excuse for going back to the Outlook Hotel so they can sell this movie on Shining nostalgia? Well of course they will, but will it be a GOOD excuse!?
Hobbs & Shaw and all the images you see in this review are owned by Universal Pictures
Directed by David Leitch
You know what movie I’ve recently watched again? Face/Off! Seriously, isn’t that like THE BEST MOVIE EVER MADE!? Great performances, over the top action, doves, it’s got it all! I’ve always had a soft spot for action movies like that where two awesome actors are either working together or fighting one another while ludicrous action is going on around them. It’s my excuse for still liking Central Intelligence, and it’s also why I found myself really excited to see this movie. That trailer with the goofy song choice, the laughable premise, and Idris Elba being the most awesome Terminator imaginable hit all the right buttons for me, and throwing in John “THE DWAYNE” Rockson together with America’s favorite British dude Jason Statham was just the icing on the cake! Can this spin-off of the most absurd action franchise of all time manage to excel past what came before it, or was moving the focus away from the main cast as bad an idea now as it was when they did it in Tokyo Drift? Let’s find out!!
After the events of Fate of the Furious, Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) are no longer in jail because… I guess saving the world gives you a free pass, and are going about their daily lives as the most interesting men in the universe; living in nice houses, driving nice cars, and kicking random bad guy butts whenever the need arises. The best part is that neither one of them has to see the other one since they live in entirely different countries working for entirely different bosses, and can just leave each other in peace, because I guess they don’t like each other anymore for some reason. Well too bad for them! Shaw’s sister Hattie (Vanessa Kirby) gets swept up in some global crisis involving a deadly robo-virus and is being hunted down by deadly robo-MAN Brixton Lore (Idris Elba), so Hobbs and Shaw have to put aside their differences and work together to keep the virus Hattie selflessly injected into herself from falling into the wrong hands, and to find some way to cure her before her insides turn to mush. Can these three action heroes with coolness to spare but baggage for days outsmart the perfect cyborg human and whatever EVIL organization he works for? Will they find the cure for this virus inside of a fast moving car or at the end of a gun barrel!? I wonder if the next one will be Hobbs & Shaw vs. The Fast and the Furious…
The Meg and all the images you see in this review are owned by Warner Bros Pictures
Directed by Jon Turteltaub
Jason Statham has fought criminals, terrorists, rednecks, and even Vin Diesel, but can he face his greatest challenge of all? No, not the shark! Headlining a hundred million dollar international blockbuster ABOUT a shark! Heck, even Dwayne Johnson has had some stumbles in that department! If you think about it, the man is a household name at this point with a huge back catalog of classic action films, yet he’s never really been THE A-LIST STAR his reputation would lead you to believe he has. Sure he’s in a few franchise that made boatloads of money (Fast and the Furious, The Expendables), but those were always in supporting roles. The times that HAS headlined a movie, even PHENOMENAL ones like Crank: High Voltage, have never really been the biggest of box office draws; especially in today’s climate where a hundred million dollars can be considered a disappointment. Now he’s front and center trying to sell himself on the biggest stage of his life; sharing it of course with Chinese superstar Li Bingbing and a giant freaking shark, but still! Can Statham and company manage to make a classic blockbuster that will catapult him and everyone else here to superstar status, or will this be the biggest shark jumping moment in this new age of giant international blockbusters? Let’s find out!!
The movie begins in the middle of the Pacific Ocean where there is a research facility called Mana One that is being financed by “eccentric billionaire” Jack Morris (Rainn Wilson) and is run by Dr. Zhang (Winston Chao) and his daughter Suyin (Li Bingbing). The big theory they’re working on is that there may be a place in the ocean EVEN DEEPER than the Mariana Trench which is undetectable by radar for… some reason (something having to do with it being SUPER cold down there) and so they have a manned submarine diving down there to see what they find. Of course things go wrong almost as soon as they get past the cold patch, and so someone needs to go down there to save them, and as it turns out they know JUST the guy for the job! Jonas (Jason Statham) is not only the best darn rescue diver of all time, his ex-wife Lori (Jessica McNamee) is one of the crew members stuck down there so of COURSE he ends up coming aboard Mana One despite being a grumpy drunk ever since… the incident. Despite protestations from one of Mana One’s crew (Robert Taylor) due to… the incident, Jonas grabs a super science sub and dive ALL the way down to where the submarine was lost. He manages to find it, but there’s something else down there waiting for them, and it’s sure no moon! No, it’s a GIANT FREAKING SHARK (also known as a MEGalodon) that doesn’t take too kindly to weird metal boxes encroaching on his territory, and while Statham is able to save MOST of the sub crew, it turns out that THE MEG managed to follow them home and is wreaking havoc all over the Pacific. Can Statham and the elite crew of Mana One, including Mac, Jaxx, and DJ (Cliff Curtis, Ruby Rose, and Page Kennedy), find a way to stop this massive creature before it kills everything!? What exactly does Jack Morris have planned for this newly discovered monster, and is it in the best interest of everyone involved? Seriously, considering how big this shark is, maybe we should just bite the bullet and call in Godzilla.
Risen and all the images you see in this review are owned by Columbia Pictures
Directed by Kevin Reynolds
Not two months into the new year and we’re already getting a glimpse at the horrors we will have to endure this year as the endless wave of religious propaganda infects the cinemas like a virus (one of the really bad ones like Ebola). Still, I always maintain that you can make a good movie out of any subject matter including religion with Noah still being the benchmark for modern biblical epics. This one, while being a produced by the same company that brought us War Room, at least doesn’t have the foul brand of Pure Flix on it and it does have some decent stars here like Cliff Curtis who could lend at least SOME credibility here. Does this manage to be one of the better bible films since they came back in style, or do these movies suck no matter who they get to waste their time in it? Let’s find out!!
The movie follows a Roman Centurion named Clavius (Joseph Fiennes) who works for Pontius Pilate during his time Judaea and we follow his story on the day that Christ is crucified. Essentially playing as Pontius’s right hand man, Clavius is sent to ensure that Jesus (only referred to in this movie as Yeshua and played by Cliff Curtis) does indeed die on the cross and to ensure that his remains are entombed. However, the high ranking Jewish officials (Rabbis I guess?) are concerned that someone will steal his body as to complete the supposed prophecy that he will rise after three days. If the body disappears, then it will cause unrest in the city as his believers will feel their faith in his is affirmed. Sure enough, the two bumbling guards they post at the tomb (no seriously, they’re straight up cartoonish in this) fail in their duty and the tomb is found to be empty. It’s up to Clavius to find that body to make sure that there is proof that he did not indeed rise from the dead and that this all the work of conspirators. Of course, if you’ve read the book then you know that isn’t the case and Clavius has one hell of a surprise waiting for him! Will he be able to find Yeshua’s corpse (alive or dead) before Pontius throws a hissy fit? What will Clavius do if he discovers that a man really has been brought back to life? Is it possible that we have a Faith Based movie that ISN’T completely awful!?