The Little Things and all the images you see in this review are owned by Warner Bros Pictures
Directed by John Lee Hancock
Say what you will about HBO Max’s plan on releasing movies on their service the same day as theaters, it’s done a heck of a lot more to get me excited about watching movies again than anything else has in the past year. Sure the movies never STOPPED coming out whether it was on other streaming services or on VOD, but HBO giving us a list of first run movies that we can expect to see this year gives me something to build a schedule around which very few things have been able to do since this whole pandemic started. Heck, it’s half the reason I started my Halo Retrospective so that I’d have something to work towards every single week! So with all that being said, is this movie the start of a renewed sense of vigor for my aspirations of becoming a film critic, or has Warner Bros gotten me all hyped up for even more drivel that wasn’t going to hack it at the theater anyway? Let’s find out!!
Joe Deacon (Denzel Washington) is your typical washed up patrol man. He works in a dead end nowhere town and is happy to write parking tickets and scarf down doughnuts until his retirement, but he is forced to go to Los Angeles to pick up some evidence in a relevant case, and as soon as he gets there it’s clear that he has a bad history with this particular precinct. There’s at least one detective however who doesn’t seem to care that he’s back in town, and he’s the new hot shot Jim Baxter (Rami Malek) who’s working on a solving a series of murders that definitely look to be connected but he’s unable to finger a suspect on them. With Joe being back in his old town and Jim having to deal with the disappearance of Rhonda Rathburn (Maya Kazan) who could very well be the serial killer’s next victim, they begrudging start working together as Joe seems to be trying to redeem himself for something bad in his past and Jim is starting to wonder if he’s good enough to find this killer in the first place. Through some sly investigation they manage to find some dude with the unfortunate name of Albert Sparma (Jared Leto) who seems to be their guy, but they are just having a heck of a time trying to find conclusive evidence that’ll put this guy away for good. Will Joe and Jim learn to appreciate each other’s strengths and faults to become best buddies as they spend all their time following this weirdo around? What exactly is Sparma up to, and is he playing games with everyone without them realizing it? Is there any way we could just cut to the chase on this or will we spend half this movie sitting in a car as bored out of our minds as these two?
Transformers: The Last Knight and all the images you see in this review are owned by Paramount Pictures
Directed by Michael Bay
Good ol’ Patron Saint of all things wrong with cinema, Michael “The Boom Master” Bay! For a lot of film critics, he’s become something of a symbol for the worst that summer blockbusters have become even if that characterization is somewhat unfair. Heck, even I’m guilty of generalizing the dude to an extent as I’ve only managed to sit all the way through two of the Transformers movies (Revenge of the Fallen and Age of Extinction; neither of which were the least bit tolerable) and I do genuinely like a few of his films such as Pain and Gain as well as The Rock. This is gonna be the first film of his that I will review for the site, so I don’t just want to parrot my usual talking points about Transformers being THE WORST THING EVAR (even if it’s probably true) and am gonna try to go into this with an open mind as well as a critical eye. Is there SOMETHING in this latest entry of the series that will be worth talking about and even appreciating, or are here to say the same shit for a franchise that makes too much money to ever need to change? Let’s find out!!
The movie begins with Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen) landing back on Cybertron (I think) where he meets the creator of all Transformers (I think) known as Quintessa (Gemma Chan) who… wants to destroy Earth I think? I don’t know, but that’s where we start and we’ll get back to that eventually. From there, we find out that the humans no longer trust the Transformers (again) and have set up the Transformers Reaction Force (TRF) to hunt down any remaining Autobots and Decepticons which usually isn’t a great idea, but whatever. The few remaining Autobots from the last movie (including a few Dinobots) are being protected by Cade Yeager from Age of Extinction (Mark Whalberg) who’s now a fugitive from the law despite having a very visible base of operations in a junk yard. Anyway, he’s being chased by the humans as well as Megatron (Frank Welker) but during an admittedly decent action scene where the three factions come to a head, a strange human sized robot named Cogman (Jim Carter) informs Cade that an artifact he found holds the key to saving the world or whatever and jets him off to the UK along with Bumblebee (Erik Aadahl) to meet with his master Sir Edmund Burton (Anthony Hopkins). The dude informs Cade that he’s got a destiny much bigger than his own, there’s a professor named Viviane Wembly (Laura Haddock) who ALSO has a destiny much bigger than her own, and there’s a Cybertron MacGuffin somewhere that they need to find in order to fight off the impending doom brought about by Quintessa and a brainwashed Optimus Prime. Can Cade and his gang of rascally robot friend find the MacGuffin of Ultimate Destiny before it’s too late? Can Optimus Prime be brought back to his senses before he does something he’ll truly regret? WHY IS IT So HARD TO DESCRIBE THE PLOT TO A MOVIE ABOUT GIANT ROBOTS!?
When the Bough Breaks and all the images you see in this review are owned by Screen Gems
Directed by Jon Cassar
I really did not want to see this. The trailers didn’t inspire much hope that this would be all that great and the premise sounded… unpleasant, to say the least. Still, Morris Chestnut is a national treasure and it’s always good to see Regina Hall get some work, so maybe the people in front of and even behind the camera can make something out of this dopey premise! We can only hope…
The movie is about John and Laura Taylor (Morris Chestnut and Regina Hall) who have been trying for oh so very long to have a child, but they’ve failed multiple times and are down to their last viable embryo. I’m pretty sure Regina Hall hasn’t gone through menopause though, so I’m not sure WHY it’s their last egg, but maybe she had some sort of medical issue that made her infertile and I just wasn’t paying attention. What all of this ultimately means is that they have one last shot to have a child, and so they have to pick the right surrogate to bring it to term. In walks Anna Walsh (Jazz Sinclair) who’s just volunteered at the fertility clinic that John and Laura are working with, and immediately Laura falls in love with her. Within days, Anna is pregnant with their child and the Taylors couldn’t be happier! That is until Anna’s shit head boyfriend Mike (Theo Rossi) beats the hell out of her and she’s left without much options. Hey, she’s already carrying their kid, so why not let her stay in the guest house? Well… it turns out that Anna may not be all there mentally, and she immediately develops a crush on John which complicates matters. Will Anna have her way with John behind Laura’s back? Just how far from stable is Anna, and what will she be willing to do to get what she wants? Just how the hell did THIS woman manage to bullshit her way through the fertility clinic’s psych evaluation!?