Christopher Robin and all the images you see in this review are owned by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Directed by Marc Forster
Disney’s recent attempts to cannibalize its previous properties into live action features have been decidedly mixed, and more so with me than with other critics it seems. Maleficent was one of the best movies that came out that year, but with The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast following it up… well let’s just say that this latest outing isn’t coming out with the highest of expectations from me. Still, there’s a lot of talent involved and like Maleficent it’s not a simple remake of another film; rather it’s a reimagining of the material to fit with modern sensibilities and current societal issues. That may sound pretentious, but kids are a lot smarter than we give them credit for and if Disney wants to make something that’s at least SOMEWHAT challenging for its core demographics, I’m sure not gonna stop them from trying! Does this story about a grown Christopher Robin manage to get us to the heart of what made Winnie the Pooh such a timeless classic, or is this movie just as cynical and jaded as the man they’re telling the story of? Let’s find out!!
Christopher Robin (Ewan McGregor) is a young boy who spends many afternoons playing the Hundred Acre woods with his friends Tigger, Eeyore, Piglet, Rabbit, Kanga, Roo, and Owl (Jim Cummings, Brad Garrett, Nick Mohammed, Peter Capaldi, Sophie Okonedo, Sara Sheen, and Toby Jones) and of course, Winnie the Pooh (Jim Cummings as well). However, these idyllic summer days must ultimately come to an end as life has a way of pushing you away from childish things and he heads off to live his life; going to boarding school, dealing with loss, fighting in World War 2, and eventually marrying the love of his life Evelyn (Hayley Atwell) and having a child they name Madeline (Bronte Carmichael). All this time however, The Hundred Acre Woods has managed to go on with him; albeit a bit more gloomy from time to time with Pooh still waiting to see if his best friend will ever come back. Well he might have to wait a bit longer as Christopher has to deal with problems at work and with his sniveling boss (Mark Gatiss) who’s forcing him to make ridiculous cuts which could include the jobs of a lot of people if he doesn’t find places to make them elsewhere. Things come to a head as he’s forced to work over the weekend that he had already scheduled to spend with his family in his childhood home and after even more stress and heartache he finds himself in a small park outside his house… where a familiar bear managed to somehow wander into. Will Winnie the Pooh manage to help Christopher Robin find a modicum of peace in his life? Can Christopher learn what’s REALLY important in life before he loses everything? Just how much honey does Pooh need to eat!? He doesn’t even have a digestive system!!
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and all the images you see in this review are owned by Universal Pictures
Directed by J A Bayona
The first Jurassic World was one of my earliest reviews once I starting writing about films in theaters instead of just ones that were within arm’s reach, and I remember really liking a lot of it even if it did have some really bad moments throughout and a rather oblivious tone with the way it treats a lot of its cast. After seeing Trevorrow’s follow up, The Book of Henry, it seems clear that he may not be the best at balancing disparate elements together; especially when compared to how seamlessly Spielberg combined the wonder of dinosaurs with their capacity for pure terror in the original Jurassic Park. For this one though he’s taken a step back for a new director to try and get this goofy idea work once again even if the trailers make it look a LOT like The Lost World. Can this franchise hold onto relevance for one more outing, or is finally time for this franchise to go extinct? Let’s find out!!
Following the events of the last film, we find ourselves a few years out from the Jurassic World incident where everyone who’s still alive has moved on to something new and the dinosaurs on the island are simply left to their own devices. However, it turns out that the island where a GIGANTIC THEME PART WAS OPERATING ONLY A HANDFUL OF YEARS AGO is sitting on top of an active volcano, so I guess that means the park was doomed either way. This is a problem however because the island is the only place on Earth that is home to these magnificent killing machines, and several people around the world including a dinosaur protection organization led up by Calire Dearing from part one (Bryce Dallas Howard) are intent on finding them a new home before the volcano explodes. She ends up getting the attention of Sir Benjamin Lockwood (James Cromwell) who I don’t THINK was in the original Jurassic Park but was apparently John Hammond’s business partner the whole time, and he has the resources to get those dinosaurs to safety. Well that’s great, but why does he as well as his right hand man Eli Mills (Rafe Spall) need her? So apparently, since she was an employee back then, she STILL has access to the security system (apparently that’s STILL up and running) and once she logs in, she can track the remaining dinosaurs on the island through GPS chips in their skin. Even with that though, there’s still one creature that will surely elude them which JUST SO HAPPENS to be Blue the Veloceraptor from part one. If only they knew some hunky bro who trained Blue and could potentially cox them to get in a cage and off the island. Oh wait! They DO know such a hunky bro! Claire drafts Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) to join them on this wild expedition along with two volunteers at the organization she works for; Franklin Webb to HACK INTO THE MAINFRAME or whatever and Dr Zia Rodriguez who’s a dinosaur vet (Justice Smith and Daniella Pineda). With such a crack team as well as a paramilitary group to back them up led by a hard ass solider (Ted Levine), they’re ready to face anything on the island, but they better do it fast because that volcano can blow at ANY minute! Why they couldn’t assemble this team together a month ago I have no idea, but I guess even SUPER rich guys like Mr. Lockwood can only do so much in a limited amount of time. Can this unlikely rag tag of activists and bros manage to save these dinosaurs as well as locate Blue? Why exactly are Lockwood and Eli ready to entrust all of this in their hands, and do they have plans that they’re keeping close to the chest? Just what the hell do they mean by Fallen Kingdom anyway? Could it be… the Kingdom of MAN!?
The Snowman and all the images you see in this review are owned by Universal Pictures
Directed by Tomas Alfredson
Is anyone else super excited to see this movie? There’s something innately appealing about a serial killer movie, as morbid as that sounds, mostly because I feel they’re one of the purest forms of a Good Guy vs Bad Guy story that pits two characters against each other in a battle of wits to see who comes out on top! Face/Off, Death Note, Silence of the Lambs, Sherlock; the list goes on and on and I always find them to be at least somewhat enjoyable… though I have never seen that Alex Cross movie which I hear is so bad it’d probably ruin the whole genre for me. At least this movie looks better than THAT film did and from the trailers it looks like a rather interesting murder mystery with a neat little gimmick for the killer that certainly sets them apart from your typical slasher. Will this be another great film to add to the list, or will all the hopes I had for this melt into a sad little puddle like a snowman left in the sun for far too long? Let’s find out!!
The movie follows the adventure of the hilariously named Detective Harry Hole (Michael Fassbender) and if you think that’s just a poor translation; the writer of the book this is based on ALSO wrote a book called Doctor Proctor’s Fart Powder. Anyway, Detective Hole is a complete and utter wreck when we catch up with him as he’s constantly drinking and sleeping on park benches despite the fact that he’s supposedly a legendary detective who’s solved all sorts of difficult cases… I think. The latest mystery he’s tasked to solve is a series of disappearances which may end up being homicides and he’s got a fresh new detective out of the academy named Katrine Bratt (Rebecca Ferguson) to help and/or annoy him as he tries to find a connection between them. I’m not sure if he figures out that the connection is a snowman being built in front of the home of each victim (the movie is rather bad at conveying information) but that seems to be the killer’s signature; hence the title. Detective Hole has to get to the bottom of this case soon; not only to save whoever the killer’s next victim is, but because the killer seems to have taken a liking to the drunk detective and may be targeting him or his loved ones soon if he can’t catch him first. Can Detective Hole figure out who’s been kidnapping these people and cutting them to pieces; despite his hilarious name? Doe these recent kidnappings have anything to do with a case from six years ago that was led by Detective Gert Rafto (Val Kilmer) who died under mysterious circumstances? Seriously, did anyone read the script to this before filming? Were there pages missing or did someone ACTUALLY think that this all made sense?
Atomic Blonde and all the images you see in this review are owned by Focus Features
Directed by David Leitch
Holy crap! The day has FINALLY come, hasn’t it!? There are usually a handful of movies that I genuinely look forward to each year and for most of 2017 the big one was this Charlize Theron spy thriller with a lot of bloodshed and a lot more attitude! The trailers looked phenomenal with Theron putting her heart into this John Wick knock off (it even has one of that movie’s directors) and James McAvoy being… well James McAvoy, but that’s why we go to see him in movies! Still, a trailer isn’t always true to what a movie will ultimately be about and while I certainly have high hopes for this, I should PROBABLY temper them lest my expectations get too astronomical and I end up setting myself up for disappointment. But still! CHARLIZE THERON PUNCHING DUDES IN THE FACE! How COULD it go wrong!? Well if it does, we’ll certainly find out!!
The movie begins with the death of an MI6 agent (Sam Hargrave) in East Germany right at the tail end of the Cold War, and the British Government are in desperate need of someone to clean up the mess the poor bastard left behind. Enter Lorraine Broughton (Charlize Theron) who given two objectives to complete once she gets there; find THE LIST that the MI6 agent had secured before getting a bullet in the head (you know, that list of EVERY SPY EVER that’s in EVERY SPY MOVIE EVER) and find a double agent known simple as Satchel who is more than likely responsible for this whole mess. Her only contact in the country is MI6 agent David Percival (James McAvoy) who’s gone DEEP undercover in the Berlin punk scene but has more knowledge of the country’s inner workings than anyone else. Of course, nothing is as simple as it seems as there’s a French agent rather conspicuously following them around (Sofia Boutella), there’s like five different German/Nazi dudes who hate punk music trying to find her, and she keeps getting stymied at every turn presumably to the machinations of that darn double agent! Will Lorraine find this list that could CHANGE THE TIDE OF THE WAR before it falls into the wrong hands? Who is this mysterious double agent, and could they be closer than she dares to believe? How is it that all the hired goons keep finding her so easily!? Is it the hair? It’s probably the hair.
Morgan and all the images you see in this review are owned by 20th Century Fox
Directed by Luke Scott
I think I actually managed to avoid every trailer for this movie (if I did catch one, then I quickly forgot it) because I know next to nothing about this movie other than there’s some woman who’s got powers or something. Frankly, it looks like something right up Fox’s alley to the point that I wouldn’t be surprised if the big twist at the end is that Morgan gets enrolled in the Xavier School for Gifted Children, though there might be a bit of awkwardness considering where this movie looks like it’s gonna go. Then again, they gave Wolverine a pass and that dude’s only power is to kill people and not get hurt doing so. Anyway, will the latest Fox sci-fi thriller be something to keep the company relevant and afloat until they can rush out the Deadpool sequel, or does this science gone wrong escapade turn out to be just as bad as Fantastic Four? Let’s find out!!
The movie is about some sort of science project by THE CORPORATION (*COUGH* Tyrell Corp *COUGH*), that seems to have gone off the rails when one of the scientist (Jennifer Jason Leigh) was stabbed in the face by their test subject known as Morgan (Anya Taylor-Joy) who is a… synthetic human I guess? After the incident, a Risk Assessment officer (Kate Mara) is sent by THE CORPORATION to find out what the hell happened and if the project should be terminated. I would have terminated the project when it turned out they were KEEPING HER IN A LOCKED CELL UNDERGROUND, but what the fuck do I know? Things seem to be going okay for the most part as the scientists are still very enthusiastic about keeping the project going (including Jennifer Jason Leigh) and Morgan seems to be no more harmful than anyone else who you’d keep under a microscope twenty four hours a day. Still, this wouldn’t be a movie if things didn’t go horribly wrong and needless to say that bringing Paul Giamatti into a situation never ends very well; especially when you get a guy that hammy to assess someone else’s current mental state. Will Morgan turn out to be the monster that Kate Mara thinks she is? Was she actually sent there to see if the project is on track, or were the more nefarious motivations at play? Most importantly, who the hell keeps dressing Morgan up in those awful hoodies!?