Bloodshot and all the images you see in this review are owned by Sony Pictures Releasing
Directed by David SF Wilson
Is it just me, or did anyone else think this movie was about a vampire? I mean it’s not like BLOODSHOT is some sort of household name to rival that of Iron Man and Thor, and with a name like that I’d have pegged them as a Blade knock off more than anything else! Well whatever this movie is about (a ROBOT vampire maybe?), it’s yet another vehicle for Vin Diesel who’s really had a bad luck streak in recent years as he’s been trying so hard to escape the Fast franchise to do his own thing but to no avail, and now he has to pretend that John Cena is his brother or whatever the heck is going on in that move that we won’t be seeing for another year. Just when he thought he was out, THEY PULL HIM RIGHT BACK IN!! Is this the one that will be the new franchise starter that he needs to escape the shadow of the Fast and Furious franchise? I mean… probably not, but let’s find out!!
Ray Garrison (Vin Diesel) is your typical action movie hero. He works for a SUPER SECRET SEAL TEAM SIX type outfit for the US military, and he’s covered in all sorts of scars that his beautiful wife (Talulah Riley) lovingly caresses whenever he returns from another world saving mission. Sounds about right for a typical action flick, but where’s the motivation for vengeance? WHERE’S THE INCITING INCIDENT THAT CALLS OUR HERO TO VIOLENCE!? Oh wait, there it is! Some dude (Toby Kebbell) kidnaps him and his wife looking for information, but when Ray doesn’t have the answers he’s looking for he kills the wife and puts a bullet in Ray’s head; an act that would kill a lesser man, but Vin Diesel isn’t about to be put down by a small amount of lead to the cranium! Instead, he manages to survive the shooting and his body Is recovered… somehow by SUPER SCIENTISTS working for Dr. Emil Harting (Guy Pearce) where it’s brought to his SUPER SCIENCE company and is fixed up good as new by basically turning him into Million Ants Man; only instead of ants it’s NANOBOTS!! With this new power he can recover from ANY damage, can punch things REALLY hard, is able to connect to basically any computer… BUT WILL THAT HEAL THE HOLE THAT IS LEFT IN HIS HEART!? Of course not, so almost immediately he starts to search for the man who killed his wife and plots his revenge despite the consternation of Dr. Harting and his rag tag group of cyborg buddies including Katie (Eiza González) who has a robo-lung and seems to be hiding more than just her giant chest mounted ventilation system. Will Ray find the man responsible and bring him to justice in a very violent fashion? Why did he kidnap Ray and his wife in the first place considering he didn’t have any information to give him, and is there more to this horrific act of violence than Ray initially suspects? Why the heck is even called Bloodshot!? Is it REALLY just because he has red eyes sometimes?
The Hurricane Heist and all the images you see in this review are owned by Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures
Directed by Rob Cohen
You know… I get that everyone wants to recreate the lightening in a bottle success that has been The Fast and the Furious series, but how often does chasing a trend like that ACTUALLY work? Heck, DC can’t even follow in Marvel’s footsteps correctly, and they already have a stable of characters just as popular! Getting the director of the original film and touting it as if he has had anything to do with the success of the modern entries in the series seems like just the kind of half-baked and producer driven endeavors to jump on the bandwagon that you’d hope that big studios would be smart enough to avoid, and yet here we are! Still, just because the circumstances surrounding the film are less than ideal doesn’t necessarily mean that the film itself will be bad! A movie about a heist during bad weather could STILL be good… right? Maybe? Okay, probably not, but let’s find out!!
The movie begins on the day of a SUPER Hurricane that’s gonna hit a small town in Alabama where SUPER METEOROLOGIST Will (Toby Kebbell) is getting a bad feeling about this storm and is trying to convince Washington to send out the National Guard. I mean… I’m not sure why considering the town has already been evacuated and it would only put those service men in danger to have them awkwardly stand around an empty town while it gets rampaged by a super storm, but considering what’s about to happen elsewhere in the city it might have proven to be a good idea. You see, the small town is ALSO home to US mint facility where they take old bills out of circulation and then shred them. The delivery people this time around are Casey and Perkins (Maggie Grace and Ralph Ineson) who have trucks full of the crappy bills and they REALLY need to get a move on if they want to deliver them and get them shredded before the storm hits. However, it’s all one big set up! See, Perkins along with two sexy hackers (Melissa Bolona and Ed Birch) sabotage the security within the facility so that a truck full of MORE bandits (Jamie Andrew Cutler, Jimmy Walker, and Moyo Akandé) can smash through the gate, take out ALL the soldiers patrolling the area, and lock them in the basement while they get the vault door unlocked and rob the treasury blind of dollar bills that were set to be shredded anyway. Of course, they weren’t counting on Casey who JUST SO HAPPENED to be away from the facility at the time and had changed the password to the vault right before she did so. She went off to find Will’s brother Breeze (Ryan Kwanten) to who is a mechanic I think and she needed him to fix something for her, but needless to say that the reception upon her return is less than stellar and she barely manages to escape in the process. Breeze however is much less lucky and HE gets caught by the baddies which prompts will to join forces with Casey to take down the bad guys and save all the hostages; all while the storm of the century rages on around them! Can Will and Casey save this soon to be destroyed money, even if it means killing all the crooks in the process? Will they be able to fight off the savage wind and rain from the hurricane long enough to kill a bunch of thieves for trying to steal money that was going to be destroyed anyway? Is it just me, or is there a BIT too much bloodshed in a movie where the only bad outcome is whether or not money gets stolen; especially when the bad guys can retaliate at ANY time by killing the hostages? At least in Die Hard, Hans Grubber was planning to kill the hostages anyway!
Kong: Skull Island and all the images you see in this review are owned by Warner Bros Pictures
Directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts
Truth be told I’ve always been more of a Godzilla fan, and while the recent Shin Godzilla was pretty good (if a bit disjointed and tonally uneven) the American film with Gareth Edwards wasn’t so much. Now Warner Bros is trying to create yet another Expanded Cinematic Universe (because the DCCU is working out SO well for them) and this is in some ways a sequel… or prequel I guess… to the 2014 Godzilla film. Does this manage to make up for the mistakes of that film while setting the groundwork for future monster movies to come, or are we much better off watching that 1962 film where the two of them duked it out and threw rocks at each other? Admittedly that wouldn’t be the WORST thing to do as it’s still pretty freaking awesome, but let’s find out!!
The movie starts by introducing us to Bill Randa (John Goodman) who is the head of Monarch; an organization that is hell bent on proving the existence of monsters. They’ve hit a rough patch, mostly due to them never finding any monsters, but 1973 just might be the year they turn things around! They have some satellite images of a heretofore unknown island which may or may not contain resources that the government can use in their fight against the Russians, and Monarch wants to tag along with another organization already headed there for some basic geological research. Actually, all Bill wants to do is find monsters, but the US government gives them the go ahead to tag along and to also bring a military squadron who JUST SO HAPPEN to be one day away from heading back home from Vietnam. Of course the commander Lieutenant Colonel Preston Packard (Samuel L Jackson) is thrilled at the opportunity as he doesn’t seem too interested in leaving the war, but those under his command which includes Jack Chapman (Toby Kebbell) are less so. Still, they follow the orders that are given to them and they are even joined by former British SAS bad ass James Conrad (Tom Hiddleston) who’s supposed to be an expert tracker and photojournalist Mason Weaver (Brie Larson) who somehow manages to be a part of this expedition as well. The crew packs up, they fly to the mysterious island that is colorfully known as Skull Island, and IMMEDIATLEY get their asses kicked by Kong who mows down all their helicopters; leaving all of the name actors but only a handful of army and scientist extras. Along their travels, they run into even MORE monsters, find a World War 2 fighter pilot who’s been trapped on the island for almost two decades (John C Reilly), and ultimately have to come up with a way to escape the island before their one chance of rescue passes them by. Can the remaining survivors make it off the island before they become monster food, or will some of them refuse to leave until Kong is dead? Just what is Kong fighting on this island when he’s not swatting down humans? Most importantly, WHEN ARE WE GONNA GET A NEW GODZILLA VS KING KONG MOVIE!?
Gold and all the images you see in this review are owned by TWC-Dimension
Directed by Stephen Gaghan
It’s getting a bit late in the year, but I guess we’ve still got a few more Oscar holdovers that need to recoup a few bucks from the general public; especially for ones like this that clearly didn’t get the recognition it was hoping for. Still, the big award shows don’t always know what the hell they’re doing (*cough* The King’s Speech *cough*), and it’s not like any of MY favorite films of 2016 got nominated for an Oscar, so maybe this one will turn out be to be a gem that no one else was able to recognize! Can Matthew McConaughey pull off yet another great performance in a movie about yet another eccentric oddball, or will this be forgotten like most of his pre-McConaissance work once he realized he was ACTUALLY good at acting? Let’s find out!!
The movie follows the misadventures of Kenny Wells (Matthew McConaughey) who’s a down on his luck prospector; barely managing to make ends meet after inheriting a successful mining company from his father. With his girlfriend by his side (Bryce Dallas Howard), he manages to keep from succumbing to total self-destruction, but his drinking isn’t helping the situation all that much and he needs ONE big score in order to get his company out of the red and his life out of the dumps. His big harebrained scheme is to get a SIMILARLY down on his luck geologist named Michael Acosta (Édgar Ramírez) to help him find a gold mine in the heart of Indonesia. It’s rough going at first, so much so that Kenny becomes deathly ill during the expedition, but he manages to pull through and they ACTUALLY find a gold mine! From there, Kenny has to deal with the avalanche of wealth that has landed right at his doorstop, the people who will try to take advantage of him, and of course those who want to put him out of business altogether. Can this schlubby guy with a TERRIBLE haircut manage to hack it in a world of millionaires and true professionals? How can this one dude fend off the biggest mining companies in the world and even the Indonesian government who are looking for ANY opportunity to snatch his gold mine out from under him? Seriously, what’s with that hair!? Either get the hair plugs or shave the damn thing off!
Ben-Hur and all the images you see in this review are owned by Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Directed by Timur Bekmambetov
On the list of unnecessary remakes that no one was asking for ever, I can’t imagine one being worse than this except maybe Citizen Kane or ANOTHER remake of The Jazz Singer. Hell, I haven’t even SEEN the original Ben-Hur (I know. Shut up!), and even I can tell this is completely unnecessary! Oh well. Maybe this will be a faithful adaptation that understands what made the original so great in the first place and gives its own modern interpretation of those amazing qualities? Yeah… I doubt it too, but you never know! Is this a new classic that can stand alongside the original film, or is this a half assed effort that’s hoping to make big bucks on the name alone? Let’s find out!!
Judah Ben-Hur (Jack Huston) is living his life of luxury as the rich prince of Jerusalem which by this point was embroiled in strife due to the Romans continuing to push into their lands and occupying them. It’s not of much concern to him though because he’s the one percent, and nothing bad ever happens to them! Well when his adopted brother Messala (Toby Kebbell) goes off to join the Roman army and comes back years later as one of the lead occupies, things get a bit strained and Judah can’t keep living under a rock. When some shit goes down that’s totally not his fault, his brother ends up enslaving him and sending him to be a rower in a warship until he keels over and dies; leaving the rest of his family to presumably die for whatever trumped up charges the Romans can think of. Judah eventually escapes after five years however and SOMEHOW washes back up onto Jerusalem (boy was THAT convenient!) and meets some dude who trains chariot racers (Morgan Freeman) who agrees to help him get revenge on his brother and Rome. Oh and Jesus (Rodrigo Santoro) is in the background somewhere. Will Judah be able to avenge those who were so viciously taken away from him? What will he find after his five year absence from his homeland? Wait a minute… is this the story of Biblical Batman!?
Warcraft and all the images you see in this review are owned by Universal Pictures
Directed by Duncan Jones
On the one hand, we are now in an age where four different video game movies are getting wide releases at the theater! On the other hand, two of them have been far from impressive so far and Assassin’s Creed looks as dull as dishwater. I guess all we have left to give us hope is this film based on one of gaming’s most influential franchises… that I know nothing about. Does this manage to bring in new fans while satisfying Blizzard die hards, or is this gonna be yet another example of why we just shouldn’t expect much from video game movies? Let’s find out!!
The movie is about… too many things, but in the broadest terms it’s about the war between the Orcs and the Humans of Stormwind. See the Orcs kinda fucked up their own planet (or it’s dying of natural causes) and so they need to go through a dimensional portal to find a new place and take it over. Our key Orc players in this are Durotan (Toby Kebbell) who’s the chieftain of one of the Orc tribes that’s the first to notice that things seem to be amiss with the leadership, Gul’dan (Daniel Wu) who is said leadership and uses dark magic all over the place, and Garona (Paula Patton) who’s a half breed and gets captured by the humans early on. Now the Humans are led by King Llane (Dominic Cooper), his right hand man Sir Anduin Lothar (Travis Fimmel), a young sorcerer who first notices the dark magic being used by this new threat named Khadgar (Ben Schnetzer) and some super mage given the title of The Guardian who I guess just sits in a tower waiting to be called upon named Medivh (Ben Foster). As stated earlier, Garona is captured by the Humans early on during an unsuccessful raid by the Orcs, but it is during this fight that Durotan realizes just how bad the magic shit that Gul’dan has been throwing around is and decides to overthrow him to save the Orcs from the dark magic. While he’s doing that, the Humans begin mounting a counter effort with the help of Garona, but Medivh may not be quite up to the task of taking on this new dark magic which does not bode well for the Kingdom of Stormwind. Can the Humans fight back from this invading force? Can Durotan stop the OBVIOUSLY EVIL dark mage from… corrupting the souls of the Orcs I guess? Does anyone else think this should have been a TV show instead?
Fantastic Four and all the images you see in this review are owned by 20th Century Fox
Directed by Josh Trank
Look, you all knew this movie would be bad, right? The negative press coming out of the screenings for this was fucking insane and there’s no way it’s gonna be a hit. It MIGHT make some cash its first weekend, there isn’t a ghost of a chance that it survives into next week. That’s not what you want to know though. The box office totals are secondary to the quality of the actual film, and you’re ALL here to take a safe glimpse into the utter madness that many of us had to suffer through. Well never let it be said that I’m not about giving the reader what they want, so step right up as I take you through this modern day monstrosity!
The movie is about super genius Reed Richards (Miles Teller) who is discovered during a science fair by Dr. Franklin Storm (Reg E Cathey) who is the father of Johnny Storm (Michael B Jordan) and Sue Storm (Kate Mara). Franklin offers Reed a full scholarship in exchange for working at his lab on a teleporter that can send organic matter between dimensions, which Reed eagerly accepts. With the help of another protégée of Franklin’s, Victor Von Doom (Toby Kebbell), they build said teleporter, but it backfires and gives Reed, Johnny, Sue, Victor, and Ben Grimm (Jamie Bell) who is Reed’s best friend, superpowers. Will they use these powers for good, or will their actions lead to the destruction of Earth?