War For The Planet Of The Apes (2017)

Following the epic last battle from then leader, Koba, Caesar (Andy Serkis) and his apes still remain fighting for their lives against the humans who want the apes extinct. The apes are now forced into a deadly conflict with a large, manipulated army of humans led by a ruthless colonel (Woody Harrelson). After Caeser suffers the tragic loss of his wife and son, vengeance is the only thing on his mind. While the rest of the apes seek to find a new home, Caesar sets out on his own mission to finish the colonel once and for all. Once Caesar finally meets the colonel, a whopping battle takes place to determine the fate of both of their species.

The Planet of the Apes trilogy that we have been watching for the past few years has only seemed to have gotten better and better. Rumor has it that War is going to be the last film that the franchise has to offer us. Well, at least, for now, that is the word on the street. Is this a happy conclusion to the franchise you may ask? No, but only because there still seems to be some life left in these films and it would be sad to see it all end, even if the three films have been perfect.

That said, War For The Planet Of The Apes may quite possibly be the best film of 2017 so far. If the rumors are true and this does happen to be the end of this incredible franchise, with almost no flaws from any of the movies, then job well done. Even with the incredibly amount of overwhelming scenes and dialogue, War provides enough action and smartness to capture the viewers attention throughout and is undoubtedly the best summer blockbuster that you will see this year. And a lot of that credit goes to Andy Serkis who has mastered this character.

Following the prior two films I was a tad bit worried that this was not even going to be remotely as good as the previous two, but War gave us a story that actually works, and works better than the first two films. Even though this franchise has made its fair share of money, it’s clear that director, Matt Reeves was not just in this for the money because he wanted to expand on the previous film and continue an awesome story. And that’s exactly what the audience gets with War. It’s exciting, fun and at often times a little tense.

Overall, War For The Planet Of The Apes is the summer blockbuster that people have been waiting for. It’s extremely emotional, exciting and an all-around fun ride. If this is truly the end of this heavily underrated franchise, the finish was well worth the wait.

5/5

 

Advertisements

La La Land (2016)

Mia (Emma Stone) is working at a coffee shop in Warner Bros. Studios and is feeling like she is a failed actress. She constantly goes to different auditions and never receives a call back. All she is hoping for is that one big break so she can land a major role. Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) is a jazz pianist who’s only dream is to one day own his own jazz club. However, jazz music seems to be becoming less and less popular, so he is kind of out of luck with this one. Sebastian spends his time playing household tunes at a local restraint where he works for tips. While playing at a restraint, he catches the eyes of Mia and the two suddenly fall for one another. While Sebastian and Mia both have huge hopes and dreams, the longer they stay together, the more they begin to fade in different directions.

Usually when I find out I am going to see a movie that is a musical I get somewhat worried because they are either hit or miss. Luckily La La Land works in every way and is pretty much a perfect movie. It is the kind of movie that is not only fun and entertaining, but as soon as the singing and dancing stops and the people start talking it is just as entertaining and exciting. La La Land is just a very happy movie, and it’s as simple as that. It is the type of movie that does not come around all that often and there is no doubt in my mind that this will be a serious contender for best picture, if it not already has the award wrapped up.

There’s a lot more to La La Land then it just being your happy musical movie. This film shows you all of the great things the world has to offer you and also the hard realities that people sometimes have to face. After watching this movie you have a lot of hope with your future life endeavors. It’s movies like this that leave a special place in your heart because it makes you feel like you can do anything you want with your life and things will work out. Director, Damien Chazelle definitely loves his jazz music and we understood that when he made Whiplash, but he takes it to a whole different level here. And what you see from Stone and Gosling is pure magic. The chemistry these two actors have together is something that I can’t wait to see again. The way their characters intervened with each other and developed with one another is something that I love when watching a movie.

As mentioned above, there is no way this movie does not get loads of Oscar nominations because it’s already killing it with Golden Globe nominations. I would not be surprised if this wins everything that it is nominated for. This is the first movie of 2016 that I have seen where I can say it was perfect. Not to mention the scoring of this film is unbelievable. The choreography, cinematography and directing are just as superb as the acting. If you are a fan of film then you will love this movie. If you are a fan of film and not musicals, you will still love this movie. Everything that Chazelle did with La La Land all fell perfectly in place and works wonders for the audience. After much time and thought about this movie, I will be incredibly shocked if it does not win Best Picture.

Overall, La La Land is the type of movie that is a must see. It delivers on everything you would want to see form a movie. With great directing, superb acting, excellent writing, and exciting songs, La La Land works in every single way and is the perfect movie of 2016. Chazelle is at the top of his form with this one.

Grade: A

Creed (2015)

If you thought the Rocky franchise would be ruined from this movie, think again!

Adonis Johnson (Michael B. Jordan) has been someone who has been in and out of foster car throughout his entire life due to the fact he’s always been fighting with the other kids. One day, a woman who was the wife of Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) shows up to adopt him and tells him the truth about who he really is. It turns out that Adonis is actually the son of Apollo. As Adonis grows up, he realizes that he wants to become a professional boxer just like his dad, but he wants to go under his name of “Johnson” because he wants to make his own name and doesn’t want people to think of him differently for the name “Creed.” Johnson travels to Philadelphia to track down Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone). He wants Rocky to train him to become a professional fighter. Against his wishes, Rocky eventually gives in and helps train Johnson to become a professional boxer and travel to help him fight for the champion of the world.

Creed has been a movie that many people have been looking forward to for quite sometime, but there has been some doubts by a lot of people, including myself. Thank the lord I was wrong about this movie because what appeared to be a lousy, boring old boxing flick, turned out to be one of the more exciting and intriguing films you will see around this time of year. Obviously because I am from Philadelphia, there is a potential bias with the Rocky films, but even if you are not from Philadelphia, you will love this movie. Even though this is the seventh film that you will see in the Rocky franchise, Creed does nothing but excel as an exciting and unbelievable film. It is easy to make the argument that this movie is probably the best we have seen from the Rocky films ever since the release of the first movie.

The acting in Creed is pretty spectacular. Michael B. Jordan is great in pretty much everything he is in and I think we can all say that he is a young actor that everybody should look out for, even though he has done some great work, going all the way back to The Wire. In all of Jordan’s roles, you feel as if he really has a genuine interest in them and really cares about doing a good job. That is exactly what we see from him in Creed. Even though we have seen him in six prior movies, I think it needs to be said that Sylvester Stallone has given one of the best performances of his career, let alone out of the Rocky movies. He was easily the best in this movie and I am very happy about that. I have been overly worried about him lately because I have seen how the last five Rocky films have been. I am not only surprised, but I am thrilled he proved how awesome he can be.

Creed is a movie that is not only a movie that the people from Philadelphia have to see, but it is also a genuinely good sports flick. I really feel confident when I say that Creed was an outstanding sports film because it did absolutely nothing to make me think otherwise. Everything that Coogler did with this film worked and he succeeded at what he was doing. Rocky has always been a series of films that I have watched throughout my entire life, but if someone was to tell me I would enjoy this film as much as I did before seeing it, I probably would have laughed in your face. Fortunately for me and fans of film, Creed does everything in its power to intrigue, entertain and make you say, “that was awesome.” If you are a fan of the Rocky franchise, you’ll absolutely love this. If you are not and are just a fan of movies, you’ll love this just as much.

Overall, Creed will shock all of you by how good it actually is. With powerhouse performances and enough emotion and fight to make you love this film, Creed wins!

Grade: A

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay-Part 2 (2015)

All good things must come to an end, right? After Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) is brainwashed by the capital, he attacks Katnis Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence). This pushes her over-the-top and she is ready to fight and finish President Snow (Donald Sutherland). Now that there will be huge war going on, it is up to Katnis to be the leader for everybody, even though every move she is making is being planned out by President Coin (Julianne Moore). Coin and Plutarch Heavensbee (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) are constantly working on what the plan will be to finish Snow once and for all. Katnis and the rest of the soldiers have to reach District 2 and then fight their way inside of the Capitol where they will find Snow. Katnis will do whatever it takes to make sure she reaches the capital and kills Snow and puts an end to all this madness.

Well, the past four years have been quite enjoyable while waiting for the next installment of The Hunger Games to come out. It was always a treat and something that I always looked forward to. With that being said, all things must come to an end, good or bad. Thankfully, this has been a rather good franchise and I’ve been happy with every film made, especially this one. What makes these movies sos special is that they are all movies that appeal to loads of people and are loved all over the world. With Mockingjay- Part 2, we definitely do feel like this is the end of Hunger Games. Even though there is definitely a bittersweet feeling here, it could not have gone out without a bigger bang. Regardless of Mockingjay- Part 1 being made only to make a crap load of money, it definitely redeemed itself with this new movie. For this, I am incredibly grateful and very happy.

Jennifer Lawrence has proved to be one of the best actresses in Hollywood, if not the best. She proves to everybody that she can play any role in any film. The Hunger Games are what kind of put her on the map and I’m definitely glad they did. Lawrence seemed like she really had an interest in playing Katnis. I even enjoyed Josh Hutcherson in all these films. I’ve never been one to really have an interest in the work he does, but with Hunger Games, he really does impress you. What’s great about this movie is that it feels like there is a huge amount of darkness and suspense revolving around it. I think Donald Sutherland appeared to be more creepy in this film then the first three. My favorite scene from this film was right at the end with him. I won’t tell you what it was because I don’t want to give away a spoiler, but you’ll know when you see it. I did however, think that Julianne Moore wasn’t all that great, but it’s still Julianne Moore, so we can let that one slide.

Mockingjay- Part 2 is the kind of movie that you hope to see when reaching the end of a great series. Similar to The Deathly Hallows: Part 2, this movie does everything right and will make you realize why you spent the last four years awaiting the release of the new movie. What’s especially great about this movie is that everything about it is interesting. While it definitely may be slightly too long, you can easily look past that because of how much is happening and how much action sequences we are given with this. If you are someone like myself who did not know the ending of this film, you will really enjoy what it gives you. Having said that, my major issue with the film was that the ending was incredibly predictable as the ending became closer and closer, but that doesn’t really matter. I would still not change a thing about this and want to thank the creators for giving us a franchise that we will love and cherish forever.

Overall, Mockingjay- Part 2 is a film that finally shuts the door to all of The Hunger Games. This movie is not only the last movie of the franchise, but it’s without-a-doubt the best one out of them. Thank you Hunger Games for providing us with four straight movies of excitement, entertainment and emotion. This is definitely a job well-done with these movies!

Grade: A

Inside Out (2015)

Here’s one that has been out for a couple of weeks that I finally had the chance to see. I love the characters that are inside my head! We meet Riley (Kaitlyn Dias), a very happy twelve-year-old girl who was really enjoying her childhood while living in Minnesota. Her father ends up having to move them all to San Fransico because of work and this really makes Riley very upset. This is a very tough transition for Riley and she has the help of five emotions in her head get her through this tough time. The first emotion is Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Fear (Bill Hader), Disgust (Mindy Kaling), Anger (Lewis Black) and Joy (Amy Poehler).  Joy is the one who pretty much has all the control of Riley. Things start getting out of control when Sadness starts touching all the happy memories that Riley has, which makes them sad memories now. This now makes Riley a very unhappy and mean person. It is now up to Joy to fix the emotions that Riley has and make her the nice and sweet, little girl that she used to be.

First off, I always thought this was going to be a really good movie. I thought the premise was really interesting and it caught my attention as soon as I found out about this coming out. The past few years haven’t exactly been Pixar’s best, but with Inside Out, they absolutely crushed it. This is one of the best Pixar films I think I have ever seen and there are plenty of great ones out there. This movie is just something that not only kids will love, but adults will equally enjoy this as well. This was just a very good movie that is often sad, happy and funny. Some of the people in the theater actually had tears in their eyes while watching this movie. It is just really nice to see that Pixar is finally back in action with good movies.

The voices in this are great. I have always loved Amy Poehler and I knew she was going to be great in this. Lewis Black was terrific in this. I have always liked Lewis Black because I think he has the perfect voice for comedy and he showed his true Anger in Inside Out. Bill Hader is someone who is just really funny. He kind of plays a similar character in a lot of his movies, but he never fails to disappoint or make me laugh, so I think that he was the right man to choose for the voice of Fear. Phyllis Smith is someone I like at times, but also dislike at the same time. I thought she was really good in The Office, but she never really impresses me in anything else. I will say that she did a really good job with this one and I was happy she was chosen.

I just really like all of the messages that this movie tries to get across. It really makes you think and appreciate life more. I really think that Pixar delivered very strongly with this film and it has turned into what is probably the best film of 2015 thus far. This actually may be the best Pixar film that has ever been made. It is incredibly smart and they do a great job of allowing you to feel all of the emotions that you see in the movie. Inside Out is just an original and new movie that leaves you in complete satisfaction. I left the theater more than impressed with this one and I think this is a movie that everyone can go see and will absolutely enjoy.

Overall, Inside Out is a movie that is just non-stop fun and entertainment that the whole family can enjoy. If you haven’t seen this one yet, do not hesitate to go to the theatre and see it.

Grade= A (Excellent! A Must See!)

Spy (2015)

CIA analyst, Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy) is always behind the scenes helping out big time agent, Bradley Fine (Jude Law). Something bad happens to Bradley and now it is time for Susan to have her shot in the field and show the CIA what she is really made of. Susan is given a very tough task and that is to stop a big time Bulgarian crime lord by the name of Rayna Boyanov (Rose Byrne). Boyanov is notorious for selling nuclear weapons and the CIA is really trying to stop her. Cooper is not exactly the best agent and her cover is often blown because fo dumb mistakes that she makes and also because of another agent who wants to take matters into his own hands. His name is Rick Ford (Jason Statham) and he and Cooper don’t exactly see eye to eye. Cooper starts to realize that in order for hr to successfully complete the mission, she really needs to keep Ford away from everything. Cooper now has to really start getting her hands dirty in order to complete the mission.

Alright, it looks like Melissa McCarthy hasn’t lost it at all. I thought for a short while McCarthy was starting to lose her great humor a bit because ti seemed lie she was always taking on the same role. I think trying something different with St. Vincent really opened her up to try different roles. Spy is definitely one of the better comedies that I have seen on 2015 thus far. When I finished watching this movie, I thought to myself that this movie was a really good comedy that had me a laughing a lot. I do not think it was stupid by any means and I really enjoyed this one. I think that humor that they aimed for in this movie worked out perfectly and the audience could not stop laughing.

The acting we see in this movie is pretty much as good as you are going to get with a comedy film. As I said earlier, Melissa McCarthy finally found her place in films like this and she steals it. We even see an outrageously funny performance from Jason Statham. Who ever knew that guy could be funny? I like to just picture him as the former Transporter just kicking all kinds of different ass. I think this was a very smart comedy because ti really made you think about what was really going on and what was really happening with this movie. I even thought it touched on some character development with Melissa McCarthy’s role.

Spy is just the type of movie that is just a nice and fun comedy that most people can enjoy. I wouldn’t take children o see it, but there is definitely a huge audience that will really enjoy this film. A lot fo the humour in this movie had me cracking up. I was really worried about this one because I did not think it looked all that entertaining, but I was absolutely wrong. This movie was an absolute riot and I think that you should definitely go check this one out.

Overall, Spy is a very funny comedy that can be enjoyed by a lot fo people. If you are a fan of Melissa McCarthy, then this is one you have to check out.

Grade= B+ (Very Good!)

Entourage (2015)

Well, there’s nothing like a season 9 of Entourage! They picked right back up where they left us. Vincent Chase (Adrien Grenier) is now divorced after nine days of being married. Vinny has become one of the biggest actors in Hollywood and now wants to try something a little different with his career. He has his eye on directing and his first movie he is doing has the title, Hyde. The movie is supposed to be finished very soon, but Vinny runs into some issues. He needs more money when he is already 15 million over budget. Longtime manager and friend of Vinny, Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven) who is now the head of the studio, steps in and needs to go to the financiers out in Texas to try to get more money for this film. Now we go to the rest of the crew. Eric (Kevin Connolly) and Sloan (Emmanuelle Chirqui) are soon expecting a baby, Turtle (Jerry Ferrara) is sitting around with all his money from the tequila investment trying to date Ronda Rousey. Now we get to Drama (Kevin Dillon), whose career is now struggling at an all-time-high after the cancellation of Johnny’s Bananas. Also, Lloyd (Rex Lee) is getting married.

Alright, it’s been nearly four years since this show has left us and with the film, they pick right back up where they left off. I do however, think that in order to be a fan of this movie, you need to have watched the series. I don’t feel like anything differently was done with the movie, but I am perfectly okay with that because I loved the show so much. Entourage was a show that I watched for many years while it was on and it was very comforting and exciting to see the whole gang back in action again. There has been a lot of hate going around with this movie and I think the main reason for that is because most critics have not seen the show. I, myself, could not find all that much wrong with this movie because I loved the show so much.

I’m not even all that sure I really have to touch on the acting a whole lot because if you have seen the show, then you know we see some great acting, especially from actors like Jeremy Piven. I feel like Ari Gold was the role that he was meant to play throughout his whole entire career. In the movie and show, we never saw a dull or boring moment with Piven. Every scene he is in, whether it is making fun of Lloyd or punching picture frames in therapy sessions, we still see the same Ari Gold throughout and you always want more. In this movie, we see the same exact stuff from Piven and it does not get old for one second. As far as the rest of the crew go, if you have seen the show, then there is not much I have to say other than they are awesome and the same kind of guys they always were.

I could easily tell that director, Doug Ellin made this film simply for the fans. I actually had the pleasure of seeing this movie with some real fans and it made the experience better because everyone knew how awesome it was. I will say that I was a little worried with all the advertising for this movie because it made me think it wouldn’t be good, but I was completely wrong. Why should I have thought that? I have been a huge fan of this show since it first came on. I am very happy that I was wrong because I think this was more than satisfying because I was not all that happy with the ending of the show and I think that this movie may have given people a different view on the real ending. The ending of this movie made a much better ending to this incredible series.

Overall, Entourage is not only an overwhelming movie to those of you who are fans of the series, but also is a movie that is just incredibly entertaining. A word of advice: Watch the series before seeing this movie. It will make it much better and you will really enjoy it more.

Grade= A (Excellent! A Must See!)