Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween (2018)

Director: Ari Sandel

Writer: Rob Lieber (Screenplay) Rob Lieber, Darren Lemke (Story)

Starring: Wendi McLendon-Covey, Madison Iseman, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Caleel Harris, Ken Jeong, Chris Parnell

 

Plot: Two young friends find a magic book that brings a ventriloquist’s dummy to life.


Tagline – Halloween comes to life.

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Not as Fun as it Should Be

 

Story: Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween when college bound Sarah (Iseman) is left to look after her little brother Sonny (Taylor) and his friend Sam (Harris) who have their own business known as the ‘Junk Bros’, the two discover Slappy while on the job and must deal with the psychotic dummy.

The three soon find themselves needing to fight off Slappy and his creations, leading to them needing to uncover the book by R.L. Stine which can stop his reign of terror, bringing to life the creations from the books.

 

Thoughts on Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween

 

Characters – Sarah is the older sister, she is about to head off to college if she can figure out how to write her application letter. She must reluctantly babysit her younger brother and his friend, while dealing with her own personal problems, even if this could bring her the answer she requires. Sonny is the younger brother that gets himself into trouble a lot, when it comes to his creation, along with his best friend Sam. Sam is the wise talking of the two he offers the business, he must help solve the problem of Slappy. Kathy is the single mother forced to work longer hours to make sure her kids have the future, she remains calm through the chaos going on through the film.

PerformancesThe performances are simple enough, the younger stars, Madison Iseman, Jeremy Ray Taylor and Caleel Harris are good for what they have to do, only to not be on the same level of the previous film. Wendi McLendon-Covey gets the basic parent role done without bring too much new to the character.

StoryThe story here sees the creations of R.L. Stine coming to life causing chaos in a city once again. This is where the story falls flat quickly because the story feels like just a remake of the first, the Goosebumps books are an amazing source of stories and maybe instead of just throwing every monster made into one story, we should think about making one of the stories into a movie, or even as an anthology. We try to have some family bonding put into the story and even elements of coming of age, with Sarah needing to decide her future. In the end this story just isn’t that interesting and by the end you won’t have missed much.

Adventure/Comedy/FamilyThe adventure takes the teenagers into a battle that only they can solve, which is basic to say the least, but they must save the town. The comedy is hit or miss without being much laugh out loud material. This plays into the family side of the film because more of the younger audience will be enjoying this one.

SettingsThe film is set in a town which is considered small where the people need to get out of if they are going to make something with their life.

Special EffectsThe effects in this film are good for the most part, the creations all look like they could be in the world.


Scene of the Movie – 
Gummy bear fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The story not being original.

Final ThoughtsThis is a basic sequel that just copies the original too much, it offers nothing new and is just passable watch for the younger audience.

 

Overall: Simple and not original.

Rating

 

 

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Godzilla: The Planet Eater (2018)

Director: Hiroyuki Seshita, Kobun Shizuno

Writer: Gen Urobuchi (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Mamoru Miyano, Takahiro Sakurai, Kana Hanazawa, Tomokazu Sugita, Yuki Kaji, Reina Ueda

 

Plot: Humanity, their alien allies, and Godzilla all enter their endgame as the powerful destructive entity known as Ghidorah arrives on Earth.


Tagline – This Gold will burn even Despair 

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Disappointing Conclusion

 

Story: Godzilla: The Planet Eater starts where the last film finished, Mecca-Godzilla was defeated, Haruo is feeling the guilt of losing Yuko in the battle with her holding on with the metal infused with her body, Godzilla is left in a dormant state with Metphies turning to religion to bring the monster back to life.

The next threat is coming from of planet who want to destroy the technology that could bring Godzilla back, only for a new threat to arrive, Ghidorah who can only be defeated by using the power of Godzilla, who will take the endgame?

 

Thoughts on Godzilla: The Planet Eater

 

Characters – Haruo Sakaki is lead soldier that made the difficult decision in the last film, he is still recovering from losing Yuko and must go into hiding until the military side of the war have moved on, only he learns about the bigger plan and must stop Metphies from total destruction. Metphies revealed himself last time out, he was a victim of the global destruction off his own planet, he wants to continue the destruction of the people not worthy of being part of his big plans for the universe. Godzilla is the iconic figure who is now dormant, he is barely used in this film which is a massive disappointment. Ghidorah is the creature that comes to Earth only to become the most difficult opponent for Godzilla, this creature looks wonderful, as it consumes planets.

StoryThe story continues the trilogy of the Godzilla anime films, we pick up right back where we finished the last movie, as the battle has ended for now, only the next threat to come, one that could destroy Earth forever and Haruo must come to face his own emotions if he can stop the destruction. Now with this one you do need to have seen the previous two films which are crucial to understand the struggles Haruo faces. If you do come here to see Godzilla in action you will be disappointed because he is barely used in the film. the story does seem to fizzle out for the scale of the battles we have seen too.

Sci-FiIn the world of sci-fi Godzilla is a big figure, this film is set well into the future with the iconic monster facing off against one of the biggest opponents ever.

SettingsThe film is set on the modern era Earth which is still filled with the destruction of the previous battles and the lack of technology the future offered.

AnimationThe animation standard is strong through the film which has been on the same through the series.


Scene of the Movie –
The appearance of Ghidorah.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The lack of Godzilla action.

Final ThoughtsThis is a disappointing ending to the franchise which has built up well and different enough from live-action series.

 

Overall: Trilogy that fizzles out.

Rating

 

 

Good Kill (2014)

Director: Andrew Niccol

Writer: Andrew Niccol (Screenplay)

Starring: Ethan Hawke, January Jones, Zoe Kravitz, Bruce Greenwood, Jake Abel

 

Plot: A family man begins to question the ethics of his job as a drone pilot.


Tagline – If you never face your enemy, how can you face yourself.

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Smart Look at the Side Effects of Modern War

 

Story: Good Kill starts as we meet our unit, Major Thomas Egan (Hawke) who leads the younger unit, Zimmer (Abel) Christie (Kenin) and new team member Airman Vera Suarez (Kravitz) who are drone pilot watching over Afghanistan taking out persons of interest that would be threats to America.

Thomas wanting to return to active duty must work with Colonel Jack Johns (Greenwood) with this plan, but when the CIA want to conduct operations with the unit, the whole unit must face difficult decision when follow orders.

 

Thoughts on Good Kill

 

Characters – Major Thomas Egan is a former active duty soldier, he served his time and now he works on drone unit, killing the enemy from a computer screen back in Vegas, he wants to return to active duty and soon his latest missions involve morally questionable decisions which only leaves him questioning his own role in the war and his personal life. Molly is Thomas’s wife, she like having her husband close to home and is finding her husband feeling distant from her. Airman Suarez is the newest member to the unit, she questions nearly every decision they must make, not sure whether they are doing the right thing at all.

PerformancesEthan Hawke is great in this leading role, he makes his character feel distant which helps us understand his mindset where things are not going the way he feels comfortable with. January Jones is fine in her role without being a complex with her performance. Zoe Kravitz continues to show she is coming along to become a major name in the acting world.

StoryThe story follows the life of a drone pilot who used to serve in active combat, we see how he wants to get back into this because he doesn’t enjoy having to do the kills from a distance. This shows us a new type of PTSD which soldiers will be facing when having to kill from their own land, it also shows how the soldiers will not open up about the horrors they are seeing and being involved in.

War/ThrillerThe war elements of this film shows us how the war can be fought from behind closed doors rather than the battlefield, it shows the effects of this too.

SettingsThe film is set in and around Vegas, showing the war is now being fought from the air being controlled back home.


Scene of the Movie –
Thomas final actions with the drone.

That Moment That Annoyed Me While we see how Thomas is affected, I feel we had just as much time to focus on Suarez coming into this world.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good look at the modern warfare, it shows how difficult the battle has become, but the effects will still haunt the people.

 

Overall: Good thriller on modern war.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Comedy – G – Grudge Match (2013)

Director: Peter Segal

Writer: Tim Kelleher, Rodney Rothman (Screenplay) Tim Kelleher (Story)

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Robert De Niro, Kevin Hart, Alan Arkin, Kim Basinger, LL Cool J, Jon Bernthal

 

Plot: A pair of aging boxing rivals are coaxed out of retirement to fight one final bout, thirty years after their last match.


Tagline – Never give up the fight.

Runtime: 1 Hour 53 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: More Heartfelt Than You Would Think

 

Story: Grudge Match starts as we see the history of two boxing legends Henry ‘Razor’ Sharp (Stallone) & Billy ‘The Kid’ McDonnen (De Niro) who has two fights and before The Kid got his rematch, Razor walked away from the sport. 30-years-later after an altercation between the two goes viral, Dante Slate Jr (Hart) arranges one more match between the two.

The two get back into training, Razor uses his old coach Lightning (Arkin) while The Kid turns to a new gym he helped fund run by Frankie Brite (Cool J) but it is his unknown son BJ (Bernthal) that knows how to train, the two go through the press campaign giving everyone buzz about the fight between two fighters past their prime and out of shape.

 

Thoughts on Grudge Match

 

Characters – Henry ‘Razor’ Sharp won the last fight between the two, he then walked away from the sport losing his fortune along the way becoming a factory worker. When the chance to make money by returning for one fight however reluctant he is, he must confront the problems which left him walking away from the ring to be ready for his in-ring return. Billy ‘The Kid’ McDonnen lost the last fight between the two, he wants rematch, but his reasoning behind him losing is the same as Razor leaving the ring. He has his own bar and jumps at the chance of a rematch. Dante Slate Jr is the fast taking promoter that has followed in his father’s footsteps. Lightning is the trainer for Razor he always has been, the old man cliché is all about him in this film. we have Sally who is the woman that got between the two men trying to rebuild her relationship with Razor.

PerformancesStallone and De Niro both have legendary careers where they both appeared in boxing movies, Rocky and Raging Bull respectable, this performance from the both doesn’t mock what they achieved, but does let them have fun at knowing they are older than when those films were part of their highlights. The supporting cast all get to play into their strengths, Hart with his quick talking, Arkin with his grumpy old man persona and Basinger doing the old flame figure.

StoryThe story follows to old rivals in the Boxing ring that get bought back together for the grudge match with the two having one a single match win each. The story shows how rivalries can last for decades and how they both have survived after leaving the world of boxing. We get to see the ‘old man’ in tech heavy world moments as this fight goes viral which works in places but not others. We see how the personal lives of everyone involved has been affected by the rivalry too.

Comedy/SportsThe comedy is solid in most places we get Hart doing his thing most and Arkin do the grumpy old man routine which gets the most laughs. The sports brings us in the boxing world with former rivals.

SettingsThe film keeps the settings in the two boxers home city of Pittsburgh which shows the sport will bring the city together.


Scene of the Movie –
The match itself.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Certain jokes miss.

Final ThoughtsThis is a comedy that was a lot better than I would expect, the jokes can hit and by the end you will enjoy this movie with two boxing legends finally ending their tie.

 

Overall: Fun sports comedy.

Rating

 

 

Glass Jaw (2018)

Director: Jeff Celentano

Writer: Brandon Espy, Lee Kholafai, Korrina Rico, Michael Testa (Screenplay)

Starring: Lee Kholafai, Korrina Rico, Jon Gries, Jaime Camil, Reynaldo Gallegos, Mark Rolston, Vernon Wels, Steven Williams, Boosie Badazz, Brandon Sklenar

 

Plot: Glass Jaw is the redemption story of Travis Austin, a one time champion boxer who goes to prison and loses everything. After his release, he experiences the trials and tribulations of redeeming his reputation, his belt, and his true love.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Boxing Redemption 101

 

Story: Glass Jaw starts as we learn about Travis’ rough childhood, where his parents got into financial trouble and abandoned him to be raised through the foster system. This never stop Travis (Kholafai) who went on to be Light Heavyweight Boxing Champion, though tragedy happens at the celebration party as his trainer Eddy’s (Gallegos) daughter dies under his care.

Travis filled with guilt takes the blame and serves time in jail, he loses his house, but his girl Dana (Rico) never leaves his side. Once out Travis must put his life back together, search for a job and reclaim his reputation and title.

 

Thoughts on Glass Jaw

 

Characters – Travis Austin has always fought to be a top boxer, from his difficult childhood to the moment he became Light Heavyweight Champion. His life takes an instant turn for the worst when a family friend dies at his party, he takes the blame, loses his title, goes to prison, loses everything, once released he wants to redeem himself and regain everything he has lost. Dana is Travis’s girl, she stays loyal when he is in prison, but her own mistake causes the biggest problem between the two. Sam is the father that left Travis, he has reconnected with him now he is on top, Travis’s doesn’t want him back, but learns he is one of the people he can turn too.

PerformancesLee Kholafai in the leading role gives us a good performance when it comes to any of the boxing and fitness side of the film, when it comes to the serious side of things, he does struggle to reach the levels required to get complete performance. This is a weakness throughout the cast, everyone is good, but never at the very top that is required to make things a true stand out moments.

StoryThe story follows a champion boxer that takes the fall for a crime, who must rebuild his life and reputation once he is released from prison. When it comes to boxing redemption stories, we have seen many different ones over the years, the most recent notable one would be ‘Southpaw’. This story follows the same sort of lines as that one, without any major crime being committed, or any crime being committed by the boxer who must redeem himself. This is the biggest confusion about this movie because it’s not or could never be proven it was his fault for the death. we do get to see how the celebrity status can cause just as many problems in a personal life.

ThrillerThe thrilling side of the film happens when we are in the ring, we get to see just how intense the boxing can get.

SettingsThe film keeps us in the main settings in the locations you would imagine a boxing film to take place in.


Scene of the Movie –
The final match.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I don’t understand why Travis would need to take any blame for the events of the death.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good film for boxing fans to watch, it has the standard redemption story we know and is one that does everything it needs to.

 

Overall: Boxing Fans to enjoy.

Rating