The Predator (2018)

Director: Shane Black

Writer: Fred Dekker, Shane Black (Screenplay) Jim Thomas, John Thomas (Characters)

Starring: Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes, Jacob Tremblay, Keegan-Michael Key, Olivia Munn, Sterling K Brown, Thomas Jane, Alfie Allen

 

Plot: When a young boy accidentally triggers the universe’s most lethal hunters’ return to Earth, only a ragtag crew of ex-soldiers and a disgruntled science teacher can prevent the end of the human race.


Tagline – You’ll never see him coming.

Runtime: 1 Hour 47 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Commits to Comical Tone

 

Story: The Predator starts as we meet elite sniper Quinn McKenna (Holbrook) whose latest job sees a spacecraft crash land with a Predator butchering his team, with a few goodies he finds, he sends home, knowing what is coming. With his son Rory (Tremblay) being an Asperger’s sufferer, he accidently unlocks the code trapped within the system.

Government agent Traeger (Brown) is trying to unlock the system and when the captured Predator escapes, Quinn must team up with other soldiers branded crazy, Nebraska (Rhodes), Coyle (Key), Baxley (Jane), Lynch (Allen) and Nettles (Aguilera) who help scientist Casey (Munn) find a solution for the new Predator problem.

 

Thoughts on The Predator

 

Characters – Quinn McKenna is a sniper who finds himself in the middle of the latest Predator ship crash landing, surviving his first encounter with the creature, he uses the technology to escape, he must use his training to protect his son and save the world from the impending attack. We do know he isn’t the best family man, but this night should bring him closer to his son. Nebraska is one of the ‘crazy’ soldiers, he will help Quinn becoming the connection between the rest pushing them to do the right thing. Rory is the Asperger’s sufferer that can solve puzzles others can barely unpack, he is your typical different student and school, the outsider if you like. Casey is the scientist bought in to help understand just what is happening with the Predator’s visiting Earth and certain questions about their DNA. Traeger is the government that is trying to keep the lid on everything, he will kill anyone that cross the government to keep secrets and has a dark sense of humour. The rest of the soldiers, Coyle, Baxley, Lynch and Nettles do have their own problems from serving in the military with this battle giving them a chance to redeem themselves.

PerformancesBoyd Holbrook in the leading role is good for the film, he doesn’t reach the levels of Arnie and will fit in well with the rest of the leads. Trevante Rhodes is the guy you most want to watch, he gets the best scenes for the military unit. Jacob Tremblay is getting a reputation for playing kids with troubled sides, he seems to be excellent at this type of role, this however would be his weakest outing so far. Olivia Munn is good even though she doesn’t get the best scenes to work with. Sterling K Brown makes for a great fun human villain and the rest of the unit show good chemistry.

StoryThe story here follows another group of soldiers that come face to face with a Predator and must fight back to survive, this time we have a bigger, badder Predator. Now is a fun story to watch, however if you are a fan of the original this will not give you everything you want to see. The biggest plus in this movie is explaining why the Predators visit Earth, watching this is the right move for the franchise. The story does show insensitive when it comes to dealing with the military unit that clearly have their own mental health problems which sadly gets overlooked and turned into a running joke. For a man of Shane Black’s calibre, we would expect better written scenes, instead of just lazy insults. The key element to take away from the story is that we are watching something fun that has moved away from the original tone.

Action/Adventure/Horror/Sci-FiThe action is big, we get the fights which are big and bloody which is all we want to see, the horror does take a back burner as even when the film tries to be suspenseful it falls short, but the blood does help us out here. The sci-fi side of the film comes from trying to build a bigger world for the Predators to visit from.

SettingsThe film doesn’t make use of the settings too, we get the woodland area which plays into Predators speciality.

Special EffectsThe effects here are very weak for the budget, the opening sequence alone is poor for what we would expect, when it comes to the camouflage ability doesn’t even look better than the 87 film.


Scene of the Movie –
Hello big boy.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Making a joke of the mental health problems soldiers face.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun sequel, the tone does stay the same from start to finish which other big blockbusters have failed to do, we get to see more about the history of Predators and most importantly we learn just how deadly they can be.

 

Overall: Fun and enjoyable.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Animation – H – Hotel Transylvania 2 (2015)

Director: Genndy Tartakovsky

Writer: Robert Smigel, Adam Sandler (Screenplay) Todd Durham (Characters)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James, Steve Buscemi, David Space, Keegan-Michael Key

 

Plot: Dracula and his friends try to bring out the monster in his half human, half vampire grandson in order to keep Mavis from leaving the hotel.


Tagline – Drac’s pack is back

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Typical Sandler’s Sequel

 

Story: Hotel Transylvania 2 starts as Mavis and Jonathan get married and start a family in Dracula’s hotel, with their child Dennis in a position of being either a human or a vampire, Dracula comes up with a plan to forces Dennis into becoming a vampire, by sending Mavis and Jonathan on a vacation.

As Dracula’s attempts to push Dennis into become a monster, he must learn that the world has changed from the time he grew up and now monsters are accepted in the world

 

Thoughts on Hotel Transylvania 2

 

Characters – Dracula is the hotel owner and still protective father, but not grandfather, he wants to see his hybrid grandson follow in his footsteps over letting him be a natural growing into his natural form. Jonathan is the human husband of Mavis that enjoys the hotel life, he must work with Dracula to stay in the hotel. Mavis is the mother of Dennis, a vampire that is trying to figure out where to raise her son.

StoryThe story seems to follow the ideas of how the world is changing and people from different generations need to learn how to adapt to this new world. Somehow, we get a deeper meaning in a movie which was designed to come off as bringing different monsters together into one movie with a comic side to it. We have another look at how a grandparent is trying to control how their children raise their kids which is fine, it a formula that works well.

Comedy/FamilyThe comedy side of this film comes from how the different monsters can go against the trends of what we have seen in the horror versions of these films, this will also be one of the family to enjoy.

SettingsThe film takes us to the hotel in Transylvania as well as the modern world where Mavis gets to experience things for the first time, we get moments which takes out character down memory lane too.

AnimationThe animation used in the movie is good from start to finish, using the generic images of the monsters to add comedy to the looks.


Scene of the Movie –
Camp time.

That Moment That Annoyed Me One too many Sandler and friends jokes.

Final ThoughtsThis is an animated comedy that does seem to work on levels you wouldn’t imagine it hitting, it will work for the whole family and shows when held back Sandler can make bearable comedies.

 

Overall: Solid animated sequel.

Rating

 

 

Storks (2016)

storksDirector: Nicholas Stoller, Doug Sweetland

Writer: Nicholas Stoller (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Andy Samberg, Katie Crown, Kelsey Grammer, Jennifer Aniston, Ty Burrell, Anton Starkman, Keegan-Michael Key

 

Plot: Storks have moved on from delivering babies to packages. But when an order for a baby appears, the best delivery stork must scramble to fix the error by delivering the baby.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Typical Childish Animation

 

Story: Storks starts as we learn storks used to deliver babies before they moved into the main stream delivery business. Junior is the known as the best delivery stork and is about to get a promotion of Hunter as we learn why the storks stopped delivery babies is because they lost an address for a human and adopted her Tulip. She is turning 18 and the Hunter wants her out of the business and to enter her back in the human world. With the stork problem looking to be solved we move onto meet our human family which is young boy Nate who feels lonely because of his constantly busy real estate agent parents are always working leading him to ask for a baby brother or sister.

Tulip continues to cause trouble by accidentally restarting the baby making machine and she must team up with Junior to clean up the mess. The story turns into an adventure between Junior and Tulip to deliver the baby while also seeing how parents need to look after their children over work.

Storks is an animated film that goes for the low attempts of comedy to give the laughs to the youngest of its audience not making any of the laughs come off for an adult audience. Against the low level of comedy, we do have a film with heart based story as the parents don’t give the time to the child they have and learn they only get one chance to raise their children. The adventure between Tulip and Junior does feel like it got ripped out of the original Ice Age but otherwise this isn’t the most inspiring comedy film.

The characters are very generic with most just wanting to find a way to fit in the world be it from being the popular one of being the one completely out of place. The boss character is always the loudest of the group while the family all works well but doesn’t get enough time for what could be a more important story.

 

Overall: Dull animated comedy that doesn’t give enough time to the heart in the film.

Rating

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Keanu (2016)

Director: Peter Atencio

Writer: Jordan Peele, Alex Rubens (Screenplay)

Starring: Jordan Peele, Keegan-Michael Key, Tiffany Haddish, Method Man, Darrell Britt-Gibson, Jason Mitchell

 

Plot: When an L.A. drug kingpin’s kitten unexpectedly enters the life of two cousins, they will have to go through gangs, hitmen and drug dealers who claim him in order to get him back.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great Comedy

 

Story: Keanu starts when down on his luck Rell (Peele) finds a kitten on his doorstep he names it Keanu. His cousin Clarence (Key) arrives to try and help cheer him up the two find themselves needing to go into a world they are not used to after Keanu is taken from Rell’s apartment.

The two must take their suburban backgrounds and hide them from the drug kingpin Cheddar (Method Man) who recruits them to sell his product and show the rest of his dealers how to get the deal done, all just to get Keanu back.

 

Thoughts on Keanu

 

Characters/PerformanceRell is the heartbroken stoner that hasn’t achieved much in his life, he life is turned around by the kitten Keanu but when Keanu is taken he finds himself needing to use what knowledge he has to survive the drug scene. Clarence is the married cousin who is known for being safe, he finds a new personality within himself as he works with his cousin to rescue Keanu. Hi-C is one of the dealers that Rell and Clarence must teach how to be heartless when dealing with clients. Cheddar is the drug kingpin that has the cat, he is ruthless and impressed by the guts the two have.

Performance wise, Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key show the chemistry their television is known for, but as I have never seen that I could see just how capable this pairing could be. Tiffany Haddish is good throughout as well as method Man and all the cameos going on through the film.

StoryThe story follows to outsiders of a drug world that find themselves in the middle of a drug war trying to rescue a cat, this all works for the comedy of the film as we see how different worlds collide to teach each other life lessons.

Action/Comedy The action side of the film is all what we know without being overly risky and in parts does add to the comedy. The comedy is the highlight here with the well placed jokes not taking over the film which is important for any comedy.

SettingsThe settings is mostly LA which we see the different worlds the characters come from to learn and teach the characters through the film.

Final ThoughtsOne of the good comedies of recent years and one everyone could enjoy.

 

Overall: Great comedy and one of the best in recent years.

Rating

 

 

Tomorrowland (2015)

logoDirector: Brad Bird

Writer: Brad Bird, Damon Lindelof (Screenplay) Brad Bird, Damon Lindelof, Jeff Jensen (Story)

Starring: George Clooney, Hugh Laurie, Britt Robertson, Raffey Cassidy, Tim McGraw, Kathryn Hahn, Keegan-Michael Key

Plot: Bound by a shared destiny, a teen bursting with scientific curiosity and a former boy-genius inventor embark on a mission to unearth the secrets of a place somewhere in time and space that exists in their collective memory.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Ambitious Idea

Story: Tomorrowland starts with Frank (Clooney) trying to prepare us to the world we are going into where we learn of his love of science from the moment he entered the world invention competition at a tender young age where he meets Nix (Laurie) who is impressed with his work along with Athena (Cassidy) but as the invention doesn’t fully work he gets dismissed. Athena likes the idea and gives Frank instructions to a world where the future has already taken over, but the older version still has the warning with an impending clock counting down.

Casey (Robertson) brings a fresh prospective to the story because she is an optimist as we follow her choice to make a platform from being destroyed and saving her father Eddie’s (McGraw) job. When she get caught upon her release she is left with a mysterious pin that upon touching takes her to a mysterious world, Tomorrowland.

Still not sure what is happening Casey looks for answer which Athena tries to bring her as Athena searches for people who can save Tomorrowland from a future threat. Which means getting to the stage where Casey meets Frank and make up for a creation which witnesses the end of the world, but Tomorrowland is nothing like any of them imagined.

Tomorrowland can not be fault for actually trying to think outside the box and being original, in a year where we had a large amount of successful sequels it had been a rare thing to see something like this, this year. I did like the idea of working between the two dimensions and that we are looking into the idea of the world ending. What I didn’t like was the way too long of an introduction to each character and not enough time in the Tomorrowland. I can’t help but love the ideas used this film and think it needs to be watch.

Actor Review

George Clooney: Frank Walker is the man who was exiled from Tomorrowland and lives in isolation, he knows the world is going to end and has just accepted it. When he meets Casey he learns that he could in fact change the future once and for all leading him to go back into Tomorrowland to change the future and save the world. George gives a good performance that really works in a grumpy old man performance.frank

Hugh Laurie: Nix is the leader of Tomorrowland where he rules knowing that the world will end, he is happy for the world to end because him and his people are safe in a new world. Hugh is criminally underutilized in this film we should have seen him in a much more villainous role like the one created than this.nix

Britt Robertson: Casey Newton is the rebellious teenager who gets selected by Athena as the potential savour of the world, she gets attracted by Tomorrowland and ends up having to fight for the world, but ends up asking too many questions through the film. Britt steps out of no where to end up becoming one of the potential break out stars of the year.casey

Raffey Cassidy: Athena is the little girl who recruits the dreamers of the world to come to Tomorrowland but after she is banished she searches for the people who can help save Tomorrowland from its potential destruction. She is a robot and has been trained to defeat all enemies in combat. Raffey really is the star performer in this film nailing all the scenes where the image of her character never seems to fit in the performance.athena

Support Cast: Tomorrowland has the basic supporting cast with the family of Casey that all work to show her almost being held back from her potential along with the robots hunting them down that all look very much out of place.

Director Review: Brad BirdBrad gives us such an ambitious project that does need to get more respect than the box office scores show it having.

Action: Tomorrowland has good action but really is just standard fight scenes throughout.

Adventure: Tomorrowland puts Casey on a brilliant adventure that takes her to a new world puts her life in peril which all works well for an adventure film.

Family: Tomorrowland could be one for all the family to enjoy with something everyone will enjoy.

Mystery: Tomorrowland does leave you wondering what is actually happening with the characters and Tomorrowland.

Sci-Fi: Tomorrowland brings us into a future world where dreamers are encouraged rather than pushed down which all works to show the difference between the two worlds.

Settings: Tomorrowland creates a beautiful world for Tomorrowland while the Earth settings are very generic.world
Special Effects: Tomorrowland has flawless settings with what is going on in the Tomorrowland because it needs to look amazing for the idea in the film.

Suggestion: Tomorrowland is one to try I think most people will enjoy it more than they would think. (Try It)

Best Part: Britt Robertson and Raffey Cassidy both are great.

Worst Part: Not enough with Nix.

Favourite Quote: Nix Every day is the opportunity for a better tomorrow.

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Could have one.

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $208 Million

Budget: $190 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 10 Minutes

Tagline: Imagine a place where nothing is impossible.

Overall: Brilliantly ambitious that could be one of the best original ideas this year

Ratingcard