Guardians of the Tomb (2018)

Director: Kimble Rendall

Writer: Kimble Rendall, Paul Staheli (Screenplay) Kimble Rendall, Jonathan Scanlon (Story)

Starring: Bingbing Li, Kellan Lutz, Kelsey Grammer, Chun Wu, Shane Jacobson, Stef Dawson, Jason Chong

 

Plot: An innocent discovery of a well-preserved mummified Chinese Emperor from 200 B.C. unearths a two-thousand-year-old nightmare, a secret that should have remained buried.


Tagline – Unearth the legend. Unleash the curse.

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Terrible Adventure

 

Story: Guardians of the Tomb starts when pharmaceutical business man Mason (Grammer) turns to the daughter of his former partner Jia (Li) to search for her brother Luke (Wu) who went missing during the latest search for a cure that would put the company back on the map.

Jia joins Mason, survival expert Jack Ridley (Lutz), Gary (Jacobson), Milly (Dawson) and Chen (Chong) in search for the answers in the tomb, a tomb which is filled with deadly spiders that could bring a new cure for diseases.

 

Thoughts on Guardians of the Tomb

 

Characters – Jia is a specialist in venoms and dangerous animals from around the world, she knows how to remain calm around them if somebody is infected, she is forced into the field after her brother goes missing on his latest expedition, where she must use her own expert skills to keep the team alive and guide them out alive. Jack Ridley is bough in because of his skills in survival situations, he is here to keep the team safe. Mason is the co-founder of company, he has seen his partner killed and is always looking to push the boundaries in search new products which could help make him money in the pharmaceutical world, he leads the team after his own men go missing. Luke is the younger brother to Jia, he goes on the adventures, with his latest one seeing him go missing, he is working for Mason too.

PerformancesBingbing Li is easily the best of performers in this film, she does look like she is trying unlike most of the rest of the leading members of the cast. Kellan Lutz continues to fall into the generic soldier figure, offering nothing new, Kelsey Grammer does seem to be wasted in his role, he would have been better to not go on the adventure too. Chun Wu is solid enough in what is a smaller role, though it he could have done more with more screen time.

StoryThe story follows a rescue mission after a discovery mission goes wrong inside an ancient tomb in China. This is a story we have seen before, we know how ancient tombs tend to play out, with traps only this time we get spiders that are protecting a tomb. We have greed, family and memories planning out for the characters, even we do end up just going through the, spiders are coming lets run storyline way too often. This is simply enough without being anything original or enjoyable.

Adventure/HorrorThe adventure involved in the film follows the characters as they go through the tomb. The horror in the film comes from the spiders being deadly.

SettingsThe film keeps us going through the tombs with each room offering a new problem for the team to face.

Special EffectsThe effects come from the spiders which at times are awful looking CGI, in a place where we could have had practical ones.


Scene of the Movie –
Couldn’t find one.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The CGI spiders.

Final ThoughtsThis is a disappoint adventure horror that could have been a lot of fun, only to become bland, predictable and just becomes forgettable quickly.

 

Overall: Forgettable.

Rating

 

 

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Like Father (2018)

Director: Lauren Miller

Writer: Lauren Rogen (Screenplay) Anders Bard, Lauren Rogen (Story)

Starring: Kristen Bell, Seth Rogen, Kelsey Grammer, Zach Appelman, Paul W Downs, Brittany Ross, Jen Zaborowski

 

Plot: A workaholic woman who is left at the altar takes her honeymoon trip anyway with her overachieving father who left her mother because he believed his family was holding back his career.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Sweet Comedy

 

Story: Like Father starts when workaholic Rachel (Bell) still attached to her phone is getting married, her problem is she won’t put her phone down, which leads to her fiancée leaving her at the altar. When her estranged workaholic father Harry (Grammer) turns up at the wedding and offers her a shoulder to cry on.

After a drinking bender together, Rachel and Harry end up going on the Honeymoon cruise together in a hope to help Rachel relax and forget about work for a couple of weeks and learn the lesson about needing to put work on the back burner.

 

Thoughts on Like Father

 

Characters – Rachel is a complete workaholic that has never been able to put her phone down including her wedding day which leads to her fiancée leaving her at the altar. Trying to return to work through the pain it quickly turns into a drinking bender with her father, the man she hates the most because he left her when she was young. She ends up going on her honeymoon with her father, but spends most of the time on the phone too, over the trip she must learn to put her phone away and see the bigger picture of life. Harry is Rachel’s father, he left her when she was a child, but has always watched over her, he sees she is making the same mistakes he did and wants to guide her in the right direction before it is too late for her. Jeff is a divorcee that is on the cruise with his sister to help him get over his divorce, she meets Rachel and the two spend time together as they both have suffered a surprise down in their lives. The rest of the characters we meet include the fellow couples, the twice married couple, the anniversary for the elder couple and the gay couple that complete the 4 couples together.

PerformancesKristen Bell takes the leading role in this movie, she a great to watch as she handles the comedy and the serious moments in the film very well as well has having the good timing chemistry with Grammer. Kelsey Grammer is known for the legendary television run and it has always been hard to see him as any other character, here he does a good job and keeps the calmness you can only imagine from his experience in the genre of comedy. Seth Rogen in the supporting role is good, he doesn’t bring his usual style of comedy letting the two leads take the full spotlight.

StoryThe story show us how a workaholic woman is left at the altar for her overcommitments with work only for estranged father to return to her life to try and build bridges and teach her about the mistakes she is making. The story focuses on needing to learn about taking time away from work to enjoy the little things in life, not making living in regrets that one has been living with since leaving his daughter. The story could go down as one that is generic for the themes circling around needing to put work on the back burner at times and a rebuilding of parental child relationship, it all comes off sweet and enjoyable balancing the comedy and serious moments through the film.

ComedyThe comedy is a mix of situational moments as Rachel and Harry find themselves in the positions in life they would never have achieved without meeting back up again, the support cast get good laughs too.

SettingsMost of the film is set on the cruise with the days off in the beauty spots along the way, it shows how spending time with family however distant can bring people together again.


Scene of the Movie –
Karaoke.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not dealing with the mother discussion.

Final ThoughtsThis is a charmingly sweet comedy, it does have an important message about work and family with a couple of great performances from Bell and Grammer.

 

Overall: Enjoyable comedy.

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

 card

 

Seth Rogen Weekend – Bad Neighbours 2 (2016)

badDirector: Nicholas Stoller

Writer: Andrew Jay Cohen, Brendan O’Brien, Nicholas Stoller, Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen (Screenplay)

Starring: Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Rose Bryne, Chloe Grace Moretz, Ike Barinholtz, Kiersey Clemons, Dave Franco, Jerrod Carmichael, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Kelsey Grammer

 

Plot: When their new next-door neighbors turn out to be a sorority even more debaucherous than the fraternity previously living there, Mac and Kelly team with their former enemy, Teddy, to bring the girls down.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Terribly Written Characters

 

Story: Bad Neighbours 2 starts as we meet Mac (Rogen) & Kelly (Byrne) going to have a new baby as they are planning to sell their house and with the deal down they have 30 days before the house is official sold. We also meet Shelby (Moretz) fresh into college but want to have their own parties with drugs and they happen to find the house next to the Radner’s. We also catch up with Teddy (Efron) who has been struggling since college with his friend’s all moving onto the next stage of their lives.

Teddy arranges to mentor the sorority who want to be treated fairly in the none sexist world of college leading to a new battle between the Radner’s and the sorority, but the rules are different this time. The Radner’s team up with Teddy to battle the girls planning their own games.

Bad Neighbours 2 continues the grossed out comedy with terrible parenting and unrealistic characters happening throughout. The only character that seems real is Teddy because who is struggling to find his place in the grown up world with all his friends moving on. But this doesn’t get enough focus from the film. I found myself wondering one simple thing through this film, why doesn’t Teddy just call his cop brother from the fraternity in the first film and everything will be solved. I think the story went over heavy with the sexism side of the story and when it comes to those parents I couldn’t help but ask how they still have their children. The story is a rinse repeat of the first one with laughs that seem so out of place for a normal situation the film is just bad.

 

Actor Review

 

Seth Rogen: Mac is still our stoner dad who is delighted to be having a new baby and moving into new home, but his world is about come back into the nightmare when a sorority moves in next door as they are trying to sell the house, Mac must team up with Teddy to battle the girls. Seth is his usual stoner comedy level humour.

Zac Efron: Teddy is struggling with his own life still working in retail while his other brothers have moved onto be successes. He decides to help the girls start their sorority only to find himself being seen as too old to be around them and teaming up with Mac to fight them and finding his own place in the world. Zac is the highlight of the film and the only character that comes off feeling real.

Rose Byrne: Kelly is pregnant again and now the family is looking to move she has to enter into the battle to get the house the family need. Rose doesn’t seem to get as much screen time as the other three main characters.

Chloe Grace Moretz: Shelby is the college student who wants to express herself after a bad high school experience and be strong female household away from the sexist male ones. Chloe is good for this film showing a mature performance but the character comes off very confusing.

Support Cast: Bad Neighbours 2 has the same sort of supporting characters with a few returning faces grown up but the college students feel familiar.

Director Review: Nicholas StollerNicholas gives us the same old comedy that really just doesn’t work for this story.

 

Comedy: Bad Neighbours 2 has full out grossed out humour that is way over the top.

Settings: Bad Neighbours 2 keeps most of the settings in the same locations as the first but as I find the story is so bad.
Special Effects
: Bad Neighbours 2 has a few effects needed with one looking terrible and the others working.

Suggestion: Bad Neighbours 2 is one I do think people can avoid. (Avoid)

 

Best Part: Teddy character works for the post college lost person character.

Worst Part: Terrible parents happening.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Hopefully not

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

Tagline: Parenthood vs. sisterhood

 

Overall: Another terrible addition to the comedy genre.

Ratingcard

 

 

Toy Story 2 (1999)

logoDirector: John Lasseter, Ash Brannon, Lee Unkrich

Writer: Andrew Stanton, Rita Hsiao, Doug Chamberlin, Chris Webb (Screenplay) John Lasseter, Pete Doctor, Ash Brannon, Andrew Stanton (Story)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Kelsey Grammer, Don Rickles, Jim Varney, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger, Annie Potts, Wayne Knight

 

Plot: When Woody is stolen by a toy collector, Buzz and his friends vow to rescue him, but Woody finds the idea of immortality in a museum tempting.

 

Verdict: Keeps Getting Better

 

Story: We start be seeing how united the toys are now and Woody is getting all excited about being able to go to cowboy camp with Andy. After Woody gets damaged Andy doesn’t take him to camp leaving Woody to look after the toys during a yard sale. While Woody tries to rescue a toy he ends up getting toynapped by a man who wants to complete his collection. The toys lead by Buzz come up with a plan to try and rescue Woody, while Woody learns about his history as an iconic television cowboy from ‘The Round Up Gang’.

How do you improve on what was almost perfect, well you start the same you follow similar ideas created in the first. We have the same idea that stepping outside is dangerous, but that it is worth it to save a friend.  The idea that the toys don’t know that they could be part of a bigger collection (which most are) is very important to this and shows through really well. As I will be looking at the third one tomorrow there is some foreshadowing here that we see in the third showing brilliant story telling. This is my least favourite of the three but it also can’t be faulted. (10/10)

 

Character Review

 

Woody: After getting toynapped Woody learns his history and how he was part of a whole television show. He learns that he is part of a collection and without him the collections worthless, Woody is left with the question of returning to his friends or staying with his new collection in a museum. Learning more about Woody works for everything here giving him a chance to show the leader could give up everything for something bigger. (10/10)

 woody

Buzz Lightyear: Buzz leads the group of toys on an adventure to find Woody, they have to race to Al’s toy barn and he shows his leadership skills as well as coming up against an old enemy. This is a great look at Buzz especially when he meets another Buzz and he realizes what he must have been like. (10/10)

buzz

Jessie: Cowgirl who was the star of the show with Woody, she wants to be out of storage but has to convince Woody to stay with the group. She has one of the most devastatingly sad backstories, because of her owner but still keeps her enthusiastic nature. Add the excitement level need being way too happy. (10/10)

 jessie

Stinky Pete: Wise old man who is part of the collection that has never been out the package. He turns into the villain of the piece by making Woody stay after he figures out he should go back to Andy. Showing the jealous that can build up in someone really well to show that everyone could get jealous. (9/10)

 pete

Support Characters: The support characters are all perfectly placed into scenes none more so than Hamm joking about getting a hot dog with extra ham, chips and Rex as the toy.

 

Director Review: John Lasseter, Ash Brannon, Lee Unkrich – Great direction from the three to bring us another great chapter to the animated series. (10/10)

 

Animation: Brilliant animation that has yet to look dated even after 15, yes 15 years. (10/10)

Comedy: Great laughs throughout, with some brilliantly placed references. (9/10)

Family: This one would be for all the family, it isn’t as dark as the first one which means it will be more suitable for everyone. (10/10)

Chemistry: The chemistry between all the characters comes off perfectly. (10/10)

Music: Another master class on music and song selection from Randy Newman. (10/10)

Settings: Placing our heroes into a toy store makes for extra laughs and more characters, but the road crossing works great too. (10/10)

Suggestion: You just got to watch this one. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Road Crossing.

Worst Part: Nope

Funniest Scene: Road Crossing

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: You might get a few from Jessie back story (3/10)

Chances of Sequel: Has one more made sequel.

Closing Credits Rating: Joke outtakes make for extra laughs through the credits. (9/10)

 

Oscar Chances: Nominated for One Oscar

Box Office: $482 Million

Budget: $90 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

Tagline: The toys are back in town.

Trivia: According to rottentomatoes in 2007, this is the best reviewed movie of all time.

 

Overall: My least favourite but still an improvement on the first

Rating 96