Monster Trucks (2016)

Director: Chris Wedge

Writer: Derek Connolly (Screenplay) Matthew Robinson, Jonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger (Story)

Starring: Lucas Till, Jane Levy, Thomas Lennon, Barry Pepper, Rob Lowe, Danny Glover, Amy Ryan, Holt McCallany

 

Plot: A young man working at a small town junkyard discovers and befriends a creature which feeds on oil being sought by a fracking company.


Tagline – On January 13, meet Creech

Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Family Film

 

Story: Monster Trucks starts as we see how the oil company run by Reece Tenneson (Lowe) has an accident on one of their sites which see three creatures discovered underground, where one escapes. We meet Tripp (Till) a high school student that struggles to concentrate, who works at the local scrapyard to stay away from his step-father Sheriff Rick (Pepper).

When Tripp finds the creature in the scrapyard the two become friends as it hides in his truck, with fellow student Meredith (Levy) trying to explain the biological side to the creature, while Reece is trying to figure out how to solve a potential problem to the eco-system and his oil drilling.

 

Thoughts on Monster Trucks

 

Characters – Tripp is a high school student, living with his mother and step-father, he comes off like a slacker with dreams of leaving the small town. He works at the scrapyard working on his escape with the truck he has been building, when he befriends the unknown creature he gets to go on an adventure to save the new species. Meredith is a fellow student that works with Tripp to understand the creature but her character plays out with the idea of being a damsel in distress.  Jim works for the oil company, he learns of the intelligence the creatures have and wants to help make them free not destroying their environment. Sheriff Rick is the step-father of Tripp who must try to keep up with Tripp without letting him get in trouble, he isn’t a direct enemy of Tripp’s though. Reece Tenneson is the oil tycoon that is losing money with the creatures being alive and now he will do anything to get rid of them.

PerformancesLucas Till is good in this leading role even though himself and Jane Levy both feel too old for the high school role as we have seen both in more adult roles. Thomas Lennon makes good for the extra comic relief even though most of his jokes miss, Rob Lowe is a good businessman villain too.

StoryThe story follows an undiscovered creature being found in an oil drilling location, making it a battle to see whether the oil company can be bought down before destroying the creatures home. This works for the story, it may not be the most original idea but it brings us the character we can relate too who want to do right and the ones that don’t with their greed. We get good moments of unlikely friendships coming through different locations too.

Action/Adventure/Comedy/Fantasy/Sci-FiWe hit a lot of genres here, the action comes from the chase sequences that are pure fun once you switch your brain off, the adventure takes Tripp on a journey he never imagined he would be going on. The comedy is hit or miss though but the fantasy elements are part fantasy and part a potential reality because you never know about new species. This is designed well for a family film though.

SettingsThe film takes part in and around a small town in North Dakota, this idea is that you might not make it out of this town and this shows what could happen for the characters.

Special EffectsThe effects work well enough for the film without being the absolute best because with the budget the film has you would expect better.


Scene of the Movie –
The final chase.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Meredith could have been written stronger.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun film, don’t expect greatness but just something you could enjoy with ease.

 

Overall: Enjoyable family film.

Rating

 

 

Baywatch (2017)

Director: Seth Gordon

Writer: Damian Shannon, Mark Swift (Screenplay) Jay Scherick, David Ronn, Thomas Lennon, Robert Ben Garant (Story)

Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, Priyanka Chopra, Alexandra Daddario, Kelly Rohrbach, Ilfenesh Hadera, Jon Bass

 

Plot: Devoted lifeguard Mitch Buchanan butts heads with a brash new recruit. Together, they uncover a local criminal plot that threatens the future of the Bay.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Standard Action Comedy

 

Story: Baywatch starts as hugely popular lifeguard Mitch (Johnson) and his team CJ (Rohrbach) and Stephanie (Hadera) look to make fresh addition to their elite team. The first two candidates Summer (Daddario) and Ronnie (Bass) fit what Mitch wants, commitment to the cause and no showboating. The final recruit is forced upon Mitch, that is disgraced two-time Olympic Gold Medallist Matt Brody (Efron) that is only there on probation.

With the training under way, Mitch starts investigating the increase level of a drug washing up on shore he starts using his team to look into the actions Victoria Leeds (Chopra), a rich woman that has been buying up all the real estate along the bay. As the investigation deepens Mitch must overcome his superior, the law and Victoria herself to bring the calm back to the bay.

 

Thoughts on Baywatch

 

Characters/PerformanceMitch is the lifeguard that has all the respect on the bay, the physical presence and is a born leader, he knows how to get the best out of his team and will risk his own life before theirs.  Matt Brody is the disgraced Olympic Gold Medallist who is forced to join the lifeguards and must learn to work as part of a team and stop being selfish. Victoria is a ruthless growing reputation drug dealer who is making it her aim to make the bay her empire but the lifeguards keep getting in her way. I do feel we needed more from her character because it did feel very generic. Now looking at the female life guards, this would be fair to say they are very undeveloped as characters when you compare them with two leading guys. Ronnie is the increased level of comic relief and you will either enjoy his story or hate it.

Performance wise, Dwayne Johnson is good as always knowing how to get the most out of this character, Zac Efron does continue to show he can handle comedy and uses his body for extra statement. Priyanka looks fantastic in this role and does the best she can with a weakly written role. The rest of the cast are all good without being excellent and not overshadowing the leads.

StoryI never saw the original show, I loved 21 Jump Street and I fully expected this to become the latest idea, but the story does fall short. The story is very generic which is unlikely couple team up to solve crime with the police avoiding getting involved, yes it does sound like the show. It is easy to watch though but does miss certain moments we needed to see.

Action/Crime/ComedyThe action is just what you have come to expect from the action comedy genre, there is nothing new here, the crime story is also by the books and the comedy is adult and is very hit or miss with most of the best lines in the trailer.

SettingsThe setting gives us a chance to have beautiful people not wearing much showing off their assets to grab sex appeal.

Final ThoughtsThis had potential to get to the next level but it isn’t terrible, it can be enjoyed by the fans of the actors with good moments of comedy.

 

Overall: Easy to watch and enjoyable in places.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (2014)

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Plot: Larry spans the globe, uniting favorite and new characters while embarking on an epic quest to save the magic before it is gone forever.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice Conclusion to Trilogy

 

Story: Night at the Museum 3 Secret of the Tomb starts by taking us back to 1938 when Ankmenrah (Malek) tomb is discovered saying about a curse. Move back to present day and the Natural History Museum where Larry (Stiller) is preparing for a big show but the tablet has started to corrode which makes the exhibits acting out of character.

Larry must learn the story about the tablet from an old enemy Cecil (Van Dyke). This leads Larry to travel to London with Teddy Roosevelt (Williams), Jedediah (Owen Wilson), Octavius (Coogan), Attila (Gallagher), Sacajawea (Peck) Dexter and Laaa (Stiller) to learn the secret of the tablet and along the way make some new friends from history.

Night at the Museum 3 Secret of the Tomb has story that is fitting to finish any trilogy because we get to see Larry move on the way he wanted to in his life, we also get an adventure in another famous museum bringing it over to my shores of England. This side of the story was good without being outstanding. The hardest part of this move to watch now is the final act in the London museum because of the speech Robin Williams gives will bring a tear your eye. I will say this feel like what Toy Story 3 was with the time to move on side to the story working really well, but not reaching the same levels.

 

Actor Review

 

Ben Stiller: Larry is now the ‘effects’ man within the museum but when the tablet starts corroding he must find the answers in the London museum where the adventure becomes a battle for life and death as he deals with his parenting issues. Ben is good in this leading role where he does have a few serious scenes as well as the comic ones.

Robin Williams: Teddy Roosevelt comes along on the adventure once the tablet starts losing its powers which causes him to act out of character, he continues to give the lines that shows Larry needs advice for. Robin is good in this role that is very difficult to watch in the final act.

Owen Wilson: Jedediah along with his best friend Octavius get stuck in the middle on their own adventure in the London museum, he is the cowboy character we all know and love in this film. Owen is good in this role playing to his strengths.

Steve Coogan: Octavius is Roman general that works with Jedediah in a good set of adventures that all add to the comedy involved in the story. Steve is good in this supporting role where we see his comic side shine through.

Support Cast: Night at the Museum 3 Secret of the Tomb has one of the smallest supporting casts with only a few characters used from the original and only a few added in the London museum.

Director Review: Shawn LevyShawn finishes the trilogy very well with the touching moments that work for real life events.

 

Adventure: Night at the Museum 3 Secret of the Tomb takes the adventure to London where we get what we have seen before.

Comedy: Night at the Museum 3 Secret of the Tomb has good laughs that will have things for everyone while some are good to me others missed.

Family: Night at the Museum 3 Secret of the Tomb is one the whole family could enjoy from start to finish.

Fantasy: Night at the Museum 3 Secret of the Tomb continues the fantasy elements of the story without being too different.

Settings: Night at the Museum 3 Secret of the Tomb uses the London museum which work without being anything new.
Special Effects
: Night at the Museum 3 Secret of the Tomb has what I would consider the worst effects in the trilogy where you can clearly see the CGI moments which is really disappointing.

Suggestion: Night at the Museum 3 Secret of the Tomb is one the whole family could enjoy from start to finish. (Family Watch)

 

Best Part: Williams final scenes.

Worst Part: I am a fan of Rebel Wilson I do really think she is funny but in this she comes off very awkward.

Funniest Scene: Pompeii

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: Maybe in the final act.

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $127 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

Tagline: One final night to save the day

 

Overall: Beautiful goodbye to the characters we have all come to know and love.

Ratingcard

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009)

casting ard

 

Plot: Security guard Larry Daley infiltrates the Smithsonian Institution in order to rescue Jedediah and Octavius, who have been shipped to the museum by mistake.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Big and Better Than Original

 

Story: Night at the Museum 2 starts as Larry Daley (Stiller) the former night guard who is now the owner of Daley Devices but when he learns that the exhibits from the Natural History Museum are being packed away and moved to the Smithsonian as the Natural History Museum is becoming interactive.

After Dexter the monkey steals the ancient tablet that brings them to life after dark Jedediah (Wilson) has to bring Larry to the Smithsonian to help control in the world’s biggest museum as Kahmunrah (Azaria) has taken over the museum. Larry must team up with Amelia Earhart (Adams) to solve the mystery.

Night at the Museum 2 brings us into a new museum that shows what would happen if one of the exhibits gets their hands on the tablets. It is important to show that Larry has moved on with his life but the exhibits wouldn’t get that chance. I do have to wonder what happened to the love interest from the first film who gets no mention. But back to the positive we get to look at plenty of historical characters. This is fun without being too over the top and could be enjoy by all.

 

Actor Review

 

Ben Stiller: Larry Daley has now made a name for himself in the inventing world but still visits the museum from time to time to see his friends, but when they move to the Smithsonian he has to put his uniform on one more time to save his friends from a new evil and bring peace to the Smithsonian. Ben plays his character to the level you know he can in comedy very fun throughout.

Amy Adams: Amelia Earhart is one of the exhibits at the museum that shows Larry around, she is feisty adventurer much like the real lady would have been and ends up being similar to the Teddy Roosevelt. Amy is great in this role showing she can pull off comedy next to the bigger names in comedy.

Owen Wilson: Jedediah is the cowboy friend in the museum that calls him to help them with their new danger. He is wise cracking always leaving himself into trouble. Owen as always is a good comic supporting role.

Hank Azaria: Kahmunrah is the brother of the Ahkmenrah in the Natural History Museum that wants to use the tablet for evil once he gets brought back to life in the Smithsonian. Hank is good in this villainous role we would easily be one he can always pull off.

Support Cast: Night at the Museum 2 has an even bigger supporting cast that all play different historical characters inside the museums, we get a lot of cameo like performances that all get a laugh along the way.

Director Review: Shawn LevyShawn gives us a good follow up that is bigger that original while keep the story along similar lines.

 

Adventure: Night at the Museum 2 has the learning sense of adventure following Larry through the museum.

Comedy: Night at the Museum 2 has smarter jokes going on this time with most being around historical figures, with the highlight when the villain doesn’t let Groucho or Darth Vadar join him.

Family: Night at the Museum 2 is one the whole family could enjoy throughout with jokes for everyone to understand.

Fantasy: Night at the Museum 2 puts all the historical characters into the one area where we see them all come life interacting with each other and Larry gets to live it all.

Settings: Night at the Museum 2 takes everything into the Smithsonian which helps increase the characters.
Special Effects
: Night at the Museum 2 has great effects to create all the different characters we meet.

Suggestion: Night at the Museum 2 is one for the whole family to enjoy, it has a little of everything but most importantly does have good moments of history. (Family Viewing)

 

Best Part: Darth Vadar Cameo.

Worst Part: The over long don’t cross the line.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Has one more

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $150 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

Tagline: When the lights go off the battle is on.

 

Overall: Enjoyable family comedy with a sprinkling of history lesson.

Ratingcard

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Night at the Museum (2006)

casing card

 

Plot: A newly recruited night security guard at the Museum of Natural History discovers that an ancient curse causes the animals and exhibits on display to come to life and wreak havoc.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great Twist on History

 

Story: Night at the Museum starts as down on his luck father Larry Daley (Stiller) who dreams of striking it rich decides it is finally time to get a job for now and his latest job is as a night guard at National History Museum replacing the three outgoing guards Cecil (Van Dyke), Gus (Rooney) and Reginald (Cobbs). After being given a quick tour Larry is left with one warning not to let anyone in or out.

When Larry learns the truth about what happens at the museum at night he learns to bring the different parts of history together to have a party before learning the danger that is within the museum.

Night at the Museum brings us into a world of dying interest because we do have an increasing number of history on the internet with a lot easier access. The story brings us into the idea that the history comes to life so we can all learn it but at a museum. I do think certain moment over play the childish at times but this is a family film. This is filled with fun from start to finish with a few elements that are on the serious side.

 

Actor Review

 

Ben Stiller: Larry Daley is a down on his luck father that to continue seeing his son needs to find a job when the role of night guard comes up at the natural history museum. Larry must learn to deal with all of the historical characters while a bigger problem is going on within the museum. Ben is good in this but I would say his has a few moments that come of annoying.

Carla Gugino: Rebecca is one of the employees that Larry sees as a potential love interest while the two come off as total opposites. She is studying history through her work there. Carla is solid in the supporting role without doing anything special.

Dick Van Dyke: Cecil is the man that hires Larry as he knows he and his partners are being replaced. They all plan to get rich off the museum before they go though. Dick is a solid villainous character without being too big for what is needed.

Mickey Rooney: Gus is another one of the departing guards that wants to continue to have the power the museum gives them at night. Mickey is also just a basic villain without being a threat.

Support Cast: Night at the Museum has a massive supporting cast who have their own take on characters inside in the museum with Robin Williams giving us one of his great supporting roles.

Director Review: Shawn LevyShawn gives us a film you would expect with being just fun throughout.

 

Adventure: Night at the Museum brings us into an adventure in the middle of a museum which really makes us enjoy what is going on.

Comedy: Night at the Museum has good moments of comedy that works for all levels.

Family: Night at the Museum is one for the whole family could enjoy with moments for all to enjoy.

Fantasy: Night at the Museum has good fantasy elements with the creations from history to coming to life.

Settings: Night at the Museum keeps most of the setting inside the museum which helps the elements of the story easy to follow.
Special Effects
: Night at the Museum has great effects to bring all the historical characters and creatures to life.

Suggestion: Night at the Museum is one you can watch with the whole family for everyone to enjoy. (Family Watch)

 

Best Part: Final chase.

Worst Part: Slapping scene.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Has 2 sequels

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $110 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 48 Million

Tagline: When the lights go off, it’s on.

 

Overall: Fun filled family adventure film

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