Movie Review Spiderman No Way Home

By the time I watched this movie, I had heard so much hype surrounding it and so many good reviews that the movie had an uphill battle to climb.  This movie has crushed all pandemic records and proved that if you focus on presenting a good story and making a good movie, people will go to watch it (yes, I’m specifically referring to Marvel under the Disney umbrella, whose products have left a lot to be desired of late and they seem to have lost their way).

 

Spoilers ahead, so be warned.  What this movie had in abundance was a nostalgia factor, bringing back almost every Spiderman villain from the previous iteration of Spiderman movies.  They skipped Venom so as not to confuse people with the current Venom and Rhino, who was just lame.  Having Doctor Strange in this movie also worked.  My favorite part of the movie was not just bringing back the Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield to fill their previous roles as Spiderman, but when the three Spider Men worked together to thwart the movie’s villains.

Movie Review: Matrix Resurrections

I’m not sure that I was actually anticipating a good movie, given the subpar releases that were Matrix 2 and 3, but I was expecting more than the illogical, convoluted, and often times dull movie that was Matrix Resurrections.  There was only one compelling scene in the entire movie.  In this movie, Neo is back in the Matrix, resuming his old computer generated life, but this time he’s a software developer who created this incredible, ground breaking game called The Matrix.  They are making a new version of the game twenty years later, and one of the team members working on the game said that the first Matrix was so incredibly revolutionary and mind bending.  They should never have made the second and third versions of the game, and now the company they work for (Warner Brothers) is going to make a new version of the game, so they might as well take part in it.  That basically sums up the real life aspects of this movie.  The second and third movies should never have been made, and this last one is basically a poorly crafted money grab.

 

The action scenes and the special effects are remarkably worse than the original even though the technology of movie making has increased so much in that time.  So many aspects of the plot don’t make any sense.  Some of these include the whole reinsertion of Neo and Trinity back into the Matrix.  They both died in the third movie.  Dead is dead.  You can’t reanimate a human corpse, even if you are sophisticated, self-aware AI.  The humans now work with machines for inexplicable reasons, and are perfectly fine with most of the human raced enslaved in pods.  Agent Smith’s role in this movie was never defined.  He seemed to do things for the sake of doing things.  Oh, and apparently Keanu Reeves deplorable acting skills haven’t shown any signs of improvement over the last couple of decades since the first movie.

 

Do yourself a favor and skip this movie.

Movie Review: It Chapter Two

Movie Review: It Chapter Two

The Second Part to It was fighting a losing battle from the start.  First off, it had a lot to live up to.  It Chapter One was perhaps the second-best Stephen King adaptation ever made behind Jack Nicholson’s The Shining.  It also had the issue that the source material from King’s novel was inferior.  Almost all of the good parts from the novel took place when the protagonists were kids.  I read the book many moons ago, and all of the stuff that was memorable was the flashbacks scenes when the kids took on Pennywise the first time.

So, this movie had quite a bit, working against it.  One thing was very clear.  This movie was not nearly as good as Chapter One.  Given how good the first chapter was, that doesn’t necessarily make this a bad movie.  And ultimately, it wasn’t bad.  It just wasn’t great.

The bad:  The chills and creep factor, while admirable, didn’t quite measure up.  There was a bit of redundancy to them, and there was no new ground being broken.  Now for the really bad.  What they did with Richie Tozier’s character was ridiculously stupid.  It did not fit who he was, did not make a damn bit of sense after watching the first movie, and was just thrown in to appease special interest groups.  It really brought the movie down for me.  I also didn’t like how they portrayed Mike Hanlon’s character.  He was jumpy and unstable, not at all the way his character is meant to be.  In the novel, he’s the most rock-solid of all the characters.  Finally, the whole part of the Native American ritual was just dumb.

The good:  I really enjoyed the selection of actors, in particular, James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain.  The actors overall were really top-notch and delivered great performances.  And the portrayal of Pennywise was terrific.  The movie had some good laughs to break apart the seriousness of the movie.  There were some good horror elements as well, and I thought a fitting ending.

Overall, I give this movie a thumbs up.  It wasn’t great.  It could have been done better, but it was still solid and worth watching.

Movie Review: Jumanji the Next Level

Movie Review: Jumanji the Next Level

The first Jumanji movie told the story in its entirety, and there was no real reason to make this movie other than the first movie was surprisingly successful and the studio behind it wanted to capitalize on that success.  Given that caveat, this was basically a fun, popcorn movie that didn’t require much deep thought.  It was much like the first movie, except this go around the returning characters started off knowing about their avatars and the game they were in with the exception of two new characters, played by Danny Devito and Danny Glover.  An odd choice bringing in two older, veteran actors, but it worked.  They gave the movie a new element by mixing up the avatars from the first movie.  I especially enjoyed the Rock trying to portray the Danny Devito character and Kevin Hart trying to portray his older character as well.  The actors seemed to have fun with it and overall put in strong performances.

Otherwise, the plot of the sequel was similar to the original.  They once again had to travel through dangerous lands with an ultimate objective and trying to avoid getting killed three times in the process, a difficult task given that the two older characters seemed clueless about the game.  There were fun and silly moments in this movie, certainly nothing deep or thought-provoking, but if you liked the first movie, you will like this one as well.