Suicide Squad (Review)

suicide-squad-Harley and Deadshot

At Least the Team is Good

Can a director write a script in six weeks and make a really good blockbuster? Suicide Squad tries to answer that question and it is resounding no! Warner Bros. signed David Ayer, director of Fury and End of the Watch, in September 2014 to write and direct the Suicide Squad. Warner Bros. had the film scheduled to start filming in April of 2015 and to be released in August of 2016. David Ayer had 7 months before filming. He had to research the characters, write a decent script, cast the team (which most of the team December of 2015), and start pre-production in 7 months. Steven Spielberg, John Ford, or any other famous Hollywood Director could have completed this task Warner Bros. and again the studio failed to supersede Marvel’s success.  Suicide Squad turned out to be a mess but is saving grace are the characters and the chemistry that the actors display and really helps bond the characters together.

Superman is dead! The world doesn’t have anybody to protect it. Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) believes that she can coerce a group of supervillains to fight for her and protect the world against other metahumans who want to destroy it.  She manipulates Rick Flagg (Joel Kinnamann) to fall in love with June Moon (Cara Delevinge) to keep her alter-ego, Enchantress, at bay. Enchantress quickly turns on Flagg and Waller. Waller seeking a way to stop Enchantress recruits the supervillains known as:  Deadshot (Will Smith), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), El Diablo (Jay Hernandez), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney),  and Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) to fight for her.  The supervillains must work together and prevent Enchantress from destroying the world.

Suicide Squad is a clock with a lot of broken parts but casting, visuals, and action is the parts that work. Visually has a dark setting but the lightening allows humor to be infused within the movie. The action is spectacular. Deadshot can take out an army of baddies by himself by him being so accurate. Harley beats people up with her bat and looks sexy while doing. Captain Boomerang has different kind of boomerangs that help him.  El Diablo and Killer Croc are the muscle with superhuman powers or strength that can rip enemies to shreds or burn them to a crisp. The action sequences are very entertaining because the team works together and each add humor some situations.

Will Smith nails Deadshot. Smith delivers a tormented heart felt performance  and is really the leader of the Suicide Squad. Margot Robbie is fantastic as Harley Quinn. She embodies all of the characteristics of the Harley. Jai Courtney is very entertaining as Captain Boomerang. Boomerang is such a ego maniac, snarky with every character, but also a badass. He really can kick ass in the film.  Jay Hernandez really portrays a tormented Diablo. The audience can tell that Diablo is super powerful but holds back and the movie explains that reasoning quite well. Adewale is really good Killer Croc. He has a physical presence on screen that makes his character very formable.  However, the real star is Viola Davis as Amanda Waller.  Joel Kinnamann is great as Rick Flag but the leader and villain of this movie is Amanda Waller. Davis portrays Waller as ruthless, non-empathetic, and might be a bigger sociopath than the Joker. She will kill anybody to keep a secret.  Suicide Squad has major issues.

The Suicide Squad, despite the character performances, really is unevenly paced with pointless plot.  The pacing is uneven because the movie starts with a bang with the introduction of the team in the prison complex with different musical songs introducing them then switches to Amanda Waller with her song being Sympathy of the Devil.  The song selections were perfect introductions to the characters and their personalities. Waller is the devil so her song is perfect for her. The film switches to Amanda Waller narrating why we need a team metahumans because Superman is dead. Characters actually narrate about other characters during these flashbacks.  The audience spends about twenty minutes getting introduced to these characters and we don’t get to see Waller recruit the team and see their abilities until about 30 minutes in the movie.  The film switches to the Enchantress villain and it keeps switching. The Joker even has a subplot in the film about finding Harley Quinn.  The Joker is another big problem.

The Joker doesn’t belong in the movie. He is a distraction in the storyline, and Jared Leto’s acting is a major distraction.  His Joker is a mixed bag.  His Joker and Harley have a very co-dependent relationship which is nailed perfectly but on the other hand, his mannerisms as the Joker are not creepy and rather predictable. His best scene by himself might be in the night club flashback using Harley as a distraction to kill one of his henchman. However, he is not really memorable because the Harley flashbacks and his storyline take away from the enjoyment of seeing the Suicide Squad as a team together. I walked to the bathroom during a Harley and Joker flashback because the scene was so disinteresting.

Suicide Squad is a bad movie. Everybody is to blame besides the main actors not including Jared Leto as the Joker. The action sequences are good but not memorable. This DC movie has humor in which is a positive. Will Smith, Margo Robbie, and Viola Davis really help make this film entertaining enough to watch.  Warner Bros. Studios does deserve the blame because they expedited the developmental process to complete with Marvel and their marketing department put a emphasis on the Joker. He is in the movie for like 10 to 20 minutes and seriously takes away from the screen time of the team in the film. David Ayer also deserves some blame for adding the Joker in the movie.  However, Suicide Squad deserves a sequel where Deadshot, Harley, and the whole team deserve to come back and face a worthy villain that is entertaining. Suicide Squad gets 2.5 out 5.

 

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Star Trek: Beyond Review (no spoilers)

Star-Trek-Beyond

It’s All About the Characters

Star Trek: Beyond is the third installment of the rebooted Star Trek franchise. JJ Abrams doesn’t direct the film but handed the reigns over to Justin Lin. He directed three of the Fast and Furious movies and the second season of True Detective.  Simon Pegg and Doug Jung wrote the film after Robert Orci left due to creative differences with Paramount. Star Trek: Beyond excels and expands on character development of members of the crew. The film has had a tragedy surrounding it as Anton Yelchin, Lt. Chekov, died in motor vehicle accident before the movie’s release.  Leonard Nimoy, the original Spock, died last summer and the film is dedicate two both actors who play fan favorites.

The crew of the Enterprise is in the third year of their five year mission. The crew seems to be happy and be enjoying each other’s company despite being away from their different home planet. Kirk and Spock are conflicted though and are considering different options. The crew visits a new Star Base but it is interrupted when they receive a distress call. Kirk and his crew come to the aid of the call but are attacked by a deadly enemy.

Star Trek: Beyond has two minor weaknesses. The weakness is the first act is a set up and build up for the second act when the conflict really gets going. However, the first act (like 20 minutes) isn’t bad. They are entertaining 20 minutes because the audience is introduced to a new alien species and the comradery between the crew. The first act is definitely entertaining. The other minor weakness is the villain. He doesn’t get enough screen time to have interactions with key members of the crew. Star Trek: Beyond does explain the villains motivations which is a bright spot. The film so many bright spots.

The direction and storytelling is a major bright spot. Justin Lin directs a wonderful science fiction action movie with tons of heart. His action sequences are shot perfectly and are so entertaining. The film has hand to hand combat action sequences, chase scenes, and a great sequence involving a classic Star Trek relic.  Lin also brought a Star Trek television show setting to the big screen which made audience enjoy this film better. The best thing about Star Trek: Beyond is the dynamic between crew members and new characters.

The interaction between the characters make this blockbuster so memorable. Kirk and Chekov spend time together on screen. They both really form a solid bond. Scotty meets Jaylen, the new female alien. The interactions between McCoy and Spock or Kirk or even both of them. Bones really drives the heart of the story. He delivers the best lines of the movie, and Karl Urban is the perfect casting for Bones. The rest of the cast are perfect in the film as their characters.

Go see Star Trek: Beyond because the movie is very entertaining, and critics and audience love the film. Star Trek: Beyond gets a 4.0 out of 5.

The Secret Life of Pets review

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A Pets Lover Dream Film

The Secret Life of Pets stars a variety of pets living in New York City. The film was made by the same studio who made Minions and the Despicable  Me series.  Louis C.K. voices Max, a Jack Russell Terrier is the center of the film. His friends are Mel the Pug ( Bobby Moynihan), Buddy the Dachshund (Hannibal Buress), Chloe the Tabby Cat (Lake Bell), and Sweet Pea the Parakeet (Tara Strong).  They all live in the same apartment building in New York City and spend time together during the day when their owners are away.  The Secret Life of Pets is an animated comedy for all ages.

Max lives with his owner, Katie (Ellie Kemper), and they are pretty inseparable. Max’s friends are: Chloe, Sweet Pea, Buddy, and Mel, and they spend time together when their owners are at work. Katie decides to adopt a new dog, Duke the Newfoundland (Eric Stonestreet). Max is extremely jealous, and two pets fight over Katie’s affections.  Duke and Max eventually fight so much that they get lost in New York City and caught by Animal Control. They are rescued by Snowball the rabbit (Kevin Hart) and have to find their way home.  In another apartment across from Max, Gidget the Pomeranian (Jenny Slate), notices Max is missing and sets out to find him. She teams up with Chloe, Sweet Pea, Buddy, and Mel along with a Red-tail Hawk named Tiberius (Albert Brooks)  and Buddy the disable Bassett Hound (Dana Carvey) to find Max. Max and Dude have to invade Snowball and his pet hating human gang and the animal control officers to find their way back home.

There are two minor negatives to the film which are the hot dog factory sequence, and the film has points of slowing down to much.  The hot dog factory sequence was unnecessary and strange. Yes, dogs love hot dogs but the dream sequence is so out there that adults might take a bathroom break during it while the kids laugh during it. The film really starts off with a fast pace introduction to each pet and continues until the hot dog factory sequence. It slows down after that. These are nitpicky criticisms but the film is very enjoyable.

The Secret Life of Pet is a great comedy. The voice cast is great and animation of New York City might be the best of any feature animated film. Albert Brooks, Louis C.K., and Kevin Hart are very memorable as their animated characters.  Kevin Hart really infuses his persona while voicing Snowball and causing the audience to pay attention to him more. The film is written in such a unique way that the audience can believe each pet are friends and each pet have their shinning moments.  The dynamic between Duke and Max are a sibling rivalry and it involves throughout the movie.  The film is very colorful, and each pet mocks each other being either a cat, dog, or even prey if you have a hawk.

The Secret Life of Pets gets a 4 out of 5.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (review)

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More Turtle Time less Human Time

Despite critics panning the 2014 Turtles, audiences still flocked to see the movie because of one thing: IT’S THE TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES FOR GODSAKES.  These are characters that non geeks and nerds love because the four Turtles have unique personalities and great chemistry together.  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows is the newest entry in the film franchise. Yes, the critics are panning the movie but honestly their opinion shocks me because this movie is a lot better than the 2014 reboot.  It might be the best Turtles movie ever.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows begins with the four turtles: Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello, and Michelangelo still conceal themselves from the public eye to fight crime in the New York City. They fight during the night, and train during the day or be teenagers and do nothing.   April O’Neil (Megan Fox) is there only connection to the human world. She is currently tracking Baxter Stockman (Tyler Perry), and believes he is working with the Foot Clan and Shredder (Brain Tee). Shredder has plans his own to make an army to combat and get revenge on the Turtles.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows does have major flaws. The dialogue can be so over the top like “I am going to be a detective someday” as Casey Jones yells when he gets suspended from the force. He also taunts Shredder in the movie. Who taunts Shredder? Seriously, major plot hole, the Shredder is the most dangerous person on the planet and could kill Casey in a heartbeat. Shredder is a throw away character. He literally does nothing. Krang is god awful. He doesn’t do much either.  The positives outweigh the negatives.

The main positive are the Turtles and their chemistry. They make the movie fun because of their personalities. The Turtles have to deal with conflicts within the team. The additions of Rocksteady, Bebop, and Baxter Stockman are another positives. Rocksteady and Bebop are formidable foes against the Turtles. They do fight once, and the winner is not who you expect. Stockman is portrayed accurately by Perry. He’s manipulated by other’s with power like he usually is. Perry makes the scenes with him more entertaining because his commitment to the character.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows isn’t a perfect movie. It’s more entertaining their X-Men: Apocalypse and Batman V. Superman. The audience walked out of the theater smiling and enjoying the movie. On a side note, I had to convince someone to go see X-Men: Apocalypse last night. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows gets a 3.5 out of 5.

The Nice Guys Review

The Nice Guys  Staring:  Russell Crowe Ryan Gosling Written and Directed by: Shane Black Produced by Warner Bros.

The Nice Guys
Staring:
Russell Crowe
Ryan Gosling
Written and Directed by: Shane Black
Produced by Warner Bros.

One Good Buddy Cop Movie!!!!

The Nice Guys is written and direct by Shane Black. He wrote the Lethal Weapon 1 and 2 along with directing and writing Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Iron Man 3.  The movie stars Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling as Jackson Healy and Holland March.  The film is set in 1970’s Los Angeles.  The Nice Guys is a hilarious film.

Holland March is a single father private eye investigator that is currently looking for a girl named Amelia. Jackson Healy is for hire enforcer who Amelia hires to detour March’s attempts to find her. Healy is attacked at his apartment by a few thugs looking for Amelia, and realizes there might be more than meets the eye to Amelia. He hires March to find her, and together they start to uncover a conspiracy about Amelia’s occupation.

The Nice Guys is very entertaining and comedic film. The chemistry between the two main actors really drive the film. Crowe and Gosling play off each other well and are reminiscent of Danny Glover and Mel Gibson in the Lethal Weapon series.  The audience laughed a lot when Crowe and Gosling were on screen together. The sequel could be in the works depending on the box ffice results.

Overall, The Nice Guys is a well directed movie with a lot of suspense and twists. It does have slow parts like any good comedy. Crowe and Gosling work really together and definitely could appear in other movies together. The costumes and feel of the film make the audience feel they are in the 70s. The Nice Guys gets a 4 out 5.

Captain America: Civil War Review

Chris Evans -Steve Rogers / Captain America    Robert Downey Jr.  Tony Stark / Iron Man    Scarlett Johansson   Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow    Sebastian Stan   Bucky Barnes / Winter Soldier    Anthony Mackie   Sam Wilson / Falcon    Don Cheadle Lieutenant James Rhodes / War Machine    Jeremy Renner   Clint Barton / Hawkeye    Chadwick Boseman   T'Challa / Black Panther    Paul Bettany  Vision    Elizabeth Olsen   Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch    Paul Rudd  Scott Lang / Ant-Man    Emily VanCamp  Sharon Carter    Tom Holland Peter Parker / Spider-Man    Daniel Brühl Zemo    Frank Grillo  Brock Rumlow / Crossbones

Chris Evans -Steve Rogers / Captain America
Robert Downey Jr. Tony Stark / Iron Man
Scarlett Johansson
Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow
Sebastian Stan
Bucky Barnes / Winter Soldier
Anthony Mackie
Sam Wilson / Falcon
Don Cheadle Lieutenant James Rhodes / War Machine
Jeremy Renner
Clint Barton / Hawkeye
Chadwick Boseman
T’Challa / Black Panther
Paul Bettany Vision
Elizabeth Olsen
Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch
Paul Rudd Scott Lang / Ant-Man
Emily VanCamp Sharon Carter
Tom Holland Peter Parker / Spider-Man
Daniel Brühl Zemo
Frank Grillo Brock Rumlow / Crossbones

 

Is it really a Civil War?

Captain America: Winter Soldier was a giant box office hit in 2014.  Audiences came out of theaters wanting more Captain America movies. Marvel Studios announced later that year that Tony Stark (Iron Man) would be a character  in the next Captain America Film in order to adapt the Civil War storyline from the Marvel Comics.  The studio added more excitement from audiences when they announced Black Panther and Spider-Man would be added as characters.  Captain America stars Chris Evans as Captain America but also Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark), Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther), Tom Holland (Spider-man), and the rest of Avengers including Paul Rudd (Ant-Man) and Sebastian Stan (Bucky Barnes aka. The Winter Soldier).

It’s been one year since the fight with Ultron has leveled Sokovia, and the Avengers are solid cohesive team that are hunting Crossbones (Brock Rumlow, Frank Grillo). They track his location to Lagos and several Wakandas are killed when they attempt to capture him. The United Nations comes agreement called the Sokovia Accords. A governmental panel would have the authority to send the Avengers on missions, and the Avengers have no say where they go.  Naturally, this agreement causes a rift between Captain America and Iron Man. The situation becomes more complicated when Bucky Barnes (the Winter Soldier) plants a bomb and assassinates the King of Wakanda.  Captain America must decide to sign the Sokovia Accords or break the law by taking Bucky Barnes into custody, the Winter Soldier and his longtime friend, since vigilantes are outlawed.

The negatives of the film are that Vision and War Machine have little to do in the film. Vision was the coolest character in Avengers: Age of Ultron suffers a downgrade in this film. He has very little screentime, and his motivations for signing the Slovakian Accords are never fully explained. War Machine (Don Cheadle) joins the Slovakian Accords but his motivations are not fully explained either on signing the Slovakian Accords. The audience doesn’t know if it is his history with the government, his friendship with Tony Stark, or if he feels like it is the right thing to do. The other negative about Civil War is the government forcing superheroes to sign the accords. Personally, the introduction to the government wanting to control superheroes feels rushed. The film never fully resolves conflict between the two teams about governmental control.  Marvel Studios and the filmmakers should have waited to introduce this storyline by itself or waited after Thanos shows up in Avengers: Infinity Wars.  The two sides square off once and it’s a disappointment to only see them fight once.

Captain America: Civil War has a ton of positives and there are too many to describe. The two main themes are friendship and revenge. Bucky Barnes and Steve Rodgers have a friendship that stands the test of time.  The Winter Soldier is highly sought after in the movie for reasons. The government thinks he is a terrorist or Black Panther blames him for killing his father.  With all of this going on, Captain America finds himself in the middle trying to protect his friend and his belief puts him wrong side of the law.  Iron Man, Zemo (Daniel Bruhl), and Black Panther are vengeance driven throughout the film. The three characters take specific actions to retaliate something or someone based on their current beliefs or that happened in their past. The revenge plot is really the backbone of the storyline.

Spider-man and Black Panther are perfect additions to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Spider-man is nailed perfectly by Tom Holland, and he nailed all of Spider-man’s mannerisms, attitudes, sarcasm, and background. Peter Parker is a dumpster driver in the movie. Tony Stark even makes fun of him for that.  Tom Holland and Robert Downey Jr. have perfect chemistry together onscreen while playing Spider-man and Iron Man. Downey Jr. will appear in Spider-man: Homecoming next year because of the chemistry with Holland. Black Panther was the other great audition.  Chadwick Boseman had a distinct African accent. He would command the audience’s attention while on screen.  He played a vengeful forceful Black Panther.  He and Holland made the audiences buzz about their performances while leaving the theater.

Overall, Captain America: Civil War is a good movie with a lot of suspenseful action. Spider-man is so perfectly played to a T along with Black Panther.  The film does a great job in making audiences understand different character’s point of views. Captain America: Civil War gets a 4 out of 5.

Keanu Review

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Who wouldn’t want to Save This Adorable Kitten

Key (Keegan-Michael Key) & Peele (Jordan Peele) are a comedic duo that has a successful television show on Comedy Central. They have received national spotlight for their Angry President Obama skit and were invited to the White House Correspondence Dinner for the past few years because of the skit’s popularity. They have even met the President Obama because he loves their comedy sketches too. This duo transcends one type of comedy because their fan base is a mixture of different age groups and races.  It’s not surprising that Key and Peele have delivered one of the funniest comedies of this decade by starting in a film called Keanu.

Rell (Peele) is depressed from being dumped by his girlfriend but finds happiness when a little kitten comes knocking at his door.  His best friend, Clarence (Michael Key), comes over to Rell’s house to perk him up but falls in love with the kitten who is named Keanu.  Over the next two weeks, Rell’s life has had a real upswing so the he and Clarence friends have a guy’s night out. They come back to Rell’s house only to find the place was broken into and Keanu missing.  Rell and Clarence make a pact to find Keanu, and get themselves involved in dangerous unlawful activities while searching for Keanu. There are two negatives about Keanu which the ending has multiple endings and some of the jokes don’t work; however, the film is one of the comedy action movies of this decade.

The cast makes the film hilarious. Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele are two fantastic leads. They have amazing chemistry with each other and showcase their acting talents in several scenes. They really capture these moments especially they are approached by gangsters and come up with their gangster identities.  Method Man, Jason Mitchell, Luis Guzman, Will Forte, and Tiffany Haddish are the supporting cast and each have a part in the plot by being gangster. They have very good chemistry with Key and Peele also.  The five actors have scenes that add a lot of comedy to the film. The real show stealer is the cat, Keanu. The little kitten is just adorable. He is also voiced by a famous actor.  Keanu has a heavy pop culture undertone in it. George Michael and Liam Neeson are reference along with other aspects of pop culture.

Keanu is a rated R comedy so please don’t take kids to see it.  I saw a ten-year old in the theater yesterday with his two brothers.  The film stars a great comedic cast and a kitten that steals the show. Not all of the jokes made people laugh but no comedy is perfect either.  Keanu gets a 4 out 5 for being hilarious and having great pop culture references in it.