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.

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.

Fantastic Four (Review) and Five Ways to Fix the Franchise

Fantastic Four Cast list: Milles Teller as Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic Kate Mara as Susan Storm/Invisible Woman Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm/the Human Torch Jamie Bell as Ben Grimm/The Thing

Fantastic Four Cast list:
Milles Teller as Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic
Kate Mara as Susan Storm/Invisible Woman
Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm/the Human Torch
Jamie Bell as Ben Grimm/The Thing

A Marvel Movie so Bad that Stan Lee Didn’t Cameo!

Fantastic Four are superheroes created the possibilities of the 1960’s space race by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. It was also the first Marvel Comics superhero team and their nickname is “Marvel’s first family.”   There have been three live action Fantastic Four features: 1994 never released version, 2005 Fantastic Four, and 2007 Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.  The new Fantastic Four is directed by Josh Trank and it’s a terrible movie.

Reed Richards and Ben Grimm meet as kids and become best friends.  Ben and Reed are at a science fair where Reed successfully teleports a toy plane to alternate dimension.  Dr. Franklin Storm and his daughter Sue Storm see the experiment and offer Reed a scholarship to the Baxter Foundation.  Dr. Storm answers to Harvey Elder, the chief officer of the foundation, where he is growing tired Storm’s failures. Reed and Sue semi-bond before Victor Von Doom is brought in to ultimately help Reed with the design and Dr. Storm’s son, Johnny, helps the trio build it. They successful test the gate and a chimpanzee travels to another dimension, but Elder wants to bring NASA for help. Johnny, Victor, and Reed are pissed that they are not going to be the first people to travel to another dimension. Reed calls Ben and he, Reed, Victor, and Johnny go the alternate Dimension. Victor gets killed in accident (apparently), and Susan trying save the three guys get caught in the accident that allows the four of them to develop powers.

The movie is watchable because it has elements a good Science Fiction movie. However, the movie is completely awful structurally, tone, and plot wise. The first act is enjoyable but the second act it quickly jumps off a cliff and the third act falls into a black hole. The first develops the Ben and Reed relationship solidly but disappears after he goes the Baxter foundation.  The movie goes from being a film about a friend helping his best friend complete his science project to lets explain through dialogue.  There are no action sequences in the movie. Honestly, I couldn’t care about the team or their story. However, I did get pull back into the movie when Ben and Reed had a brotherly dynamics with each other. For example, “You were my best friend” Reed tells Ben. Ben replies, “I am too different now.” The story should have focused on the team.

Fantastic Four is not fantastic. There is no chemistry between the actors. Ben and Reed have a decent relationship. Ben and Johnny have no personality. Milles Teller is really flat in the movie. Sue was somewhat entertaing but she is a flat character too. Dr. Doom is turned into a joke and gains no connection with the audience. He literally shows up and blows people’s heads off with his telekinetic powers during the third act.  His final plan to destroy the world while trying to protect the alternate dimension from human exploitation.  The ending fight doesn’t add any pay off. Iron Man 2 had a better ending fight than the Fantastic Four. The problem with the movie that isn’t fun. It’s not even cheesy fun.

Fantastic Four gets a 1.5 out of 5 for being watchable. There is a sequel scheduled for June 9th, 2017. I do have a list on five ways to fix the franchise.

Five Ways to Fix the Franchise!

  1.  20th Century and Fantastic Four’s creative team need to come a general agreement on the story, tone, budget, and script.
    1. (there were reports surfaced about Fox stepping in and forcible rewriting the script, cutting the budget, and forcing reshoots. There are set reports of Josh Trank being drunk while shooting and in the editing room…now this is only rumor.) I noticed choppy uneven pacing throughout the film. I’m not going to trash anybody or the studio. However for the sequel, the studio and Fantastic Four’s creative needs come to a general agreement about agree where to take the story, the budget, on a spec script, and the tone of the movie. Fantastic Four is a colorful property that does have a fantasy elements in it. The characters such as Ben and Johnny have colorful personalities.  The Lord of the Ring movies were set in a fantasy world and have pretty humorous scenes or dialogue with different characters such as Gimili and Legolas, or Merry and Pippin. These characters added a lot humor to action scenes and exposition that is one of the reasons why Lord of the Rings is beloved.
  2. Bring in Fresh Blood
    1. Marvel Studios has knack for finding a director or writer that brings something new to every film. James Gunn directed a hilarious science action comedy with Guardians of the Galaxy. The first Thor was very Shakespearean and Captain America: Winter Soldier was political spy drama. Fox needs to start getting pitches from directors or writers who can bring life and rejuvenate the characters and story. Fox needs to stick with that direction and give their support to that filmmaker. A independent filmmaker would probably be the best option due to indie films focus on characters.  The characters and the situations they are put into drive the story. The director and the writer need backing of the studio. Let the audience and critics if they will like the movie.
  3. Keep the cast
    1. The actors playing the Fantastic Four are great young actors. It might have been more story and script issues that might prevented chemistry between the actors.  Johnny Storm and Ben Grimm are two of the most dynamic characters in the marvel comics.  A great story will situations or scenes that makes the team will come together and form a bond. The fight with Doctor Doom didn’t nail this but the end scene of dialogue really nailed team dynamic. That’s the movie fans want to see. They want to see that interaction. Fans and Audiences want to see superheroes use their powers to save people because it gives the audience a sense of hopefulness while walking out of the theater.
  4. Bring a villain
    1. Fans and critics don’t need Dr. Doom has a villain again.  Fox needs a writer and director who will search through the comic books and find Fan Four villain that unknown to the public (U-Foes or Thundra vs. the Thing, the Frightful Four anybody). New heroes or villains grab a worldwide audience’s attention. Something new and fresh might equal success. Fox also has collection of characters that could be villains that been made in successful movies.
  5. Bring in the X-Men
    1. Deadpool vs. The Fan Four anybody! Deadpool is a victim of government experiments. He could be going around eliminating anybody involved in his experimentation after his movie or be hired by the government to capture the new Fan Four. Galactus is also a powerful villain in the Fan Four’s history that really does take more than just the team to defeat.  Magneto vs. Galactus anybody? Who doesn’t want to see Johnny Storm sparing with Wolverine or Reed Richards and Professor X have a chess match discussing human evolution.   Magneto and Doctor Doom team up?

Ant-Man Review

Ant-Man is one of the best stand alone Marvel movies. It’s hilarious and a really touching redemption story.

coop on the scoop

Ant-Man-Poster

Edgar Who?!!!

Marvel Studios and their associates has a great reputation of making fun action orientated superhero movies. Ant-Man, their newest movie, is another classic blockbuster from Marvel but…it is very different from the rest of the films. Ant-Man is a character driven heist movie. It also completes Marvel’s phase 2. Ant-Man stars Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Corey Stroll, Evangeline Lilly, and Peyton Reed directing it.

Scott Lang, Paul Rudd, is an ex thief struggling with the life on the outside. He is unable to find or hold a job because of his previous criminal record, although the public seems to admire him for his criminal actions. He is unable to see his daughter, Cassie. Scott, his best friend, Luis (Michael Pena), and Luis’s gang of thieves (T.I. & David Dastmalchian) break into a house to steal the contents of a vault hidden in a basement. Scott finds the Ant-Man suit. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas)…

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Max (Review)

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The Boy Dog Adventure Gets Lost in the Shuffle

Max is a military service dogs that can sniff out bombs or weapons.  Humans have trained dogs like Max to search for drugs, firearms, or other devices for centuries.  These dogs are a lot like the K-9 units in police forces except their job is a lot more dangerous.  The animal, and their handler usually bond and the bond lasts for the animal’s lifetime.

Max and his handler, Kyle, are serving in Afghanistan.  Max’s primary job is to search for weapons or other harmful objects can be used against the American forces.  Kyle is killed in action, and Max suffers from post traumatic stress disorder. He is incapable of working with other military handlers. The commander of the training facility where Max and Kyle were trained contacts Kyle’s family.  The commander tells the family that Max will be put down. Kyle’s family adopts Max but it’s their youngest son, Justin, who has to take care of him.  Justin is a moody teenager that feels neglected by his father and overshadowed by his fallen brother.  However, Max is able to help Justin find to find himself but there is a threat from Kyle’s past that is dangerous and wants to harm Max.

Max is an average enjoyable movie. The dog who plays Max steals the show.  His scenes with Justin are the most enjoyable parts of the movie.  The actor who plays Justin is rather good. He shows a ton of emotion and anger but his screen time getting to know Max is cut short. Justin’s love interest is played by a good actress too. They have a good chemistry together and Max reacts to it their chemistry. The trio actually make the film watchable.  However, despite the three actors and their performances the movie is lame.

Max should be about Justin and Max; however, this plot point gets diluted by multiple subplots, cheesy dialogue, poor acting, and unlikable characters.  One of the multiple subplots in Max is that Justin illegally rips video games and sells them.  His relationship with his father is non existent because the father is a complete jerk. His character would be fine for an adult film but for a family orientated film…he sucks the enjoyment every time he is on screen.  The father played by Thomas Haden Church who is one of the best character actors in Hollywood. The mother has like 10 lines of dialogue and really has no story arch. The friends of Justin and the antagonists of the film do a poor job of acting. The friends especially take away from the Max and Justin story arch.  The dialogue can be horrendously cheesy that will make your brain spin.

Max gets 2.5 out of 5. The studio should have focused on the Dog and the Boy.

New Spider-Man and New Director announced

We Got a New Spidey!!!!

Marvel and Sony announced today their new Spider-Man, and the director attached to Make the Marvel Cinematic Spider-Man movie.  Spider-Man will be played by Tom Holland. Jon Watts, a newer younger director, will be helming the most important Marvel Cinematic Movie to date the new Spider-Man movie. Marvel Studios and Sony will be financing the film.

Tom Holland is a nineteen year old kid from England.  He starred in the Impossible with Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor. He earned critical praised for his acting in the film (clip above). He is set to star in Ron Howard’s new film In the Heart of the Sea coming out on December 11th, 2015 which also costars Chris Hemsworth who plays Thor. Holland is considered to be one of the best up and coming acting talents in Hollywood. His first appearance as Spider-man is rumored to be in Captain American: Civil War coming out on May 4th, 2016. (Personally, I’m hoping Spider-Man will be part of Doctor Strange with Benedict Cumberbatch playing the lead role. Dr. Strange will be set in New York so it logically makes sense that Spider-Man will appear in the film. They are also extremely good friends in the comic books.)

Jon Watts is a newer director in Hollywood. He has helmed two major feature films, Clown and Cop Car.  Clown came out in February and it received praised from critics. The film is about possessed clown suit that turns its wearer into a murder. Cop Car comes out in August and has received praised from critics. Kevin Bacon stars in the movie who pursues two kids that have stolen a cop car.  Watts clearly has a background in the supernatural and crime drama.  His Spider-Man film will be an action  crime superhero flick.

The new Spider-Man movie comes out on July 28th, 2017.

Arrow Nanda Parbat (Review)

Brandon Routh as the Atom

Brandon Routh as the Atom

Arrow (The Superhero Show Where No One Keeps Secrets Anymore)

Arrow might have officially taken the drop to CW drama land. It has ceased from being a superhero show and turned a network predictable television show.  Is Arrow a superhero show anymore because this episode a waste of a writer’s time? Last season, every episode had a solid hook where the finale minute of the episode would make you wish you could speed up time to binge watch every remaining episode. This season on the other hand has suffered a lull in keeping focus on the central story.

Thea Queen decides to turn her father, Malcolm Merlyn, over to the League of Assassins. Oliver Queen takes issue with Thea’s decision and decides to travel to Nanda Parbat to save Malcolm.  Thea decides to tell Laurel Lance and Nyssa Al Ghul about how she killed Sara Lance. Ray Palmer keeps working on his Atom suit. Felicity tells him to take a break, and they end up together in bed. After that Ray magically solves his suit problem and ends up flying away like Iron Man.

John Barrowmen as Malcolm Merlyn  John Ramsey as John Diggle  Stephen Amell as Qliver Queen

John Barrowmen as Malcolm Merlyn
John Ramsey as John Diggle
Stephen Amell as Qliver Queen

Where to begin…the episode had its intense moments and great entertaining moments. The storming the stronghood of Nanda Parbat was awesome. Malcolm beating the crap out of Laurel was entertaining. He told her that she had delusions grandeur.  The action sequences were great but this show is no longer about Oliver Queen and his team fighting to protect the city. They fight and bicker amongst themselves.  The writers ended the mid-season finale on a great cliff hanger and instead of continuing that excitement. Arrow keeps feeling like a soap opera.

All of the characters bricker and yell at each other.  Oliver Queen no longer fight bad guys but fight themselves. Ra Al Ghul and his league are a great villain. The writers have made them feel lackluster and non threatening.  What really pisses me off too, this episode ended on Ra Al Ghul offering Oliver his position. Ok, Oliver Queen is no Batman.  I saw this plotline coming all season and it is annoying. Oliver Queen doesn’t deserve this title. He has only been back to Starling City for three years.  He isn’t a proven successor to Ra Al Ghul yet. The creative team of Arrow is jumping the gun.

Overall, this episode lacked tension, a clear focus, and it was filled with high school drama. I give Nanda Parbat 2.5/5.