Insidious: Chapter 3 ( 2015)

insidious 3

Dave’s 3-Word Review: A better direction.

As far as horror films are concerned, I’ve always had a more or less opposite reaction than the rest of the world when introduced to Insidious. I thought the first film in the franchise was okay in theory, but in reality, it tried too hard to physically show us the demons and entities – and even when it did – those creatures just looked too silly to take seriously. A part of the concept I loved, and I always enjoyed the overall look and tones of the films, but I was never a fan of the series in general – nor was I ever scared. The second movie just got worse…it was even more laughable than the first in so many ways. Suddenly, Insidious: Part 3 is released…and so I sigh out of frustration. Do I really want to see it? No – but because it is a serialized horror series – I have an obligation to offer my two-cents. So without further ado – what did I think? Part 3 was easily the best in the franchise – but it’s still not without its faults.

The third film in the series is actually a prequel, as it introduces us to an all-new family with an all-too familiar issue. A young girl misses her mother, who recently passed away – so she seeks solace in a psychic who focuses on speaking to the dead. Only…once she opens that door, she lets other things OUT. Creatures of unimaginable malice start wreaking havoc on this poor young girl’s life – one in particular that leaves horrific footprints wherever it goes, and cannot speak.

This one can most certainly be identified with the first film for a variety of reasons, the only reason why I say this one is particularly better than the first is mostly out of preference. I’ve now accepted that this series loves to show you the demon, and I’m just going with it. Secondly, the creatures are actually creepy in this instead of classic red-face demon and scary old ladies in black wedding dresses. I mean – this creature has…some kind of tar on his feet and cannot speak – which in and of itself is weirdly original and absolutely terrifying in my opinion. I don’t usually like movies that show you what you’re supposed to be afraid of, but I think they did a pretty good job here this time.

Also, I like the characters this time around. The entire cast of the first two movies, in my opinion, can’t act if their life depended on it. They just come off as douchebags that simply try too hard. This time around, we were given an all new cast, other than the psychic, and they were simply wonderful and realistic. It ultimately felt like a different movie, but absolutely welcome in the same universe…kind of like a spin-off, actually.

I have to say, I’m impressed. Very rarely do I go into a movie completely expecting it to bore me to tears or disappoint me in some god awful way and walk out happy. Out of all three films, this is the only one to actually be effective in its jumping scares – because the jumping scares are actually good. It’s not amazing by any standards though. I won’t be hiding under my covers tonight or anything – but for what it’s worth, it’s spooky during the experience of watching the thing – which is more than what I can say for any of the other movies. Maybe that’s a preference thing. Maybe it’s not, but if there’s any film I would tell you that you should see in the franchise – it would be this one.

The Good:

Simply put, this is the best film out of the franchise – it had better/creepier creatures, better direction, better characters, and better scares.

The Bad:

It’s still very unessecary to continue the franchise. Plus, saying Chapter 3 is a prequel is a little hard to follow. Can’t you say…prologue or something?

The Visit (2015)


Dave’s 3-Word Review:
M. Night’s Roots.

It seems these days that you need to understand M. Night Shyamalan to actually respect him anymore. Like those who are fans had to have signed some sort of fanclub contract that contractually obligates them to watch all of his movies and give them all thumbs up while the rest of the world randomly hates him. I am an outspoken fan of M. Night. There are those that need some help here and there, and it was clear that even he felt obligated to make another movie to please his fans every other year…and every time…the affect they had  got lower and lower. He lost his way, but you could always sense his spirit in every one of his films…with the exception of The Last Airbender. You always knew it was his work, which is something you can’t take away from him. The Visit  is M. Night’s trial run to return to his roots. Using his own money and a small budget with very little advertisement, he tried to do something we’ve missed for a while. Did it work?

The Visit is ultimately about a couple kids that decided to visit their grandparents whom the’ve never actually met. Years ago, their mother left home forever and never looked back. So the kids decide to meet their grandparents and create a documentary to document everything, since the daughter is a film enthusiast. When they get there, they find out the grandparents act a little (or a lot) strange at night, and the things they do just keep getting creepier as the days go on. Is it oncoming dementia due to old age, or is it something more sinister?

I first heard about this thing last year with a random report about M. Night keeping his next film under wraps, but wanting to go back to his roots. That’s it, that’s all I read, and it’s all I needed to know. That was exciting and fresh news. Did it satisfy? Yes and no, but for the most part, I thought it was well done and well balanced. It’s not really award winning or in the same realm as his first winning trio of films – but it IS in the same realm as The Village – which is saying something at least in comparison to some of his latest works. I’ll tell you it’s weakest link – the fact that it’s found footage/mockumentary style…but I’ll tell you why you shouldn’t complain about that either.

It is found footage, but you shouldn’t focus too strongly on that. First of all, you need to remember that M. Night himself was a childhood film enthusiast – just like the kids in this movie. Kids love video cameras in general and like to play around with them – which these kids did – and you can tell that collectively speaking, the girl and boy were somehow a shoutout to M. Night’s own childhood. His best films were movies that played tribute to his inspirations and dedication to art as a kid – and The Visit did the same thing – in general. So it sort of plays out like a regular found footage movie and sort of doesn’t. At the end of the day – you do feel that M. Night spirit that you secretly love.

Next, you should know that horror and suspense are not the only things introduced in this film, because comedy was also there. It was a very realistic sense of humor that was put there on purpose – to make the audience laugh. You may or may not think it was trying to be serious, but the innocence of the kids creates a light prespective in contrast to the dark and creepy tones – evening out the balance of the movie. Whether you think it needed that balance or not, I think it fits pretty well.

The Good:

The Visit  really does bring M. Night back to his roots, and I’m truly glad that I saw it. It had a lot of great creepy and suspenseful moments that rose to the occasion, escalating throughout the film.

The Bad:

Not everyone knows M. Night’s background, so they might see found footage and bat their eyes – ready to give it a bad review off the start. Secondly, I believe the film took a while to get into it – maybe taking that story and character development a tad too far. I think we needed something to ultimately happen sooner. Finally, the little boy in the movie was supposed to be annoying…and I think he may have been too good of an actor in that regard. Take that as you will

Intoducing ‘Dave Examines TV’!


Hey guys, Dave here. I just wanted to let you know about my sister site, Dave Examines TV! It’s still in the works, but coming along quite nicely. Some of you probably have already known about this development, but I examines both TV and movies now, it’s only smart to inform one site of the other.

How it works is this – I’ll watch a brand new TV season, and decide right then and there if it’s good enough to watch. How the decision is made is quite simple. After the first episode, I decide if one episode is good enough to come up with a verdict, or I can also decide after another episode or two. The rankings go like this:

  1. Watch It
  2. One More to Make Sure
  3. Two More to Restore
  4. Skip It

Also, this is brand new – Thursdays will have the age-old feature #TBT otherwise known as #ThrowBackThursday. On this day, I go through and talk about TV shows that are now off the air, but still great shows to talk about. I have a list of 104 shows for that feature currently – that’s at least two full years of material (if I keep up with it).

I’m still coming up with new ideas, but check out the site – follow it, tell me what you think and if you think any other features would be great for it. Until then, I await your presence. Peace!

The Wedding Ringer (2015)


Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Hitch 2: Groomsmen.

Kevin Hart…he’s quite a character. Whether that’s a character you personally love or a character that you would rather hate…that’s up to you. I find him funny enough…but he’s kind of like a black Melissa McCarthy – he does the same shtick every time. That’s sometimes the downfall of comedians in film – they don’t quite understand that an acting range can be a good thing…it changes things up! Instead, what you have in The Wedding Ringer is more or less Kevin Hart being Kevin Hart in a movie that is more or less a combination of other like-films. Similar movies that come to mind are Hitch andThe Wedding Singer. The originality goes out the window before the movie even starts, so what does that mean for the rest of it?

The Wedding Ringer focuses on Josh Gad’s character, Doug, as he prepares to marry the girl of his dreams. There’s only one problem – he not only needs a best man – but also seven extra groomsmen as well – so he turns to a professional best man to hire. From here, it is Mission: Impossible because pulling something so extravagant off in so little time is what Kevin Hart’s character calls a “golden tux”, which has never been done before. Can they pull it off? Only time will tell…or spoilers if you enjoy those.

This movie is so ridiculously predictable that I could throw up. That predictability comes from countless romantic comedies and similar-plotted films before this one. There was no originality, just rehashed things you’ve probably already seen before – unless you’ve been hiding under a rock your whole life. Predictability, however, doesn’t necessarily have to mean a bad thing. What’s more important for a film like this to achieve – is a good segway to get from Point A to Point B. We can guess how it’ll end, but how it gets to that part is just as important sometimes – and that includes this film.

What I can tell you is that I like the concept and I like the characters. It’s somewhat believable and unbelievable at the same time, but that’s okay. All of the nine main guys work really well together to pull off this “heist” of sorts – and for such a large cast, they were able to maintain a good level of diversity throughout each character – and that’s not always an easy task. Kevin Hart may be the same, and maybe even Josh Gad, but when they blend with everyone else…it kind of works. Unfortunately though, too much of the actual comedy falls flat.

It’s true – I did giggle here and there while watching this film – but other than that, it was a quiet experience for me. I never laughed out loud, and primarily held a straight face through-and-through. I don’t think the movie itself is bad, but the execution for a partially promising feature was poor…if I’m being honest. As a movie goer, I wanted more from the movie and received less, and that’s always something you want to avoid as a filmmaker – so all in all…this movie failed. I didn’t hate it, I was just a little disappointed in it.

The Good:

There’s nothing wrong with the concept for this film. It’s a little bizarre, but that sometimes works for it really well. The characters work together rather well, and all-in-all, I find this movie to be watchable.

The Bad:

Unfortunately, watchable isn’t the best way to describe a movie. You want something captivating – whether that means exciting, funny, emotional, thrilling…whatever. This movie was only watchable, because the rest of it was predictable and unoriginal. In algebra, predictable and unoriginal equal “not funny”.

King Arthur (2004)


It’s always been a mystery to me why the 2004 King Arthur seemed to fade away without a great deal of attention. But given the growing excitement over the upcoming Guy Ritchie film Knights Of The Round Table, it seemed like a good time to recap it. King Arthur earned only a 30% critic rating at Rotten Tomatoes, but was more or less approved of by the general public (60% of viewers gave it the thumbs-up). Part of the reason for the split opinion might have been just how atypical the film was as an Arthurian legend.

King Arthur starred Clive Owen in the title role, presenting a decidedly different take on ancient Britain’s mythical hero; in fact, this take was that the hero might not be mythical at all. The film introduces a curious backstory (which is somewhat based in real history) involving a Roman named Artorius charged with commanding a group of soldiers who owe their lives to the Roman Empire as a result of a previous conflict. Specifically, the group must serve a predetermined sentence protecting the remote Roman outpost of Brittania, a land divided between Romans, Saxons, and native tribes.

That basic setup is introduced with a boy Artorius being told about his future, and we’re next introduced to the grown version, commanding a dwindling population of men who have become a sort of gruff version of the knights of the round table. Most of the big names are there: Lancelot, Gallahad, Gawain, and Bors, but instead of focusing on protecting the land with knightly honor, the group is primarily focused on earning its freedom by completing its sentence. Upon the very day they’re to do so, the Roman Empire charges them with a final task: retrieving a prominent heir in the Catholic church from a northern settlement under threat from a massive Saxon invasion.

It’s not exactly the quest for the Holy Grail, right? And yet, King Arthur does become a sort of quest film. The group must travel north, retrieve the heir, and escape back to the south. All the while Arthur displays, in a very different way, the same qualities we know from old stories and myths: he’s honorable to a fault, skilled with a blade but more admirable for his compassion, and he values the lives of his knights above all else. It’s these characteristics that drive the film as Arthur seeks to achieve a near-impossible task without sacrificing his men, and almost accidentally begins to form the beginnings of a British nation in the process.

Despite being a largely forgotten 2004 adventure flick, King Arthur actually holds up pretty well today. Antoine Fuqua’s direction carries hints of influence from Gladiator (which is never a bad thing), and while the film arguably takes itself a little too seriously, it’s also not afraid to present an Arthur devoid of cheesiness. But what interests me now about it is how it’s determinedly unique takes on a few key characters will differ from what we’re about to see in Guy Ritchie’s new adaptation. Three characters in particular, besides Arthur, are almost bizarrely presented in King Arthur: Lancelot, Merlin, and Guinevere.

For his part, Lancelot (played by Ioan Gruffudd) is angry and vengeful. Lancelot is often designed as an edgier character than Arthur, but this version is more bitter and selfish, furious over his life of servitude and willing to go the extra mile for his King only when absolutely necessary. So far, it’s impossible to guess whether or not this take will be upheld at all in Knights Of The Round Table, because the film’s IMDB page shows no Lancelot having been cast, and none of the rumors surrounding the plot include Arthur’s most famous knight. It appears that he may be saved for a later version in what’s expected to be a lengthy series.

Merlin was also presented very oddly in King Arthur as a sort of woodland mystic in charge of the good-hearted, but barbarian, native Brits. This is a far different take than perhaps the most traditional image of Arthur’s wizard, which is more in the vein of a wizened Dumbledore type. Then again, we’ve also seen Merlin as a sort of all-powerful demi-god. InterCasino presents the famous wizard in this light in its “Merlin’s Millions” game, which may be familiar to those who explore fiction through gaming, and indeed it is one of the few modern examples of games based on Arthurian legend. And then there’s the younger version of Merlin seen in the show on BBC One! But as for Ritchie’s upcoming series, Merlin, too, is anybody’s guess. A report by CinemaBlend claimed that Djimon Honsou wou
ld take up the role of a wise advisor to the King, though Honsou is listed now as playing Sir Bedevere. It could be that it’s a Merlin-like role not imparted to an actual wizard, perhaps in an attempt to keep the series more grounded.

And then there’s Guinevere, arguably the role that King Arthur strayed the most with. Keira Knightley turned the part on its head, depicting a fearsome warrior princess roaring into the thick of battle, as opposed to the gentle, beautiful queen of lore. Enchanting young Spanish actress Astrid Berges-Frisbey is set to play Guinevere for Guy Ritchie. While it seems like a breakout role for her, it’s also an unknown. Given her naturally gentle appearance and the more traditional look of Charlie Hunnam (who’s playing Arthur), we could be in for a more familiar Guinevere.

At any rate, I recommend a re-watch of the 2004 King Arthur whether or not you’re excited for the upcoming Guy Ritchie version. My take is that while it has its ridiculous moments, it’s an underrated film and a welcome fresh take. Oh, and Stellan Skarsgard as a Saxon warlord is one of the more under-appreciated villains in recent history!

Rating: 80/100

Any higher would be taking a little too much personal preference into account (I love Clive Owen and grew up on King Arthur stories), but I still believe this is a rock solid battle epic with strong performances all around.

Guest Review by George Riley

True Story (2015)

True Story

Dave’s 3-Word Review:
A true exclusive.

Love them or hate them, but comedians nowadays try really hard to be good in all types of roles, including drama. Take James Franco for instance – he has some seriously lacking roles out there because, like Will Ferrell, he just doesn’t care and wants to have a good time. At the same time, a few winning performances leak through the crack that remind you on just how good of an actor he is – or others like him. True Story, for example is a movie starring James Franco and Jonah Hill in double the drama, but double the surprise – because this movie is pretty good.

Okay, so True Story  is ultimately about a New York Times journalist, Mike Finkel. Now Mike is a really a really well-known journalist – that is, until he’s fired for getting one main detail wrong. Now his identity is being stolen by someone accused of murdering his whole family. So what do you know – a new story is being written about this guys incredible tale, but did the guy take his name out of flattery, or is that a signal that he’s just a liar? Only time can tell, and because this actually is a true story, you can go ahead and read it. But for argument’s sake, let’s just say you don’t.

I wasn’t sure before seeing this if I’d even like it. I’m not usually fond of true stories, and I’m even more questionable when it comes to comedic actors doing drama…you just never know. You know? I have to say though, James Franco did an absolutely wonderful job portraying Chris Longo – I was almost…ALMOST blown away. My personal favorite role of his was in 127 Hours, and I can easily add this as a close second. I can’t really say why, but there is a reason. Jonah Hill on the other hand…not sure. He tries very hard, and does a great job, but you know Jonah’s voice is born for comedy, and it’s hard to take him serious at times. I have to say though, it’s not a huge problem. Not at all. These two had some crazy good chemistry and contributed rather well to this mysterious plot.

This is a mystery I can get behind, especially because it’s a true story. What’s so interesting about true stories is – you know they’re true more so if the mystery is unpredictable – which this film is. It’s depressing to say most mysteries are predictable, but in a way – that’s true. We are running out of ideas. This film keeps you on the edge of your seat and most importantly, keeps you guessing. To make this movie just a little more entertaining, I’d suggest to future viewers not to look up the story behind the film. Going into any movie with a blind eye makes everything just a little better off.

The Good:

I’ll say this, True Story is a great movie that is equel in parts with its drama, suspense, and mystery. The acting that both Jonah Hill and James Franco present are both wonderful and unforgetable. This really is a true story, and it’s one of the few I like.

The Bad:

I can’t really think of many problems this film faced…it did almost everything right. Apart from some few minor faults here and there, I guess my only problem would lie in Jonah Hill…his voice is still a little off-putting in the world of drama…he still sounds funny and like a comedian. His performance was wonderful, his voice…can’t do anything about that.

Waterworld (1995)


Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Mad Max: Galactica.

Way back in the ancient times of 2006, me and my family ventured off to Los Angeles, where we visited some truly remarkable places within Universal Studios – including a watershow based off this movie…or was the movie based on that show? Anyways – the show was a lot of fun, but I had my reasons not to watch the actual movie, I’ve heard two main things about Waterworld1. It’s really long, and 2. It’s just plain boring. With long movies, it’s always something I consider a give or take scenario. It could be great, or like I mentioned above, boring. What I came to realize is that yes, it’s a little lengthy, but only a little – it was much longer when it was released twenty years ago. Back then, 90 minutes was standard. Nowadays, it’s not as long when compared to practically every other modern movie…so that’s a good sign. What about the movie itself?

Waterworld is esseentially about just that – a world of water. It’s the future, and the polar ice caps have melted, covering the planet in water – leaving only a good handful of survivors that will do just about anything for you bare essentials – and if you can get a jar of dirt or fresh water – you’re basically a god among men. Kevin Costner plays “Mariner”, a loner due to his evolved state of being – and he gets thrown into the middle of a bunch of drama when a group of pirates, or smokers, speak of a mythical place called “dry land” – and a young girl has a tattoo on her back that apparently points the way to the land. The whole movie is basically an action adventure rat race to get there first.

I’m actually glad I saw this movie, especially after not seeing it for the last twenty years. This movie may have been prime when it came out, but it now reminds me of two pretty popular series – one – Battlestar Galactica, and two – the most recent Mad Max film. It looks and feels like Mad Max because of how post-apocalyptic, violent, crazy, and primitive the survivors act. The plot, on the other hand, reminds you of BSG because of the mission. In BSG, the team is looking for the mythical place called “Earth”, and this particular story is “dry land” – both things that exist in our world, but both things that could technically not exist in their specific world. I liked that though – those are storylines that I can get behind and cheer about.

I’m honestly a bit surprised at the fact that this movie never got a sequel or reboot. I guess that was less important back in 1995, but I can still see them rebooting this series and taking advantage of things like the practical effects used in the film – and just the whole concept of a watery planet – and the things you’d have to do in order to survive. They delved a little into that, but you just know there’s a lot more to it, there’s a lot more they can do with it than they did. I’m not complaining, I’m just open to seeing more.

Now, because this was mid-nineties, we have some very basic issues regarding villains. They were corny, no, they were cartoony. There was a few moments where the main villain, played by Dennis Hopper, said lines that could be compared to Claw in Inspector Gadget – “I’ll get you next time, Gadget!”or maybe, “Noooooooooo!” – it was okay, just a bit overdone and not as believable. I’d rather have something a little deeper and darker – this is a post-apocalyptic world…it’s impossible to imagine a world where this is possible – let’s make it even worse by creating an evil, insane villain! It’s not a huge problem, just something I thought was a little tacky.

The Good:

The movie was a lot better than I previously thought it would be. It’s a post-apocalyptic film made in 1995 set in the future that doesn’t involve tin-foil suits or flying cars – but instead something primitive – like it probably would be if the world was forced to survive in a quick apocolypse.

The Bad:

What can I say? It’s a little aged, but only a little. The only thing that really feels aged about it is how it’s a bit corny in how the actors react to a few scenes. Other than that, it’s not bad.

Big Game (2015)

Big Game

Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Finnish the movie!

We’ve all probably seen Finnish movies here and there, but I don’t think we really see them as Finnish movies, instead we just try to see them as movies. Period. It gets a little more complicated when the spoken language is something other than English, but when you have something like Big Game, where half the film is clearly American, it doesn’t make that big of an impression as a Finnish one – that being said, this is the most expensive Finnish film ever made, and for the most part, I think it’s really well done and fun. Plus, where can you go wrong with Samuel L. Jackson? You can have the corniest movie in the world, or the most epic – but his participation in the thing is always welcome – in my opinion, that is.

Big Game stars Samuel L. Jackson as the President of the United States by the side of Oskari, a Finnish boy in the middle of a coming-of-age tradition. He must go into the wilderness alone to kill something to prove he is a man, just like everyone in his family has done before him. When the President’s plane is shot down, the President teams up with the young boy as his own security force is out to kill him for some unknown reason.

There is a lot of themes that are going on at one time in this film. First of all, it’s a fish out of water flick. The President is lost in the wilderness without the aid of anyone but a small child. Secondly, it’s a coming-of-age flick with the young boy. Thirdly, it’s an adventure flick. Fourthly, it’s a man-against-man as well as man-against-nature film. Finally, what you’ll mostly notice is the surprisingly well-done mix between the American side of things, and Finnish – both readily apparent – and both perfectly balanced in sweet harmony. It’s a weird combination, but personally…I like it, because even though you have so many different themes, they are all interchangeable – and the plot never strays away from what it was going for from the very beginning – not for the President, and not for the kid.

I will say…I’m not so sure about Samuel L. Jackson in this one. It’s not necessarily that he did a bad job, but we have seen similar acting from him, and similar roles from him. It wasn’t anything new or impressive…and to be honest, it was quite predictable if I’m absolutely honest. His performance, that is. I read that the director originally wanted Mel Gibson in the role, my only guess as to why that didn’t happen is because of all the negative gossip surrounding Gibson’s life. However, I do actually believe Mel Gibson would have portrayed a better, and more memorable president. In fact, I think it would be more comparable to maybe Harrison Ford in Air Force One. Had he taken the role, I think Iwould have rated this just a little higher, if not a lot.

I wasn’t so sure about this movie before I saw it. The poster looks like the movie is more joking than it is serious, like it was a sequel to Snakes on a Plane or something, but after watching, you’re impressed with how good it actually is. Don’t watch the trailer though – it does happen to show a little more than it should.

Here’s an interesting fact for you – you watch this film expecting to watch it solely for Samuel L. Jackson, but you end up watching it for the kid. Sure, he has his issues with acting now and then, but for the most part, you love the character. He’s just so different and unique, it’s hard  not to love. Especially because he has a personality that anyone in the world, not just Finland, can relate to – like the disappointment in his father’s eyes – being alone when no one else believes in you. It’s quite impressive, and shines louder than Samuel L. Jackson’s performance. In the end, Jackson was just…there.

The Good:

The movie. No kidding, the movie is surprisingly well done for a Finnish film, and the adventure/man v. man/man v. self/man v. nature, and all of the coming-of-age stuff was all stitched together amazingly. You’ll be as impressed as I was after you watch it.

The Bad:

I mean, Samuel L. Jackson wasn’t exactly bad, per se, but he was probably the corniest and most overdone part of the whole thing.

Ant Man (2015)

Ant man

Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Baskin Robbins Approves.

Now, I’m a guy that appreciates a good superhero flick. Especially if it’s Marvel, and undoubtedly if it’s an addition to the MCU. When I first heard of Ant Man, I was pretty worried…it wasn’t ever a movie I truly cared to watch, but I knew I had to watch it because I’m just…devoted to the MCU. Now that I’ve seen it, I can see that for the most part, I was right in predicting how the movie itself was going to feel, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing – just different. After all, when the MCU was just starting out in 2008, I felt the same uncertainty when faced with Iron Man, yet another hero I wasn’t completely knowledgeable on. So in that light? How was Ant Man?  It was “okay”.

Ant Man stars Paul Rudd as Scott, a burgler by trade, but currently trying to clean his life up for his daugher – who already sees him as her own personal hero. Meanwhile, Hank Pym is trying to recruit him to be the Ant Man, a hero that wears a powerful suit that shrinks the wearer into the size of an insect – while still maintaining their human strength. The reason Hank needs him to become the Ant Man is because an old assistant of his has recreated the technology – which would be destructive in the wrong hands. Scott needs to become the Ant Man to recover the technology and save our world.

So, the first interesting element comes from my only understanding about the character – that Ant Man is Hank Pym. That’s the only thing I really knew about the character, so I was surprised to see this Scott guy take the role on. But here’s the thing, the rest didn’t surprise me. Not in the slightest. You can blame the trailers (I only ever saw one trailer) or you can do what I do – blame the early 2000s. This movie feels like a movie released in the eary 2000s – you know? Corny because it’s trying a little too hard to be serious when it’s clearly a silly concept? The whole thing feels quite silly, but doesn’t present itself that way. Guess what else happens? It become predictable – movies in the early 2000s that felt like this were always predictable. Fun, but predictable, and the same applies here.

I have to say – I am a little disappointed. This doesn’t feel like a movie that belongs in the MCU, honestly. Apart from a few familiar faces, this felt like a Marvel movie from that other movie company. I could definitely see Ant Man helping out the Fantastic Four or Deadpool, for example…not so much the Avengers. The Avengers are serious, but also funny – which is why I understand where this movie is coming from – but I think, in a way, it was trying way too hard to fit into that universe when it probably would have fit a little better as more of a comedy.

It was a bit of a gamble, that I understand. I wasn’t so sure of Iron Man or Guardians of the Galaxy at first either, but as it is – those are among the highest rated movies I have in the MCU – so as a blind member of the audience, I was prepared for anything – I just wished it fell more in line with the afore-mentioned films than what it did. That doesn’t mean it’s bad. It’s fine, it’s decent, just not incredible. It’s a good time at the movies, it’s not boring, so don’t think that’s what I mean or anything. It’s just a little silly – and should have embraced the sillyness.

The Good:

Ant Man isn’t a bad flick, it’s decent and has some fun action sequences – and I do believe Paul Rudd fit into the character a lot better than I ever thought he would. Same goes for Michael Douglas. They were all pretty good.

The Bad:

It was just so silly. It was silly and because they didn’t embrace it like they should’ve – it turned pretty corny, and comparable to movies released in the early 2000s. Those movies were fine when released – this feels…dated somehow. My main complaint, however, is just the fact that they didn’t embrace their biggest characteristic.

Pitch Perfect 2 (2015)

Pitch perfect

Dave’s 3-Word Review:
A little pitchy.

Pitch Perfect, man, I was a fan. Now there was a musical-type film that not only I could enjoy, but so could a larger percentage of people all around. Men and women alike can appreciate what this franchise has going for it. It’s funny, bold, and is really easy to fall in love with regardless on if you actually like musicals or not. Plus, if you really paid attention, right after the release of the first film – all of those songs you liked hearing from the cast…the original versions showed back up on the radio again after who knows how long. Coincidence? I think not. I’ve been waiting anxiously for the second movie, and here it is, Pitch Perfect 2.

The second film in the franchise focuses once more on the Borden Bellas. They are still singing and striving to make it out on top – that is until one of their members accidentally bares all while the president was watching – which kicked them out of the competition. To get back, they have to join a different, much tougher and global competition – where they come face to face with a wickedly talented erman accapella champion team. All the while Anna Kendrick’s character tries hard to fit into a new internship where she’s trying to become an actual musical producer…but does she have the chops to do it…or is the only thing she can do mashups?

So, I guess the real question is – how does this one compare to the other? That’s not always an easy question. In some ways, it feels absolutely perfect, and in others…it fails in comparison. I think in general, the comedy felt a little stiffer in this film than the others to pave way for more songs and deeper storylines. It still had the same type of humor as well as your favorite comedic characters, but something about the whole thing felt off and dull, unfortunately. If you watched the first movie completely for the nonstop comedy – you are definitely not going to find that in the second, though there is still a good amount of humor in it. If you like the first film for maybe the dramatic elements/romance/or music – there may still be some hope for you yet.

It’s true, this film focused a lot more on the dramatic and musical side of things. You obviously like the renditions made in the first, so there is a lot more the second time around. If I had to guess, there’s probably about twice the music here. Before you ask, yes – the music is very well done. The real question is if you like the first movie’s selection in music or the second. I personally prefer the first, but again – it’s just a preference thing. I personally just like how the selection in the first movie felt like they escalated with the tone and feel of the film – I didn’t get that here. Also, for the dramatic side of things…it’s very similar to the first in terms of Anna Kendrick trying to do her thing, but being weird because of it. Only this time she’s older, so her choices are more…responsible. I have no problems about that.

Here’s where I really get a little iffy. A lot of the side characters in the first movie get their own side-stories, as well as an introduction to a new girl, Emily (Hailee Steinfeld), who is more or less the Anna Kendrick for this movie – girl with big dreams, likes to sing, blah blah blah. The side-characters from the first getting their own stories…that’s okay…not necessary but okay – Emily’s character? I did not like. She wasn’t a horrible character, exactly, but she was unbelievably dull. She made no impression on me whatsoever. In no way, shape, or form did I ever find her unique or special. In my opinion, she was just…there…in the background – which is really bad, considering the role she held was kind of important!

The Good:
I think Pitch Perfect 2 is a fine film that fits well within the universe the first film set out. It’s still really funny, has great songs and singing talent, and a deep enough story to make you care about the characters.

The Bad:
I see the second film as a fun movie to watch, but not something you’ll really remember in the long run. It’s funny, but the first wasn’t just funny – it was hysterical. It barely even let you settle down before making you laugh harder the next time. This movie, the newer characters that have been added aren’t that great, espeically Emily who kind of dulls everything down all around.


"TheMarckoguy" is the alternate name for Markus. Markus is a human who reviews stuff.

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