Movie Review: War Dogs *****

movie war dogs

War Dogs is a Jonah Hill movie about civilians who sell arms during war time. It is a true story. A couple of buddies reunite a few years after high school and discover that anybody can buy and sell military equipment to the government. There is a lot of money to be made by being the middle man who puts the buyers and sellers together without ever directly handling the merchandise. They start small, but find a connection of a lifetime that could make a huge score. There is some shadiness, fear of double-crossing, and skirting of foreign and domestic laws that get them into a lot of trouble. They find a unique but ridiculous solution to their problem that just might work.

Jonah Hill is one of my favorite young actors. I liked his role in this movie. The story is real–that is what made it intriguing. The plot was set up and unraveled very well. The locations were seedy, not glamorous as many other movies project. The acting was very good and the soundtrack was outstanding. I loved this movie. 5 out of 5 stars.

Published in: on August 19, 2016 at 11:20 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

Movie Review: Sausage Party *

movie sausage party

Sausage Party is a dirty animated movie starring Seth Rogan. Imagine if all of the items in a grocery store had life, personalities, and dreams. All of them are waiting for the day when they are purchased by a customer to be taken to the Great Beyond where they will be removed from their packaging to interact with other groceries and have a good time. Life in the grocery store is a big anxiety party until one of them is returned because it was the wrong flavor. He reveals that the Great Beyond is not what everyone dreams, and what goes on there is like being in a horror movie.

First off, this is a Seth Rogan movie. Secondly, it is a raunchy animated movie. Leave the kids at home. The movie was amusing. I liked the concept of groceries with hopes and dreams who are trapped inside of their packaging. This could have been a great movie if it had been done by Pixar and kept the romance, without all the cussing and sexual innuendo. I don’t know who keeps giving Seth Rogan millions of dollars to make crappy movies, but he keeps churning out awful pictures that people, like me, go to see anyway. There were 9 people in the theater at the 7:00 show on opening night. I wanted it to uproariously raunchy and funny. It wasn’t. I laughed a little. I liked the idea, but hated the finished product. I’d be stretching to give it 2 stars, so it’s a 1 out of 5 stars movie.

Published in: on August 19, 2016 at 11:19 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

Movie Review: Suicide Squad ***

movie suicide squad

Suicide Squad is a DC comics superhero movie. Gotham City is concerned that if a powerful being like Superman or Batman were to go rogue, how would they defend the city? The answer is to take convicted criminals and have them do the dirty work. Of course, they could eliminate the mercenaries at any time by igniting an internal capsule bomb, so the criminals are forced to do their bidding. Other super villains attack Gotham City and the Suicide Squad is tested.

Very interesting concept in handling crime with criminals. I was introduced to new comic book characters like the instant icon, Harley Quinn. A new Joker had a good look and a limited part, while Batman made a cameo appearance. Most of the rest of the characters were new to me. They did a decent job of introducing the new cast and told a decent story. I still didn’t like it. Too many new characters with insufficient backgrounds and an incomplete story line. I loved Joker and Harley Quinn, but I didn’t like the movie very much. Barely worth 3 out of 5 stars.

Published in: on August 19, 2016 at 11:16 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , ,

Movie Review: Free State of Jones *****

movie free state of jones

Free State of Jones is a Matthew McConaughey movie about the American Civil War. A Confederate soldier watches his kin die. In bringing him back home to be buried, he starts thinking about why they are at war. He doesn’t own slaves and the slave owners are exempted from fighting to reinstate slavery that would benefit them. He decides the Confederacy is not what he stands for as a man, so he deserts and defends women and children against pillagers in his home county of Jones, Mississippi. Soon he is joined by runaway slaves and more deserters. Eventually, they get a large enough following to declare their own state. They call it Jones and defend it against Confederate soldiers until the war ends. Further problems ensue during Reconstruction and the struggle for true freedom continues.

This is a little known true story that tells about one man who disagrees with his country’s decision to go to war and what this one man does about it. Rebelling against your rebellious nation is a concept I had not thought had happened in our history. The story is very well told, but moves very slowly. It touches on many social issues and tells about historical eras surrounding the war that are familiar, but not necessarily recognized for what they actually allowed. The acting is good, the story is very interesting, and the history lesson is fantastic. I loved it. 5 out of 5 stars.

Published in: on August 19, 2016 at 11:15 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

Movie Review: Star Trek Beyond *****

movie star trek beyond

Star Trek Beyond is the latest movie in the Star Trek saga. Young Captain Kirk and his crew are trying to save the universe once again from a really bad guy. The bad guy is hiding in a hard to get to place and is developing weapons to destroy the Federation. Kirk and his crew must stop the assault before the inter galactic peace is broken.

I love everything about Star Trek. I especially like this new cast. Another new adventure for the crew of the StarShip Enterprise was very well done. The characters are familiar, the special effects are great, and the story was good with a brand new nemesis who was easy to despise. 5 out of 5 stars.

Published in: on August 19, 2016 at 11:12 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

Movie Review: Jason Bourne *****

movie jason bourne

Jason Bourne is the latest in the Bourne movie series. Jason has lost a lot of his memory, but some of it is coming back. He is investigating new programs IronFist and BlueDream while trying to find out more about his past. The CIA is trying to take him out. But why? He remains one step ahead of them as he travels across Europe and America. A final confrontation in Las Vegas ends the movie but leaves room for another sequel.

I love all things Jason Bourne. I like the character. I like the operations. I like the cat and mouse game. I like the intelligence, the technology, and the chase scenes. This movie has plenty of all of that. It would help to have seen the previous Bourne movies, but any mentions of information from the previous movies are handled very well for newcomers. The plot was easy to follow. The action was intense. The final chase scene was spectacular. It involved a muscle car and an armored truck in Las Vegas. Matt Damon is my favorite modern actor. This is not the best of the Bourne series, but I still give it the full 5 out of 5 stars.

Published in: on August 19, 2016 at 11:09 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

Movie Review: The Legend of Tarzan *****

movie legend of tarzan

The Legend of Tarzan starts with the former ape man having been domesticated and educated in Europe as John Clayton AKA Lord Greystoke–a high society white man who has married Jane, the woman who discovered him. Exploitation of his homeland in the Congo of Africa causes Tarzan to go back to try to save the wild animals, the natural resources, and the native tribes. The bad guy needs Tarzan to complete the takeover of the Congo, so Tarzan and Jane are manipulated until a conflict puts them in a bad situation that will make the difference in the future of the Congo.

The movie has a lot of flashbacks that tell how Tarzan was adopted, grew up, and coexisted with wild animals. So anyone who has never heard of Tarzan can follow the story. The movie is mostly about the attempt to take diamonds from the primitive central African continent at any cost. Alexander Skarsgård plays Tarzan and has an incredible physique–he is shirtless through most of the movie–my wife liked him a lot. The story is historic fiction that is worth seeing. The computer graphics are just average–lots of gorilla scenes and swinging from vines. The cast was good, the bad guy was evil. I liked the movie and agreed with its PG-13 rating. 5 out of 5 stars.

Published in: on August 19, 2016 at 11:02 am  Leave a Comment  

Movie Review: Jem and the Holograms ****

movie jem and the holograms

Jem and the Holograms is a movie from last year that is now playing on HBO. The cartoon character from the 1980s is a real girl. Jem and her sister are orphaned when their geek dad dies. They move in with their cousins and spend time singing and playing musical instruments together while this extended family struggles to survive. Jem’s cousin secretly takes a video of her performing an original song. Unbeknownst to Jem, the video goes viral. Nobody takes credit for the hit, until a shady promoter finds her and signs her to a contract and plans a big opening mystery tour. Scheduled appearances around L.A. create a buzz that young people want to see who the mystery performer is, while Jem looks for messages her dad has hidden all around town. The girl group breaks up, and everything seems to be falling apart until a final dramatic ending.

This movie was rated as one of the biggest movie flops of 2015. They averaged just 14 people per screen during their widely distributed opening week. This movie was aimed at the pre-teen/early teen demographic–they didn’t respond, even though the story is good, the fashions are fun, and the soundtrack is excellent. There is a sidekick robot that is pretty goofy, but was necessary to tell the story, so I was OK with it. There are several cameo appearances that I enjoyed very much. There are bonus scenes after the credits that are worth watching and let us know that there could be a sequel. The story is very predictable, the acting is just alright, the casting was just alright. I still liked the movie enough to give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Published in: on August 19, 2016 at 10:59 am  Leave a Comment  

Movie Review: Independence Day: Resurgence ***

movie independence day resurgeance

Independence Day: Resurgence is the sequel to the original movie from 1996 about aliens trying to destroy Earth.We didn’t know that a distress signal was sent out as we kicked the aliens’ butt the last time. It has taken 20 years to travel the great distance between our worlds so they could take their revenge and steal our resources. The aliens have evolved in that time and are an even bigger threat than our last encounter. However, the Earth was united over this battle and has leaped forward in progress, knowledge, and technology by dissecting captured equipment and learning from it. But have we progressed enough to stop them? Remember, they have evolved, too.

This was an appropriate movie to be viewed over our Independence Day weekend. The story was well told, most of the characters were different with some good resurgent actors, and the action was good. The plot was easy to follow, and the computer graphics were good. It was a fun movie to watch on the 4th of July weekend, I liked it, but didn’t love it. Only 3 out of 5 stars.

Published in: on August 19, 2016 at 10:53 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

Movie Review: Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates *****

movie mike and dave need wedding dates

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates because these adult siblings get out of control trying to attract women at family functions. Each get-together gets progressively worse, so when their sister announces that she is having a destination wedding, it is decided that maybe if these guys have real dates (that they are trying to impress) this family function may be pulled off without incident. However, their dates turn out to be as bad or worse at being buzz kills at family friendly public events. Chaos ensues as the girls get a free vacation while the guys try to placate their families. Meanwhile, everybody grows up a little bit and may become a little more responsible.

This movie deserves its R rating for drinking, drug use, sex, and nudity. The plot is simple. There is a lot of deception that is dramatized very well. The acting is good–I love Adam Devine and Anna Kendrick from Pitch Perfect in this anti-wholesome role. The story is well told. The situations are funny. I laughed a lot and had tears rolling down my cheeks several times. This movie will not win any academy awards. It is meant to be a Summer adult comedy. They succeeded. I loved it. 5 out of 5 stars.

Published in: on August 19, 2016 at 10:50 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,