Reel Review: Star Trek – Beyond

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Woowza, welcome back to Reel Cinema Review! Today I’m going to be reviewing Star Trek Beyond!

To start, let me be honest and tell you guys that I fell asleep twice trying to watch this movie! I finally watched it all the way through, and overall I was pleased with the movie. It brought back all of the original characters from the first two films (although, I have never seen the first film). My journey with Star Trek actually started when I was a kid believe it or not. Me and my mom would always watch the tv show, but I believe that because I was so little I don’t remember too much about the series. Just memories of watching it with my mom.

Beyond takes place a little after the second movie with KHANNNNN! (I just needed a reason to type that! ), Captain Kirk is trying to give a “peace” offering to a group of these big-little aliens and they basically don’t want it. Onward, Captain Kirk and his crew basically rescue this alien woman who sent them a distress call ( Ol’ damsel in distress moment) and they find her and she says that her crew was kidnapped yadda yadda yadda…a bunch of lies… and Captain Kirk and the entire Enterprise gets blown OUT of space and crashes onto this alien planet. They find a future new member of their crew, Jaylah, who’s whole family was killed by a former soilder, Krall. Per usual, Krall is an anti hero and believes that his cause is most noble and wants to bring destruction. Blah , blah , blah, Krall dies, and Kirk saves the day. Typical Action Movie.

HOWEVER.

 

My favorite part of this movie, was the very end, when it paid tribute to Anton Yelchin and Leonard Nimoy. I could tell where they were going with it and it was very bittersweet to watch. Seriously, the ending was sweet.

Overall, the FX Makeup was gorgeous! Jaylah’s character makeup was absolutely beautiful, Krall’s makeup and transformations were epic. I really enjoyed the visual aspect of this movie and thought the environment and special effects were well done. The movie itself is very solid IMO.

 

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Reel Review: A Most Violent Year

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I forget which DVD I was watching before this movie was released on DVD, but it made this movie look much more interesting that it actually is. Talk about a waste of my 2 hours…I could have watched another movie on my list and probably been more satisfied with the cinema. Okay, to start, I thought this movie was going to be a slight Godfather rip off – I mean c’mon, doesn’t the main character look slightly like Michael Corleone – but thankfully it wasn’t. Now, I’m not thankful at what I watched because again, it seemed like a waste of time over all or rather it lasted way longer than it should have.

The main character is Abel played by Oscar Isaac and wife Anna who is the supporting character played by Jessica Chastain. Neither one of these characters drew me to to them. Abel is a businessman who owns a heating oil business and basically he’s expanding his business but he has a secret competitor who’s trying to knock him off the map. This turns out to be a make it or break it type of story where the main character is trying to succeed but has obstacles in his way and he manages to win in the end by a long shot…

Yawn, Yawn, and Yawn again.

This story offers the same archetypes we sometimes see in a crime movie :

  • The businessman who’s riding the fence with his business and doesn’t really want to cause drama and tries to still do good
  • The wife who’s oh so determined and a little bit ahead of herself
  • A rouge employee who falls in the mix and ends up getting the short end of the stick

Yeah, we’ve seen these types all before. And really, it’s not so much that we’ve seen these characters before, it’s really how long the movie is that makes you realize this movie is so so. The length causes you to reflect on  the characters in a way that makes you tired of them and then you realize that you’ve seen them before in other movies. Although, I did enjoy the aesthetics of the film and thought Chastain’s characterization was beautiful and I really liked the house Anna and Abel lived in. Other than that, I enjoyed it in the beginning then got tired of it by the fourth quarter. Also, I’m not sure why this was called “A Most Violent Year” ; there wasn’t that much violence to me…I expected more.

 

 

 

Reel Review: Inside Out

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Isn’t it funny how “kids” movies sometimes have a much better story than “adult/teen” movies?

Hello, and welcome back to Reel Movie Review. Today on the review board is none other than Inside Out is a 2015 animated movies from Pixar/Disney. Now, I had been meaning to watch this movie for some time but because of other films that had my interest I kept putting this one off. I’m a little sad to say that I wish I’d watched this sooner!

I absolutely love movies that take a difficult concept and put a simple spin on that concept and presents it in a story that seems very light but is honestly more heavy that others realize. Inside Out does just that! Like most Disney/Pixar films that are presented as being family movies or rather kid movies. I’m not sure any adult if you have them the choice between this movie and Kill Bill would opt out of watching Kill Bill in favor of this one just from looking at their DVD covers. However, most animated movie fanatics like myself who just love to find realism within movies can easily watch this and dissect it for what it really is.

The movie is about a young girl named Riley and her parents who move from Minnesota to San Francisco and her psychological changes that occur because of the move and other things. It starts out by painting Riley as a newborn baby who’s first mental emotion is Joy. Joy is personified as very hyper, optimistic, and is the leader of the other Emotions. As Riley grows older other Emotions (and really the only ones we see) – Disgust, Sadness, Fear, and Anger – are introduced. All of the Emotions work together to navigate Riley since they are in her mind and are her literal moral compasses.

One thing I like to point out is the apparent ages of the Emotions. All of them seem to be of adult age but varying. Joy seems to be mid to late 20’s, Disgust is a typical 20 something with a Posh/Valley attitude and accent, Anger and Fear are around mid to late 30’s, and Sadness seems to be the youngest, maybe in 19 or 20.  I think this is important to note in terms of how they act versus Riley’s actual age and how it relates to humanity.

Anger and Fear is an emotion many face in life, but these two emotions have fueled so many debates, wars, propaganda, and so forth in reality. Because of fear this group of people begin to hate this group of people because of that fear which produces anger. This pattern is evident throughout history and even now in current times. Disgust is personified as having an uppity personality is seems to be generally unimpressed. I think she represents the current age we live in where people are unimpressed and disgusted by things that they don’t perceive as impressive. Sadness is honestly my favorite because she’s so mellow and quiet. She doesn’t seem to be sad, but just not as happy as Joy. This caveat represents the duality of Joy/Sadness.One cannot truly exist without the other being present.

That point is highlighted at the key pivotal scene that sets the movie off. As Riley starts her first day at school in San Francisco she is asked by a teacher to introduce herself and to tell the class something interesting. Fear freaks out and gets nervous which causes Riley to act nervous, Joy swoops in and plays something called a Core Memory – It’s basically a childhood memory – that is Joyous and Riley begins to talk about “the good ol’ days” in Minnesota with glee. During this, Sadness touches the Core Memory which turns the memory into a sad one as Riley becomes sad since she misses her life in Minnesota. The other Emotions start to panic.

It is very interesting to see how the Emotions and their responses actually affect Riley’s behavior in the real world. The memory becomes completely sad and Joy scrambles to fix everything only to make a bigger mess, resulting in her and Sadness being thrown out into the rest of Riley’s mind. (The key Emotions stay in what appears to be a tower which i assume could be dubbed as Riley’s Moral Compass. From here on out the rest of the movie takes place which is basically an adventure filled with twists, turns, and interesting takes on Psychological Developments that can occur when problems occur in our lives.

Here are some key points/questions that I want to point out:

  1. I’m not an expert or anything, but was Riley experiencing early stages of Depression? Important centers of her personality were beginning to mentally crumble and her attitude changed with each one.
  2. Random – But why did Riley’s parents have brown hair and eyes but she had blue eyes and blonde hair? Are those genetic traits that skipped her parents? If so, could that trait also hold genetic depression? Or was she just experiencing the difficulties of going through extreme changes?
  3. Were her parents almost on their way to a divorce? Watch the movie and tell me what you think.

Overall, I was very pleased and impressed by this movie. I thought it was cleaver and sent strong messages about Mental Illness and how to care for someone who’s going through mental changes.

Tell me what you think below in the comments!

 

 

Quick Review: Trolls

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Colors, Glitter, Gleeful Singing, and oh yeah – A Fire!

 

Okay, this is gonna be a quick and fast review! Trolls is an animated musical by Dreamworks. Its based upon the creepy little dolls of the same name (thats my mother NEVER let me buy for that very reason). This movie is definitely a family friendly movie that you watch when you want simple worry free entertainment. The comedy is mild and the songs are cute. The main characters are very predictable and so is the story line, which is why I wont discuss the story line here. You can gather what’s going to happen in the movie for yourself since it is so predictable. I did enjoy the qualities of the characters such as their features like extendable hair, glitter skin, and the detail work on the Bergens.

Overall, this is a good movie for everyone…except the ending where the chef is sat on fire along with another troll… but yeah, its a great movie still! Check it out!

Reel Review: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

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I am Groot!

Hello, welcome back to Reel Cinema Review! Today I’m going to be reviewing the new Guardians of the Galaxy trailer! Now, I have to be honest, I don’t remember where the first one left off exactly but I do remember that I really enjoyed the first movie. The trailer features an assortment of characters and a lot of action. I expect that this movie will further the progress in setting up Thanos and his Infinity Gauntlet. To my knowledge Guardians of the Galaxy is in the same MCU as The Avengers and Dr. Strange and so forth. I’m not entirely sure if in the future once all chapters are laid out if all of the key characters will be in one single movie. However, WHO CARES, RIGHT? We’re here for this movie trailer!

 

Isn’t Baby Groot adorable? Groot and Drax are my two favorite highlights of this whole entire trailer! I’m so pleased with this movie trailer because it didn’t give too much away about the plot or the villain besides that giant creature that looks like a work with tentacles. Overall I am happy with the trailer and cannot wait for the movie!

 

In Reel Time: Assassin’s Creed Review

Now I know how DC fans felt after watching Suicide Squad.

ugh

 

Warning: This Review contains spoilers. Read at your own risk.

 

 

Dun, Dun, Dun… The long awaited Assassins Creed was released today, December 21, and to much of my dismay I was semi-pleased with the movie. Honestly, I am not familiar with the video game franchise aside from trailers and game play videos on YouTube. I don’t know anything about the main characters or really the true premise of the video games. However, since I am an adult with common sense I can completely tell when something that is an adaption is missing a few pieces. Assassin’s Creed is missing a little more that a few pieces.

The movie starts off with Michael Fassbender’s character Cal trying attempting to ride his bike off a building and land on a cargo carrier only to fail…in an epic way. I believe this was a foreshadow of Cal’s skills of being an assassin and their parkour skills. Anyway, he then goes home only to find his mom and her murderer which is his dad. We then see some expensive Mercedes-Benz G Class cars rolls up and we assume they came for Cal’s dad? Truly, I have no idea. This movie jumped around so much…

After a while, and when I say a while I mean 30 years, (YES THEY JUMPED 30 YEARS), Cal is an adult in prison…He gets sentenced to death for murdering some pimp and basically he gets taken to a facility and his genetic memories are tapped into in order to find out where the Apple of Eden (I THOUGHT IT WAS A FIG) is hidden so that violence can be eradicated through the apple’s genetic code.

That’s the whole movie. In a nutshell.

This movie left so much to be desired story wise. Like, what was Cal doing for 30 years? Why was he the last decedent of an assassin left? What happened to the others? How did his family end up in Mexico? Why did he kill that pimp? why was it an apple and not a fig? Who were all those other people in the rehabilitation? If Cal was the last decedent then why were those other people capable assassins?

Visually I thought it was absolutely beautiful. No issues there.

Overall, do I hate this movie? Nope. I actually enjoyed it.

Like all things franchise genres everything must have it’s beginning. Comic book movies SUCKED when they first started rolling out until we got Iron Man,  The Dark Knight, and Captain America. Assassin’s Creed is visually stunning and while the script was bland and a little mediocre, it was a good starting point. I enjoyed the religious, scientific, historical, and moral examination elements that it had to offer. I wished that the historical Animus scenes were a little more involved. The ending was lackluster to say the least.If they were to create an Assassin’s Creed 2 I would see it if and only if the screenwriters and such would learn from their mistakes in this first movie.

3

 

Tell me what you think about the movie if you’ve seen it BELOW in the comments! Also, what do YOU think about video game movies?

 

Reel Review : The Autopsy of Jane Doe

To begin this review, let’s take it from the top down. Top meaning Pluses and Down meaning DISAPPOINTMENTS that I had with this movie.

1. Wise father is guiding his son in the Ancient Art of Coroner-ism. 

Okay, so I had no initial clue where this movie would would fall in the Supernatural/Horror genre. The movie itself only really sports two characters played by Emile Hirsch and Brian Cox. They play father and son who are coroners and help the local authorities determine causes of death of the deceased.  Oh yeah, their names are Austin, The Son(Emile Hirsch) and Tommy, The Father (Brian Cox). But because this movie ended up disappointing me in the end I’m going to refer to them as Father and Son.

the-autopsy-of-jane-doe-2-620x411   The movie starts off with the son trying to figure out why some old dude kicked the bucket. The son basically plays the “I’m trying to figure things out but I’m always 2 steps behind” type of character. His father who is the more older and skilled of the two explains how the old dude died and basically encourages his son to keep trying and working hard.

Off the bat, both characters are your basic father and son, young and old, wise and learning type of characters. Their dialog and chemistry makes these rehashed tropes bearable and quite likable. There is no arrogance within the father when it comes to his wisdom which can happen quite often with characters like him and there is no eye rolling stupidity from the son. It seems as though he is generally trying to learn the Ancient Art of being a coroner from his father.

2. Ice Challenge Champion! No seriously, dead body time.

Mmmk, so fast forwarding to the main portion. Basically, the Sherrif- Irrelevant Character- Police Guy brings the Coroner Family the body of the mysterious title character named Jane Doe. shes a brown haired, foggy eyed young woman who was found dead of an unknown cause.

screenshot-2016-12-21-00The Super Coroner Duo take on the case of solving Jane Doe’s death and they get straight to work. Now, here I think it’s important to note the family dynamic which really shifts the movie into motion.

After the father and son solve the cause of death of the old guy – I think he hit his head and basically burned to death – the son gets a text from his girlfriend. And let me just say her character was ANNOYING for the  .0050 seconds was had screentime. She was basically the “I wanna take a risk even though I know I can’t handle the consequences of my risk” type of character. Seriously, she wanted to take a look at the body of a guy who was murdered and get this… whoever murdered his shot him in the face with a shotgun resulting him pretty much NOT having a face.

Yeah, girls these days are weird…

Anyways, basically the son gets a text from his try hard girlfriend but since Jane Doe’s body got dumped on our Fantastic Duo at the last minute the son felt bad and couldn’t leave his dad behind to do all of the work. So, he ditches try hard…

This dynamic is what set the movie into motion. It’s JUST the father and son. the father is a widower and his son helps him out. I believe through examining dead bodies their father and son bond is strengthened. Especially after the mother’s death. Thus, it’s not just a plot mechanic to keep the story going but an absolute must based on their dynamic.

 3. Let’s play Operation!

So, as the story moves on the due starts trying to solve the cause of death. They basically lay out what their going to do. Start their examination externally, internally, and lastly the brain examination. It’s here where the movie starts really rolling out bland tropes.

In the beginning of their external examination, they have the radio playing. Due to the fact that a storm is brewing outside, the radio cuts back and forth between stations “on its own”. In reality anyone who has seen a horror would recognize the switching of stations isn’t just a coincidence. It’s being done intentionally by supernatural forces and are basically warning the characters NOT to tamper with Jane Doe’s body. the only character between the father and son who realizes whats happening IS THE SON. The father is absolutely taken back by the corpse’s condition.

Also, let me say that the father gives off vibes that he doesn’t believe in the supernatural. This explains why he doesn’t recognize the eeriness of the radio and things ( Lights flickering and so forth).

Now, I don’t want to go into too much detail about the examination because I want YOU – the reader- to watch this movie for yourself. However, just know they find some flat out cray cray stuff hidden in Jane Doe’s body…Kinda like playing Operation.

The WEIRDEST and last thing they find on their Corpse Scavenger Hunt is that the flesh under the skin of her torso reveals some weird roman numeral, Tic Tac Toe, wordsearch kinda message. Then, the lights go off and all the supernatural stuff starts happening…Really.

4. Jumpscare, Jumpscare, Don’t go in there, run for your life.

In the midst of all the crazy supernatural stiff happening, it turns out to be kinda predictable. Something is haunting them, they wanna escape, they don’t escape, they get the courage to face Jane Doe, annnddd….screenshot-2016-12-21-01

Its towards the later half where I started to get disappointed. Firstly, the monsters or whatever that’s terrorizing was actually scary until the end. It’s like the monsters are all over but not really. They scare then go away. Blah.

At the last minute the son finally remembers that they have an elevator. It’s like listen, I know that you are kinda stupid but you maybe should have thought of using the elevator to escape way back…Just sayin’. Somehow they cant escape but the girlfriend can find her way in, HOW? Why did she come back? Did the ghosts or whatever call her up and said her boyfriend is in trouble? WEIRD.

Lastly, we get to Jane Doe… MAJOR SPOILER ALERT.

They find out shes a witch from 17th century Salem who was tortured by the folks who hunted witches and she’s still alive. She is basically being kept alive by an energy and she’s acting out her torture on the father and son making them feel her pain. The dad eventually asks her to spare his sons life in exchange for his. This is the part that made me dislike the rest of the movie. Here you have a father who clearly loves his son and they get along by having a coronary business and they get dumped with the dead chick at the last minute by the police dude. What do they have to do with her death and torture?

I understand that she may have wrongly died at the hands of twisted religious fanatics, but jeeze, are you gonna curse everyone you come in contact with? Give me a break and just cross over already. You’ve killed enough people. The movie seemingly ends with the son being spared only to be fooled by the ghost and killed off. WHOOP DE DOO.

Overall Review:

It was an OK movie until the end which let me totally down. I don’t understand why the dead girl gotta kill everyone. None of the people who kills have anything to do with her and her initial death in the 17th century. Just give me a break…

Score: 7 out of 10

It was OK until the end. The dead chick kinda aggravated me… what can I say?

Watch the Trailer Below:

Tell me what YOU think below in the comment section!

All opinions are solely mines. Some pictures are taken from Google images and others from the trailer. I own nothing but my opinion.