Sunday, April 15, 2018
When, by executive decree, all the canine pets of Megasaki City are exiled to a vast garbage-dump called Trash Island, 12-year-old Atari sets off alone in a miniature Junior-Turbo Prop and flies across the river in search of his bodyguard-dog, Spots. There, with the assistance of a pack of newly-found mongrel friends, he begins an epic journey that will decide the fate and future of the entire Prefecture.
Director: Wes Anderson
Cast: Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Greta Gerwig, Frances McDormand, Courtney B. Vance, Harvey Keitel, Liev Schreiber, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, F. Murray Abraham, Frank Wood, Yoko Ono.
Release Date: March 23, 2018
Genres: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and some violent images
Runtime: 1h 41min
Isle of Dogs, Wes Anderson’s 2nd foray into stop motion, is a charming and thoughtful tale of mans best friends. Wes Anderson’s film is filled with his usual hipster hallmarks which people either love or hate. Its all here in spades so if you’re not a fan of his distinct style this won’t change your mind. Those who do enjoy his style will find plenty to love here. The direction and craftsmanship is top notch throughout making it one of the most visually arresting films of the year. The voice cast is filled with Anderson regulars and a few newcomers like Bryan Cranston. Cranston provides the emotional center of the film and really gives the story its heart. Like most of Anderson’s films there’s a streak of sadness through the entire story. Isle of Dogs does have a slightly bleaker outlook than usual and the story has a fairly obvious allegory to current events which makes it more dense than expected and one of Anderson’s best.
Dearest Blog: Yesterday it was off to Marquee Cinemas for Dwayne Johnson's latest adventure, Rampage.
Spoiler level here will be mild, nothing you wouldn't know from the trailers.
When mutant creatures attack Chicago, it's up to Primatologist!Rock and Geneticist!Moneypenny to save the city.
Rampage is one of those movies that is exactly as advertised. It's as dumb as a box of rocks, but if you didn't get that before you shelled out for a ticket, you couldn't have been paying attention.
Dwayne Johnson is his usual charming self in the lead. Carrying action flicks is old hat for him by now, and he does it capably. Naomie Harris is a delight, though she's fighting well below her weight class here. The supporting cast boasts a plethora of familiar faces, including effrey Dean Morgan (playing a yet another character you wish would just shut up already), Joe Manganiello, and Will Yun Lee. All have limited screen time and, in particular, I wished Lee had had more to do. The beasts would have been plenty dangerous sans mutation: a gorilla, a wolf, and an alligator. Amplify their size and add a few scary perks (quills, anyone?), and, well, you couldn't blame Chicago for being terrified. The creature effects look pretty decent most of the time, though there's some wonky CGI scattered throughout the movie. Rampage features plenty of well-paced action to offset clunky dialogue and ham-handed delivery, but, sadly, the movie's humor uniformly aims at the lowest common denominator. (It's so bad I was saying the "funny" bits in my head before they happened.)
Rampage clocks in at 107 minutes and is rated PG13 for "sequences of violence, action, and destruction, brief language, and crude gestures."
Despite holding few surprises, Rampage is a fun way to kill a couple hours indoors until spring finally arrives...assuming it ever does.
Of a possible nine Weasleys, Rampage gets five.
Until next time...
Sunday, April 8, 2018
Julie, Kayla and Sam are three high school seniors who make a pact to lose their virginity on prom night. Lisa, Mitchell and Hunter are three overprotective parents who flip out when they find out about their daughters' plans. They soon join forces for a wild and chaotic quest to stop the girls from sealing the deal -- no matter what the cost.
Director: Kay Cannon
Cast: Leslie Mann, Ike Barinholtz, John Cena, Geraldine Viswanathan, Kathryn Newton, Gideon Adlon
Release Date: April 6, 2018
Rated R for crude and sexual content, and language throughout, drug content, teen partying, and some graphic nudity
Runtime: 1h 42min
Blockers is a new entry in the raunchy coming of age teen comedies in the vein of Porky’s, Superbad and American Pie. Flipping the script by focusing on 3 girls instead of horny teen boys makes for an interesting take. It helps that director Kay Cannon has a cast that shares excellent chemistry and sport some strong comedic chops. The trio of teen actresses are particularly impressive which is a big win for the movie overall. If they weren’t as strong the movie would be a lot less effective and funny. Leslie Mann, Ike Barinholtz and John Cena are just as funny across the board which isn’t a big surprise. They make for an unlikely trio but it works with each playing well off each other. John Cena, in particular, shines by displaying some great comedic timing even though he looks like a Cro-Magnon caveman. The film is filled with all the filthy jokes you’d expect from the genre and most are sharply written. Ultimately, the film’s message is decidedly sweet and thoughtful even though it’s wrapped in a naughty shell.
Saturday, April 7, 2018
A family is forced to live in silence while hiding from creatures that hunt by sound.
Director: John Krasinski
Cast: John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe, Cade Woodward
Release Date: April 6, 2018
Genres: Drama, Horror, Thriller
Rated PG-13 for terror and some bloody images
Runtime: 1h 30min
A Quiet Place is a well crafted horror film that uses tension and sound as a tool with incredible precision. John Krasinski shows off some serious directorial chops setting up his premise and scenes during this horror thriller. Nothing is terribly ground breaking, especially for seasoned horror fans, but every sequence is executed so well that you can’t help but admire the craftsmanship. Fede Álvarez 2016 film Don’t Breathe recently mined a similar trope but Krasinski adds a splash of Aliens into the mix, adding a layer of visceral terror to his film. The plot itself is paper thin, were given little to no backstory, and if you think about the overall idea too much it’ll fall apart. Strong performances from Krasinski, Millicent Simmonds and Emily Blunt make it easier to overlook some of the more glaring plot holes. While there is a plenty to love about this film it does start to feel like it doesn’t know where to go especially in the final act. The ultimate solution ends up echoing Mars Attack which is strange but somehow appropriate.