Movie Reviews 

Super Troopers 2

by Alan Rapp on April 19, 2018

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Super Troopers 2
  • IMDb: link

Super Troopers 2 movie review2001’s Super Troopers may not have broken the box office, but the comedy featuring the Broken Lizard comedy group had definite charm and has earned itself solid cult status over the years. Not nearly as much fun as the original, with a plot more convoluted than necessary, there are still laughs to be had for a film that struggles fighting off sequelitis.

17 years in the making (including relying on crowd funding to help raise money for the film), Super Troopers 2 brings back all the familiar faces of the former Vermont Highway Patrol. Having lost their jobs as state police since the last movie in an often-referenced tragedy involving Fred Savage (which sadly doesn’t offer nearly the payoff one would expect), the group is given a second chance when the Canadian border is redrawn around a single town and the U.S. needs a trained police force to step in.

Most of the sequel centers around our heroes struggling to get along with Canadians who didn’t ask to be Americanized and getting into juvenile pranks with the local Mounties (Tyler Labine, Will Sasso, and Hayes MacArthur) who they are replacing.

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Rampage

by Alan Rapp on April 11, 2018

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Rampage
  • IMDb: link

Rampage movie reviewRampage is big dumb fun, but it’s a little light on the fun. Based on a simplistic 32 year-old arcade game and its various sequels concerning giant monsters toppling buildings, the film centers on Dwayne “It’s Okay to Call Me The Rock Again” Johnson and his ape friend George who is one of a small group of creatures enlarged and driven violent by gas from a secret orbital laboratory run by a pair of douchey CEOs (Malin Akerman and Jake Lacy, neither of whom appear competent enough to run a taco stand let alone a multi-billion dollar company). There’s also a scientist (Naomie Harris) and a government agent (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) who figure into the long and drawn-out set-up before the film finally offers us monsters destroying a city.

Director Brad Peyton‘s largest asset is The Rock who makes the film watchable, if not always enjoyable. The best scenes are between The Rock and his ape pal George (even if the humor is pretty lowbrow). As for the rest of the film, it’s comparable enough to any throwaway monster flick from the 1950s with plenty of plotholes and monsters that are somewhat interesting but aren’t necessarily all that scary.

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Truth or Dare

by Alan Rapp on April 11, 2018

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Blumhouse’s Truth or Dare
  • IMDb: link

Truth or Dare movie reviewDirector Jeff Wadlow‘s Blumhouse’s Truth or Dare is pretty standard stuff as a group of college kids get in over their heads in a bizarre situation that threatens all of their lives. While on their final spring break of college in Mexico, a stranger (Landon Liboiron) invites Olivia (Lucy Hale), Markie (Violett Beane), Lucas (Tyler Posey), Penelope (Sophia Ali), Tyson (Nolan Gerard Funk), Brad (Hayden Szeto), and Ronnie (Sam Lerner) to a cursed mission where he entices them into a game of truth or dare that gets deadly serious.

Even after returning to college days later, the students find themselves still stuck in a game that forces them to tell secret truths to and about each other or perform increasingly dangerous dares. Failure or refusal of a turn isn’t an option as death claims the player.

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  • Title: Ready Player One
  • IMDb: link

Ready Player One movie reviewReady Player One is cotton candy, but it’s really good cotton candy. Based on Ernest Cline‘s 2011 book of the same name, the latest film from director Steven Spielberg takes us to the near future where life in the real world pales in comparison to the virtual reality of the OASIS where some go to play, some go to hide, and nearly all go to in order to avoid real life. Think of the OASIS as a virtual smorgasbord mashup of MMOs like World of Warcraft on steroids, mixed with every nostalgic 80s icon which can fit on a screen (and the film could get the rights for).

Following the death of the OASIS’ creator, there has been competition to decipher the clues left behind which promise the winner full control over the world’s most profitable enterprise. Our protagonist is lovable outsider Wade (Tye Sheridan) who goes by the handle Parzival. Not part of any clan, Parzival works with his best-friend Aech (Lena Waithe) to solve the riddles before the IOI corporation, led by the evil Sorrento (Ben Mendelsohn), can gain control of the OASIS.

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  • Title: Pacific Rim: Uprising
  • IMDb: link

Pacific Rim: Uprising movie reviewI enjoyed 2013’s Pacific Rim as a throwaway action flick with sci-fi influences featuring robots fighting monsters, but aside from the possibility of having the robots fighting big-name threats like King Kong and Godzilla I wasn’t much interested in a sequel. Without director Guillermo del Toro, who is replaced here by Steven S. DeKnight, and returning stars only in supporting roles, Pacific Rim: Uprising has all the flaws of a bloated, over-complicated sequel trying to out-do the original. It also doesn’t help that the number of robot vs. robot scenes remind the viewer (painfully) of Michael Bay’s Transformers franchise.

Set a decade after the original film, the sequel centers around the never-before-mentioned son of Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba) who is forced to re-enlist after trouble with the law. John Boyega works fine as Jake Pentecost, even if the script can never quite decide how disinterested or invested he should be in the Jaeger program. The sequel also plays fast and loose with the core concept of paired drifting being as much art as science by throwing pairs randomly together once the action gets fast and furious. Cailee Spaeny co-stars as a troubled but talented teen who also joins Jake in the program as part of a plea deal.

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