Movie Reviews 

Christopher Robin

by Alan Rapp on August 3, 2018

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Christopher Robin
  • IMDb: link

Christopher Robin movie reviewChristopher Robin is a safe, by-the-numbers, inoffensive Disney live-action film that is likely to appease (although probably not delight) its target audience. Based on the Winnie-the-Pooh stories by A. A. Milne, Ewan McGregor stars as the fictional character Christopher Robin (originally based on Milne’s own son) who has grown-up and left his childish things long behind and currently is lost in a stressful job while struggling to connect to his wife (Hayley Atwell) and daughter (Bronte Carmichael). In the midst of a crisis, Christopher Robin is shocked by the sudden appearance of his old friend Winnie-the-Pooh (Jim Cummings) who arrives in London and enlists Christopher Robin to help find the rest of the old gang who have disappeared.

There’s an interesting idea for a dark comedy in Christopher Robin about a middle-aged man having a psychotic break and running into the countryside with a make-believe talking bear made of felt. Sadly, that’s nowhere near the film Disney was interested in making. Instead, Christopher Robin takes his pal back to the old stomping grounds and, while in search of the other characters, rediscovers a bit of his old self.

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The Darkest Minds

by Alan Rapp on August 2, 2018

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: The Darkest Minds
  • IMDb: link

The Darkest Minds movie reviewThe Darkest Minds is a mess. It’s as if someone took an entire season of a Freeform sci-fi series made for a tweenage fanbase and condensed it into a single two-hour film. Based on the story structure and pacing you can tell immediately that the movie was adapted from a novel. Drawn-out events are presented in meandering fashion as we follow Ruby (played in early scenes by Lidya Jewett and later by Amandla Stenberg) through a troubling adolescence when she becomes mutated by a virus that leaves 98% of the world’s children dead and the remainder gifted with poorly explained powers.

After being taken from her family by the Federal Government and thrown into a concentration camp for mutants, Ruby eventually escapes through the help of a social worker (hey, Mandy Moore is still working) who exists only as an agent to further the plot and lead Ruby to other kids like herself (Harris Dickinson, Skylan Brooks, and Miya Cech) hunting for a mythical camp of lost boys living outside the system. Yeah… because societies put together by kids (with super-powers no less) are sure to be super stable.

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Mission: Impossible – Fallout

by Alan Rapp on July 26, 2018

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Mission: Impossible – Fallout
  • IMDb: link

Mission: Impossible - Fallout movie reviewVery much a sequel to Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, Mission: Impossible – Fallout brings back both heroes and villains from the previous film. As we saw in Rogue Nation, the various other government agencies are still struggling to work with the IMF. This isn’t helped when three nuclear warheads slip through Ethan Hunt’s (Tom Cruise) hands in the opening action sequence and are about to be sold on the black market to a terrorist with delusions of grandeur.

Forced to work with CIA thug August Walker (Henry Cavill), Hunt and his team (Ving Rhames and Simon Pegg both return) accept their assignment, but, as usually happens, things don’t go according to plan. Rebecca Ferguson and Sean Harris both return to reprise their roles from the last film as a potential love interest for Ethan and a villain harboring and even bigger boner for the spy who put him behind bars.

Although Jeremy Renner isn’t present here, the latest in the franchise includes callbacks to several of the earlier films and in some ways feels like a final chapter to the series (while still leaving the door open if Cruise and company wish to return).

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Teen Titans Go! To the Movies

by Alan Rapp on July 25, 2018

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Teen Titans Go! To the Movies
  • wiki: link

Teen Titans Go! To the Movies movie reviewSince the show’s introduction back in 2013, Teen Titans Go! has met with mixed reaction from fans. Some love the madcap feel of the short adventures while other felt DC strayed too far from the earlier (more serious take) found on the first Teen Titans animated series. Even if the show’s writing has been somewhat inconsistent, I’ve enjoyed my share of Teen Titans Go! and my only real question was whether or not its slapstick style could work stretched out over a feature film? You bet your ass it can.

Full of DC fan references and inside jokes (such as Nicolas Cage playing Superman), the film is a nerdtastic delight.

The movie throws us into a world (not unlike our own) full of super-hero movies. Robin (Scott Menville), the selfish leader of the Teen Titans, desperately wants to join the ranks of Batman, Aquaman, Superman, and the rest of DC’s top heroes who have all earned their own movies. Alas, no one takes the sidekick or his misfit team seriously. The solution? Find an arch-nemesis and convince a studio exec (Kristen Bell) that the Titans are worthy of a movie.

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Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

by Alan Rapp on July 19, 2018

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again
  • IMDb: link

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again movie reviewBoth sequel and prequel to 2008’s Mamma Mia!, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again returns most of the core cast for another romcom plot set to the music of ABBA. Since we saw her last, Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) has managed to breathe new life in the dream of her recently departed mother (Meryl Streep) and is working towards the grand opening of the hotel. The return of her mother’s best friends (Christine Baranski and Julie Walters) helps lessen the pressure of her estranged relationship to Sky (Dominic Cooper) and the absences of two of her three fathers on the eve of the big day.

There are some improvements here as co-writer and director Ol Parker limits the singing roles for some actors who struggled in the first film while allowing other actors to carry the bulk of the musical numbers. The flashback plot to Donna’s original trip to Greece allows the casting of younger versions of all the characters in actors who are a bit more comfortable belting out the songs when called upon. Lily James is the stand-out as the younger Donna as the other actors look to have been primarily cast first for their physical likeness, second for their singing ability, and (unfortuantely) last for their ability to act.

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