Ghostbusters (2016)- Movie Review

What is it about?                                                                                                                     Dr, Erin Gilbert (played by Kristen Wiig), a professor at Columbia University, previously wrote a book trying to prove the existence of ghosts with her former friend Dr, Abby Yates (portrayed by Melissa McCarthy), but soon abandoned the idea to become a professor. However, reports of ghosts popped up all over New York, and Erin has to reunite with Abby, and Abby’s new friend and oddball engineer, Dr. Jillian Holtzmann (terrifically played by Kate McKinnon), to catch the ghosts. With the help of Patty Jenkins (played by Leslie Jones), who knows New York inside out, the Ghostbusters set out to stop an enormous number of ghosts from taking over New York.

How is it? 8.5/10                                                                                                                     Ghosbusters is a fantastic movie with tons of great jokes, eye-popping special effects, and great action. Ghostbusters is super fun from start to finish, and has great performances from all its stars. Its minor jump-scares work as well, and even they are balanced perfectly by the wonderful humor and chemistry between the Ghostbusters. Another huge plus to the movie is Chris Hemsworth, who plays the empty-headed, but attractive receptionist Kevin. Hemsworth  terrifically plays Kevin, who generates tons of laughs throughout the movie.

How is the action, humor, and special effects? 8.5/10                                         Ghostbusters has amazing special effects throughout the movie which culminate in the final battle in Times Square. That particular sequence is packed with great special effects in the form of the CGI ghosts. The scene also contains exciting action between the Ghostbusters and the ghosts they’re trying to catch. The movie has excellent humor backed by its cast’s chemistry and great performances. Kate McKinnon is probably the funniest out of the new Ghostbusters and has lots of jokes with her oddball personality which has you laughing throughout the movie. Chris Hemsworth, as I mentioned before is also terrifically funny, producing tons of laughs with his dim-witted character.

Overall, Ghostbusters is a great movie boasting lots of laughs, awesome special effects, fantastic performances, and exciting action.

Finding Dory- Movie Review

What is it about?                                                                                                                     Finding Dory follows the story of Dory,  a blue tang fish who suffers from short-term memory loss. She can only remember that she was separated from her parents at a very young age.  As an adult, she came across a clownfish named Marlin and helped him find his son Nemo. Now, she helps Marlin raise Nemo. She remembers something about her parents and sets out to find them. She brings Nemo and Marlin along, but loses them at “The Marine Life Institute”, where she think she will find her parents. So while she sets out to find her parents, Marlin and Nemo set out to find her. Along the way, she finds Hank (voiced by Ed O’ Neill, who you may know as Jay from Modern Family) , a grumpy, but secretly caring octopus that lost a tentacle, Destiny a nearsighted, clumsy whale shark (voiced by Kaitlin Olson), and Bailey, (voiced by Ty Burrell, who plays Phil in Modern Family), a beluga whale who lost his ability of echolocation through a concussion.

How is it? 9/10                                                                                                                          Finding Dory is an excellent movie that has top-notch voice acting, amazing animation, and is a very sweet and heart-warming story. On top of all of that, Finding Dory is entertaining, and will have you smiling until the end.

How is the humor, animation, and voice acting? 9/10                                         Finding Dory is a hilarious movie, that has very funny jokes boosted by its voice acting. All of the jokes in Finding Dory work very well, and even when it gets sad, it’s funny tone returns with more great jokes. The animation in Finding Dory is beautiful, much like the short film, “Piper”, that precedes it, and is an immersive experience. Finally, the voice acting in Finding Dory is great, and fit the characters very well.

Overall, Finding Dory is a spectacular Pixar flick that is sweet, funny, and beautifully animated all at the same time.

Batman v Superman- 2nd Viewing

DISCLAIMER-Spoilers for BvS ahead

Batman v Superman just came on Blu-ray and DVD on Tuesday, so I decided to rewatch it. In rewatching it, I noticed some positive aspects I hadn’t pointed out in my original review. First off, I didn’t point out that the movie’s opening, Batman watching Superman destroy half of Metropolis in trying to fight Zod is amazing. It shows Man of Steel from Batman’s perspective, and just makes his motivations so clear–everything he built was destroyed by Superman’s immense power. It really points out just how much potential destruction Superman could cause with his powers.

Secondly, I said that the movie lacked a sense of humor and fun, and while the first part may be true, the movie is still fun. The fight scenes and overall plot is enjoyable, and the movie still has fun, just not as much humor.

Thirdly, I didn’t mention the warehouse scene. The warehouse scene, in which Batman rescues Martha Kent from Luthor’s henchmen, is amazing. Although I dislike the fact that Batman kills in this representation, this fight is simply awesome. It shows how Batman isn’t in his early years, and is experienced. The action is well-choreographed, and might be my favorite scene from the movie.

Next, I must clear up my reception of Jesse Eisenberg’s performance as Lex Luthor. Although it’s not fitting toward the character (the comic book Lex is more assertive) his performance is cool. I dislike it because it’s more of a mini-Joker or mini-Riddler. Also, he offers more philosophical ideas than you watch the movie for–you’re watching it to see Batman and Superman fight! The performances by Amy Adams and Jeremy Irons as Lois Lane and Alfred, respectively, are also pretty good.

Another issue with BvS is the actual fight you want to watch the movie for–it’s only 8 minutes long! The fight, for the time it lasts, is cool, but the reason for the fight prevents you from enjoying it. Superman and Batman are only fighting because Luthor manipulated Batman and he’s holding Martha unless Superman kills Batman. You know Superman won’t actually put up a fight because he would never kill Batman even if someone was controlling him. This prevented me from truly enjoying the fight, and even made me dislike Batman a little bit.

The death of Superman is both a positive and negative aspect of the movie. Although it is sad, his death is very well-handled and really shows how much Superman is willing to do for Earth. It shows that he accepts it as his planet, and that he is willing to sacrifice himself for it. What I dislike about his death is that He‘s. Not.  Actually. Dead. This issue has come up time and again in superhero movies. It happened with Bucky in Captain America: The First Avenger. It happened with Loki in Thor. It happened with Phil Coulson in The Avengers. I can keep going. Deaths in superhero movies have no effect anymore. You know that whoever dies is going to be brought back. Therefore, Superman’s death had no weight whatsoever. First off, they don’t even give you the benefit of the doubt–they literally show that he’s gonna be brought back by showing the dirt on his grave flying. Second of all, you know studios would never pass up on the option of having another character to sell merch with. So deaths in movies have become empty and have no impact. <sigh>

Finally, I will mention the amazing soundtrack in Batman v Superman, which I didn’t talk about in my review. The soundtrack, composed by Hans Zimmer, actually added a lot to the movie, especially Wonder Woman’s theme. Normally I don’t notice the soundtrack in movies, but Batman v Superman made me notice. The other movie I had seen where I noticed Zimmer’s score was Inception, and I absolutely loved that soundtrack. I think that overall Zimmer’s work on soundtracks is great, and definitely improved Batman v Superman.

That was my spoiler-filled, 2nd discussion of Batman v Superman. Is there anything I missed or you disagree with? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

The Secret Life of Pets- Movie Review

What is it about?                                                                                                                     Max (voiced by Louis C.K.) is a terrier living a comfortable life with his owner, Katie, who he’s extremely attached to. Katie brings home a larger, messier dog named Duke (voiced by Eric Stonestreet, who you may know as Cam from Modern Family), who Max feels will take his place. He refuses to share anything with Duke, and both dislike each other. In trying to get rid of each other, they come across a series of mishaps and encounter the seemingly cute, but actually ferocious, Snowball (fantastically voiced by Kevin Hart), who leads a group of animals thrown away by their owners for revenge against humanity. Max’s friends, joined by a hawk named Tiberius, set out to find him.

How is it? 4/5                                                                                                                             The Secret Life of Pets is a terrific and uber-funny movie, with a great voice cast and extremely well-animated visuals. TSLoP (what I’m going to refer to the title to from now on) will keep a smile on your face from start to end, and will definitely entertain you for an hour and a half.

How is the animation, humor, and voice acting? 4.5/5                                        TSLoP is beautifully animated and is very nice to look at. For example, the movie opens with a sweeping shot of (animated) New York City that looks great. It’s super funny and some characters that I personally thought were hilarious were Gidget (voiced by Jenny Slate) , Max’s friend who is secretly in love with him, and Kevin Hart’s Snowball, who generates tons of laughs. The voice acting is also fantastic, and enhanced the humor, especially Kevin Hart, who did a marvelous job.

Overall, The Secret Life of Pets is a hilarious, entertaining movie with awesome animation.

Central Intelligence- Movie Review

What is it about?                                                                                                                      Central Intelligence centers around pair Calvin Joyner and Robbie Wheirdicht, played by Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson, respectively. The first is an accountant who was extremely popular in high school and is now disappointed with his life and the second a CIA operative that was terribly bullied in high school that now goes by Bob Stone. Bob goes to Joyner for help in stopping nuclear launch codes from going into the hands of terrorists. Hart and Johnson’s chemistry, along with just an overall very funny script, makes Central Intelligence and entertaining flick.

How is it? 7/10                                                                                                                          Central Intelligence benefits greatly from Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson, who when paired together on screen, make for a hilarious duo. Although it’s silly, it’s an overall diverting and fun movie, that’ll make you laugh several times.

How is the action and humor? 8/10                                                                               The action in Central Intelligence is what you should expect from a buddy-cop movie–it’s nothing too groundbreaking, and played mostly for laughs. The humor, as I mentioned before, is very strong in the first half, and although not as much in the second, is still funny throughout. Dwayne Johnson’s tough guy, CIA operative personality pairs extremely well with Hart’s ordinary character.

Overall, Central Intelligence is a fun movie that will entertain you for a good two hours.

Independence Day: Resurgence- Movie Review

What is it about?                                                                                                                     20 years after the events of the first Independence Day where aliens attacked Earth, and Capt. Steven Hiller (played by Will Smith) helped in blowing up the alien’s mothership, Earth has advanced in technology by combining alien and human tech. They have been preparing for the alien’s possible return, and soon find out the aliens have done so. Hiller’s son (played by Jessie Usher), along with veteran David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) and Jake Morrison (Liam Hemsworth) must stop the aliens from taking Earth once more. Independence Day: Resurgence is a less-than-mediocre sci-fi flick with impressive visual effects, which is pretty much the only good thing going for it.

How is it? 3.7/10                                                                                                                     Independence Day: Resurgence has great visual effects, but its other flaws drag it down from being nearly enjoyable as the original. It has too many characters, and any major character moment didn’t have enough building up to it, which causes you not to care about what’s happening too much. The acting is nothing special, and it falls under the category of CGI-fest movies that rely too heavily on special effects. Without having seen the original, you’ll understand the plot points, but not care about the characters as much as the movie expects you to. Nonetheless, the action scenes are enjoyable, and if you’re looking purely for visual spectacle, it should be fine. However, during the film, I even found myself thinking about other things and not the movie– its plot is silly, and is more or less a rehash of the last one with better special effects. As Jeff Goldblum states in the movie,”It’s definitely bigger than the last one,” but that’s all it is.

How are the action, special effects, and humor? 6.5/10                                          The action in ID4: Resurgence is pretty good, I must admit, and it is assisted by the spectacular special effects. However, I found myself watching the action not because I was compelled by the storyline, but simply because I wanted to see the special effects. Its attempts at humor do cause a few chuckles, but most of it fell flat and wasn’t too funny. However, I must give it credit for not being too dark and serious (cough, cough, Batman v Superman) and having a lighter tone.

In conclusion, Independence Day: Resurgence is a less-than-decent sci-fi movie that I wouldn’t recommend unless I craved its large-scale spectacle.