Finally, they have made a feature-length film about Harry Potter’s favourite sport. Oops, my mistake. This drama is actually about Ted Kennedy, not the golden snitch.
In July 1969 the then Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy (Jason Clarke) – brother to John and Robert Kennedy – drove his vehicle off of a Chappaquiddick Island bridge. While Ted survived the incident unscathed, his passenger, 28-year-old campaign aide Mary Jo Kopechne (Kate Mara), did not. Fearing for his family’s reputation, Ted fled the crime scene, only to be cajoled in to confessing later by his cousin (Ed Helms) and his State’s Attorney (Jim Gaffigan).
An overlooked aspect of the late Ted Kennedy’s life, this random rendition of the decades old events may or may not be entirely factual. However, the actual facts still make Teddy seem like a complete creep.
Incidentally, Teddy’s brothers could’ve helped him make it look like Mary Jo had OD’d instead.
Super Troopers 2
While the RCMP is not as well armed as US State Troopers, Mounties do have horses. However, the hosers in this comedy are going to need more than steeds to protect their land.
When the Vermont Governor and their old chief (Brian Cox) hire them to head a US police force on Canadian soil, disgraced members of the Spurbury PD (Jay Chandrasekhar, Paul Soter, Kevin Heffernan) race across the border. While stationed near Quebec, the makeshift militia befriends the mayor (Rob Lowe), the US/Canada emissary (Emmanuelle Chriqui), and become embroiled in a counterfeit cell-phone smuggling ring.
A crowd funded sequel to the middling 2001 cult hit, this laugh-less reunion is just a rehash of the same jokes from the original film that don’t seem that funny anymore. Even the new characters introduced are instantly forgettable.
Besides, Canadians don’t need to smuggle in cell-phones, our rotary phones work just fine.
The Leisure Seeker
The best way to extinguish a house fire in an RV is to drive the vehicle in to the nearest lake. Sadly, the sightseers in this dramedy would just end up bickering over directions.
Before Alzheimer’s deteriorates her husband’s (Donald Sutherland) mind, the equally ill Ella (Helen Mirren) plans to take him to visit the home of his favorite author in Florida. But to get down there from Boston, they must swipe their old recreational vehicle from dry-dock without their concerned kids noticing. En route to Hemingway’s house Ella ends up learning new things about herself, her spouse and her children.
The timely adaptation of the 2009 novel is superlatively acted and brimming with heart tugging, tear-jerking, humorous moments between the mature lovebirds. But the conventional script, uninspired direction, and general lack of purpose undermines the overall experience.
Moreover, every RVer drives around like they don’t remember where they’re going.
Ready Player One
People play online games so they can escape the callousness of this world and just cyberbully. The troll in this sci-fi film, however, is actually the head of a tech conglomerate.
When the fan-boy creator of OASIS dies, he bequeaths jurisdiction of said online virtual reality world to the player that can locate three keys – or Easter eggs – hidden inside of his referential universe. Accepting the challenge is an improvised gamer (Tye Sheridan) trying to escape his real world existence; a famed Easter egg hunter (Olivia Cooke); and a CEO (Ben Mendelsohn) looking to enslave OSAIS avatars.
Crammed with references to movies, video games and other pop-culture touchstones, this half live-action, half computer-animated production from director Steven Spielberg relies on nostalgia and eye-candy to keep viewers distracted from its toothless villain and predictable plot.
Moreover, who wants to rule a world that has so many character copyright and licensing agreements?
Life of the Party
The upside to going back to school when you’re older is that you can get up early for class now. However, the co-ed in this comedy isn’t doing much sleeping in her dorm room.
After her husband leaves her, suburban mom Deanna (Melissa McCarthy) decides to enroll in the same university as her daughter, and get that archaeology degree that eluded her years ago. In-between partying, sleeping with her daughter’s friends, Deanna must prepare for an important oral presentation. But Deanna’s actions may cost her daughter her future.
Although the cast is capable, the script by McCarthy and her husband – who also directs – is devoid of laughs and adversities beyond a fear of public speaking. In fact, most scenes appear to be improvised by the actors but not in a pleasing or productive way.
Another good thing about being a mature student is that everyone assumes you’re a professor.
The best thing about being an amnesiac is that TV reruns will become completely brand new. Unfortunately, the sufferer in this comedy is kept too busy by his wife to watch TV.
When an arrogant Mexican socialite, Leonardo (Eugenio Derbez), falls off of his yacht, he awakens with no idea of his wealth or identity. His boat cleaner Kate (Anna Faris) sees that he has amnesia, but instead of helping him she convinces Leo that they are wed with three kids. Now this pampered playboy must perform menial tasks at home for Kate and labour intensive lawn work at his new job.
A pointless remake of the 1980s’ original, this update switches the genders of the antagonist and protagonist with no comedic pay-off. Even the commentary on being a Mexican in America feels forced and heavy handed.
Besides, ICE stopped accepting amnesia as an excuse from illegal immigrants years ago.
If 50-foot fauna ever do attack we’re going to regret bullying big game hunters to commit suicide. Thankfully, citizens in this sci-fi movie have a primatologist to protect them.
Former marine Davis (Dwayne Johnson) now works on an anti-poaching squad rehabilitating rare animals like George, an albino gorilla. But when George comes in contact with a corporate sponsored space virus, he, a wolf and a crocodile mutate into massive monsters.
Meanwhile, the CEO (Malin Akerman) behind the bacteria and a black ops agent (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) scramble to contain the rampaging test subjects for their own nefarious means.
Leveled by a trite script, inane dialogue and hammy performances across the marquee, this visually impressive but ultimately boring adaptation of the little known and least liked video game from the 1980s fails to garner a high score.
Moreover, colossal beasts are more likely to topple skyscrapers via dry humping than fighting.
Isle of Dogs
The upside to being stranded on an island of dogs is your flea problem won’t make you an outcast.
When his dog (Liev Schreiber) is exiled to live amongst the other influenza spreading mutts, a Japanese orphan hotwires an aircraft and crash-lands on the infected atoll. There, a pack of wild dogs (Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum) reluctantly help him find his lost pup. Meanwhile in post-apocalyptic Japan, an American exchange student (Greta Gerwig) finds a cure to the hound disease, but a totalitarian mayor is suppressing its release so that he can wipeout all canines.
One of the most beautifully captured stop-motion pictures ever, director Wes Anderson’s eye for detail and colour, along with his eclectic voice-cast bring these idiosyncratic characters to life. Unfortunately, Anderson’s tone-deaf and stereotypical treatment of Japanese culture is troublesome.
Incidentally, without dogs in Japan who will control the Hello Kitty population?
I Feel Pretty
The problem with being pretty is that everyone automatically thinks: plastic surgery? Luckily, the loser in this comedy only needed a concussion to find her confidence.
Desperate to be thin and beautiful, pudgy Renee (Amy Schumer) makes a wish in a fountain that ends up coming true when she falls off her bike in spin class and bumps her head. Convinced she is now gorgeous, Renee presents her bold new attitude to her boss (Michelle Williams), her friends and a cute guy (Rory Scovel) she meets and gets positive results despite her unaffected appearance.
The least funny thing the stand-up comedian has done in her career, Schumer’s acerbic take on women’s self-image struggles to find comedy in her commentary. While she is no stranger to offending audiences this time she is insulting her base and their self-worth.
Besides, if plus-size models start thinking that they’re skinny then they will be unemployed.
You Were Never Really Here
The best thing about killing people for a living is that you get to wear whatever you want to work. Mind you, the hit-man in this thriller enjoys doing it as an outlet for his anger.
After the army, mentally unbalanced Joe (Joaquin Phoenix) now makes his living hammering heads of anyone he’s hired to eliminate as a means to sustain his ill mother. But when he’s paid to rescue the daughter of a Senator from a sex-traffic ring, Joe’s actions lead to even worse consequences for him. Fueled by hallucinations, Joe risks everything to save the teenager from threats real and imagined.
A gritty, unflinching look at the sad life of a lost veteran, this art-house take on the New York anti-hero has it’s moments of touching brilliance thanks to Phoenix, but also many bouts of bewilderment and boredom.
Furthermore, crazy hit-men are only good for offing fictional characters.
A Quiet Place
The best way to avoid monsters that hunt by sound is to hide at the library. Mind you, city-run services are pretty much non-existent in this horror movie.
In the not-too-distant future a race of colossal armoured beings that stalk by sound vibrations have exterminated most of humanity. Survivors like Lee (John Krasinski), his pregnant wife Evelyn (Emily Blunt), and their three children live in the woods where they try to be as inaudible as possible; as not to attract any aggressors. But keeping the sightless beasts at bay becomes more of a burden, however, when Evelyn goes into labour.
A tautly told post-apocalyptic tale that focuses on a family dealing with adversity beyond the creatures, novice director Krasinski does an impeccable job of bringing the parental experience to the genre and delivering some intense thrills in the process.
Moreover, sound-sensitive monsters are a good deterrent for all rambunctious children.
He’s a Wheelhouse Fire. He’s the…
VidiotA Quiet Place, Chappaquiddick, I Feel Pretty, isle of dogs, Life of the Party, Overboard, Rampage, Ready Player One, Super Troopers 2, The Leisure Seeker, The Vidiot, You Were Never Really Here