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Gold (2017)

His Review:

Based on the Bre-X Canadian scandal in 1999, Gold is about a small group of men headed by Kenny Wells (Matthew McConaughey) and Michael Acosta (Edgar Ramirez) who found one of the largest gold deposits ever over in Indonesia.  It turns out that there was little to no gold found, and this is the story about one of the largest frauds in stock exchange history.

Gold is a straight-forward and often boring movie.  Matthew McConaughey goes all in for the role gaining almost 50 lbs, shaving his head and wearing fake teeth.  Boy is he ugly, but at least his acting is good!  Sadly, for the first 90 minutes of the movie, that is the only positive aspect about this movie.  It is predictable as a bunch of poor men find gold, get rich and have people come after their money.  We have seen this time after time and there is nothing new here.

The last 30 minutes is the bread and butter of the movie as the fraud is exposed and the investigation is conducted.  I wish this part of the movie had been woven throughout the movie (think Inside Man) to keep the ultimate outcome fresh in our minds and looking out for clues or ideas of how all this happened.  Sometimes telling a story in chronological order isn’t that interesting, especially if the audience doesn’t know where the story is headed.

At the end of the day, I would have rather seen a documentary on this subject than a motion picture that will change the names and inflate the story to be something loosely based.  Even with Matthew McConaughey front and center, I would skip this movie as the last 30 minutes of this movie aren’t enough to save the time you spend on it.  Co-starring Bryce Dallas Howard, Craig T. Nelson, Bill Camp, Corey Stoll, Timothy Simons, and Toby Kebbell.

5/10 Stars – Even with Matthew McConaughey and a intriguing ending, this story would be more interesting as a documentary instead of a loosely based Hollywood motion picture.

 

Underworld: Blood Wars (2016)

His Review:

Selene (Kate Beckinsale) has been outcast by the Vampires.  Michael is dead and their daughter is missing.  A new Lycan leader named Marius (Tobias Menzies) has risen to power and believes that the pure hybrid child is the key to ending the war.  Semira (Lara Pulver), one of the new Vampire elders, feels that bringing Selene back into their ranks might be the best idea so she can train the new soldiers.  Unknown to her, Selene is walking into a trap and only 1 man can save her before her blood is drained from her body.

Underworld is one of my favorite movies and is on my Top 100 list, but now that we are in the 5th installment into this franchise, things are getting boring.  Obviously by now, if you haven’t been converted, you aren’t going to start here, so go watch the first movie and see if you want to keep watching.

I give the filmmakers props for making this feel like an Underworld movie through the setting and costumes, however, you can’t make an Underworld movie without action and this movie is limited.  The first fighting in this movie comes at the 50 minute mark as most of the movie is talking.  I feel like they tried to recreate some of the magic from the first movie but when every character is new and they are vastly different from Victor, Craven and Lucian, you can’t capture the same vibe.  On a positive note, I did like the betrayal scene and how they tied the lineage back to Amelia.

Underworld Blood Wars is only 91 minutes long and that is not long enough to grow your new characters AND have plenty of awesome action.  I never understood making these action films that are only 1.5 hours long without adding in what the audience wants.  I understand the franchise needing to move forward with new characters, but they need to be developed properly as the first movie did!  That movie is 2 hours long and jumps into the action from the beginning!  Ugh!  This movie tried but it failed in the execution.  Co-starring Theo James, Charles Dance, James Faulkner, Peter Andersson, Clementine Nicholson, and Daisy Head.

5/10 Stars – I didn’t hate this movie, but when compared to the first in the franchise, this movie tries but falls flat with lack of character development and action throughout.

Fifty Shades Darker (2017)

His Review:

After the events of 50 Shades of Grey, Anna (Dakota Johnson) and Christian (Jamie Dornan) are now broken up, but he is desperate to get back together and wants to change the terms of their relationship to make her feel more comfortable.  After getting back together, several other girls from Christian’s past resurface to cause havoc for Anna by shedding a light into his past.  Anna is confused and disturbed by the types of relationships Christian kept, but he assures her that she is changing him and he plans to show her in every way he can.

50 Shades Darker is basically watching 2 people be in a relationship with experimental sex.  If you read my review on the first movie, you know I hated it and it was the worst movie I had ever seen (until the spoof 50 Shades of Black came along,) but I loved the ending because of how she stormed out of the apartment.  All that is erased within 10 minutes of this movie as Christian practically begs her to come back and promises that he will change for her.  From here to the end of the movie, we watch these 2 have sex, eat dinner, talk about his ex girlfriends, have more sex and go to parties.  I will admit that this movie is better than the first because it felt more realistic and the ex girlfriends add tension that make it a little more interesting, but ultimately this movie is lame.  For a 2 hour movie, not much happens.  I’d say sex is about 30 minutes of the run time so have fun with that, but as far as the story or memorable moments go, there aren’t any.  This movie falls victim to being boring because it mimics real life too much and I’m sure that the audience is wanting to see something spectacular and exciting.  This movie is neither.  Again, don’t waste your time with this lackluster crap, but if you must, at least be glad it isn’t the first one again.  Co-starring Eric Johnson, Eloise Mumford, Bella Heathcote, Rita Ora, Marcia Gay Harden, Kim Basinger, Luke Grimes, Bruce Altman and Wictor Rasuk.

4/10 Stars – I didn’t have the urge to run away, but I still don’t see the love people give this franchise.  It is boring, lackluster and nothing special.

The Founder (2017)

His Review:

McDonald’s is the biggest fast food chain in the world with 36,615 restaurants and grossing 5 billion a year after expenses.  This is the story of how it all started with the McDonald’s brothers, Dick (Nick Offerman) and Mac (John Carroll Lynch), and Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton) who founded the McDonald’s corporation.

The Founder is more of a Hollywood documentary than it is a “movie.”  It is a biopic that not only surrounds the people, but McDonald’s itself.  This story shows us how Ray Kroc took a simple idea that Mac and Dick created for fast food, stole the idea, forced them out of the company and turned McDonald’s into a billion dollar company.  Yup, that is correct!  Ray Kroc is a scumbag who was so ambitious that he wouldn’t let the brother’s small dream stand in the way of his big pay day.  You see, the brothers only had 1 location, but Ray talked with them about franchising the company and they became partners, but when Ray found a way to make money that the brothers couldn’t, he forced them out!

As far as a movie goes, Michael Keaton was perfect for this role.  He plays the slime ball quite well and paints a good picture at the kind of man Ray really was.  I feel sorry for the brothers but at the same time, they could have been right there along with Ray making the money but they continued to tell him no on many of his ideas.  The scenes with Ray and his wife Ethel felt eerie and unnerving and I almost wished they were left out entirely, but they show how unloving and crazy Ray was.  The movie isn’t one that people will watch over and over but it serves its purpose and educates us a bit on one of our most beloved fast food franchises.  Thumbs up for Michael Keaton!

6/10 Stars – Well told and acted, The Founder educates us a bit on the beginning of McDonald’s and how a sleazy, ambitious man made his way to the top.  Loses a point for rewatchability.

John Wick Chapter 2 (2017)

His Review:

After the events of the first movie, John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is visited by Santino D’Antonio (Riccardo Scamarcio) to collect on a “blood oath” marker previously made between the two.  D’Antonio wants John to assassinate his sister in order for him to claim her chair at the “high table,” but when John finally gives in and does the deed, a bounty is placed on his head by D’Antonio to avenge his sister’s death.  John is now on the run and pissed off!

Usually action movies come out with a sequel when the first is successful for the “cash grab” approach, but with John Wick, they decided to up the ante.  The action is great with plenty of fist, knife and gun fights.  There are so many head-shot kills that I felt like I was in a video game.  The demolition derby scene at the beginning starts the movie off right and things hardly get slow from there.  Did I mention that this time the dog gets to live?

I feel like this time around the characters are developed stronger and the story flows better.  When D’Antonio puts the bounty on John’s head after he is forced by him to kill his sister, you get just as pissed as John does.  I think this is the rare sequel that doesn’t go for the cash grab and realizes that making good movies will keep the butts in the seats.  Big thumbs up for John Wick 2!  I need to go back and rewatch the first one to see if my views change knowing there is more to the story.  Co-starring Peter Stormare, Ian McShane, Common, John Leguizamo, Lance Reddick, Laurence Fishburne, Ruby Rose, Tobias Segal and Claudia Gerini.

8/10 Stars – High adrenaline action with plenty of grit and fun, Keanu Reeves has found himself another franchise we can be excited about.  Next up, Chapter 3.

Rules Don’t Apply (2016)

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

His Review: In the 1950s, Hollywood had a huge influence in the form of Howard Hughes (Warren Beatty), an actor, inventor and recluse.  He ran a talent agency…

20th Century Women (2016)

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

His Review: The setting is 1979 Southern California.  Dorothea (Annette Bening) is an older single mother with a teenage son whom she had when she was 40.  She…

Sleepless (2017)

Monday, February 20, 2017

His Review: When a dirty cop (Jamie Foxx) steals 25 kg of cocaine during a drop in Las Vegas, his son is kidnapped by the owner of the…

A Dog’s Purpose (2017)

Monday, February 20, 2017

His Review: A Dog’s Purpose is told from the perspective of the dog.  Actually it is told from the perspective of 4 dogs all with the same mind…

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