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Alien: Covenant


Ridley Scott returns to the universe he created, with Alien: Covenant, a new chapter in his groundbreaking "Alien" franchise. The crew of the colony ship Covenant, bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, discovers what they think is an uncharted paradise, but is actually a dark, dangerous world. When they uncover a threat beyond their imagination, they must attempt a harrowing escape.

This is a tough one to review.  Overall - the movie was pretty good.  Good story and the alien stuff was awesome.  Probably the best it's been since Aliens honestly.  The problem - and I never thought I would say this - was Michael Fassbender.  Or I guess his character.  It was like a momentum killer every time he showed up on screen and I can't say much more without giving too much away but it seemed like he was the bad guy and the aliens were just his henchmen as the movie went on.  It was very weird.  

It's not that I didn't like the movie.  I liked the stuff that was alien in nature.  That stuff was awesome.  There was just too many pacing issues with all the Fassbender stuff and all of that was done in a way where it was predictable too.  I would still recommend people check this out.  Just know that this is very much a Prometheus sequel - although not really advertised as one - and your liking of this will depend very heavily on how much you liked that movie.

Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul


In Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul, based on the record-breaking book series, a family road trip to attend Meemaw's 90th birthday party goes hilariously off course--thanks to Greg's newest scheme to (finally!) become famous.  

I read all the books and enjoyed the first couple of movies a lot.  But the recasting of everyone in the movie killed the franchise for me.  Especially Rowley and Rodrick.  It just was not the same at all.  Very sad.

I wouldn't really recommend anyone going to see this.  It's a shame because I really liked the old family/movies.

Everything, Everything


What if you couldn’t touch anything in the outside world? Never breathe in the fresh air, feel the sun warm your face…or kiss the boy next door? Everything, Everything tells the unlikely love story of Maddy, a smart, curious and imaginative 18-year-old who due to an illness cannot leave the protection of the hermetically sealed environment within her house, and Olly, the boy next door who won’t let that stop them. Maddy is desperate to experience the much more stimulating outside world, and the promise of her first romance. Gazing through windows and talking only through texts, she and Olly form a deep bond that leads them to risk everything to be together…even if it means losing everything.

Decent watch for a teenage girl movie pretty much.  Basically if you saw the trailer - you saw the movie.  There is a little twist that you kind of see coming regardless but I won't spoil it.  There really is not much more to say about this movie.

I would recommend any females between the age of 12 and 17 check this out.  Outside of that there really is no reason to see this.

Snatched


After her boyfriend dumps her on the eve of their exotic vacation, impetuous dreamer Emily Middleton (Amy Schumer) persuades her ultra-cautious mother, Linda (Goldie Hawn) to travel with her to paradise. Polar opposites, Emily and Linda realize that working through their differences as mother and daughter - in unpredictable, hilarious fashion - is the only way to escape the wildly outrageous jungle adventure they have fallen into.

I wanted this to be a hilarious movie where you didn't already see all the funny stuff in the commercials.  But that was really not to be.  The movie was definitely watchable and there were some big laughs.  The chemistry between the leads was great but they really did give away way too much in the commercials.

I would sort of recommend people checking this out.  It's not great.  It's not bad.  It's just sort of good but you really feel like you have already seen the whole movie with the 3 minute trailer.

King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword


Guy Ritchie brings his dynamic style to the epic fantasy action adventure King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. Starring Charlie Hunnam in the title role, the film is an iconoclastic take on the classic Excalibur myth, tracing Arthur’s journey from the streets to the throne. When the child Arthur’s father is murdered, Vortigern (Jude Law), Arthur’s uncle, seizes the crown. Robbed of his birthright and with no idea who he truly is, Arthur comes up the hard way in the back alleys of the city. But once he pulls the sword from the stone, his life is turned upside down and he is forced to acknowledge his true legacy…whether he likes it or not.

This movie started off very choppy and annoying.  The whole explanation of the father and uncle fighting and what not was way too rushed and had a lot of mage effects that were annoying.  Once it got to where Charlie Hunnam was King Arthur, the movie was actually very enjoyable.  The only times that it fell off again was any time that they went hard into the mage effects again.  It really kind of ruined what could have been an awesome movie and ended up making it and up and down enjoyable movie because the parts with King Arthur and his men with all the bickering really was great.  I have always been a huge fan of Charlie Hunnam and he was perfect in this.

I would recommend people checking this out.  Just be aware that the mage stuff is all kind of eh but everything around that stuff is great.

The Circle


The Circle is a gripping modern thriller, set in the not-too-distant future, starring Emma Watson (Harry Potter films), Tom Hanks (Sully) and John Boyega (Star Wars: The Force Awakens). When Mae (Emma Watson) is hired to work for the world's largest and most powerful tech & social media company, she sees it as an opportunity of a lifetime. As she rises through the ranks, she is encouraged by the company's founder, Eamon Bailey (Tom Hanks), to engage in a groundbreaking experiment that pushes the boundaries of privacy, ethics and ultimately her personal freedom. Her participation in the experiment, and every decision she makes begin to affect the lives and future of her friends, family and that of humanity.

I don't understand why the reviews for this movie were so bad.  Maybe it was that the reviewers are people that were all in on social media and what not?  I don't take part in any social media at all because of this exact kind of thing shown in this movie.  How pervasive and intrusive it all ends up being.  I thought this was actually a pretty good movie and it felt like an extended and more mainstream episode of a series called Black Mirror - which anyone who has not watched - really should!   I liked the cast and thought Emma Watson continued to show her acting chops with going back and forth on her feelings about The Circle. 

I would recommend people checking this movie out.  It's not a must see by any means but it was nowhere near as bad as the critics had made it out to seem.

Sleight


A young street magician (Jacob Latimore) is left to care for his little sister after their parents' passing and turns to illegal activities to keep a roof over their heads. When he gets in too deep, his sister is kidnapped and he is forced to use his magic and brilliant mind to save her.

The movie was a pretty good idea.  Unfortunately, it was too slowly aced at the start and fell flat before getting to the finish line.  They did a good job of hooking you with the characters but there was little else substance to this movie.

I wouldn't really recommend anyone bothering with this.  It's not worth the time or money.

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2


Set to the backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the team’s adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mysteries of Peter Quill’s true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes’ aid as the Marvel cinematic universe continues to expand.

Once again, Marvel doesn't make bad movies.  They have once again taken what should be a massive sci-fi specific audience into a blockbuster movie with appeal to all audiences.  It's also one of their funnier movies.  I can't tell you how many times this movie had me belly laughing.  Rocket The Raccoon was just as great in this one as the first one.  Baby Groot was definitely more entertaining than in the first.  But Drax completely stole the show in this one.  Still can't believe how former wrestler Batista is so great in this role.  The only knocks I'll make against it is that the group was not on screen together enough and that Chris Pratt's character had way too much solo screen time.  Can't wait to see these characters on screen with the rest of the Avengers.

This movie is a great way to kick off the summer.  It's a very enjoyable roller coaster ride and is another example of Marvel's excellence.

Unforgettable


Tessa Connover (Katherine Heigl) is barely coping with the end of her marriage when her ex-husband, David (Geoff Stults), becomes happily engaged to Julia Banks (Rosario Dawson)—not only bringing Julia into the home they once shared but also into the life of their daughter, Lilly (Isabella Rice). Trying to settle into her new role as a wife and a stepmother, Julia believes she has finally met the man of her dreams, the man who can help her put her own troubled past behind her. But Tessa’s jealousy soon takes a pathological turn until she will stop at nothing to turn Julia’s dream into her ultimate nightmare.

This movie's title is  a total lie.  I had forgotten all about the movie by the time I got to the car.  You literally have seen the movie by watching the trailer for it.  There are no surprises or suspense whatsoever.  It's the same tired story of an obsessed ex.  Why do they bother churning these out without trying to put any sort of effort into making it interesting?

I would not recommend anyone bothering with this movie.  It's a huge waste of time and should have been called Beyond Forgettable.

Free Fire


Free Fire centers around an arms deal that goes spectacularly and explosively wrong. Justine (Larson) has brokered a meeting in a deserted warehouse between two Irishmen and a gang led by Vernon and Ord, who are selling them a stash of guns. But when shots are fired during the handover, complete pandemonium ensues, with everyone at the scene suddenly thrust into a heart-stopping game of survival..

This movie was pretty much just a massively over the top story of things going crazy when a collection of criminals are gathered in the same area.  There wasn't really any rhyme or reason to this movie but it's over the topness made it somewhat entertaining at times.  But ultimately it was just 90 minutes of watching people crawl around trying to shoot at each other. 

I would not really recommend anyone rushing to go see this in theaters or spending money on it.  It's not worth that at all.  Watch it when it's on cable or something and get a few laughs at the absurdity of it all.

The Lost City Of Z


Based on author David Grann’s nonfiction bestseller,The Lost City of Z tells the incredible true story of British explorer Percy Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam), who journeys into the Amazon at the dawn of the 20th century and discovers evidence of a previously unknown, advanced civilization that may have once inhabited the region. Despite being ridiculed by the scientific establishment who regard indigenous populations as “savages,” the determined Fawcett — supported by his devoted wife (Sienna Miller), son (Tom Holland) and aide-de-camp (Robert Pattinson) — returns time and again to his beloved jungle in an attempt to prove his case, culminating in his mysterious disappearance in 1925.

This was a very well done movie and told the story pretty well.  The problem was the up and down pacing of it.  The movie was super slow and drawn out at times.  Like you would actually feel like you were part of this for years.  Then it would speed up and become pretty intense, but then go back to the snail's pace approach.  It was very difficult to get too into the movie because of this.  I thought that Charlie Hunnam was great and have always been a fan.  The movie was just missing a complete hook to keep the viewers interested.

I wouldn't really recommend anyone bothering with this movie in theaters.  It's not really a bad movie but it ends up just kind of being there and not worth the time/money.  Check it out when it shows up on cable or something.

The Zookeeper's Wife


The real-life story of one working wife and mother who became a hero to hundreds during World War II. In 1939 Poland, Antonina Żabińska (portrayed by two-time Academy Award nominee Jessica Chastain) and her husband, Dr. Jan Żabiński (Johan Heldenbergh), have the Warsaw Zoo flourishing under his stewardship and her care. When their country is invaded by the Nazis, Jan and Antonina are stunned – and forced to report to the Reich’s newly appointed chief zoologist, Lutz Heck (Daniel Brühl). To fight back on their own terms, Antonina and Jan covertly begin working with the Resistance – and put into action plans to save lives out of what has become the Warsaw Ghetto, with Antonina putting herself and even her children at great risk.

I was enjoying this movie and the story very much for the first 3/4 of the movie even though it takes you to a time that I try to think about as little as possible.  They did a good job of taking you there and you felt rooted in the importance of what the characters were doing to help and what not.  For some reason the last 1/4 of the movie just felt very rushed.  It was like they took all this time to develop everything and then flew through all the payoff and what not.  It was kind of disappointing at the end of what really was a great movie.

I would still recommend people checking this out.  It's definitely an enjoyable watch but just kind of disappointing towards the end with the quick rush for closure and what not.

The Fate Of The Furious


Now that Dom and Letty are on their honeymoon and Brian and Mia have retired from the game—and the rest of the crew has been exonerated—the globetrotting team has found a semblance of a normal life. But when a mysterious woman (Oscar winner Charlize Theron) seduces Dom into the world of crime he can’t seem to escape and a betrayal of those closest to him, they will face trials that will test them as never before.  From the shores of Cuba and the streets of New York City to the icy plains off the arctic Barents Sea, our elite force will crisscross the globe to stop an anarchist from unleashing chaos on the world’s stage…and to bring home the man who made them a family.

This is just more of the same awesome popcorn fun as the others.  They used The Rock much more which you can pretty much never go wrong doing.  The did an excellent job with the use of Jason Statham.  He really ended up being on a level with Tyrese in terms of producing laughs.  Tyrese was still great too.  Charlize Theron was surprisingly great as the villain.  The action was crazy over the top as always but there were at least three action sequences that had me staring at the screen in awe, clapping and laughing.  I love this franchise.

I recommend that everyone suspend their disbelief and enjoy the ride of these movies.  They are pure popcorn entertainment at their finest.

Going In Style


Oscar winners Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Alan Arkin team up as lifelong buddies Willie, Joe and Al, who decide to buck retirement and step off the straight-and-narrow for the first time in their lives when their pension fund becomes a corporate casualty, in director Zach Braff’s comedy Going in Style.  Desperate to pay the bills and come through for their loved ones, the three risk it all by embarking on a daring bid to knock off the very bank that absconded with their money.

This is a dime a dozen kind of movie.  If you saw the trailer, you pretty much saw the movie. It's not a bad movie.  It's actually a pretty enjoyable movie with well developed characters and chemistry between them.  It's paced well and definitely leaves you with a feel good feeling.  It's just that there is nothing you dont already know what is going to happen.

I would sort of recommend people watching this.  Not sure it's really worth the time or money even though it's a decent watch.  Maybe wait for free access to it.

Gifted


Frank Adler (Chris Evans) is a single man raising a child prodigy – his spirited young niece Mary (Mckenna Grace) – in a coastal town in Florida. Frank’s plans for a normal school life for Mary are foiled when the seven-year-old’s mathematical abilities come to the attention of Frank’s formidable mother Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan) whose plans for her granddaughter threaten to separate Frank and Mary. Octavia Spencer plays Roberta, Frank and Mary’s landlady and best friend. Jenny Slate is Mary’s teacher, Bonnie, a young woman whose concern for her student develops into a connection with her uncle as well.

There are times when blatant heart string movies are insulting with how desperately they attempt to hook your emotions.  And then there are times when they are done just right and even though the movie is beyond predictable and formula, it is an excellent watch.  I felt like Gifted is much more of the latter.  They got me very invested in the story and characters.  They did a great job of showing how family should be even if it wasn't an ideal situation.  

I very much enjoyed this movie and recommend people check it out.  It's a great character drama about doing the right thing and listening to your heart.

Smurfs: The Lost Village


In this fully animated, all-new take on the Smurfs, a mysterious map sets Smurfette and her best friends Brainy, Clumsy and Hefty on an exciting and thrilling race through the Forbidden Forest filled with magical creatures to find a mysterious lost village before the evil wizard Gargamel does. Embarking on a rollercoaster journey full of action and danger, the Smurfs are on a course that leads to the discovery of the biggest secret in Smurf history!

This was a cute movie for kids.  I kind of feel like The Smurfs have run out of steam since being rebooted a couple years back but the movies are still entertaining for kids.  This is clearly one of those family movies where the parents suffer for the sake of their children pretty much.

I wouldn't really recommend anyone bother with this movie unless you are looking for something to do with your kids.  Even then - you might be better off seeing Beauty & The Beast or Boss Baby again instead.  

The Boss Baby


DreamWorks Animation and the director of Madagascar invite you to meet a most unusual baby. He wears a suit, speaks with the voice and wit of Alec Baldwin, and stars in the animated comedy, DreamWorks' The Boss Baby.  The Boss Baby is a hilariously universal story about how a new baby's arrival impacts a family, told from the point of view of a delightfully unreliable narrator, a wildly imaginative 7 year old named Tim. With a sly, heart-filled message about the importance of family, DreamWorks' The Boss Baby is an authentic and broadly appealing original comedy for all ages.

This was a very cute and enjoyable movie.   It was almost exactly what you would expect from seeing the trailer in terms of laughs.  The surprise was that it actually had a really good story in terms of having a teachable moment with your kids about little sisters or brothers.  The voices were good, the movie was paced well and most importantly - the nieces I went with to see it really liked it.  

I would definitely recommend families checking this out.  It's not a top level animated movie like Pixar and most other Dreamworks offerings but it is definitely the type of animated movie where your kids will enjoy it and so will you.  Its definitely not one of those suffer through it for your kids type of movies.


Ghost In The Shell


Based on the internationally-acclaimed sci-fi property, Ghost in the Shell follows the Major, a special ops, one-of-a-kind human-cyborg hybrid, who leads the elite task force Section 9. Devoted to stopping the most dangerous criminals and extremists, Section 9 is faced with an enemy whose singular goal is to wipe out Hanka Robotic’s advancements in cyber technology. The film is based on the famous Kodansha Comics manga series of the same name, written and illustrated by Masamune Shirow.

This movie was excellent visually.  They did an incredible job of taking you into this world and making you feel that you are really there.  The action was great and the chemistry between Johansson and her partner was also very well done.  Unfortunately, the pacing of the story was slow as hell and there were several points throughout where the movie dragged tremendously.  It ended up being one of those hour and 45 minute movies that felt more like 2 1/2 hours.

I would somewhat recommend people checking this movie out.  It was great visually but kind of rough story wise.

Chips


Jon Baker (Dax Shepard) and Frank “Ponch” Poncherello (Michael Peña) have just joined the California Highway Patrol (CHP) in Los Angeles but for very different reasons. Baker is a beaten up pro motorbiker trying to put his life and marriage back together. Poncherello is a cocky undercover Federal agent investigating a multi-million dollar heist that may be an inside job—inside the CHP. The inexperienced rookie and hardened pro are teamed together, but clash more than click, so kickstarting a partnership is easier said than done. But with Baker’s bike skills combined with Ponch’s street savvy it might just work…if they don’t drive each other crazy along the way.

This movie was pretty much garbage.  I expected nothing from the movie and got even less.  Don't remember laughing at all.  I have no clue what the point of this movie was or why in the blue hell they thought that the world was missing a Chips reboot.  It wasn't.  

I would recommend that absolutely nobody waste their time with this.  I still don't know how I made it to the end without pulling the plug early.

Power Rangers


Saban's Power Rangers follows five ordinary high school kids who must become something extraordinary when they learn that their small town of Angel Grove – and the world – is on the verge of being obliterated by an alien threat. Chosen by destiny, our heroes quickly discover that they are the only ones who can save the planet. But to do so they will have to overcome their real-life issues and band together as the Power Rangers before it is too late.

Whether you like this movie or not might depend on how much of a fan boy or fan girl you are of the franchise.  I was a lukewarm fan of the Power Rangers when I was younger so I thought the movie was a pretty good watch.  They did a decent enough job of developing the characters and the story.  The action was better and didn't cross over into Transformers land of special effects vomit to the point of not being able to tell what was actually happening.  

I don't know if this one will satisfy the die hard fans or not but I was able to enjoy it.  I'd recommend people checking it out.  It was a pretty good reboot.

Life


Life is a terrifying sci-fi thriller about a team of scientists aboard the International Space Station whose mission of discovery turns to one of primal fear when they find a rapidly evolving life form that caused extinction on Mars, and now threatens the crew and all life on Earth.

This movie is exactly what you would think from the trailer for it.  It's a wannabe Alien.  That doesn't mean it's bad or anything.  It's definitely a decent watch.  But there is pretty much nothing original or not predictable about the story or any of its characters.  

I'd somewhat recommend people checking this out.  It's a decent watch but really just a retread of a story told several times already.

The Belko Experiment


In a twisted social experiment, a group of 80 Americans are locked in their high-rise corporate office in Bogata, Colombia and ordered by an unknown voice coming from the company's intercom system to participate in a deadly game of kill or be killed.

This was basically a slightly tweaked version of The Purge.  Same basic violent concept with a different setup of how to get there.  The movie was enjoyable for what it was.  If you like movies like The Purge, then this one won't disappoint you.  Lots of crazy violence.  Lots of people cracking under pressure.  Lots of uncomfortable laughs from the panicked participants.  

Again - I would recommend this movie to anyone that enjoyed The Purge or any of the sequels.  If you can turn your brain off and enjoy movies like that, this is an enjoyable watch.  If not - you shouldn't go near this with a ten foot pole.

T2: Trainspotting


Striking with preemptive speed, TriStar Pictures has acquired the worldwide rights to Danny Boyle’s much-anticipated sequel to Trainspotting.  T2 Trainspotting, based on characters created by Irvine Welsh, reunites director Danny Boyle with screenwriter John Hodge and all of the principal cast of the 1996 film—Ewan McGregor, Jonny Lee Miller, Ewen Bremner and Robert Carlyle will reprise the iconic roles of Renton, Sick Boy, Spud and Begbie.

I don't want to say that this movie was disappointing.  I will go with it just being much different than what I expected.  The best part of the original Trainspotting was the manic way that it was filmed where you kind of felt like you were on the same drugs as the characters and you went along for the crazy ride and perceptions of the world through their eyes.  This movie didn't touch any of that with a ten foot pole.  The closest that they came to it was random side vignettes.  This movie was more about how none of the characters had changed in the last 20 years and it kind of made the movie more depressing than manic and hopeful like the first one.  It was still a watchable movie and pretty decent for what it was.  It was just very different and more mellow than I had expected.

I would still recommend any fans of the original and these characters check it out because the familiarity with them is what still makes the movie good even with its way different tone and what not.  Just go into it with very different expectations.

Rock Dog


For the Tibetan Mastiffs living on Snow Mountain, a dog’s life has a simple riff: Guard a peaceful village of wool-making sheep from the thuggish wolf Linnux (Lewis Black) and his rabid pack. To avoid distractions, Mastiff leader Khampa (J.K. Simmons) forbids all music from the mountain. But when Khampa’s son Bodi (Luke Wilson) discovers a radio dropped by a passing airplane, it takes just a few guitar licks for his fate to be sealed: Bodi wants to be a rock ‘n’ roll star. Yet that means defying his father’s wishes, heading to the city, and locating the legendary – and reclusive – musician Angus Scattergood (Eddie Izzard), who needs to write a new song and fast.  If Bodi can put a band together, help Angus with his song, and defeat the wolves’ plot to take Snow Mountain, his life will be in tune. Bodi will become what he’s always dreamed of being: More than a dog … more than a Rock God… he’ll be a ROCK DOG!

Wow!  This is easily one of the most boring animated movies I've seen in a long time.  And I'm pretty much a huge fan of them.  This movie had no hook.  No characters that stick with you.  And you can't even say that it was no good for adults because it's technically a kids movie anyway because the story is kind of too over the head of kids too.  It wanted to be a Pixar or Dreamworks animation type of movie with parents liking it as much as the kids but pretty much massively missed on both fronts.

I wouldn't recommend anyone bothering with this movie.  I honestly only watched it because it showed up online and I was bored out of my mind watching it.

Beauty And The Beast


The beloved tale will be retold for the big screen with a modern live-action lens and the help of transformative CG magic. Emma Watson and Dan Stevens will star as Belle and the Beast/Prince respectively, and Luke Evans will play the role of Gaston. Emma Thompson has joined the cast as Mrs. Potts and Kevin Kline as Belle's father, Maurice.

This was easily one of Disney's better live action remakes of their classic animated movies.  I still think that overall Jungle Book is still the best but that was pretty much entirely CGI with the animals.  With the actors included - this one becomes the best one that they have done so far.  All the classic songs were there and they did a really good job of capturing the characters quirks that made you love the animated versions from back in the day.  Emma Watson was perfectly cast along with Luke Evans as Gaston and Josh Gad  as his sidekick that literally stole every scene that he was in.  There are some scenes in this live action version that will terrify the younger kids but it was a very enjoyable watch and will probably end up being the biggest movie of this year that doesn't have Star Wars in the title. 

I absolutely recommend everyone checking this out.  It's rare that remakes are enjoyable as this one was.

The Shack


Based on the New York Times best-selling novel, The Shack takes us on a father’s uplifting spiritual journey. After suffering a family tragedy, Mack Phillips (Sam Worthington) spirals into a deep depression causing him to question his innermost beliefs. Facing a crisis of faith, he receives a mysterious letter urging him to an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Despite his doubts, Mack journeys to the shack and encounters an enigmatic trio of strangers led by a woman named Papa (Octavia Spencer). Through this meeting, Mack finds important truths that will transform his understanding of his tragedy and change his life forever.

To say that I am not really a spiritual or religious person is a massive understatement.  Movies like this tend to make me roll my eyes and pretty much lose my attention very easily.  This was all prior to the last year and a half.  After all of that my faith is even more shattered and I find it very difficult to believe in things spiritually.  All of that being said - this movie was like a roundhouse kick to the side of the head.  This movie connected with me more than I could have possibly imagined.  The Mack character was saying things and asking questions about God and faith that I have been.  There were so many points throughout this movie that were gut shots and really made me think about things.  

I would actually recommend people checking this out.  It was so much better than I thought I would and really tries to help people see things in a different light.

Kong: Skull Island


The producers of Godzilla reimagine the origins of one the most powerful monster myths of all in “Kong: Skull Island.” This compelling, original adventure tells the story of a diverse team of scientists, soldiers and adventurers uniting to explore a mythical, uncharted island in the Pacific, as dangerous as it is beautiful. Cut off from everything they know, the team ventures into the domain of the mighty Kong, igniting the ultimate battle between man and nature. As their mission of discovery becomes one of survival, they must fight to escape a primal Eden in which humanity does not belong.

If you are a fan of monster movies - this was a very enjoyable watch.  Plenty of excellent action and it was quality.  No gimmicky half showing of things or shaky camera work to compensate for the effects.  The effects were legit and not just quick shots and moving on.  These were pretty extended fights that you can't help but be in awe of.  The characters were not necessarily over developed which also helped make the movie enjoyable because you are really just there for the crazy monster stuff.  

I would definitely recommend people checking this bad boy out.  It was a very fun watch and it looks like the Monsterverse is going to be in full effect moving forward.  This was a great follow up to Godzilla from a few years back.

Before I Fall


What if you had only one day to change absolutely everything? Samantha Kingston has everything: the perfect friends, the perfect guy, and a seemingly perfect future. Then, everything changes. After one fateful night, Sam wakes up with no future at all. Trapped reliving the same day over and over, she begins to question just how perfect her life really was. As she begins to untangle the mystery of a life suddenly derailed, she must also unwind the secrets of the people closest to her, and discover the power of a single day to make a difference, not just in her own life, but in the lives of those around her--before she runs out of time for good.

This movie was based on a young adult novel and you could totally tell.  That being said - it was pretty well told of the girl reliving the same day before she dies over and over again in order to see the wrongs that she needs to right to be at peace.  The characters were done just good enough to make you not lose interest.  

I wouldn't really recommend anyone rushing to see this but I will admit it was a better watch than I had expected going in.

Logan


In the near future, a weary Logan cares for an ailing Professor X in a hide out on the Mexican border. But Logan’s attempts to hide from the world and his legacy are up-ended when a young mutant arrives, being pursued by dark forces.

This was a great, great movie.  It was an excellent ode to Hugh Jackman playing Wolverine for 17 years.  However - it was absolutely NOT an X-Men movie.  I can totally understand people going into this with those kinds of expectations being massively disappointed with this movie.  There were virtually no sci-fi special effects.  The action was very straight forward and they loved having the R rating and not having to hold back.  There was no futuristic cinematography.  Everything was very barren backgrounds and what not.  This movie was basically a legit movie about getting older and coming to terms with it but starring Wolverine.  There really is no other way to describe it.  In terms of acting and actual screenwriting - this is the best  of the X-Men movies. 

If you are able to see it for that, you will be able to really appreciate this movie.  If you are looking for a heavy special effects popcorn movie that X-Men has become known for - you will be heavily disappointed.

Table 19


Ex-maid of honor Eloise (Anna Kendrick) - having been relieved of her duties after being unceremoniously dumped by the best man via text - decides to hold her head up high and attend her oldest friend's wedding anyway. She finds herself seated at the 'random' table in the back of the ballroom with a disparate group of strangers, most of whom should have known to just send regrets (but not before sending something nice off the registry). As everyone's secrets are revealed, Eloise learns a thing or two from the denizens of Table 19. Friendships - and even a little romance - can happen under the most unlikely circumstances.

This was a very cute independent comedy.  It was a textbook artsy limited release.  Quirky characters that totally hook you.  More of a story than the trailer showed you to get you interested.  But the story really doesn't matter because its the characters that you care about.  Each one of the misfits at Table 19 delivered the needed laughs to make the movie worth watching and the short running time was also very important.  Stephen Merchant delivered yet another great supporting role and was probably my favorite of all of them.

I would sort of recommend people checking this out.  It's not a must see by any means and is absolutely not a main stream  comedy.  It is a decent watch though if you were interested by the trailer even with the added drama they thought was necessary to add to the movie.

Get Out


Now that Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) and his girlfriend, Rose (Allison Williams), have reached the meet-the-parents milestone of dating, she invites him for a weekend getaway upstate with Missy (Catherine Keener) and Dean (Bradley Whitford).  At first, Chris reads the family’s overly accommodating behavior as nervous attempts to deal with their daughter’s interracial relationship, but as the weekend progresses, a series of increasingly disturbing discoveries lead him to a truth that he could have never imagined.

I never would have imagined going in how awesome this movie was going to be on so many levels.  It was creepy as hell because of the constant level of tension throughout.  Something as simple as drinks on the patio had you sitting on the edge of your seat.  It was an incredible social commentary about racism in today's society.  It was also absolutely hilarious at times due to the lead's best friend whenever he would pop up.  And the laughs were so amazingly timed to relieve the built up tension.  I really can't say much more without giving too much away and this movie is too good to be spoiled.  I am willing to guarantee that this movie ends on my Top 10 list at the end of the year.

I absolutely recommend that everyone check this out.  This movie is very worthy of Must See status and is an amazing surprise for a random February release.

A Cure For Wellness


An ambitious young executive is sent to retrieve his company's CEO from an idyllic but mysterious "wellness center" at a remote location in the Swiss Alps. He soon suspects that the spa's miraculous treatments are not what they seem. When he begins to unravel its terrifying secrets, his sanity is tested, as he finds himself diagnosed with the same curious illness that keeps all the guests here longing for the cure. 

This movie had a massive aura of creepiness and tension right from the start and it properly elevated as the movie went on.  It was written and directed in a way where the viewer slowly got bits of information but it didn't drag so your interests were kept throughout.  Can't really talk to much about the ending without giving anything away but it did go a little off the rails.  I was worried that it would be one of those movies with amazing buildup to an ending that doesn't payoff so a little off the rails was not a problem at all.  This movie reminded me a lot of Shutter Island from a few years back but with more tension, creepiness and an overall look to everything.

I would definitely recommend this movie to fans of creepy thriller movies.  It was a very enjoyable watch.


A United Kingdom


A United Kingdom is based on extraordinary true events. In 1947, Seretse Khama, the King of Botswana, met Ruth Williams, a London office worker. The attraction was immediate: she was captivated by his vision for a better world, he was struck by her willingness to embrace it.  Both felt liberated by the social upheaval that followed the war - Seretse sensed the opportunity for change as the Empire weakened, Ruth saw the possibility for a "bigger life" as women pushed for independence and equality.  They were a perfect match, yet their proposed marriage was challenged not only by their families but by the British and South African governments. The latter had recently introduced the policy of apartheid and found the notion of a biracial couple ruling a neighboring country intolerable. South Africa threatened the British: either thwart the couple or be denied access to South African uranium (vital for the British nuclear program) and gold (vital to replenish reserves following the war) and face the risk of South Africa invading Botswana.  Despite the terrible pressures they faced, Seretse and Ruth never wavered - they fought for their love every step of the way, and in so doing changed their nation and inspired the world.

This was a very well told and acted story.  The necessary against all odds chemistry between the two leads was there from the beginning.  You are definitely hooked and rooting for them on this crazy journey they go on with unimaginable hurdles they have to face.  I went into this movie expecting boredom and a nap and was very pleasantly surprised.

I would definitely recommend people checking this out.  It was a very enjoyable as well as an educational watch.

A Dog's Purpose


Based on the beloved bestselling novel by W. Bruce Cameron, A Dog’s Purpose, from director Lasse Hallström (The Cider House Rules, Dear John, The 100-Foot Journey), shares the soulful and surprising story of one devoted dog (voiced by Josh Gad) who finds the meaning of his own existence through the lives of the humans he teaches to laugh and love. The family film told from the dog’s perspective also stars Dennis Quaid, Peggy Lipton, Britt Robertson, K.J. Apa, Juilet Rylance, Luke Kirby, John Ortiz and Pooch Hall.

This was a very cute movie with the Josh Gad commentary as the dog.  The difficult part was the dog passing from life to life.  To say that watching those parts were difficult is the understatement of the year.  But the movie did do a really good job of going back and forth between the joys and sadness of life with pets.  I've always been a cat person not a dog person but this movie made it very difficult to not love dogs.

I would recommend people checking this out.  It was a good watch as long as you can deal with the dog passing on multiple times.  Be warned taking kids to this that you will surely end up having talks about death.

Fist Fight


Ice Cube and Charlie Day star as high school teachers prepared to solve their differences the hard way. On the last day of the year, mild-mannered high school English teacher Andy Campbell (Day) is trying his best to keep it together amidst senior pranks, a dysfunctional administration and budget cuts that put jobs on the line. But things go from bad to worse when he accidentally crosses his much tougher and deeply feared colleague, Ron Strickland (Ice Cube), who challenges Campbell to an old-fashioned throwdown after school. News of the fight spreads like wildfire and ends up becoming the very thing this school, and Campbell, needed.

I had high hopes for this movie just because I'm a huge fan of Charlie Day.  I think that those expectations might have worked against this movie.  It ended up being absolutely hysterical towards the end but it took what felt like way too long to get there and there were not enough laughs along the way too.  Charlie Day playing the straight guy was weird and it really only started becoming funny once he was more unhinged. 

The movie was a decent watch with decent laughs that got much bigger towards the end.  I wouldn't really recommend it though because of way too much dull and down time building up to the laughs though.

John Wick: Chapter 2


In this next chapter following the 2014 hit, legendary hitman John Wick [Keanu Reeves] is forced back out of retirement by a former associate plotting to seize control of a shadowy international assassins’ guild. Bound by a blood oath to help him, John travels to Rome where he squares off against some of the world’s deadliest killers.

Wow!  This was really like massive amounts of testosterone and adrenaline in film form.  The fight scenes were crazy.  The shootouts were crazy.  Any time that there was driving included it was crazy.  This movie was a very enjoyable watch if you like these kind of action movies just like the first one.  They don't waste too much time with senseless stories or too much build up.  It's just badass across the board on the screen from beginning to end.  The only knock that I could make against this is just that maybe it didn't need to be as long of a movie.

I would absolutely recommend anyone who likes action movies checking this movie out.  Keanu Reeves career has really been brought back from the dead by this franchise that can easily continue as long as they keep the action as top notch. 

Fifty Shades Darker


Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson return as Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele inFifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed, the second and third chapters based on the worldwide bestselling “Fifty Shades” phenomenon. Expanding upon the events set in motion in Fifty Shades of Grey.

This movie was god awful.  Like painfully bad.  I didn't think that it could be worse than the original but I was wrong.  The acting was worse.  The story was nonexistabnt.  And the couple had zero chemistry.

I wouldn't recommend anyone watching this and hate that there is still another one on the way.  

The Lego Batman Movie


In the irreverent spirit of fun that made The LEGO Movie a worldwide phenomenon, the self-described leading man of that ensemble – LEGO Batman – stars in his own big-screen adventure: The LEGO Batman Movie. But there are big changes brewing in Gotham, and if he wants to save the city from The Joker’s hostile takeover, Batman may have to drop the lone vigilante thing, try to work with others and maybe, just maybe, learn to lighten up.

This movie was very enjoyable.  Not as funny as The Lego Movie but pretty close.  The constant making fun of Batman history was awesome and Will Arnett's egotistical voicing of Batman was also great.  The incorporating of villains outside of the D.C. Universe was an excellent surprise.  The Lego franchise definitely has a very bright future as long as they keep up the humor for the adults too.

I would absolutely recommend people checking this out.  It's a great watch for both the kids and adults.

Rings


A new chapter in the beloved "Ring" horror franchise. A young woman becomes worried about her boyfriend when he explores a dark subculture surrounding a mysterious videotape said to kill the watcher seven days after he has viewed it. She sacrifices herself to save her boyfriend and in doing so makes a horrifying discovery: there is a “movie within the movie” that no one has ever seen before…

This was poop.  Total poop.  Wait 12 years and deliver a mailed in and forced sequel.  Good idea.  I was so not scared at any point.  I was so not hooked or entertained that I literally said I'm going to sleep - wake me up if I start snoring and took like a 30 minute nap in the middle of the movie.  I was not too big on the first two Ring movies but this one was much, much worse.

I would absolutely not recommend anyone wasting their time with this.  It's a blatant money grab by the studio and a total waste of time and money.

Gold


Gold is the epic tale of one man’s pursuit of the American dream, to discover gold. Starring Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey (Interstellar, Dallas Buyers Club, The Wolf of Wall Street) as Kenny Wells, a modern day prospector desperate for a lucky break, he teams up with a similarly eager geologist and sets off on an amazing journey to find gold in the uncharted jungle of Indonesia. Getting the gold was hard, but keeping it would be even harder, sparking an adventure through the most powerful boardrooms of Wall Street. The film is inspired by a true story.

This movie basically relied entirely on the performance of Matthew McConaughey.  There was pretty much everything else around him just mailed in.  The performance was good but nowhere near good enough to carry the entire movie.  Especially since it could have been so much shorter.  I figured something had to be up when it was bumped from a high profile Christmas Day release date to the end of January wasteland and that was basically the studio admitting that the effort was pretty much a waste. 

I wouldn't recommend anyone bothering with this.  It's an overdone 2 hour movie that felt much longer and is definitely not worth your time and money. 

The Great Wall


Starring global superstar Matt Damon and directed by one of the most breathtaking visual stylists of our time, Zhang Yimou (Hero, House of Flying Daggers), Legendary’s The Great Wall tells the story of an elite force making a valiant stand for humanity on the world’s most iconic structure. The first English-language production for Yimou is the largest film ever shot entirely in China. 

I watched this entire movie with a confused dog look on my face.  A . . . . . How the hell is Matt Damon in this movie.  Could not get past this at any point during the movie.  It was worst casting than Tom Cruise back as The Last Samurai.  He looked so massively out of place and on top of that - why would he choose this movie that is really just . . . . . . B . . . . . This is a alien invasion type of movie.  Kind of like Starship Troopers based near or on The Great Wall of China.  That's it.  No joke.  It is advertised as this epic movie that is visually amazing (which at times it was) but it's them fighting against this big lizard alien army.  I really only watched it as long as I did because I was laughing so hard at how this was a big budget movie with a huge actor.  

I would not recommend anyone checking this out.  It's one of the sillier movies made in a long time all things considered and will most likely end up being a punchline to Matt Damon's career.

Silence


Martin Scorsese’s Silence tells the story of two Christian missionaries (Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver) who face the ultimate test of faith when they travel to Japan in search of their missing mentor (Liam Neeson) – at a time when Christianity was outlawed and their presence forbidden. The celebrated director's 28-year journey to bring Shusaku Endo’s 1966 acclaimed novel to life will be in theaters this Christmas.

Easily one of the longest feeling movies I have ever watched.  The actual run time was 2 hours and 45 minutes but I felt like I was just watching this all day.  I'm not saying it's bad.  It's actually a pretty good movie for the most part and easily the best acting of Andrew Garfield's career by far.  But I cannot stress how long this movie felt.  If I would have seen this in theaters I don't think I ever would have made it.  

On quality - I do recommend the movie.  However, unless you have pretty much a whole day to give to it I don't know that many will be seeing this.

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter


Picking up immediately after the events in Resident Evil: Retribution, Alice (Milla Jovovich) is the only survivor of what was meant to be humanity’s final stand against the undead. Now, she must return to where the nightmare began – The Hive in Raccoon City, where the Umbrella Corporation is gathering its forces for a final strike against the only remaining survivors of the apocalypse.

Please tell me that this is actually the final chapter and that the movie title isn't just teasing us.  How in the blue hell that this franchise has six installments is beyond me.  It's not even like you can enjoy this stuff simply if you are into zombies because they have managed to ruin that with nonsense special effects and the worst acting ever.  This one was no different than any of the previous ones - just  more of the same crap where I half pay attention and half think of other things that I could be doing. 

No, I would definitely not recommend anyone wasting their time with this.  Hopefully this is really the end but people not seeing it could maybe ensure this process?

The Founder


The Founder, directed by John Lee Hancock (The Blind Side, Saving Mr. Banks), features the true story of how Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton), a struggling salesman from Illinois, met Mac and Dick McDonald, who were running a burger operation in 1950s Southern California. Kroc was impressed by the brothers' speedy system of making the food and saw franchise potential. Writer Robert Siegel (The Wrestler) details how Kroc maneuvered himself into a position to be able to pull the company from the brothers and create a billion-dollar empire.

How the hell did this movie not garner more academy attention?  This movie was better than more than half of the Best Picture nominees.  They did an excellent job of the slow build to this story.  You were very hooked and invested even knowing how it would play out.  They managed to make me hate Michael Keaton for the role he was playing and I have always loved that guy.  This was a very well done movie. 

I would absolutely recommend people checking this one out.  It is a great (although upsetting) story about ego and business. The irony of a story like this coming out in our present times was off the charts.