Monthly Archives: February 2018

Maze Runner:Death Cure, movie review

So as the last movie in the trilogy, I was kind of expecting this film to tie up all the lose ends. I saw the third film, and left completely confused. So I went back and watched the first two movies again. I still felt I was missing something. So what did I do? I went back to the theater and watched the third movie again, hoping this time it would all come together.

Instead, I found myself finding more and more plot holes. Finally, I did a google search and sought some answers to all the things that didn’t make sense. From what I can tell, if you read the books, the movie will make sense. A lot was left out, and the things that really don’t add up, are not in the books at all.

I may read the books and post a review of them, comparing them to the movies, because I would like to understand what was going on.

So, putting aside the confusion, here’s my review of “Death Cure.” Lots of great action, more than was in the first movies. The ending does tie things up nicely, or as nice as can be. If you want an action movie, and are willing to not think about the plot holes, then it’s a great movie. Good acting, good flow, not really any slow stuff, well, there were a few staring contests between people for emotional emphasis, but it didn’t bother me.

Its an okay film, I just wish they’d done a better job of explaining things.

Samson, movie review

I read the story of Samson in my bible to refresh my memory before I went to the movie, then had to reread it after the movie. So, from what I could tell, the movie does do a good job of sticking to the bible. All the major scenes are there, as in the trademark bits. Samson did get a brother in this version, which I don’t think the bible mentioned. And the story expanded on the philistine point of view, creating a prince to be the main protagonist against Samson.

The plot tried to defend the people who betrayed Samson, by again, showing us what the philistines were planning, or rather black mailing the others into doing. Samson ended up coming across as a man who made poor choices and refused to use his powers to help his people when it mattered. His weakness toward women, was more mentioned than actually shown, like the director was afraid of making the story too romance themed or something. It didn’t quite add up that he kept getting betrayed by women, because he was swooned by their beauty, yet upheld virgin like standards for himself. The whole flow would have been better if he’d been sexual, and shown as such, rather than the “nice guy” routine.

The low budget of the film was noticeable, and reminded me of the tv show Hercules. The acting was okay, but somewhat ruined by the high school play equivalent stage/clothing attire.

The scene where Samson slays a thousand soldiers is by far the most laughable, only a hundred are seen, if that, and as Samson is shown hitting man after man, no dead bodies are piling up at his feet. It was like the dead people were respawning as if in a video game. They hit the ground and vanish, but then we flash the end, and there’s bodies littered everywhere, even though Samson is standing in the same spot, he never moved. So how did the dead bodies end up hundreds of yards from him?

Overall, if you are looking to share with your family the story of Samson, this movie does a good job of it, in a family friendly PG-13 manner. But its no blockbuster.

Fifty Shades Freed, movie review

It’s been a few years now since I read the book, but from what I can remember, the movie did a good job of staying true to the book. I got worried at the end, when the credits started, but the extra scene did pop up, showing the happy family with their son and Anna pregnant with another child. They didn’t show the red room scene with Anna pregnant, but I can forgive that, it may not have been well received with audiences.

What made the movie work so well, was how the cast seemed to be enjoying themselves, at least the main character Anna was. She truly seemed happy in the scenes where she was supposed to be happy. Otherwise, the film continues to be what the book is, an inflated soap opera with a good budget. Fans of the book should enjoy the movie, because as I said, it stays true. Out of all the book to screen adaptations I’ve seen, this one is probably one of best I’ve seen at not changing much from the book. I would think that comes from the fact the book itself played out like a television soap opera, so the translation to a screenplay was likely easier for it than most books.

If you’re looking for a romance, this isn’t really going to tug on your heart strings. But if you like soap operas and don’t mind some nudity, then the movie is worth watching.

To read my review and movie/book comparison of the first Fifty Shades of Grey click here.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri, movie review

This movie didn’t make it into many theaters and I had to hunt a bit to find it. Of course, now that its nominated for awards, theaters are suddenly bringing it back–go figure.

So I saw this, because the trailer looked odd and it make me curious. It didn’t play out quite like I expected. Spoiler alert, the guy who did the murder is never found. But, that keeps the movie realistic. Because most of the time, in real life, the killer isn’t going to be found. At least not in the clean cut manner we usually see depicted in movies and tv shows. This film shows us what happens after the fact, years later, how the healing process isn’t always easy. From the mother, brother, to even the cops involved on the case, how each of them finds a way to cope with what happened. And yes, a few go to extremes, but it still feels real.

The movie does have a few slow moments, but it makes up for them in plot twists and the strong emotional acting of the cast.

In general, a good movie to see if you want a drama with some violence.


Coco, movie review

I’m sure for those who come from a background that believes in and/or celebrates Day of the Dead, this movie will hold more meaning. As someone who isn’t overly familiar with the holiday, I enjoyed learning about the holiday in this creative way, it’s probably the best run down someone has ever given me about how the event works.

Aside from that, the story is a relatable one. Most people probably go through a struggle of wanting to be or feeling different than their family and that is at the core of this film. As most will say, the color and animation of this film go above and beyond what is expected. If you were able to see it in a theater, that is truly the best way to experience and

appreciate all the hard work that went into making the movie. If not, I expect the 4k version to do it justice.

A good movie for the entire family, but it does have some dark elements. The double deaths were a little depressingly sad to me.

Ferdinand, movie review

This was one of the cutest movies I’ve seen in a while. Very kid friendly and loaded with good morals. I think the event was loosely based on real events, because I do recall a bull fighter claiming he gave up the fighting when he was up against a bull that did not want to fight him.

For those who know the world, I’m sure this film will hold a different meaning for them. For me, I found it educational, because I’d never really learned about bull fighting before. I’m sure parts were exaggerated to make it more entertaining, but for a story told from the point of view of the animals, it covers what you would expect. My favorite was the calming goat. I’d heard of animals being partnered with race horses in an effort to calm them, it makes sense that the same would be used for bulls. The fact it was a goofy goat, made the movie all the funnier.

Overall, it’s a great movie for all ages.

Jumanji, movie review

The trailers for this movie came out a while ago and I’d been eagerly awaiting its release ever since my first glimpse. Jack Black pretending to be a teen girl? Plus the Rock paired with Kevin Hart? That coupling has done well in the past with “Central Intelligence” and I had high hopes for a similar comedy.

I’m happy to say I was not disappointed. The movie delivered its barrels of laughter and had just enough story plot to keep me engaged, unlike some comedies who sacrifice common sense for slapstick humor. The special effects were well done as well, and video gamers should be impressed with the film that is almost a homage to earlier generation of video games.

The movie does a good job or playing the role of sequel and rewrite to the original 1995 Jumanji. The original board game is in the first scene, which then morphs to adapt to the times, and entice players, by becoming a video game. It should be noted however, that there was a sequel already made to the original Jumanji. “Zuthura: A Space Adventure” from 2005. So this is really the third movie in the franchise. I will be curious if they’ll do another version of Zuthura, although it will be hard to compete with the success of Jumanji.

The 15:17 to Paris, movie review

It used to be a movie made by Clint Eastwood was bound to be good. He was even one of the directors that you could count on to act well in a movie he was also directing, a talent not many actor/director combos can do.

Alas, everyone has a fumble, or in this case, it might simply be time for Mr. Eastwood to retire. My best guess is that he didn’t actually direct this movie, and instead just gave his seal of approval while someone else was on the filming stage on the day to day basis.

The acting was poor. The dialogue poor. It’s no surprise that regular people were cast in the movie. I would have sent the main three to a few acting classes, just to help the end product be a bit better. (Yes, I know they cast the real life people who were on the train, but that doesn’t mean you can’t teach them to act.) Even the recognizable actors didn’t do a very good job though, so I’m not sure what happened.

The film tried to make up for the lack of acting, plot, and creative dialogue, by shooting events on location. Some of the military scenes were done on the military base I work, and I can vouch that they did indeed hire military members to play the military roles. The overseas scenes appeared to be shot on location as well, so in that aspect I’m impressed. But also confused. Why go through all the trouble to shoot on location if you aren’t going to spend the money to hire decent actors and writers?

Overall, this is a movie I strongly discourage anyone from seeing. It should have been a straight to tv movie at best, and even then, it would have only got one airing and never been seen or heard of again. It’s not even bad enough to be good, like Sharknado.

Author Feature in “Starving Artist Magazine”

Yours truly is being featured in the recent issue of the “Starving Artist” magazine. Click the link to buy it in high res or paperback. There’s also a free low res available at here.

Feel free to check it out and read about my new dragon romance series!

The Greatest Showman, Movie review

So I didn’t know exactly what I was getting into with this movie. I thought it was about the Ringling brothers, but no, it’s about Barnum and Bailey. So I learned some history about the opposite circus founders than I expected.
This movie is also a musical, which I was warned about. I’m normally not a fan of musicals, and although this film did push my tolerance for them, it was okay. I mean, it’s a circus movie, so some music and theatrics is expected.
What I didn’t like was how Barnum admitted the things in his show were fake, yet, some of it was real? I think? Like the bearded lady. I guess that was the point, to mix in the real with the fake. The travel parts were the worst to me, and trips were portrayed to be easy to commute to. Like, visiting the Queen in England. I’m no expert, but back when these events were happening, I think it took several months on the seas to make that trip. And the movie made it seem like a quick down the street visit. Barnum took the entire circus, which would mean he had to shut down his store in New York for the better part of a year. How was none of this important enough to mention?
The romance between Barnum and the lady who could sing was a predictable plot twist, and one I’m not sure if I believe played out like the movie showed. I’m sure Barnum denied any affair, and it was nice of the move makers to go along with that, but I’m not sure I buy it.
In the end, I’d say it was an okay movie. I’d say to steer clear if you don’t like musicals though, but it was a colorful rags to riches tale.