Tomb Raider, movie review (2018)

The cast in this movie, combined with the trailers, gave me confidence the movie would be good.

I am happy to report it met my expectations. And those who play the video game, will be happy to know it is similar to the new, 2013 version of Tomb Raider. I haven’t played the game myself, but people tell me the chosen actress looks exactly like the character in the game. Some of the scenes are also similar, and there’s several times the point of view goes to first person, just like the game.

Sadly, that does mean the movie is like watching a video game, rather than playing it. Its not the first film to do this, several of the Resident Evil movies felt like this, and they did it to a degree where I was literally shouting out, “that’s a boss!” “level checkpoint!” and so forth. Tomb Raider was not that bad, but close.

It does have action. It does have a plot. Some scenes are a bit exaggerated and unrealistic when it comes to physics. There are moments where the action could be avoided if the characters weren’t being stupid–but the point was to give us as much action as possible, so I get it.

Overall, its a decent action movie and worth seeing. But don’t set your expectations too high. I mean, I tend to like these movies, I loved the movie adaptation of “Doom” and the first “Resident Evil” movie. So, I’m likely rating “Tomb Raider” higher than most would.

 

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Annihilation, movie review

This movie is a classic science fiction. It does a good job of providing enough facts to explain things, but not over complicate matters or do a massive information dump. This allows the audience to read as much or as little into the story as they want.

There is definitely some gore, and more than one scene which will leave you squirming a bit. Its interesting that its an all women team, but there isn’t any real reason behind it, which was disappointing. I was hoping for an explanation, because its a hard coincidence to believe, and I can’t imagine any organization thinking its smart to send an all women team into a deadly area–especially when most members of the team are inexperienced in weapons and combat. We also aren’t given a solid count of how many people they’ve sent in before this. And the logic that anyone who goes in, doesn’t come back, doesn’t make sense either. Wouldn’t you send someone in a few feet and have them come back? Go in a few yards, collect some samples, and come back? Who decided, everyone who goes in, must make it a goal to reach the center, no coming back early!

And people who do get out, are seemingly magically teleported out. No explanation given. I get it, such details would have slowed the movie down. There is a book the film is based on, so perhaps if I read it, I’ll get my answers.

There are subtle clues throughout the film that give you an indication of what is happening. Basically everyone inside is sharing DNA with everyone else inside, be that turning into plants, bears with human voices, or even getting each other’s tattoos.

The ending has a twist that will leave audiences shaking their heads and trying to figure out exactly what they saw happen. Its a good twist, not confusing, just makes you wonder what is real and what isn’t.

Overall, I’d recommend it if you enjoy classic science fiction movies. This one does the genre justice.


Love, Simon, movie review

This is a very PG romance story, focusing on common frustrations faced by teens. The main character is struggling with coming out and forms a bond with another youth in a similar situation. The movie becomes a bit of a guessing game as Simon, the main character, tries to determine who his anonymous pen pal is.

This a modern adaptation of a coming of age movie. Its very much a drama with comedic factors being very limited.

I’m not sure why so many teen based movies are becoming so dark, but this film felt eerily like “13 Reasons Why.” Everyone is shown for having very real and raw problems that most audience members can relate to. No one dies in the movie, and in the end it provides a happy ending, but it sure does take some dark twists to reach it.

A good movie, yes, but be prepared for it to be a more serious film and not a carefree romantic comedy.


Gringo, movie review

Similar to Game Night, this movie did not want to play into the “I saw all the punch lines/best scenes in the trailer.”

Which makes it hard to review, because a good portion of what makes this movie good is that you aren’t expecting the main character to do what he does. So let’s just say there are several layers to the kidnapping. And more than one person wants to find Harold, the main character. This plays into an entertaining game of cat and mouse, with a great comedic factor.

In the end, the story tries to give the beaten underdog their happy ending, and the original people on top, their punishments. I would almost say this is a good revenge movie, but not really, because you never feel like Harold actually wants to punish someone. He just wants the world to be a bit more fair, and for those who work hard to get actually get rewarded for it.

This is one of the best comedies I’ve seen this year, so if you want some laughs, this is definitely one to see.


Game Night, movie review

It would seem comedies have listened to people’s common complaint of, “I saw all the best jokes/scenes in the trailer.” Because the trailer for this movie, does not give you a clear idea of what you are in store for.

The first thirty minutes or so set the stage, making it sure you understand how hum drum and normal the lives of the main characters are. And then the twists begin, one after another. Its like a real kidnapping mixed in a fake, on top of a fake, on top of a fake, with a real no wait, another fake, or is it? Its quite the tale of cat and mouse. Yes, some of the scenes are exaggerated, as is sometimes seen in comedies, but otherwise I have no real complaints.

The movie will keep you laughing, and the plot twists will keep you guessing. So if you are looking for a few good laughs, Game Night is work seeing.


A Wrinkle in Time, Movie Review

I went to this movie with pretty low expectations. And I’m happy to report, the trailer did the movie justice. What you see in the trailer is exactly what you get in the movie. The story line is meh, the characters are a little heavy on trying to be stereotypes and targeting those who feel like an outcast. The special effects and creativity are “wow” worthy, and the child actors, especially the little boy, are just amazing. That kid has a great future in acting.

I haven’t read the book, so I can’t tell you how it relates. So as someone who has only seen the movie, I can tell you, its meh. I wasn’t bored, there was just enough going on to keep me from wanting to leave, but I wasn’t exactly entertained either. And for some reason, the main character’s glasses kept pulling my attention. I don’t know why, but I felt like I was staring at them for the entire movie. I kept waiting for her glasses to be important for some reason since the camera angles focused so greatly on them–but no, they never were.

It would be an okay movie to take older kids to, but the younger ones will likely get bored. This is a deep in the emotions kind of kid movie, that only older kids are likely to appreciate.


Red Sparrow, movie review

So I see a lot of movies in the theater, and somehow I never saw a single trailer for this one. A bit odd, but whatever, a lack of advertising seems to be more and more commonplace lately.

The movie is based on a talented Russian ballerina, who suffers an injury which ends her career and she is then recruited into a spy program called “Red Sparrow” which seem to be Russian spies specializing in using sexual tactics to win over trust.

My biggest complaint is that the chosen actress for this movie, Jennifer Lawrence, does not have the body build of a ballerina. They are very lean, with little body fat, at least the professional ones that the character is depicted as. Maybe, I’m being too stereotype-ish, but to me, Jennifer Lawrence is too curvy for the role. She has breasts, thighs and a butt. I’m not saying she’s fat, or unattractive in the least, but she is not what one thinks of when picturing a ballerina. There are other actresses out there, flat chested ones, who would have played this role better.

Jennifer Lawrence also isn’t who I think of when I picture a Russian. Again, it might be basing to much on stereotypes, but her accent isn’t the best, and her wigs look too fake.

But, all that aside, people seem to be flooding to the theater to see the movie because Jennifer Lawrence is in it. I guess they want to see her nudity, and the movie likely wouldn’t have seen the popularity it has if she wasn’t in it. In a world where people like big breasts, I guess Hollywood has no choice but to give us ballerinas with big breasts, no matter how unrealistic it is.

So for the movie itself. The plot is full of twists, and most won’t see the end twist coming. It’s a good movie if you enjoy a flick where revenge is mainstream and the bad guys get what’s due. That said, there are scenes that will make you squirm. The movie thrives on making the audience feel uncomfortable, both emotionally with the sex scenes and graphically with violence.

It’s not an action movie. I would call it a thriller or suspense type. And for a spy movie, it has a very simple plot that is easy to follow.

If you want to see some nudity, violence, and revenge, this is the movie to see, for sure. I’d give it a middle rating, and the audience it’s meant for is very selective. Not everyone should see this, only those who enjoy what I stated above.