Archive for the Movie Review Category

A Spoiler-Free Review of Bandersnatch

Posted in Movie Review with tags , , , on January 16, 2019 by boccobsblog

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Black Mirror: Bandersnatch

  • Initial release: December 28, 2018
  • Director: David Slade (30 Days of Night)
  • Screenplay: Charlie Brooker (Black Mirror)
  • Music composed by: Brian Reitzell
  • Production company: Netflix
  • Producer: Russell McLean
Cast
From Netflix:
In 1984, a young programmer begins to question reality as he adapts a dark fantasy novel into a video game. A mind-bending tale with multiple endings.

Bandersnatch follows Stefan Butler who is played by Fionn Whitehead (I Google it, this is not a type of zip that plagues high elf adolescents) as he attempts to create an interactive video game called Bandersnatch (a fictional character/creature created by Lewis Carroll). Here is our review of Netflix’s first adult interactive movie:

The Good
  • Great soundtrack (which you can partially control)
  • Dozens of Black Mirror Easter eggs
  • Fionn White makes a creepy programmer with a dark past
  • Will Poulter plays a acidmancer with a sweet Billy Idol hairdo
The Badass
  • New and novel interactive TV experience
  • 5 “main” endings, but as many as 12 possible endings
  • Readers of Choose Your Own Adventure books will feel a great sense of nostalgia
  • Bandersnatch keeps the dark/gritty feel that makes Black Mirror so good
  • The Tuckersoft Games website gimmick
The Ugly
  • The restarts get a bit tiring, like watching Run Lolo Run
  • The show is a bit limited (but as the first of its kind that is to be expected)
  • It relies a bit too much on being meta (the viewer controlling the action) over strong storytelling

Netflix Sued

Chooseco, the current owner of the popular Choose Your Own Adventure titles from the 80s and 90s, filed a 25 million dollar lawsuit against Netflix claiming copyright infringement.

“We have received an unprecedented amount of outreach from people who believed we were associated with the creation of this film, including parents who were concerned that we had aligned the CYOA brand they knew and loved with content that surprised and offended them,” Shannon Gilligan, co-founder and publisher of Chooseco, said in a statement. (NBC)

Hopefully Netflix will continue producing interactive titles. Leading up to Bandersnatch, Netflix created an interactive Puss in Boots shows as well as a Minecraft cartoon.

 

Skanky Clickbait:

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Escape Room (2019) Movie Review

Posted in Films, Movie Review with tags , , , on January 6, 2019 by boccobsblog

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Imagine that The Game (1997) and Cabin in the Woods (2012) banged in a Waffle House bathroom while The Cube (2004) and The Maze Runner (2014) watched — their inbred mutant baby would be Escape Room.

According to Escaperoom.movie:

Escape Room is a psychological thriller about six strangers who find themselves in circumstances beyond their control and must use their wits to find the clues or die

Directed by: Adam Robitel (Insidious: The Last Key)
Screenplay(-ish) by: Bragi Schut and Maria Melnik (American Gods)
Story by: Bragi Schut (Season of the Witch – that explains a lot)
Produced by: Neal H. Moritz, Ori Marmur
Executive Producer: Rebecca Rivo

CAST
Taylor Russell
Logan Miller
Deborah Ann Woll
Jay Ellis
Tyler Labine
Nik Dodani
with Yorick van Wageningen

The Good

  • The sets are well-crafted and detailed
  • The score added to the suspense without being obnoxious

The Badass

  • Jay Ellis (Insecure) does a great job, and is the only character with even a hint of complication or backstory
  • Deborah Ann Woll (Daredevil, True Blood) has a brief role as a tortured war vet
  • The plot moved quickly and jumped right into the action (I have the attention span of meth-addicted lemur, so this is always a big plus for me)
  • Escaperoom.movie has a Million Dollar Challenge where you can attempt to solve clue, win a trip to Los Angeles, and get a shot at a million dollars

The Ugly

  • Tyler Labine (Tucker and Dale vs. Evil) is awkward and seems out of place.
  • Dr. Wu Tang Clan.
  • The Game Master is goofy, and appears too late to have an impact.
  • The plot is beyond ludicrous.
  • Using the Illuminati as the BBEG is weak writing. When you use a cabal with limitless resources and reach, it allows you to easily explain away ridiculous plot holes.
  • The trope of the rich and powerful watching us kill ourselves via the internet is tired and overused.

This movie was an enjoyable excuse to eat popcorn, but you can wait to watch it on Netflix. It was silly and had little substance.

Spoiler Free Review: The Nun

Posted in Movie Review with tags , , , on September 8, 2018 by boccobsblog

The-Nun-Poster

According to The Nun Movie Official Site:

New Line Cinema’s horror thriller “The Nun” explores another dark corner of the “Conjuring” universe, whose record-setting films have terrified audiences around the globe.

The new fright-fest, directed by Corin Hardy (“The Hallow”) and produced by James Wan, and Peter Safran, the latter of whom has produced all the films in “The Conjuring” franchise, delves into the shocking origin of the demonic Nun Valak, who first made her evil presence known in “The Conjuring 2.”

When a young nun at a cloistered abbey in Romania takes her own life, a priest with a haunted past and a novitiate on the threshold of her final vows are sent by the Vatican to investigate. Together they uncover the order’s unholy secret. Risking not only their lives but their faith and their very souls, they confront a malevolent force in the form of the same demonic nun that first terrorized audiences in “The Conjuring 2,” as the abbey becomes a horrific battleground between the living and the damned.

“The Nun” stars Oscar nominated Demian Bichir (“A Better Life”) as Father Burke, Taissa Farmiga (TV’s “American Horror Story”) as Sister Irene, and Jonas Bloquet (“Elle”) as local villager Frenchie.

The cast also includes Charlotte Hope (TV’s “Game of Thrones”) as the abbey’s Sister Victoria, Ingrid Bisu (“Toni Erdmann”) as Sister Oana, and Bonnie Aarons, reprising her “Conjuring 2” role as the title character.

Hardy directs “The Nun” from a screenplay by Gary Dauberman (“IT”), story by James Wan & Gary Dauberman. Richard Brener, Walter Hamada, Dave Neustadter, Gary Dauberman, Michael Clear and Todd Williams are the executive producers.

Joining Hardy behind the scenes are director of photography Maxime Alexandre (“The Voices,” “Annabelle: Creation”), production designer Jennifer Spence (“Annabelle: Creation,” “Lights Out,” the “Insidious” films), editors Michel Aller (“Lights Out,” “Paranormal Activity: Ghost Dimension”) and Ken Blackwell (“Ouija” “Friday the 13th”), and costume designer Sharon Gilham (TV’s “Black Mirror”). The music is by Abel Korzeniowski (“Nocturnal Animals”).

New Line Cinema presents an Atomic Monster / Safran Company production, “The Nun.” Opening in theaters on September 7, 2018, the film will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures.

This film has been rated R for terror, violence, and disturbing/bloody images.

In B3 fashion, here is the good, the badass, and the ugly regarding The Nun.

The Good

  • The cinematography is good, not great. Standard shots, no risks taken.
  • Abel Korzeniowski’s score was fitting and enjoyable and added to the dark atmosphere.
  • The acting by the three main characters was decent. Taissa Farmiga makes a believable young novitiate and manages to seem both flirty and naive as well as fragile and strong in equal parts. Demian Bichir is believable as a gruff priest and war veteran. Finally, I found myself liking Jonas Bloquet as Frenchie, who does a good job in spite of subpar lines and a total lack of backstory.

The Badass

  • Frenchie screaming, “I’m French Canadian!”
  • The sets are creepy and well-crafted.
  • There are a few location shots at Corvin Castle are stunning.
  • The film is full of creepy imagery and jump-worthy moments.

The Ugly

  • The Warrens are well-documented frauds, and it is a shame these projects are tied to them.
  • Frenchie screaming, “I’m French Canadian!”
  • The entire movie is very light on plot. The writers attempted to give a backstory to the haunted castle, but the scene is less than two minutes in length and remains largely undeveloped.
  • We are given no explanation of why Frenchie is in Romania.
  • The first few moments of the movie are a choppy and hamfisted attempt to tie it to the earlier Conjuring series. The same holds true for the last moments  of the movie. In all, the Conjuring content of the movie is less than two minutes total.

The Nun was an enjoyable excuse to eat popcorn, but a fractured, barely existent plot keeps it from being a good movie. The Nun currently has a 29% score on Rotten Tomatoes.

The Conjuring Series is Available on BluRay:

The Conjuring (2013)
The Conjuring 2 (2016)
Annabelle (2014)
Annabelle: Creation (2016)

A Spoiler-Free Review of Solo

Posted in Films, Movie Review, Star Wars, Uncategorized with tags , , , on May 25, 2018 by boccobsblog

SOlo

The Good

The Aliens –  Lady Proxima (Linda Hunt), Moloch (Andrew Jack), and Rio Durant (Jon Favreau) look so realistic.

The Star Destroyers – There is a quick shot of the ships being built on Corellia and it really shows the scale

The Shower Scene – I won’t ruin it, but it is spicy.

Clone Wars – There is content from the Clone Wars cartoon included in the film.

Gender Equality – Solo has several strong female roles without being heavy-handed and obvious like in the Last Jedi where every male character has to be ineffectual and useless. In Solo it is a given that men and women are equally capable of being badasses, as it should be.

The Badass

Cast – This movie is perfectly cast. Honestly there isn’t a bad performance. Donald Glover KILLS it as Lando, and Woody Harrelson make a great scoundrel mentor. Everyone plays their role to perfection.

The Falcon – She is glorious as you knew she would be. There is no retcons to worry about, she is the YT-1300 you know and love.

Thermal Detonator – Click!

Chewie – Our first look at Chewie is scary. They always say Wookies are tough and violent, but you’ve never really seen it until now.

The Look – The CGI is seamless. I am not a fan of CGI, but it really well done in Solo. The movie is stunning to watch.

The Cameo – The keep this spoiler free, I can’t say much, but suffice it to say there is a surprise cameo that could mean big things for a future Star Wars film. It surprised the hell out of me.

The Ugly

L3-37 – I probably am alone here, because the character was funny and well voice-acted by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, but the free-willed, sassy droid is becoming (or has already become) old hat following so closely after Rogue One’s K-2SO. If every movie has a free-willed droid, they cease to be meaningful and rare.

Hell – This is a small gripe, but Han says “hell” a lot, which seems like lazy writing, there would be no hell in the Star Wars universe and the anachronism bugs me; not from any religious standpoint, just that the word wouldn’t be in their lexicon. It would be like if Lando said, what happens in Vegas, stay in Vegas.

I’m having trouble finding bad things to say. It was a solid movie.

In summary

I thought Solo was fun. Not as dark or serious as Rogue, but a light scoundrel adventure. It is beautiful, and perfectly cast. There are seeds for possible sequels, but the movie isn’t just a set up to something.

Spoiler-Free Review of Deadpool 2

Posted in Comic Books, Films, Gaming Culture, Movie Review with tags , , , , , , on May 18, 2018 by boccobsblog

DP2

Went out last night to see Deadpool 2 and here, in B3 tradition, is the good, the badass, and the ugly.

The Good

Cable – I thought it would be weird having Josh Brolin in another Marvel role so soon after Infinity Wars, but it wasn’t weird at all. Brolin is a top-notch talent.

X-Force – DP2 opens the door to an X-Force movie (which is already in the works).

Blind Al – Leslie Uggams doesn’t get much screen time in DP2, but what time she has is gold.

Alpha Flight – Was that a hint towards an AF movie in the works or just a tip of the hat to Canadian supers?

The Badass

It’s Funny – The jokes are good, not as good as DP1, but Ryan Reynolds was squeezed onto this Earth to play this role.

Dopinder – Karan Soni reprises his role as the lovable cab driver and delivers some serious laughs.

The Vanisher – This bit made me laugh so hard.

Domino – Zazie Beetz is awesome as the latest incarnation of Domino. I keep trying to decide what I think of the use of vitiligo for her spot, it kind of works.

Fire Fist/Russell – Julian Dennison delivers some of the best laughs with his pen. (Prison wallet…smh)

The Ugly

Juggernaught’s helmet looked goofy. What is it about superhero helmets that are so hard to replicate – I’m looking at you Magneto.

Cable’s Choice – Without giving too much away, why wouldn’t Cable return home immediately after accomplishing his goal? It seemed very uncharacteristic. A plot hole to allow him to take part in the X-Force movie.

The Heaven Barrier – The whole subplot was a bit cliche.

Shatterstar – This is just a personal preference but, Im a Shatterstar fan and was excited at the idea of him hitting the big screen. I would have liked a little more Shatterstar.

Sequel Slump – DP1 was a great movie, but the sequel falls short. It is hard to say exactly why, maybe it is the attempt at a semi-serious “good guy” plot.

In Summary

All in all, Deadpool 2 was an enjoyable movie with some genuine laughs, but it fell short of the first installment. Grab the Blu-ray today.

Other Reviews

Logan

Wonder Woman

The Last Jedi

 

If you like super hero movies, check out 5Evo, which combines superheroes with D&D5E

The Last Jedi Review (Spoilers)

Posted in Films, Movie Review with tags , , , on December 19, 2017 by boccobsblog

LJ

OK, I have seen The Last Jedi twice now and I’m ready to review. The critics have praised the film, but the fans seem split nearly 50/50. In B3 style, we’ll do the Good, the Badass, and Ugly.

The Good

Rey’s Parentage – I was relieved that Rey wasn’t a Skywalker or a Kenobi. Not everyone has to be someone’s child. A galaxy is a big place. Plus, all the stupid fanboy theories were wrong, which is great.

Snoke’s Background – Again screw you stupid fanboys. “Snoke is Boba Fett!” These theories annoy me and never have any solid evidence to back them up. Snoke was a McGuffin, let’s move on.

Chewie Kicking in Luke’s Door – Chewie always delivers. What else is there to say? Though I would have liked to have seen some interaction between Chewie and Luke, I mean they have been friends for like forty or fifty years.

Benicio Del Toro – Benny the Bull does a great job, even if his betrayal is super predictable.

The Badass

Hamil’s Performance – I love me some Skywalker, but Mark Hamil’s acting in the OT is just OK. Fast forward to 2018 and MH delivers a seriously badass performance. The greatest moment in the film is when he struts through the hole in the blast door to meet the First Order and Kylo Ren. (Side note: does anyone want to cosplay as Kylo Ren and Stimpy with me at Gen Con 2018?)

The Throneroom Fight – The fight that follows Snoke’s death is pretty sweet. though did you notice there wasn’t a lightsaber battle in this movie?

“Oh, they hate that ship!” – That is the greatest line in the movie! I laughed my awkward concave ass off at that one.

Holdo’s Jump – I’ve been waiting for this since forever. Though, I think we could do with more Laura Dern, IMO.

The Ugly

Leia’s Peter Pan Spacewalk – This was fucking lame. Like Gungan bad. Carrie Fisher is dead, this was a perfect opportunity to let the rest of the old guard go. We have a suitable new guard replacement with Vice Adm. Holdo (had).

The Weird Milking – This was weird and should have ended up on the cutting room floor. Same with the giant fish. They already showed a catch of normal-sized drying, why did we need an Episode One weirdo fish?

The Plot – The largest problem with the Last Jedi was the main plot of the First Order slowly chasing the Resistance in some kind of OJ White Bronco chase at 13 MPH. The First Order had literally thousands of TIE fighters, shuttles and support craft that could outrun the big Mon Cal ship. Seriously, each star destroyer carries 72 TIE fighters. Not to mention the obvious question, why not just jump in front of them?

The Gender Inequality Over-Correction – The new  Star Wars movies have some strong female characters, which is awesome. The problem I saw with the Last Jedi, is that the male characters have been made into reckless & unwise (Poe) or completely useless & unwise (Finn), while every female character is a Leia-level badass. As my wife pointed out, the men have all become detergent commercial dads, this weak, useless idiot that needs to be instructed by his wife and bossy daughter. You don’t need weak male characters to have strong female roles.

Old Tropes – This movie was about killing the past, but it still used many of the old tropes, Dagobah Island, throne room betrayals, charging super lasers, etc. Each had a slight twist, so we’re getting closer, but we still rely on Falcon Ex Machina moments to save the day.

Finn – I like Finn, I think John Boyega does a great job, but Finn has no role in this film, and his subplot is literally useless and tacked on. I would like to have seen Poe replace Rose as P & F have some great buddy comedy potential.

Hux – The general was kind of a tool in FA, but is comically absurd in LJ.

But, but…Porgs! You didn’t mention Porgs?! The Porgs were on the screen for less a minute, not long enough to offend. All in all, I enjoyed the Last Jedi. It was good, but not great. Hopefully, the third movie can be original. We’ve plundered the OT for all its goodness, and know it is time for some original content.

Pick up The Last Jedi on Blu-Ray.

Spoiler Free Review: Wonder Woman

Posted in Comic Books, Films, Movie Review, Uncategorized with tags , , on June 16, 2017 by boccobsblog

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Special guest blogger: Ann Johnson

The following is a spoiler free review of Wonder Woman, which is much harder to do than I had thought going into this. Where do you draw the line? Can I assume that the readers already know that Diana is an Amazon from Themyscira who, after rescuing Steve Trevor, leaves Paradise Island and becomes Wonder Woman? Oh crap…really? I mean, did you not see the trailers? Read any of the comics? Fine, that was the last spoiler. Crybaby. I am sticking to the Good, Badass, and Ugly format WITHOUT any other plot spoilers.

The Good

  • A good basic introduction to the character of Wonder Woman as she herself is introduced to the world outside of Themyscira. The exploration of her moral compass in the context of a global war adds depth to her character and gives her room to grow in the subsequent movies.
  • Strong peripheral characters such as Etta, Charlie, Sameer, and The Chief brought an otherwise simple story some much needed depth.
  • Elena Anaya brings sympathy to her portrayal of the villainous Dr. Maru.
  • The contrast between the modern Diana in the bookends and the young Diana in the story is well played and opens the door for additional stand-alone films to show her growth and progression.

The Badass

  • Can we talk about Robin Wright for a second? Her portrayal as Antiope was fully realized and dynamic. She fully illustrated a different archetype of woman, not only is she more mature but she shows physical and emotional strength, grace, and intelligence that is woefully underrepresented in cinema. Badass = Beautiful!
  • Some of the most beautifully choreographed fights EVER.
  • The lame lasso of truth became something truly useful and surprising, adding to the visual appeal of the battle scenes.
  • The cello riffs in the WW theme music are insane, edgy, and powerful.

The Ugly

  • Ridiculously predictable. Pay even the slightest bit of attention to what’s going on and the plot is laughably simplistic. I chalked this up to the framing of the story as an introduction to the newly realized Wonder Woman.
  • Just stop with the slow motion… seriously… we get it. I found the way too frequent slow mo more than a little distracting.
  • Chris Pine was weirdly flat. His intended comic moments didn’t land and I found myself not really caring much about his character.
  • David Thewlis’ moustache…. just no…

Gal Gadot put in a solid performance as Diana/Wonder Woman. Her portrayal fully embraces strength, compassion, and tenacity in a truly engaging introduction of a very dynamic character into the DC cinematic pantheon. I am not certain the movie lives up to the 92% on Rotten tomatoes. The CGI stroke fest that is the final battle fell somewhat flat along with Chris Pine’s performance as Steve Trevor. Danny Huston’s villainous Ludendorff was over the top and more weird and laughable than scary. That being said, I would totally watch it again and look forward to the Justice League movie.

Pick up Wonder Woman on Blu-ray.

(Thank you, Ann! Great review.)