2018 Film Reviews.
A quick rundown of all the films I saw this year but never got around to reviewing.
- Starring: Amy Schumer, Michelle Williams
- Decent storyline but rather insulting. Schumer has some acting abilities but the writers let her down with this script. Williams’ “little-girl” voice is insanely annoying and grating. The whole premise of this film is that Schumer’s character proves her worth by knowing that “bargain” makeup comes with an applicator brush. Okay. The marketing team of this “makeup company” deserves layoff notices for not knowing this already.
- Starring: Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Rihanna, Awkwafina, Sarah Paulson, Mindy Kaling, Anne Hathaway
- The screenwriters forgot to add in any excitement. Ocean’s 11, 12, & 13 succeeded because the films got to the caper within 30 minutes. This film spends most of the narrative introducing all the characters and trying too hard to be clever. Furthermore, none of the characters really stands out in any way. All the actors involved possess the ability to play more complex characters than the uninspired stereotypes in this boring rehash of a more exciting film.
- Starring: Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Jenny Slate
- Surprisingly humorous for what is essentially a body horror film. Venom, a symbiotic life form, takes over Eddie Brock’s body and proceeds to wreak havoc on New York City. This films is definitely not appropriate for younger audiences, it is quite dark. Tom Hardy does an excellent job playing Brock as a conflicted individual without falling into caricature. However, the ending seemed a tad anti-climactic and an overly easy resolution. I look forward to seeing the sequel.
The Incredibles 2 (June 15)
- Starring: Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Brad Bird, Samuel L. Jackson
- While enjoyable, I did not think the story was as tight as the first film. The action drags slightly in the middle and the villain is a little too convenient. I wanted more of Edna! Overall, a decent sequel that took excessively long to make. A solid, enjoyable follow up to the original.
- Starring: Jon Hamm, Jake Johnson, Ed Helms, Hannibal Buress, Jeremy Renner
- Probably the first “adult oriented” comedy I have enjoyed in the last fifteen years. This is not a deep story but the narrative provides some insightful comments about friendship amongst adults. It is funny without falling into overt crassness. All the actors play off each other quite well and obviously had a blast during filming. I highly recommend this film.
- Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan
- Marvel does The Lion King. I loved the visuals and the world building. Ryan Coogler, the director, did an excellent job of filling in the history of Wakanda without slowing down the narrative’s momentum. A solid Marvel superhero origin movie.
- Starring: Rami Malek, Ben Hardy, Gwilym Lee, Josph Mazzello, Lucy Boynton
- Queen Rocks! Malek deserves a Best Actor nomination from the Academy for his portrayal of Freddie Mercury. He does a superb job portraying the hugely talented Mercury who only wanted to make music and find some shred of happiness in his life. The film mostly focuses on the musical evolution of Queen and how they became one of the most popular rock bands in history. The screenwriter takes some artistic liberties with the sequence of events, but is, overall, an excellent rock music biography.
Mission Impossible: Fallout (July 27)
- Starring: Tom Cruise, Henry Cavill, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Vanessa Kirby
- Watch the film that cost Warner Brothers $24 Million dollars. Yes, Cavill’s mustache caused production problems with Justice League. MI:6 holds nothing back and delivers one of the better Mission Impossible films of the past few years. Cruise, as always, delivers a solid performance as Ethan Hunt and completes several death-defying stunts. Narrative wise, this is one of the better-constructed story arcs in the series and actually pits Hunt against a worthy adversary. Excellent job and I hope this is not the last one.
A Wrinkle in Time (March 9)
- Starring: Storm Reid, Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling
- I hate this movie. If you like the book, stay away from this film. The screenwriter removed all the religious and philosophical undertones and replaced them with a new-age mysticism, which renders the plot meaningless and hollow. Chris Pine’s character is a deadbeat, Charles Wallace is adopted, and Calvin only likes Meg because of her hair. Read the book. Your imagination will probably conjure up a more satisfying cinematic experience.
- Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Michael Pena, Michael Shannon, Geoff Stults
- A decent military action film that needed some more militant editing. While well-acted, the narrative definitely drags and makes the film feel longer than its run time.
- Starring: Charlize Theron, Joel Edgerton, Sharlto Copley, David Oyelowo, Thandie Newton
- A very black comedy that asks some probing questions about happiness, marriage, and corporate culture. This is definitely unlike anything else you will watch this year. Worth the cost of the Amazon Prime rental.
Pacific Rim: Uprising (March 23)
- Starring: Scott Eastwood, John Boyega, Charlie Day, Burn Gorman
- Please, un-cancel the Apocalypse and save humanity from this movie. This film spent an excessive amount of time on the forgettable cadets and not enough time on the Kaiju. Not enough monsters and an over helping of teenage angst. No one goes to a monster film to listen to a bunch of adults complain about the lack of meaning in their lives. A more accurate title: Pacific Rim: Existential Crisis in 3 Acts.
Avengers: Infinity War (April 27)
- Starring: Everyone
- Excellent film where everyone you expected to die does. The ending felt incredibly anti-climactic since it seems unlikely that Marvel’s favorite superheroes will remain dead.
Overboard (May 4)
- Starring: Anna Faris, Eugenio Derbez, Eva Longoria
- An unneeded and unasked for remake of the 1987 Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell film. Faris possesses excellent comedic timing but this film wastes her talent. Derbez is okay but has zero sexual chemistry with Faris. This is a scene-by-scene remake of the 1987 film with the roles reversed. The soundtrack is the most memorable part of the film.
Sicario: Day of the Soldado (June 29)
- Starring: Josh Brolin, Benicio del Toro, Isabela Moner, Jeffrey Donovan
- Thanos goes to Mexico. A thought provoking sequel to Sicario. This excellently acted movie makes you think. I highly recommend.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Grindelwald (November 16)
- Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Johnny Depp, Jude Law, Dan Fogler, etc…
- Visually stunning and an entertaining ride back into the Harry Potter Universe. The first movie, in my opinion, lacked any kind of plot or overarching narrative. This one has a much stronger plot and a believable villain. I enjoyed it. My one problem is you can tell it is the second film in a five-part franchise as there is absolutely no plot resolution. I am ready for part three.
- Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Tessa Thompson, Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren Florian Munteanu
- An enjoyable follow-up to Creed and a touching tribute to the classic Rocky films. Jordan infuses a lot of emotion into Adonis Creed and dominates the screen. Stallone and Lundgren both put in excellent interpretations of their classic characters trying to mentor their hot headed protégés. My one main critique was the rather heavy-handed use of melodramatic music. It got rather ridiculous in a few scenes. If you enjoy the Rocky Franchise, you will enjoy Creed II.