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It Comes At Night – The Dope Sheet Movie Review

Release Date:  June 9, 2017
Rating:  R
Run Time:  1 hour 31 minutes
After Credit Scene:  NO
IMAX Viewing:  NO
3D Viewing:  NO
Reviewer:  Wayne Demers
The Dope Sheet Score:  5.5 out of 10

A Non-Spoiler Review

An epidemic is crossing the area.  People are retreating to secluded areas to protect themselves and their families.  Paul (Joel Edgerton) and Sarah (Carmen Ejogo) are one such family as they protect their son Travis (Kelvin Harrison).

What works:    This is an outstanding cast.  Each member sells the story and you are compelled to believe their characters.

What doesn’t work:  Loud audio will make you jump (maybe) rather than any horror.  This movie has more a 60’s or early 70’s vibe to the story telling.  That isn’t necessarily bad, but the endings tend to leave you feeling empty.  The story pulls you in right from the start but fails to deliver a fulfilling need for closure or satisfaction.

This film with minor editing could be a made for TV film.  An excellent cast could not save It Comes At Night from itself.  It certainly has the feel of a film festival submission.  I would not classify this as a horror film but rather a suspense thriller.  A short review for a short film because there isn’t enough content to share with you without spoilers.  I had higher hopes for a film that seemed to be more than what it delivered.

On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest, I give this one a 5.5.  Wait for this movie on Netflix or RedBox.

Did you see the film?  Tell us your opinion below.

comes at night poster

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Trailer Snark (June 9, 2017 Theatrical Trailers)

Welcome to Trailer Snark, a weekly column covering trailers for movies that will be released this week with thoughts from our roster of bloggers (Jessica from The Female Perspective, Ken from The Crank File, Jim from The Front Row View, Eric from View from Above, Robert from Cards and Counters, Rob from Spector for Hire, and Great Stories founder Chris).  Thanks for reading, and enjoy the previews!

The Mummy (Universal) – Adventure/Action/Fantasy
Rated PG-13 for violence, action and scary images, and for some suggestive content and partial nudity
Tag Line: Ancient evil returns.
Starring: Tom Cruise, Jake Johnson, Annabelle Wallis, Russel Crowe
Plot: An ancient princess is awakened from her crypt beneath the desert, bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia, and terrors that defy human comprehension.
Running Time: 110 minutes

Chris: I am absolutely stoked to see this one.  I loved the Indiana Jones-esque Mummy movie franchise, but now Universal if launching a classic monsters universe, and by the trailer the first movie looks intense, thrilling, and pretty much everything that Van Helsing was not.  Game on!
Jessica: I am back and forth on this, I want it to be good, I actually don’t mind Tommy C. all that much and think he can often be a fine actor, but it could also be really, really, really bad if they don’t have fun with story. Not curious enough for the theater, but certainly curious once it’s out on DVD.
Jim: After she saw the trailer, my daughter turned to me wide-eyed and yelled “Yes!” Love going to movies with her. Fer sure.

My Cousin Rachel (Fox Searchlight) – Drama/Mystery/Romance
Rated PG-13 for some sexuality and brief strong language.
Tag Line: None.
Starring: Rachel Weisz, Sam Claflin
Plot: A young Englishman plots revenge against his mysterious, beautiful cousin, believing that she murdered his guardian. But his feelings become complicated as he finds himself falling under the beguiling spell of her charms.
Running Time: 105 minutes

Jessica: I think I liked the song better than the trailer. I mean, dude, that’s your cousin. Ick.
Jim: I’m not even going to try to top Jessica’s comment. Except that it’s a Daphne DuMaurier story, so it’s probably pretty interesting.
Chris: Period piece and interesting cover of Chris Isaac’s Wicked Game song.  Not sure its my cup of proverbial tea, however.

Megan Leavey (Bleecker Street) – Drama/Biography/War
Rated PG-13 for war violence, language, suggestive material, and thematic elements
Tag Line: None
Starring: Kate Mara, Ramon Rodriguez, Tom Felton
Plot: Based on the true life story of a young Marine corporal whose unique discipline and bond with her military combat dog saved many lives during their deployment in Iraq.
Running Time: 116 minutes

Jim: Interesting rental.
Chris: Looks like a wonderful story of a warrior and her warrior companion.  Count me in.
Jessica: Oh man, I am a sucker for a sweet pet true story.

It Comes at Night (A24) – Horror/Mystery
Rated R for violence, disturbing images, and language
Tag Line: None
Starring: Joel Edgerton, Christopher Abbott, Carmen Ejogo
Plot: Secure within a desolate home as an unnatural threat terrorizes the world, a man has established a tenuous domestic order with his wife and son, but this will soon be put to test when a desperate young family arrives seeking refuge.
Running Time: 91 minutes

Chris: A friend of mine joked about what the third title would be if this was a sequel to It Follows.  Putting aside the sophomoric for a moment, this trailer looks disturbing enough to be an effective summer scare-fest.
Jessica: This one looks really interesting, a home viewer for sure, but decent cast, interesting story. I’d watch it.
Jim: How many boring trailers does it take to turn off a moviegoer?

The Hero (The Orchard) – Comedy/Drama
Rated R for drug use, language and some sexual content
Tag Line: None
Starring: Sam Elliot, Laura Prepon
Plot: An ailing movie star comes to terms with his past and mortality.
Running Time: 93 minutes

Jessica: It had me at Sam Elliot. That is all.
Jim: Would you pay just to see Sam Elliott read a few pages from the phone book? I would. It’s time this good actor got his due.
Chris: An aging actor fighting for relevance. Sam Elliot looks absolutely fantastic in the role.  A different actor may not have pulled me in the way he did.

Beatriz at Dinner (FilmNation Entertainment) – Comedy
Rated R for language and a scene of violence
Tag Line: None
Starring: Salma Hayek, John Lithgow, Chloe Sevigny
Plot: A holistic medicine practitioner attends a wealthy client’s dinner party after her car breaks down.
Running Time: 83 minutes

Jim: I breathe a sigh of contentment at a trailer for a movie made for grownups. And in the summertime, to boot! This looks absolutely riveting.
Jessica: This movie looks like it could be fantastic! I think that Hayek can rock this, she has been good in almost everything I’ve ever seen her in. I LOVE when Lithgow is smarmy and rude, and honestly looks like it could be a good story for this time and place in our world.
Chris: Certainly an unassuming role for the usually more sultry Hayek, but the obviously stereotyped role written for Lithgow was a bit of a turn-off.

Tickets Purchased: 2 for Beatriz at Dinner (Jessica and Jim) and 1 for The Mummy (Chris)

I guess the snarkies enjoy watching Salma Hayek eat?
I guess the snarkies enjoy watching Salma Hayek eat?
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The Mummy – The Dope Sheet Movie Review

Release Date:  June 9, 2017
Rating:  PG-13
Run Time:  1 hours 50 minutes
After Credit Scene:  NO
IMAX Viewing:  NO
3D Viewing:  NO
Reviewer:  Wayne Demers
The Dope Sheet Score:  6.5 out of 10

A Non-Spoiler Review

The Mummy wastes no time before jumping into the action.  Nick Morton (Tom Cruise) and his partner Chris Vail (Jake Johnson) are antiquities opportunists in search to make some quick money.  They fall upon a crypt and they are in way over their head.  Introduce Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wallis) who’s life work has been to have a major archaeological find such as this and has an idea of who they have found.  Its a rush to bring this find to England for further investigation with her employer.

What works:  The special effects are great.  Zombie like creatures and the cursed are very well done.  The story is fast paced and you have to keep up with who is who and where we are going.  Tom Cruise and Jake Johnson are fun to watch as the pair is the comedic relief in the film.  The chemistry between Cruise and Wallis works very well.  Russell Crowe plays Mr. Henry Jekyll, who moves the plot along without any surprises.  The mummy, Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella), is the most beautiful mummy I’ve ever seen on screen and I enjoyed her performance.  The comedy in the film was good (think American Werewolf in London) and wish there had a bit more.

What doesn’t work:  The pace of the film is fast, maybe too fast because the viewer isn’t really sure why there is such a rush to get this find in the air so soon.  Although the film is action packed, it does plateau in spots which caused me to lose interest.  Action!  You just pulled me back in because now we’re watching more action.  In the final act of the film, the action peaks but it felt a bit anticlimactic because the film sets you up for another monster film.

The movie is more of a primer for future monster movies known as the ‘Dark Universe.’  I enjoyed the story, I enjoyed the performances, but there is something that makes you feel like you watched a movie that was just ‘meh.’  With all the action and direction of the film I’m surprised I didn’t like the movie more, but I left the theater without any eagerness to talk to someone about the film.  It underwhelmed me although it met my expectations of a monster film.  I would say that although the film isn’t bad, The Mummy isn’t anything you’ll be saying is a ‘must see’ film this summer.

On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest, I give this one a 6.5.  This movie isn’t worth the price of admission, BUT since this is the first of the Dark Universe films I suggest you see it.  Movies in the franchise may refer back to this film and you wouldn’t want to see the next film not knowing the references.

Did you see the film?  Tell us your opinion below.

Mummy poster

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Cards and Counters: Taking Care of Your Card Collection

The information in this week’s discussion may be common knowledge to must folks, but I would like to talk about trading/collecting card care and storage. Why not protect the collection that you invest so much time, effort and money into while at the same time keeping it organized and accessible. Collecting cards is a fun hobby and with it comes buying, selling and trading whether it’s with your local game shop or a friend. There are too many times that I have seen people try to sell or trade damaged cards just to be told that no one will buy from them with cards like that. It kills me to see the disappointment a younger players face when all they want to do is trade up for better cards. It is up to us older guys and gals to step in and give tips to people on the best ways to keep their collection as in good of shape as ours is in.

It’s worth protecting if it’s worth collecting.

It’s important to take care of your cards in order to keep their value up. I will say that for any card no matter what it cost. I’m also very ocd when it comes to any of my collections. Even if you play with your cards there are ways to use them and keep them safe. There are many affordable products and different ways to protect your cards. Ultra Pro is probably to cheapest and easiest way to get started.

Every time I rip packs I sort the new cards by rarity and by foil. The common cards will go into a 1000 card count box and then the rares and foils will get sleeved up and but into an Ultra Pro deck box or into a binder. All of these supplies can be found at your local game store. For any cards that I use to play with I tend to double sleeve, but that’s really for the way it feels when shuffling double sleeved cards.

The 1000 count boxes are the best way to store and to keep your cards well organized and accessible. Just be sure that you are going to keep everything stores in a dry place. It’s the worst smell in the world opening up a box that has been sitting in a damp basement for a couple years.

cardbox

Binders are the best way to show your collection off. The 9 sleeve pages are pretty to look at, especially it filled with foils and organized by card number. It’s best to put the card in a card sleeve before into the page sleeve. This provides extra protection while having a snug fit so your cards don’t fall out of the binder.

cardbinder

 

These are just some recommendation for caring for your cards. Get down to your local game store for all of these supplies.

Let me know what you do to protect your cards. Are there any products out there that I should be using and maybe reviewing for others to try?

Meet me at Great Stories and let’s try something new!

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Baywatch – The Dope Sheet Movie Review

Release Date:  May 25, 2017
Rating:  R
Run Time:  1 hours 59 minutes
After Credit Scene:  During the credits, not after
IMAX Viewing:  NO
3D Viewing:  NO
Reviewer:  Wayne Demers
The Dope Sheet Score:  5 out of 10

A Non-Spoiler Review

Do you smelllllll what the Rock…… is cooking?!  Sorry, that isn’t the smell of his cooking, it’s the smell of this film and it stinks.  The movie doesn’t take itself seriously and neither should you.

Matt Brody (Zac Efron) is an US Olympic Gold Medal winner in Swimming that has some community service to do and is hired to become a lifeguard as a PR opportunity for the city.  Mitch Buchannon (Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson) is the head lifeguard who isn’t having any of this PR stunt and runs a tight ship.  He also feels his law enforcement duties fall beyond the scope of just the beach area.  Mitch and his team of lifeguards are out to take down a drug dealer who they feel is responsible for drugs and bodies washing up on their beach.

What works:  Eye candy for all!  Ladies are going to go gaga for Efron and Johnson.  Men are going to enjoy the lifeguards played by Alexandra Daddario, Kelly Rohrback, Ilfenesh Hadera, and bad girl Priyanka Chopra.  Oh the dick jokes are funny as is Dwayne Johnson’s delivery of witty comebacks.  The cast really is a good on paper with Jon Bass (Big Time in Hollywood, FL, The Newsroom, Girls), Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (The Get Down), Rob Huebel (Transparent, Keanu, The League), and Hannibal Buress (Broad City, The Secret Life of Pets).  There is chemistry between Johnson and Efron and they play off one another very well.

What doesn’t work:  Lets just throw out the idea that there is a story to follow in the film other than lets get the bad guy.  The comedy is there, but it does not sustain a run time of 2 hours.  Without giving away details of the story, there are parts of the film where things just don’t make sense and honestly I think the creators of the film could care less if it did.  It solely relies on T&A, dick jokes and those who had an affinity for the TV show.  The movie is going to entertain 13 – 15 year old’s that sneak into the theater and adults who still enjoy their eye candy.  Despite David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson having cameo’s in the film, a photo of them would have sufficed as their time on screen is very limited.

On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest, I give this one a 5.  This movie isn’t worth the price of admission or concessions.  I would wait for it to appear in Red Box or on Netflix if you are compelled to watch it.

Did you see the film?  Tell us your opinion below.

Baywatch poster

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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – 6/6/2017

Greetings comic book fans and welcome to another episode of the Crank File. Wonder Woman absolutely crushed it to the tune of $100 million domestic box office in its opening weekend. I can hardly wait to see it this weekend because it has been receiving almost universal praise. Could Wundy’s silver-screen success mark the turning point for the DC cinematic universe? Time will tell, but I’m already feeling much more optimistic for Justice League.

Every Wednesday is new comic book day and on Tuesdays I like to spotlight some of the cool stuff that I’m checking out. Here’s what I’m reading this week:

SM24

The Top of the Pile: Superman #24

Publisher: DC
Words: Peter J. Tomasi
Art: Jaimie Mendoze, Doug Mahnke

What it is: ‘BLACK DAWN’ part five! The Man of Steel faces the one foe he refuses to fight-his son. An emerging new ability for Superboy proves deadly to Superman as the promise of power appears to lead Jon Kent to betray his father. RATED T

Why we love it: Maybe it was the return to a more traditional Superman persona, or the introduction of the Kent family dynamics, but this comic has succeeded in retaining an air of nostalgia while building something entirely new, making it feel both modern and classic. Before Tomasi’s run, I don’t remember the last time when Superman was relevant (maybe his death back in ’92?). Now, I eagerly await each issue as it comes out and I know I am not alone.

C9

The Mainstream One: Champions #9

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Mark Waid
Art: Humberto Ramos

What it is: Casting a spotlight on young synthezoid Viv Vision! After what became of her family, she willingly shut down her emotions – but does that come with a price to pay? Rated T+

Why we like it: Tom King created Viv Vision during his landmark run on Vision, which lasted only 12 issues before he left to write Batman for DC. If you read this blog at all during 2015-2016, chances are you heard me gushing about King’s run on Vision. I thought it was the best comic Marvel had put out in years and I immediately fell in love with the Visions, especially with the kids Vin and Viv. I was elated to see Viv break out on her own after the main series ended and I am so stoked to read how she’s been processing everything that has happened since. Do androids get PTSD?

 

 

PG15

The Indie One: Paper Girls #19

Publisher: Image
Words: Brian K. Vaughan
Art: Cliff Chang

What it is: EXPLOSIVE END OF A STORY ARC! It’s the end of an era as KJ, Mac, Tiffany, and Erin must do the unthinkable to escape our prehistoric past. 24 pages of story on the best paper in comics, and still only $2.99!

Why we like it: Paper Girls picked up two Eisner awards last year, winning Best New Series and Cliff Chang taking home Best Penciller for his work on the series. This year it has three nominations for Best Continuing Series, Best Writer and Best Colorist. Experts and Cranks agree that this book is chock full of awesome. So why haven’t you added it to your pull list yet?

BT1

The #1 One: Babyteeth #1 (Elizabeth Torque variant)

Publisher: Aftershock
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Garry Brown

What it is: NEW SERIES! Sadie Ritter is sixteen years old, nine months pregnant, and scared out of her sweet nerdy mind. Having a baby that young is tough, but with the support of her loving family behind her, everything should be okay. OH YEAH, and also her baby is the antichrist and it’s going to break open the barriers between the earthly and demonic planes and unleash eternal suffering to all of humankind. Other than that, though…should be fine. From the writer of Buzzkill, Paybacks, Redneck and the break-out hit God Country comes a pulse-pounding new series with art from THE REVISIONIST’s Garry Brown!

Why we like it: There’s that name again. Donny Cates. I feel like a broken record here, but there’s no denying that this young man is the hottest up-and-coming writer in the biz. God Country has sold out again and again and gone back for multiple reprints of every issue (issue #1 is on its fourth printing at the time of this writing). Redneck #2, released two weeks ago, sold out and will be back for second printings. Redneck #1 is already going to a third print. The market has surely taken notice by now and Babyteeth #1 is a guaranteed sell out. Make sure you reserve a copy in advance.

 

AQ24

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Aquaman #24 (Josh Middleton variant)

Publisher: DC
Words: Dan Abnett
Art: Scot Eaton
Cover Art: Joshua Middleton

What it is: ‘CROWN OF ATLANTIS’ finale! Hopelessly at odds with the people of Atlantis, Arthur is finally stripped of his crown. In his place, and to Aquaman’s horror, the previously imprisoned Atlantean fundamentalist Corum Rath is installed as the new king! Every step of AQUAMAN REBIRTH has been building to this! RATED T

Why we like it: I’ve almost added Aquaman to my pull list for Middleton’s covers alone. Some of this cover’s impact will be diminished when the cover dressing gets added, but a stunning image regardless. Superstar artist Stjpan Sejic takes over interior art duties starting next issue, so don’t be surprised if we start seeing more Aquaman around these parts.

 

That’s all I got this week. Until next time, carpe comics!

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Captain Underpants – The Dope Sheet Movie Review

Release Date:  June 2, 2017
Rating:  PG
Run Time:  1 hours 29 minutes
After Credit Scene:  During the credits, not after
IMAX Viewing:  NO
3D Viewing:  NO
Reviewer:  Wayne Demers
The Dope Sheet Score:  7.5 out of 10

A Non-Spoiler Review

An animated hero movie we can laugh at.  Of the summer movies I’ve reviewed so far, this movie was the most fun to watch.

George (voiced by Kevin Hart) and Harold (voiced by Thomas Middleditch) are best friends and attend elementary school.  Typical boys, they are always looking for a practical joke with their target mostly being the school principal, Mr. Krupp (voiced by Ed Helms).  Mr. Krupp is determined to end their antics and break-up their friendship, but the boys aren’t having any of it.  They accidently find a way of turning Mr. Krupp into their comic book super hero, “Captain Underpants!”  What is a hero without monsters and a villain that he must defeat?  The story develops from there.

What works:     As I mentioned, this movie is fun for adults to watch, although I have a feeling dads will have more of a connection to the story than moms.  George and Harold’s story is funny and the trouble they get themselves into will certainly resonate with kids.  In fact there were a few times that the story took me back to my own childhood memories and I chuckled aloud.  The boys love comic books and I think this will appeal to both kids, “hoodies”, and parents that appreciate comic books.  The voice acting is great as one would expect with a Dreamworks film.  Jordan Peele (Melvin) and Nick Kroll (Professor P.) also provide a solid performance.  For kids, this is potty humor that they can laugh at along with their parents.  Despite the idea of an adult in his underwear is the costume for our hero, it works because this is the vision of these two boys which I think is probably spot on for kids of that age.

What doesn’t work:  The target audience appears to be boys between the ages 5 – 12 years young as well as dads.  That isn’t to say that girls and moms won’t like the movie, but I do feel they will be in the minority as the movie really didn’t attempt to pull in a girl’s point of view.  I also feel that the writers hurt themselves with such a narrow target as once kids leave elementary school, these types of stories become “uncool” and most adults are not seeking an animated film such as this to watch in a theater.  Although the writing is very good, kids under the age of 8 are not going to be fully engaged throughout the film.  There are a few flat points in the film that are great for character development, but kids of that age need more stimulation to remain engaged in the film.  This was evident to me as those kids in the theater with me took these times to leave the theater presumably to use the bathroom or for a visit to concessions as well as being curious to who/what was around them.

Overall this is a good film, but with a very limited target audience.  I enjoyed Captain Underpants and recommend it to any parent that doesn’t mind the premise that a grown man in a red cape and tighty-whities is the hero of the film.  Although I would love to see a sequel, the box office numbers may not bring confidence to Dreamworks for that to happen.

On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest, I give this one a 7.5.  A kids combo is in order for this film.  It’s a better film than I expected, but it fails to capture its audience throughout the film.

Did you see the film?  Tell us your opinion below.

Capt Underpants poster

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Trailer Snark (June 2, 2017 Theatrical Trailers)

Welcome to Trailer Snark, a weekly column covering trailers for movies that will be released this week with thoughts from our roster of bloggers (Jessica from The Female Perspective, Ken from The Crank File, Jim from The Front Row View, Eric from View from Above, Robert from Cards and Counters, Rob from Spector for Hire, and Great Stories founder Chris).  Thanks for reading, and enjoy the previews!

Wonder Woman (Warner Bros) – Action/Adventure/Fantasy
Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence and action, and some suggestive content
Tag Line: Power. Grace. Wisdom. Wonder.
Starring:  Gal Gadot, Chris Pine
Plot: Before she was Wonder Woman she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained warrior. When a pilot crashes and tells of conflict in the outside world, she leaves home to fight a war to end all wars, discovering her full powers and true destiny.
Running Time: 141 minutes

Chris: I have been pretty hard on DC’s cinematic universe, but this is the first time I have some true hopefulness in one of their films.  Here’s to a wonderous Wonder Woman!
Jim: Like most of the world, I’m looking forward to seeing this. The trailer’s certainly action-packed, and Gal Gadot is a stunning-looking woman.  I found her performance very wooden in that endurance test called Batman vs. Superman. Maybe she’ll pull it off in the new movie.
Jessica: A woman-led superhero flick directed by a woman? This little feminist heart is all for it!!! I cannot wait to see it and I have HIGH hopes that it is going to be the best of the best!!!!

Check out Great Stories very own Dope Sheet Review of the movie here!

Captain Underpants (Twentieth Century Fox) – Animated/Family
Rated PG for mild rude humor throughout
Tag Line: Change is coming!
Starring: Kevin Hart, Ed Helms
Plot: Two overly imaginative pranksters named George and Harold, hypnotize their principal into thinking he’s a ridiculously enthusiastic, incredibly dimwitted superhero named Captain Underpants.
Running Time: 89 minutes

Jim: A funny trailer, looks like a good rental.
Chris: Actually looks mildly amusing, but my wife is horrified.

Dean (CBS Films) – Comedy/Drama
Rated PG-13 for language and some suggestive material
Tag Line: A comedy about tragedy.
Starring: Demetri Martin, Kevin Kline, Gillian Jacobs
Plot: A comedy about loss, grief and the redemptive power of love, Dean is an NY illustrator who falls hard for an LA woman while trying to prevent his father from selling the family home in the wake of his mother’s death.
Running Time: 87 minutes

Chris: Watching Dean totally destroy himself in front of the pretty girl was very funny, but it looks like a rental at best.
Jim: At last, a romantic comedy that’s not falling all over itself trying to impress me how witty it thinks it is. Good date night material, and the scene that Chris mentioned is very funny.

Band Aid (IFC Films) – Comedy
Not Rated
Tag Line: Misery loves accompaniment
Starring: Zoe Lister-Jones, Adam Pally, Colin Hanks, Brooklyn Decker
Plot: A couple who can’t stop fighting embark on a last-ditch effort to save their marriage: turning their fights into songs and starting a band.
Running Time: 91 minutes

Jim: Another interesting romcom, and one about a married couple that actually looks good. What a great premise!
Chris: This actually looks darn good.  A romantic comedy done in a style of its own. A romcom that is not paint by numbers…how refreshing!

Vincent n Roxxy (Vertical Entertainment) – Crime/Drama/Thriller
Rated R for brutal bloody violence, language throughout, some strong sexual content, nudity, and brief drug use
Tag Line: None
Starring: Emile Hirsch, Zoe Kravitz
Plot: A small town loner and a rebellious punk rocker unexpectedly fall in love as they are forced on the run and soon discover violence follows them everywhere.
Running Time: 110 minutes

Chris: That’s a whole lot of dysfunctional people in one trailer.
Jim: Blecchh. Yawn. ZZZZ.  And other negative sounds.

Tickets Purchased: Three for Wonder Woman

Righting the wrongs of Batman vs Superman?
Righting the wrongs of Batman vs Superman?

 

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Wonder Woman – The Dope Sheet Movie Review

Release Date:  June 2, 2017
Rating:  PG-13
Run Time:  2 hours 21 minutes
After Credit Scene:  NO
IMAX Viewing:  NO
3D Viewing:  NO
Reviewer:  Wayne Demers
The Dope Sheet Score:  8.5 out of 10

A Non-Spoiler Review

This is the DC hero film that everyone has been waiting to see.  Is it perfect?  No, but what a great film and DC’s best effort to date.

Coke has Pepsi.  Ford has Chevy.  DC has Marvel.  When you watch a DC film you get a different flavor than its Marvel counterpart.  Marvel does their hero films that are grounded more in the present, more in real life.  DC also tries to put its story in the present and in real life up until your heroes are involved.  You get more of a comic book feel, and that isn’t bad, but it is different.  When we see Spider-Man or Captain America jump in a film I believe we see an effort to apply realistic physics of gravity.  Watch a DC film and you will find a jump requires less effort and that goes higher or longer than you expect.  Again, not bad, just different.  For those of you who are like me and not caught up into a Marvel film vs. a DC film, you are going to enjoy this movie.  For those of you who do fall on one side of the fence or the other, I’m certain there is a lot to debate.

Gal Gadot is a beautiful woman.  I dare one man to stand up and say she isn’t.  This film just pulls that beauty to a new level and you just can’t help but want to watch her and pull for her through the entire movie.  She isn’t the greatest actress, but she does a very good job as Diana/Wonder Woman.  Chris Pine provides a solid performance as Steve Trevor.  There are times where I felt his lines were a bit rushed or chaotic, but follow your direction from the director and truck on.  The supporting cast also provides a solid performance and the ensemble really pulls everything off well to tell this story.

This is an origin story to give us the background as to who Diana/Wonder Woman is.  We find out where she is from, how she learned to fight, who her family is, and her motivations to become Wonder Woman.  We meet Captain Trevor who is fighting a war and is desperate to bring WWI to an end.  He and his cohorts meet Diana and it is off to war we go.  Together they want to put an end to evil and the suffering endured by civilians and soldiers on both sides.

What works:  The story is pretty good.  It isn’t the tale I was fully expecting which was nice.  It kept me engaged because I wasn’t sure what liberties the film was going to take with Wonder Woman’s backstory, if at all.  Gal Gadot simply nailed Wonder Woman.  She is as feminine as she is powerful.  She is as compassionate as she is strong.  There is plenty of comic relief in the film as well; some a little slapstick and some clever.  I thought there was a good balance of drama, action, and comedy.  It also does a good job of pulling in the Batman vs. Superman film without having to dive into any details.  Also, I’m not sure who the stunt-woman was for Gal Gadot but what an outstanding job she did and I hope she is recognized with an award.

What doesn’t work:  The special effects used in the film are a bit inconsistent.  At times, we’re doing slow motion jumps that take real actors shots and blend in the action.  At other times, they are 100% CGI and it shows.  The style of the special effects during certain scenes was something of the flavor we saw in the film 300, but there is something there that just didn’t feel right about it.  I attribute it to different styles of special effects that weren’t consistent throughout the movie.  There are scenes where Gadot’s acting falls short and other times where I think it was the way the film was edited they may have an impact in her delivery.  For the most part, her performance was spot on.  I didn’t fully enjoy the end of the film either.  Without giving anything away, I felt as though the special effects became the star and the actors took the back seat.  Although a touching end, there was something that felt disjointed.  It was as though there may have been a missing scene that could have wrapped up the film better.  Last but not least, give us a post credit scene!  I would have liked to see a hint of the upcoming Justice League movie.

I think many are going to go to the show and come away feeling really good about the film.  No one says, “Martha” and that is a step in the right direction.  Unlike past DC films (Suicide Squad being an exception), the portrayal of this super hero is true to who we expect Wonder Woman to be and because of this, this reviewer very much enjoyed the film.

On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest, I give this one a solid 8.5.  Watching Gal Gadot alone is worth the price of admission and a popcorn combo.

Did you see the movie?  What are your thoughts?  I’d love to read your opinions below.

Wonder Woman