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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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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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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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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

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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 – The Dope Sheet Movie Review

Release Date:  May 5, 2017
Rating:  PG-13
Run Time:  2 hours 16 minutes
After Credit Scene:  YES
IMAX Viewing:  NO
Reviewer:  Wayne Demers
The Dope Sheet Score:  7.8 out of 10

A Non-Spoiler Review

I have to say that the trailers for the film did a great job of not giving much away and that made the movie very enjoyable.  If you aren’t one to follow movie news then you’ll be surprised with a few unexpected actors in the film.  The story begins to give each character a bit more backstory and depth without boring us.  Those who have followed the comics I also believe will be happy with the film as the characters are true to their roots.  If you haven’t seen the first film, Guardians of the Galaxy, you will want to do so.  This movie continues the saga of the five known as The Guardians of the Galaxy.

What works:  You get comic relief from many of the characters of the film.  Groot seems to be a viewer’s favorite and we do have enough Groot to make everyone happy.  Drax (Dave Bautista) steals the show for me with his dry slapstick delivery.  Just when you think you are in a dramatic scene, he’ll come out with something to make you laugh.  Kudo’s to Dave Bautista who must be taking acting classes as his performance in this film is better than the last.  Zoe Saldana continues her role as Gamora and gives another solid performance.  We come to get some background on sisters Gamora and Nebula (Karen Gillan) who also provides a good performance and we will continue to see in upcoming Marvel films.  The special effects once again work very well.  You are going to see a young Kurt Russell and it is nearly seamless.  Very well done.  Chris Pratt seems to be a go to guy lately in Hollywood and with good reason.  His role as Peter Quill/Starlord really does fit him.  If he needs to be dramatic or if he needs to be funny, he’s spot on.  Last but not least is Michael Rooker who has been in the previous film, The Walking Dead, Days of Thunder, Eight Men Out, among many others.  He too provides a solid performance and gives us some memorable comic relief.  We also get a number of in credit scenes as one post credit scene, so prepare to stay all the way through the credits.

What doesn’t work:  There are a few scenes that are a bit drawn out.  Gags that worked and are funny are carried out bit too long and you begin to feel as though, “ya, I got the joke.”  There is a plot hole in the film that if I go into it then I may ruin part of the reveal.  By the end of the film, you begin to feel the movie is over 2 hours long and you are ready for things to wrap up.

Overall the movie is fun, very colorful, special effects are well done, acting was very good, and of course we have Groot.  Baby Groot to be more specific and he is as lovable as everyone wants him to be.

On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest, I give this one a 7.8.  It 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.

Guardian

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Beauty and the Beast – The Dope Sheet Movie Review

Release Date:  March 17, 2017
Rating:  PG
Run Time:  2 hours 9 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 classic animated Beauty and the Beast was great and was the second movie in the resurgence of Disney’s animated films that began in 1989 with The Little Mermaid.  In 1991, Beauty and the Beast was released and was a big success.  Nice story, comedy, singing.  It was your typical Disney animated movie.  Now, over 15 years later we are getting the live action film.

What works:  the story is still intact as this is nearly a literal retelling of its animated predecessor.  There are some minor changes to the films story from the animated movie, but not too significant.  The songs are still peppy and a fun part of the story.  The casting was well done.  The “Be Our Guest” scene is still wonderfully done.

What doesn’t work:  I felt like there were moments in the film where Emma Watson just wasn’t feeling it.  Maybe she was directed that way or didn’t really capture the Belle that we saw in the animated film.   The Beast, although wonderfully cast, was all cgi and it shows far too much and it never allowed me to buy into the performance.  This was also my feeling for all the supporting characters as well.  With live action, you don’t always pull off the fluidity of a scene or in some cases, the scene is arranged such that if you have seen the original you may notice many of the minor changes that couldn’t be done with live performers.

Looking at the film as a whole, the live action film falls short from the original 1991 film.  For those of us who saw the original, we may come out of the movie feeling that it just wasn’t as good as the original.  For those kids today who haven’t seen the original, they may just love it.  The film has been in theaters a while now so it is holding strong, but you may see it fall from first run theaters very soon with the summer releases well under way.

I have a feeling when this movie comes to dvd, more people will want to watch the animated film over this modern day live action remake.  Beauty and the Beast will be best viewed in a theater than home viewing, so if you plan on seeing this movie with kids, go to the theater.

On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest, I give this one a 6.5.

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

beauty beast

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Alien: Covenant – The Dope Sheet Movie Review

Release Date:  May 19, 2017
Rating:  R
Run Time:  2 hours 2 minutes
After Credit Scene:  NO
IMAX Viewing:  NO
3D Viewing:  NO
Reviewer:  Wayne Demers
The Dope Sheet Score:  7.5 out of 10

A Non Spoiler Review

A sequel to Alien: Prometheus, this is Ridley Scott’s continuation of the Alien story.  The spaceship Covenant is on a colonizing mission toward a target planet carrying 2000+ passengers.  Taking care of the ship, while the crew and passengers are in hibernation, is highly advanced android, Walter.  During their journey the ship endures an unexpected incident and awakens the crew early.  Do they continue their journey as planned or take a detour to a closer planet that may also support life?

What you need to know:  If you haven’t seen Prometheus, you should.  As the story develops you will want to understand what happened to the Prometheus and the fate of its’ crew as they is often referenced in the movie.  And if you are expecting Danny McBride to be the comedic element to the film, guess again, he’s gone all drama on us.

What works:  It is suspenseful and has the look and feel of an Alien movie.  For those who like xenomorphs (the Aliens), then you’ll like this movie.  It provides more explanation to Prometheus and the aliens we saw in that film.  The performances of Michael Fassbender and Katherine Waterson are excellent.  There is good chemistry between the two, or should I say three?  Fassbender plays the role of two characters in the film and his performance steals the show.  What stood out most to me was the pace of this film.  There is no scene that does not either develop a character or move the story along.  The movie continues to build until the final act which I found refreshing as you don’t dive into subplots that either stall or draw out the story.

What doesn’t work:  I felt some of the supporting cast performances were weak.  Jussie Smollett is an actor in the film and I swear he was trying to channel the actor/singer Common.  His tone and delivery was just like that of Common to the point it distracted me.  Others that saw the movie with me didn’t notice it until I brought it up, but you be the judge.  Lastly, this movie is predictable.  You could see where this was going one scene ahead of itself and if you pay close attention, you may guess the end of the film before you get there.

Overall I really enjoyed the film, so much so that I saw it twice.  There are some nice nods to past Alien films if you catch them.  There are no after credit scenes so don’t bother to wait for them.  Covenant is probably the third best Alien film to date, with Alien and Aliens being the two I enjoyed more.

Alien: Covenant was worth the price of admission and a soda.  On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest, I give this one a 7.5.

Did you see the movie?  What did you think?  Post below and share your opinion.

A Dope Sheet Movie Review of Alien Covenant
A Dope Sheet Movie Review of Alien Covenant
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Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales – The Dope Sheet Movie Review

Release Date:  May 26, 2017
Rating:  PG
Run Time:  2 hours 9 minutes
After Credit Scene:  YES
IMAX Viewing:  YES
3D Viewing:  YES
Reviewer:  Wayne Demers
The Dope Sheet Score:  7.5 out of 10

A Non-Spoiler Review

Few movies are ever so epic as this franchise has become.  Disney wastes no money when it comes to these films and it shows in the locations they film, the special effects they use and their casting.  Having seen this movie in 3D (which I normally do not care for) and in IMAX was amazing.  A movie of this caliber is so much fun to watch in IMAX with a surround sound that makes you feel like you are in the film.  The soundtrack itself is worth hearing in an IMAX theater.  If you go see this film, I highly suggest the IMAX viewing.

Oh Captain Jack Sparrow, where will your antics ever end?  This movie uses Jack in more of a supporting cast role rather than the main character.  All the familiar faces are here and offer some good comedy.  The main characters are Henry Turner (Brenton Thwaites) and Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario) as they team up to seek out Sparrow (Johnny Depp) who they feel will help them find the Trident of the Poseidon.  The villain, Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem), is seeking revenge on Sparrow and will stop at nothing and allow no one to get in his way until Jack is dead.

What works:  The movie has all the hallmarks of this Disney franchise.  We have ships, womanizing Jack Sparrow and his funny drunken antics, pirates, explosions, tropical locations, and everything we’ve come to expect in these films.  As I mentioned I saw this film in 3D and the use of it was pretty good.  At times, it really added to the beauty of the film.  The film is exciting and we even have a fab celebrity cameo if you watch closely.  The special effects were impressive at times.  We get to see a young Jack Sparrow and although we’ve seen this anti-aging effect in three other movies this year, this one is pulled off quite well.  Both Javier Bardem and Geoffrey Rush have excellent performances in the film.

What doesn’t work:  If you have seen the trailer, then you see some of the pirates have eroded away.  Visually I want to see the pirate and not empty spaces where parts of him used to be.  That didn’t work well for me.  The movie felt a bit long and that is due to the number of subplots we have going on.  Without giving anything away you have a plot story for nearly every main character in the film and as you come to the final act there is a lot to wrap up and some of it feels rushed.  I don’t feel the chemistry between characters Henry Turner and Carina Smyth.  Fine actors, but I’m not sure the story pulls them together enough to believe that maybe a romance is building.  Orlando Bloom is back and his performance too was a bit flat, but I’ll attribute that to writing and time on screen.  You can only do so much with what you are given.  And finally, Johnny Depp at times – just a few – just doesn’t feel like Capt. Jack Sparrow.  Again, I feel it is in the writing as his performance for the majority of the film was fun to watch.  If you are hoping to see much of Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley in the film, don’t be disappointed that they have very limited screen time.

Overall, it was an enjoyable movie and viewing the film in IMAX was an excellent experience.  The music, as it always does, captures the excitement of being a pirate and the swashbuckling on the seas.  Not as good a film as the first or second in the series, but an enjoyable and fun film to watch.  Could this be the end of the franchise?  Stay until the end of the credits for a bonus scene.

Dead Men Tell No Tales is worth the price of admission and a popcorn combo.  On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest, I give this a 7.5.

Have you seen the film?  What did you think?  Post your comments below and lets discuss.

Dead Men Tell No Tales