Movie Review: Tick, Tick… Boom! (2021)

You know what’s kinda weird? Despite being a musician since childhood, I’ve never really been a huge fan of musicals. Or I should say, live action musicals. I don’t know why, it’s just a weird quirk of mine. But on occasion there might be one that cracks my grumpy heart. Is this one of them? I guess we’ll find out.

Disclaimer: I know this thing is based on a true story, but I will not base my review on how perfectly accurate to the real situation it may or may not be, but I will instead judge it as a movie… which it is. Disclaimer over.

Ladies, gents, and non-binaries… “Tick, Tick… Boom”

The story follows Jonathan Larson (Andrew Garfield), a young, aspiring theater composer as he struggles to keep his life afloat, trying to balance love, friendship, and putting together his first musical. I really loved the storytelling within “Tick, Tick… Boom”. There are moments it can seem slightly scatterbrained, but I think it really adds to it, since it perfectly encapsulates just how hectic Jon’s life is. The story takes an interesting look at the man’s life as well as the struggles of trying to be creative in a world where that can’t be a guarantee of success. But what carries the story the most is the sheer amount of heart. Right from scene one, it carried this warm, sincere charm that had me immediately hooked, and carried it all the way to the ending. It’s just such a nice and emotionally resonant story that hit me in a way that I haven’t felt in quite a while.

The characters here are colorful, charming, layered, and overall just all feel very real. Something about them all made them feel like actual people and not just characters performed by actors. Our lead character, Jon, was just an absolutely endearing and fascinating character that I loved following throughout the movie. And Andrew Garfield was absolutely fantastic in the role. Then we also get supporting work from people like Robin de Jesus, Jonathan Marc Sherman, Alexandra Shipp, Vanessa Hudgens, Bradley Whitford, MJ Rodriguez, and more, all giving terrific performances. It’s just a damn good cast.

The music in this was composed by Jonathan Larson, and I loved all of it. The instrumentation, the melodies, the lyrics, it all comes together beautifully to create tracks that make me want to dance, cry, laugh, rethink my life… it’s all wonderfully introspective and I think all actors brought the songs to life marvelously.

Based on the autobiographical musical by Jonathan Larson, “Tick, Tick… Boom!” is the directorial debut of Lin-Manuel Miranda, and I think he did a really solid job. His direction can be a little rough around the edges at times, but even then, it’s really good for someone making their feature debut. The man has worked with musicals in different ways for years, so he has a good grasp of how it should work, and that experience and talent does help elevate his direction a little. Speaking of musicals, I love the way the musical numbers are handled. They flow nicely, and they’re wonderfully edited, beautifully moving between people and spaces in ways that few other musicals do. So yeah, this is really well helmed.

The movie just came out, but so far it’s been quite well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 87% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 74/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8.2/10.

“Tick, Tick… Boom!” is a fantastic little movie that I absolutely loved. It has a great story, great characters, fantastic performances, fantastic music, and really good directing/editing. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Tick, Tick… Boom!” is a 9.90/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Tick, Tick… Boom!”

I’m gonna end up listening to that soundtrack a lot, aren’t I?

Movie Review: The Cabin in the Woods (2012)

Well that’s a bland as fuck horror title. I mean, there’s no way it could subvert any tropes or expectations within the horror genre. No way. Whatsoever. None. Zero. Nada. Nah. Nuh-uh. N- you see where this is going, aren’t you?

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Cabin in the Woods”.

Tell me if you’ve heard this one before: A group of pesky youngsters travel into the middle of fucking nowhere to stay in a cabin for a weekend. But it doesn’t take too long for their weekend to get ruined by something sinister. Yes, it does indulge a bit in a lot of old school horror tropes… but then it also satirizes them the rest of the time. You can tell that the people crafting the story have a love for the genre and its cliches, but also know when to poke fun of and subvert them. It puts an insanely unique and fun spin on horror that I found really clever and enjoyable.

The characters in this are for the most part walking cliches… but then there are moments where their identities are subverted ever so slightly. The shit they do with these characters is quite fun. And the lead cast, consisting of people like Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Fran Kranz, and Jesse Williams, all do wonders with what they’re given. And in the supporting cast you have people like Bradley Whitford, Richard Jenkins, and Amy Acker, all doing very well in their roles too.

The score for the movie was composed by David Julyan, and I think he did a pretty great job with it. It’s sometimes more subtle and ominous, and sometimes bombastic and thrilling. It’s just a really well composed score that works quite well for the movie. Not much else I can say on that.

“The Cabin in the Woods” was written by Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard, and Goddard directing it (this being his debut). And man, they knocked it out of the park with that. While the movie is mostly concerned with pointing at horror tropes and satirizing them, they of course also have to indulge in them a bit, creating some genuinely suspenseful and gruesome scenes that add to the overall experience quite well. There is also a good amount of humor strewn throughout the movie, and it made me laugh… ’tis very funny.

This movie has been quite well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 91% positive rating and and fresh certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 72/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,0/10.

“The Cabin in the Woods” is fucking rad. It has a great plot, good characters, great performances, great music, and great writing/directing. Time for my final score. *BOO*. My final score for “The Cabin in the Woods” is a 9,89/10. Which means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “The Cabin in the Woods” is now completed.

Hell yeah.

Movie Review: Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)

WE GOT A HOLLYWOOD BUDGET MONSTER MASH FEATURING CLASSIC KAIJU, HOW COULD ONE NOT BE EXCITED ABOUT IT. *Calms down*. So let’s talk about this movie.

Ladies and gents… “Godzilla: King of the Monsters”.

When multiple ancient beasts awake from their slumber, the crypto-zoological agency Monarch have to find a way to stop them. Be it on their own or with the help of the titanic lizard known as Godzilla. Let’s cut to the fucking chase, this plot isn’t deep or nuanced. In the moments where it tries developing the human element of the story, it’s kinda dull. But whenever it’s about these ancient creatures having it out for each other, it’s a fucking blast. So plot-wise it’s a bit of a mixed bag. I mean, no one comes to a monster movie for plot, but when there’s a lot of time spent trying to develop it, it can get a bit distracting. So overall… mixed bag.

The characters in this… yeah, I didn’t care. Again, they tried giving them some development, but in the end it’s kind of shallow and cliched. And the cast does a fine enough job with their performances. There isn’t anyone here that I’d say is bad, just some who are better than others. My favorite was probably Charles Dance, who always had a bit of a self-aware glint in his eye, which made him kinda fun to watch whenever he showed up. The rest of the cast, including people like Kyle Chandler, Ken Watanabe, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown, Thomas Middleditch, Ziyi Zhang, Bradley Whitford, Sally Hawkins, and various other actors was good. They all played it very straight, but no one was bad.

The score for the movie was composed by Bear McCreary, and I loved it. A lot of big, bold brass, a lot of panicky strings, some chorals… it all fit incredibly well with the kaiju calamity going on throughout the movie. And while I won’t spoil which, some of the tracks are absolute treats for… various reasons. Damn good stuff.

The movie was directed and co-written by Michael Dougherty, who I think did a great job with it. He has a great sense of energy and pacing, which keeps the moving driving along, never really getting boring and too slow at any point. And like with Gareth Edwards before him, he knows how to convey the scale of all the shit that goes on. And credit to the visual effects team for really bringing these creatures to life. The detail, the movement, it all looks fantastic. And man, the cinematography by Lawrence Sher is breathtaking. Some truly awe-inspiring shots exist in this movie. And when it isn’t breathtaking, it still looks quite good. All the technical aspects really come together wonderfully. Especially during the monster action, which I had a ton of fun with.

The movie just came out, so this data will change a bit over time. But as of writing, the movie has gotten quite the mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 38% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 47/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,7/10.

Look, this isn’t one of the greatest movies ever made. But I still had a lot of fun with “Godzilla: King of the Monsters”. It has a mixed bag plot, meh characters, really good performances, fantastic music, and fantastic writing/directing/cinematography/visual effects/action. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” is an 8,74/10. So while flawed, it’s still worth buying.

My review of “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” is completed.

Ooooooh no. They say he’s got to go, GO GO GODZILLA!

Movie Review: A Perfect World (1993)

Don’t commit crimes. It’ll only lead to bad stuff. Like prison. But if you do commit a crime (or two) and go to prison, don’t try to escape. You did the crime, so you should do the time. Don’t commit crimes.

Ladies and gents… “A Perfect World”.

After he escapes from prison, Butch Haynes (Kevin Costner) takes a boy (T.J. Lowther) hostage. And during their journey through the back roads of Texas, the two form a bit of a bond. All while a Texas Ranger (Clint Eastwood) heads the search for Haynes. So now we have our little crime-drama. And I found the plot here to be quite engaging. Admittedly it does fall into a couple of cliches throughout, but it’s not enough to ruin it for me. The journey of Haynes and the kid is endearing and it’s one I found myself really caring about. It’s a lot more slow-paced and concerned with the emotional journey than chases and shootouts. And it makes it feel a bit deeper than other movies with similar premises.

The characters here are layered, interesting, and overall entertaining. Kevin Costner plays Robert Haynes, the recently escaped prisoner. The movie makes it clear that he’s done some bad stuff, but he still feels like he’s a good person when he needs to. He’s charismatic and seems like he really cares about the kid. He feels a bit more real than other movie criminals. And this might be the best performance I’ve ever seen from Costner, he’s great here. T.J. Lowther plays Phillip, the kid that Haynes kidnaps. He’s a young and naive kid that sort of quickly accepts this journey he’s been put on, but it’s still interesting seeing him interact with Haynes and what happens during their journey. And Lowther is good in the role. Not saying it’s the greatest child performance ever, but he’s definitely good. Costner and Lowther also share a very likable chemistry that was enjoyable to watch. Then we have Clint Eastwood as Texas Ranger Red Garnett. It’s basically Clint Eastwood, but slightly less gruff than usual. And he’s so good at that type of role that I can’t help but enjoy it. Then we have Laura Dern as Sally, Garnett’s new assistant. And she’s tough and determined without turning unlikable. It’s fun seeing her more or less own the other guys in the room, showing that women can be badasses too. And yeah, Dern is great in the role. Then we get some solid supporting performances from people like Bradley Whitford (who’s a total dick in this), Keith Szarabajka, Ray McKinnon, Jennifer Griffin, and more! ’tis a very well acted movie.

The score for the movie was composed by Lennie Niehaus and it was good. It was sued relatively sparingly, but it worked well for the movie, elevating certain moments throughout. There were also a whole bunch of licensed tracks used throughout and they worked quite well in their respective scenes.

The movie was directed by Clint Eastwood and I think he did a great job. His direction here is a bit more understated than in some of his other movies, but it works so damn well to make this movie stand out and have a unique feel. He also manages to build some really good suspense in certain scenes, properly showing how to make a scene tense. And the cinematography by Jack N. Green is pretty fucking good. There were times where it actually made me go “Wow”, which doesn’t happen too often.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 81% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it doesn’t even exist. Roger Ebert gave it 4/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,5/10.

“A Perfect World” is a really great movie. It has a great plot, good characters, great performances, really good music, and great directing/cinematography. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “A Perfect World” is a 9,63/10. Which means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “A Perfect World” is now completed.

Definitely an underrated gem in Eastwood’s filmography.

Movie Review: Get Out (2017)

The Month of Spooks continues. And on our plate today we have a newer movie… so let’s just get into it.

Ladies and gents… “Get Out”.

Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) is a young man who is about to meet his girlfriend’s (Allison Williams) parents for the first time. He is a bit worried though since he’s black, and she’s white. And when they arrive at the parents’ house, everything seems fine. However, Chris soon gets the feeling that something is off about this whole thing and experiences one of the strangest weekends of his life. So now we have our horror plot. What I liked about it is that it doesn’t necessarily feel like your typical horror movie plot, it takes some really interesting twists and turns and it handles everything in a pretty unique way. It is also a commentary on liberal racism, weaving that into the narrative very well. Overall it is an incredibly fascinating plot. It has a decent amount of threads going through it, but they never feel messy. Great plot.

The characters here are all quite interesting in some way. Daniel Kaluuya plays Chris, the young man having to go through all of this. He’s a likable guy with a pretty good life, however he is nervous about meeting his girlfriend’s parents. And seeing him go through all this shit, experiencing all kinds of emotions is interesting, and I found myself really caring about him. And Kaluuya is fantastic in the role. Allison Williams plays Rose, Chris’ girlfriend. When we meet her she is simply a reassuring and supportive girlfriend that I found very likable. And I won’t say more other than it’s interesting to see some of her development here. Anyway, Williams is really good in the role. Bradley Whitford (whom I barely recognized here) plays Dean, Rose’s father. He seems like a good guy at first, downright charming. And through the movie we get some interesting developments from his side. And Whitford is great in the role. Catherine Keener plays Missy, Rose’s mom. She’s a psychiatrist and she has some interesting things going on about her throughout the movie. And Keener is great in the role. We have Betty Gabriel as Georgina, one of the servants at the parents’ house. She’s kind of weird and I thought she was a pretty fascinating character. And Gabriel is great in the role. Then we have LilRel Howry in a smaller role as Chris’ best friend, Rod. He’s more of a comic relief type of character, and he’s just great, he made me laugh without feeling out of place. Then we have Marcus Henderson as Walter, the groundskeeper at the parents’ house. He, like Georgina, is quite weird. And Henderson is great in the role. Really, this is a very well acted movie.

The score for the movie was composed by Michael Abels (with some help from Timothy Williams) and it was pretty great. It’s eerie, dramatic, tense, and just overall pretty unique. It all helped set a unique mood/atmosphere for the movie, and I appreciate it quite a bit for that. There were also a couple of licensed tracks used throughout that I thought worked pretty well in their scenes.

This movie was written and directed by comedian Jordan Peele, once again proving that comedians are a bunch of fucked people… also, he did an excellent job with both those things. His directing is tight and tense, keeping me on edge for most of it. It also has a very weird and uneasy atmosphere, giving it a fairly unique vibe. It is quite tense, and it is pretty scary. There’s also some comedy in this, but it never really feels out of place, as it blends fairly well with the tone. And I have to mention Toby Oliver’s cinematography which is… fantastic. So many cool shots, such a great looking movie.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 99% positive rating (100% if you go by “top critics” only) and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 84/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,7/10.

“Get Out” is a fantastic directorial debut from Jordan Peele. It has a great plot, really good characters, great performances, great music, and great directing/cinematography. Time for my final score. *Boo!*. My final score for “Get Out” is a 9,88/10. So of course it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Get Out” is now completed.

I don’t know what to put here.