Movie Review: The Mummy (2017)

You almost gotta respect the sheer gall of Universal and its producers with this one. Fuckers were so confident that their *checks notes* “Dark Universe” was gonna kick off and be an instant hit, in order to try and ape the success of the MCU. But it flopped harder than a fish that was dropped from a plane. But hey, they did manage to get *checks notes again* one movie in, so let’s finally have a look at it, shall we.

Ladies, gents, and non-binaries… “The Mummy” from 2017.

When Egyptian princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella) wakes from a millennia long slumber to wreak havoc on the world, it is up to soldier Nick Morton (Tom Cruise) and archaeologist Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wallis) to find some way of stopping the rampaging mummy’s crusade. Where to begin… well, I can begin by saying that the story here isn’t outright horrible. Reluctant hero, end of the world threat, ancient curses, destinies, there are ingredients here for a solid adventure flick… which was done very well in 1999, but I digress. As far as how it’s put together here, there’s nothing outright offensively bad here, but there’s also nothing that great either. It’s just a fairly uninspired rollercoaster, pretty much never rising above a shrug for me. It’s more or less the safest execution they could’ve tried for an action-fantasy-horror blockbuster in order to try and misguidedly kick off a cinematic universe. On occasion it threatens to include some fun world building, or there’s a cool idea for a set piece, but because of the lifeless execution, it pretty much just feels like a creative flatline from front to back.

The characters in this are… no, that’s it, they just are. Nothing of interest is really done with them. Our leading man, Nick, is a bit of a dick, a prick, a dude that should be smacked with a stick… but it’s not in an interesting way. He’s just a flatly written twat who we should find engagement from because he’s our hero, played by movie star Tom Cruise. Now, Cruise tries, and he’s fine in the role, but the character itself is just flat as hell. Annabelle Wallis plays an archaeologist who gets involved in the adventure, and she flip-flops between being a no-shit-taking lady who doesn’t sanction Nick’s buffoonery, and having a soft spot for him, but it’s not handled with enough grace and nuance to properly work. Wallis tries her best here, but she doesn’t get enough stuff to really dig her teeth into. Sofia Boutella is pretty good as Ahmanet, our main antagonist, and that’s mainly because she has such a great presence on screen. Otherwise the character is a fairly typical almighty entity type villain. Then there’s Russell Crowe as Dr. Jekyll, the head of an organization that’s into chasing monsters. Character isn’t much on paper again, but I really liked Crowe in the role, because he got to have a bit of fun here, which led to one sequence that made me smirk because of his performance. So yeah, Crowe’s fun. The cast also includes people like Jake Johnson, Courtney B. Vance (wasted), Marwan Kenzari, and more, who try their best despite not having the best material.

The score for the movie was composed by Brian Tyler, and it’s alright. Some nice string work and decent brass sections… and that’s about it. Tyler’s a great composer, and he composed a score that worked alright here. Not his most inspired work, but it’s a decently solid bit of music.

“The Mummy” was directed by Alex Kurtzman, and I think he did *sigh* an alright job here. There’s nothing horrible about his direction, everything’s passably edited, and occasionally pretty well shot. He does decent work with the action scenes as well. The VFX here are solid, giving us a helthy blend of practical and CG. Really, the craft here is perfectly fine. It comes down to the uninspired writing and various production issues here. Nothing that really gets to feel inspired or like it has any heart to it.

This movie hasn’t been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 15% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 34/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 5.4/10.

Is 2017’s “The Mummy” one of the worst movies on the planet? No, not at all. But I also don’t recommend it, I feel like it’s a little too lifeless to really engage. Its story is a flatline, none of the characters really engage, the cast are okay, the music’s okay, and the direction and action is fine. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “The Mummy” is a 4.55/10. So I’d recommend skipping it.

My review of “The Mummy” is now completed.

Look, having a series of movies about a secret organization going after classic monsters isn’t a horrible idea… I just think the approach by the producers was very misguided.

Movie Review: Atomic Blonde (2017)

Spies? 1980s? Charlize Theron? “John Wick” crew members? This sounds fucking sweet, so let’s talk about it.

Ladies and gents… “Atomic Blonde”.

Germany, 1989. Mi6 agent Lorraine Broughton (Charlize Theron) has been sent on a mission to retrieve a list that has the names of undercover agents on it. And that’s the basic idea behind the plot. It’s something that’s been seen in movies and such before, but I would’ve been okay with it here had they done something fun and clever with it. But this plot has some issues. Firstly, it’s told as a series of flashbacks with Lorraine reporting to two agents played by Toby Jones and John Goodman. The problem is that this immediately takes the tension out of the plot, since we know where the hell she ends up. And secondly, for such a simple-ish idea, this plot is messy and kind of convoluted. I get that a spy movie needs to have twists and turns, but this thinks it’s clever in how it layers twist on twist on twist, but it just comes off as messy and convoluted. So the plot here is quite meh.

The characters here are… okay, I think. You don’t learn a lot about them in the movie, which made me not care too much about any of them. Charlize Theron plays Lorraine Broughton, the eponymous hero. She’s a highly skilled badass that can kick all sorts of ass while also being good at sneaky spy shit. However, you never really get to know her a lot. You get hints of things that have happened in her life, but nothing solid enough to make her compelling. But Theron gives a great performance here and I did enjoy seeing her kick ass. James McAvoy plays David Percvial, one of Broughton’s contacts in Berlin. He’s a bit less serious as a character, but he still gets to kick some ass. He’s charming, but not that deep of a character. McAvoy is great. Eddie Marsan plays a German man called Spyglass in this movie, and he might be the most compelling character in the movie despite not being a main one. That said, he’s not too deep. Marsan is great in the role at least. Toby Jones and John Goodman as the two agents that Broughton tells her story to are fine… they don’t get too much to do. They’re both good in the roles, but they’re not that interesting. Then we get some really solid supporting performances from people like Sofia Boutella, Til Schweiger, Bill Skarsgård, and more.

The score for the movie was composed by Tyler Bates and it was good. It’s heavily electronic/synth-based and definitely fits the late 80s setting, and it’s quite fun to listen to. Then there’s a whole bunch of licensed tracks used throughout and I have mixed feelings about them. I like most of the songs here, my problem with them comes with how some of them are used within the editing of the movie. They often make it sound like the music comes from a source within the scene, whether it’s a speaker or a boombox, but then they cut it out like a regular background soundtrack. And those edits don’t really work that well as they distract quite a bit from the overall experience. But I admit that some are used well enough throughout the movie. Good music.

This movie was directed by David Leitch, one of the two men behind the first “John Wick” movie. And for the most part I think he did a great job. His directing is slick and everything has good energy to it, keeping it from feeling boring. And the cinematography by Jonathan Sela is absolutely stunning, he really make the movie look stylish hand cool. The action scenes here range from pretty good to fucking incredible. They are all a lot of fun to watch as it’s clear how much actual stuntwork is done here, both by stunt people and the actors themselves, which is so great to see in today’s computerized movie environment. Especially during an action scene during the second half of the movie. I won’t say what happens exactly, but it’s fucking amazing.

This movie has gotten some mixed-ish reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 76% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 63/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,8/10.

Weird title and flaws aside, I enjoyed “Atomic Blonde”. It has a meh plot, okay-ish characters, great performances, good music, and great directing/cinematography. A previously mentioned, the plot is very messy as hell, and the characters aren’t great. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Atomic Blonde” is a 7,87/10. While flawed, I’d definitely say that it’s worth renting.

My review of “Atomic Blonde” is now completed.

Cool.

Movie Review: Star Trek Beyond (2016)

Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Star Trek Beyond”!

As the Enterprise goes out to explore an uncharted part of space it gets attacked by the villainous Krall (Idris Elba) and his followers, which makes the Enterprise crash on some unknown planet. So now Kirk (Chris Pine), Spock (Zachary Quinto), and the other people of the Enterprise have to team up with an alien woman named Jaylah (Sofia Boutella) to try to stop Krall and also find a way off the fucking planet. All of this makes for one hell of an entertaining plot. It’s a fun and fast-paced adventure that gives us an entertaining popcorn plot while also honoring the original series in a good way. Sure, this plot doesn’t exactly break any new ground, but it’s still pretty damn good.

The characters in this are al layered, interesting, and incredibly entertaining. Chris Pine is once again terrific as Kirk. Zachary Quinto once again knocks it out of the park as Spock. Karl Urban was once again fantastic as Bones, AKA my favorite character in this reboot series. Anton Yelchin (may he rest in peace) was once again great as Chekov. Zoe Zaldana was once again great as Uhura. John Cho was once again great as Sulu. Simon Pegg was great as Scotty. Okay, let’s just put it like this: Returning cast was great. I especially liked how they teamed up various characters in the movie that didn’t get too much time together in the previous two movies. My favorite of those was Spock and Bones, their back and forth was fantastic! Now, let’s talk about the newcomers. Idris Elba was great as Krall. At first he just felt like your typical scary alien villain, but during the third act (no spoilers) you learn moe about him and I thought he got a lot more interesting and compelling as the villain. Sofia Boutella was great as Jaylah, this alien woman that our heroes meets in the movie. Her character was interesting, funny, and badass… I really liked her. So in conclusion: It ‘s a great cast and they’re all giving great performances.

The score for the movie was (like in the previous two movies) composed by Michael Giacchino and once again it is great. Big, epic, and overall very well composed… it’s a great original score that perfectly fits the movie, not much else I can say about it. I’ll also say this, there’s a certain licensed track used in the movie in a really fun way, not gonna say what it is or how it was used, but let it be known that I thought it was quite awesome.

This movie was directed by Justin Lin (the man behind 4 of the 8 “Fast & Furious” movies) and I think he did a great job. The shots look great, and the action scenes are very well handled. The action scenes flow very well and they are just awesome! The visual effects once again look absolutely fantastic, and the the makeup/prosthetics are absolutely amazing! How “Suicide Squad” took the Oscar over this movie is just baffling.

This movie has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 84% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 68/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,1/10. The movie was also nominated for 1 Oscar in the category of Best makeup/hairstyling.

“Star Trek Beyond” is an incredibly fun summer blockbuster filled with good character moments while also honoring the original series. It features a great plot, great characters, great performances, great music, great directing, and great visual effects (CGI and practical). Time for my final score. *Gets beamed up to ship*. My final score for “Star Trek Beyond” is a 9,87/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Star Trek Beyond” is now completed.

“In loving memory of Leonard Nimoy”.
“For Anton”.
Tears, man… tears.

Movie Review: Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015)

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How many spy movies with any credibility do we get these days that aren’t “James Bond”? Pretty much zero, that’s how many. Really, that’s all I have to say on the matter.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Kingsman: The Secret Service”.

Harry “Galahad” Hart (Colin Firth) is a man working for an organization known as the Kingsmen. This organization pretty much consists of gentlemanly badasses. One day after a Kingsman dies, Harry gets the chance to recruit a young man called Eggsy (Taron Egerton) who happens to be the son of a former Kingsman. And they together wit ha few other members of this organization have to try to stop bad guy Richmond Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson) from doing his evil things. To say that this plot is anything but basic would be a big fat lie, but at the same time the movie knows that it is quite simple. Mainly it’s just supposed to be an homage/send-up to classic spy films and something pulls it off pretty damn well. This isn’t a movie that is supposed to be taken too seriously even though there are some slightly more dramatic bits, but those bits never feel unnecessary or forced… they work. Everything in this silly plot works.

The characters are all consistently entertaining, interesting and pretty cool. Sure, there are some dickheads in the movie, but they are not really part of the central cast. Anyway… how was the acting? Well it’s pretty great. Relative newcomer Taron Egerton plays our hero, Eggsy and he is actually pretty damn great in the role. He is likable, he is relateable, he is funny and he’s actually pretty awesome. Colin Firth as Galahad was of course great if you look at it from a performance-based perspective. But I was also skeptical about it, thinking “Colin Firth: Action star? I don’t think so”. Oh, how I was wrong, he’s great in the movie. Samuel L. Jackson was great in the movie as well. He has this lisp throughout the movie which at first was a little distracting, but it kind of grew on me as time went on. Then we have a bunch more great actors who I don’t have the time/patience to fully go through even though I thought they all were great, so I’m jsut gonna go ahead and mention them and be done with it. Mark Strong, Jack Davenport, Sofia Boutella, Michael Caine, Mark Hamill, Sophie Cookson.

The score for the movie was composed by Henry Jackman & Matthew Margeson and I have to say that it was pretty great. If you’ve seen a few “Bond” movies, you know how it sounds. Big, bombastic, orchestral and fun. This movie also has a lot of licensed tracks that it uses and they all absolutely work within the context of the movie… sort of. There is one song that was in a scene that felt a little weird at first, but then I thought that it was just great and it added to the fun of it all. There are some songs I personally didn’t like, but still felt that they worked for the scenes they were used in, so I’m not detracting any points for them.

This movie was directed by Matthew Vaughn who also made “X-Men: First Class” and “Kick-Ass”, two movies I personally really enjoyed. And once again, he did a good job directing this movie. It is fast, it is well-shot and it’s just really good. Yes, there is a bit of shaky-cam in the movie but I feel like it actually sort of worked in some strange way. I don’t know, somehow it jsut really worked for the action scenes in the movie which are all pretty great. I mean the action is pretty violent, brutal and if you do not like violence and a lot of blood in your movies, then maybe skip this one because blood and gore galore. I have to also touch on the fact that we get to see Colin Firth, Colin fucking Firth… kick a lot of ass in the movie. Apparently he even did about 80% of his own stunts for the movie. And without spoiling it here, there is one scene that just has several factors about it that just made it one of the best scenes I have ever seen. Because it is both well made and utterly fucking ridiculous which is just something I really needed. I just might talk about it though in an upcoming “My Favorite Scenes” (Nudge nudge, wink wink). I also have to quickly mention that there is a lot of funny humor in this movie… that’s it.

This movie has been fairly well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 74% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 58/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,8/10.

“Kingsman: The Secret Service” is a ridiculous spy movie with a surprisingly good plot, great acting & characters, an awesome soundtrack, really good directing and great action. Time for my final score. *Bang bang*. My final score for “Kingsman: The Secret Service” is a 9,88/10. It definitely gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

My review of “Kingsman: The Secret Service” is now done.

Manners Maketh Man.