First Man – Out of this World

First Man tells the story of Neil Armstrong and the race to the moon in the 1960s that culminated in the Apollo space missions which ultimately led to astronauts walking on the moon. It tells of the sacrifices everyone made on that selfless journey, some even sacrificing their lives. Based on the biography of Neil Armstrong, titled the same as the film, we get this story from Armstrong’s point of view. Known to his colleagues as a very quiet man, that is on display very well with Gosling’s performance.

I have a confession to make. I didn’t know much about Neil Armstrong before going to see First Man. Of course I knew he was the first to walk on the moon, we’re all taught that in school. What I did not know is that he had a daughter, Karen, who was two and a half years old when she died of a brain tumor. I mention this because I was not prepared. I was out of town, away from my family, of which I have a two and a half year old daughter. Seeing the raw emotion that Ryan Gosling was able to portray while going through that loss was shattering to me. I almost wept in the theater. I was not prepared. Interestingly enough, so quiet and reserved was Armstrong, that some of his closest work colleagues didn’t know he had a daughter either. He never spoke of her to them.

It is a testament to the acting in this movie that I could feel that type of emotion. This movie is good. I don’t mean the type of good that you would answer to someone when they ask you how the new Iron Fist season was. I mean it was really good. Ryan Gosling and Claire Foy will be nominated for Academy Awards. They have to be. Their performance definitely warranted such. Lucy Stafford, with this being her first movie, has a vital role and delivers an awesome performance despite her limited screen time. Jason Clarke, playing the role of astronaut Ed White, is quickly shooting up there as one of my favorite actors. He is a pure delight to watch on screen. His presence in movies almost demands you to pay attention. Buzz Aldrin is portrayed by Corey Stoll and he is fantastic in this role. He gets better and better every time I see him.

I highly recommend seeing this movie in the theater. There are a lot of visuals that are best seen on the big screen. Can you wait for DVD or BluRay? Yes, but this is definitely worth seeing while it is still at the movies.

Venom – We recommend you see us

Venom movie review Redeeming Bad Movies

I went into this movie with pretty low expectations. It met every one of them. That is not a knock on this movie at all though. I, like many others, read a lot of the reviews prior to buying my ticket. The reviews are not kind. At all. You would think this was one of the worst movies ever made by reading some of the articles. Sometimes I wonder how much of it is just people trying to fit into the mainstream and echoing their own perceived approval.

Having said that, I really liked this movie. I went into it thinking it was going to be a not great movie, but fun. And I got exactly that. A good, not great, movie that was fun. Here is what surprised me though. When I heard that Michelle Williams was going to be in the movie, I thought of others movie she has done. The Greatest Showman, All the Money in the World, Manchester by the Sea. She plays pretty heavy roles. So I thought there was no way she can do a popcorn movie and it would be believable. I was wrong. I fully admit that. She looks like she is having fun and I think that comes across on the screen as well. We could have fun because she was too.

How about Tom Hardy? Does that man ever do a bad job? He has already shown he can do action (Mad Max: Fury Road, Inception) and comedy (This Means War) and drama (The Revenant, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy). Now we just get to see him have fun. I know we could nitpick the effects or the origin of Venom without Spider-Man, but this movie stood pretty well as a stand-alone. Of course by casting Hardy they guaranteed the funding, I also noticed his Executive Producer credit at the end. Have to keep the talent happy. But I feel like it worked. He delivered a really good performance and the movie’s opening weekend is quickly showing that it was worth the 100 million dollar gamble.

Overall though, will you like this movie? If you go in with low expectations and watch it just to be entertained, then yes, you will definitely like this movie. Is it worth the $14 price tag of a movie these days? Probably not. But if you want a fun date movie, this is right up your alley.

And one more thing, stay until around the middle of the credits.

A Star Is Born – A Song Is Stuck In Your Head

A Star Is Born Movie Review

First, let me just say…WOW. This movie was amazing. Bradley Cooper and Lady GaGa were out of this world fantastic. Sam Elliott was simply stunning. Dave Chappelle was great in the small part he played and I was surprised to see Andrew Dice Clay, but he was good too! Cooper plays Jackson Maine and GaGa plays Ally. They were meant for each other and nothing will stop them from meeting. Let me tell you, this movie never let up. It hooked you in the beginning with the characters and never let you go. There were parts I laughed at and there were parts where I cried.

A lot of people will talk about the music. It’s amazing, but where the Kristofferson/Streisand movie focused on the music this version let is stay part of the plot. The story is crafted really well and I could definitely see Cooper winning multiple awards here. He wrote the screenplay, gave a hell of a performance, sang the music, and directed the movie! He’s due at least one Academy Award, but definitely multiple nominations.

Lady GaGa hit it out of the park, which we all kind of knew she would. Her voice is a force of nature, and no one is going to keep her down. Her performance in this movie is on par with Cooper’s, and that’s saying a lot. She charms you from the beginning with her spunky attitude and we fall in love at the same time Jackson Maine does.

Should you see this movie? Definitely! Should you see it in the theater? You betcha. I had high hopes for this movie and it satisfied all of them. If you remember the original, I really felt like it was rushed into them meeting and falling in love. The pacing was pretty bad and parts that should have been drawn out were too quick and parts that could have been glossed over were stretched for some reason. This movie does not suffer that same fate.

Definitely see it. I don’t think you’ll regret it. The story itself is not original, and it is pretty predictable. But the movie has a part where Sam Elliott explains that music is the same twelve notes repeating. Every song is the same. It’s what the artist chooses to say in between those notes that make it unique. This movie definitely says what it wanted during those twelve notes.

Life Itself – This Is Us?

Life Itself

Want to see hit show This Is Us as a movie? The TV show’s creator Dan Fogelman gets you pretty close with his film Life Itself. A half hour into the film it slaps you in the face and you sit up and pay attention contemplating “have I seen a film grapple with authentic emotions in this way before?” If you have, it’s not likely you’ve seen it done by this caliber of acting. Starring an ensemble cast of people spanning generations and crossing continents, some of the best work easily belongs to Oscar Isaac and Olivia Cooke. So much more talent echoes through the film though, rarely is there a scene where something dramatic doesn’t come up.

Speaking of, Fogelman uses emotive plotlines and story throughout – so know that ahead of time and quit complaining about how shocked or surprised you are. Philosophy majors take note, though it falls flat sometimes, a motif of the movie lies in how we all tell our stories through varying lenses and people in our lives can be interpreted myriad ways, by us, themselves and others. A grand question in life – right up there with “better to have loved and lost or…never have seen this movie?”

Where it could have been fractured, the intense plot and emotional character driven acting resonates well enough even in the sequential way the movie is narrated. Life itself brings us to our knees, so when you leave the theater, remember its message to go farther and find love.

White Boy Rick – He Grows on You

White Boy Rick

If you are hesitant to see this film because you think you might be unable to stand Rick’s streetwise accent for an entire movie, don’t worry, you get used to it. After meeting young Rick (Richie Merritt), you immediately are immersed by his environment and upbringing and understand Detroit is one of the few places this story just makes sense. Seduced by the grime, dusty car and the unusual, if unhealthy, father/son bond, you get hooked quickly, and the movie paces along pretty well after that. Driving back into the city Rick asks his dad why they still live here, implying the city has pretty much gone to the dumps, and his dad, Rick Sr. (Matthew McConaughey) replies, “a lion doesn’t leave the Serengeti.”  These characters, who you will need to remind yourself a few times, are real people, know themselves well and do not apologize for their surroundings or being who they are.

Other acting gems that could have been overlooked but instead served up talent were the federal agents, one played by Jennifer Jason Leigh, familiar and foreboding, and another Atlanta’s talented Brian Tyree Henry. Also, one of McConaughey’s Dazed and Confused alums, Rory Cochrane, leaves us wondering whether the pair caught up over coffee marveling at how surprised the world basically is that Matthew McConaughey is still impressing us this far into his career? We may have known he is talented for a while, check out Dallas Buyers Club for knock-you-over-the-head emotional resonance, but he really slips into Rick Sr. and brings some empathy for a real life man who might have been hard to find redeemable without this empathetic performance.

Rare is it that you get such an emotionally memorable performance depicting the sheer confusion and love that goes into parenting. Bonus, he pulls off this feat with a star defining mullet! McConaughey might steal the show a bit, but as Rick Jr. eclipses his father’s dealings, Merritt rises to show some chops and I’m interested in roles we might get to see him occupy in the future. The story itself being incredulous enough, I really rode along through the twists and turns with the movie as I did not know the ending. Just go see it. And enjoy the hairstyles!

Searching – How well do we really know anyone?

Searching

WOW

What an exceptional performance by John Cho! Oh my, director Aneesh Chaganty captures the internet and related sensibilities so well. Lastly, why has no film before been able to capture the relevance and relatability of the internet and how it can be both meaningful and so utterly useless at the same time?

This film is a must see for any parent with a teenager, as long as you don’t mind leaving the theatre with your anxiety increased pondering “do I know my son/daughter?” Those without children will surely still connect with the familiar missing person story where father David Kim (John Cho) works closely with FBI Detective Vick (Debra Messing) to find his missing daughter Margot (Michelle La). A thriller with more twists and turns than I anticipated, the film easily captivates viewers while still remaining casually relatable. Characters in the movie serve to illustrate common themes within both tragedies and internet, from the obsessed parent to the acquaintance turned attention grabbing best friend.

The performances in the film not only anchor the plot, they strengthen the film’s credibility. Even if Margot happens to have previously seen her onscreen Dad in a silly little venture like Harold and Kumar…, she’ll still take him seriously due to this grounded and emotional performance.

The director does an excellent job in playing out the film through an internet screen. Instead of coming across as dull, he uses the medium to communicate present day relatable environments and causes audiences to question our involvement in this medium. If you text, mail, watch or post videos or login to any social media platform, you need to watch this movie.

The Predator – or is it Sportsman?

The Predator (2018)

From the outer reaches of space to the small-town streets of suburbia, the hunt comes home. Now, the universe’s most lethal hunters are stronger, smarter, and deadlier than ever before, having genetically upgraded themselves with DNA from other species. When a young boy accidentally triggers their return to Earth, only a ragtag crew of ex-soldiers and a disgruntled science teacher can prevent the end of the human race.

That’s the way the studio describes it and it’s not much more than that. But you know what? It works. I went in not knowing what type of movie it wanted to be. Was I going to get straight action? Straight gore? I wasn’t sure, but the movie decided what it wanted to be pretty quickly, which was FANTASTIC!

Olivia Munn is spunky and Sterling K. Brown is hard to hate as the villain, but it’s the ragtag Group 2 that steals the show. When we first meet them on the bus, we’re not sure what to think. But as time goes on, they grow on you. Keegan-Michael Key does a great job, once again. He can really make a role his own. It was great to see Thomas Jane back on screen. And I swear the line uttered by Key to Jane, “welcome back”, has got to be a nod to The Punisher, a role Jane played in 2004.

Trevante Rhodes was great as Nebraska. He has a lot of charisma on screen. Alfie Allen, I felt, was a little wasted in this role, but maybe he’s trying to avoid being typecast as the villain. Augusto Aguilera was fantastic as Nettles. And of course, our lead, Boyd Holbrook as Quinn McKenna rounds out the Group. He was good, not great, but it was enough. And the fact that he was surrounded by a great cast that had excellent chemistry with each definitely helped.

Jacob Tremblay does a good job in the role of Rory McKenna and I feel like he’ll continue to hone the acting craft as he does more movies.  And how about Yvonne Strahovski making an appearance! I was surprised to see her in a role that wasn’t all glammed up or having her act like a complete and total hard ass. Hopefully she’ll be given more of these types of roles. I was a big fan of this entry into the Predator catalog and I hope to see more. And if the before credits, after movie, scene is any indication, we may just have another franchise on our hands.

Adrift – Do not let this movie drift by

Adrift

Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm. This is a famous old saying, particularly true, for an amazingly resourceful girl Tami Oldham played by the beautiful and talented Shailene Woodley. A woman at the center of a survival story is a rarity that immediately grabs you in “Adrift”. Playing the role of her partner, her captain, and lover is Sam Claflin as Richard Sharp. Only an adventure junkie can follow through on an adventurous film structure where the film begins after the disaster has happened and then the film cuts back to past where we learn more about the characters, this is a consistent theme for this film’s structure up until the point where the two storylines meet. I imagine sticking to this structure would’ve been risky but it was executed superbly by the adventurous Icelandic director Baltasar Kormákur (The man who, while shooting “Everest”, climbed 24,000ft to scout for locations which explains why the visuals in this film were so wonderful).

Adrift starts with a scene where a young and bloodied woman, who is barely conscious, is suddenly woken up by jolts. She (Tami Oldham) is below deck in a boat, which is filling up with water fast; the sound of her vessel creaking and groaning ominously all around her can be heard. She does eventually fight her way out of this non-metaphorical sunken place and into the sunlight – at which point the camera continues pulling further and further back, revealing that not only is this unlucky sailor alone on a wrecked ship, but the ship itself is merely a fragment in a vast, empty ocean with nothing but water all around her. It is at this point where we get our first of many cutback scenes to see that Tami Oldham was just another fresh-faced, free-spirit schooner-hopper who landed in Tahiti, merely skipping from one maritime gig to the next, no end destination and no grand plan in mind. She is content with doing odd jobs until she meets Richard (Claflin). The story progresses and the two take to the open water like a pair of porpoises in love. All is going well for the couple until a hurricane blows them 1,500 square miles off course, wrecks the boat, knocks Richard overboard, and strands Tami without an engine or a radio. They are so far from their destination that if they drift any farther, the next stop is Japan.

Holding the helm when the sea is most definitely not calm is what Woodley does so well and in this process you get to see an acting masterclass. She is a mesmerizing powerhouse in the lead role, with that raw quality to her performance that instantly gets you to buy into whatever she is selling. Paired with great visuals, this film is an excellent watch.

Kin – James Franco and Not Much Else

Kin

Twin-brother directors Josh and Jonathan Baker don’t seem to know whether they are making a sci-fi, action or drama flick, but what they are sure of is that good acting will help audiences enjoy the ride. While you might come to see the disparate melding of genres, you’ll be glad you stayed for James Franco’s devilishly cheeky grin and the surprisingly refreshing performances by Jack Reynor (Jimmy) and newcomer Myles Truitt (Eli). Playing into some tight family dynamics throughout the movie, both actors inspire confidence, in scenes alone and together. Reynor’s eyes encourage sympathy and Truitt shines in a subtly strong and well-written performance. Zoe Kravitz also appears as a bright spot in the film, though underused considering her talent.

While the movie has some UFO-sized plot holes, a very well hidden cameo and surprise reveal toward the end almost makes up for it. I felt some of the setup for a sequel, or just a poor way to end a one-off franchise, came a bit too late, you should still see the movie for the excitement generated near the end. Some events in the movie are less realistic, and I’m not referring to the science fiction elements here; and, entirely way too much time is spent focusing on one specific weapon. Yet, I was so psyched at what Eli might have in store for him, in both his fictional life and possibly a sequel, that I would go see it – and before summer officially ends so as to save yourself any spoilers!

Chappaquiddick – A Greek Tragedy in Modern American Times

Chappaquiddick

There is a Chinese curse which says “May he live in interesting times.” And this was certainly true for Ted Kennedy played by the talented Jason Clarke during the 1969 Chappaquiddick incident. The movie has a lot of firepower in its roster with the lovely Kate Mara playing Mary Jo Kopechne, while the versatile Ed Helms plays Joe Gargan. “Chappaquiddick” is directed by John Curran from a script by the first-timers Taylor Allen and Andrew Logan. The trio did an excellent job of telling the story of what happened on Friday, July 18, 1969 on Chappaquiddick Island. But I feel I must add this point that exactly what happened remains unknown, gaps and ambiguities in what is known provides the filmmakers with room for speculation, which they use very well.

The movie starts off with a scene where U.S. Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy gives an interview, where he is questioned about standing in the shadow of his late brothers, John Kennedy and Robert Kennedy. This question remains a theme throughout for Ted Kennedy. After the interview, he calls his cousin and chief fixer, Joe Gargan (Ed Helms) to arrange for hotel rooms on Martha’s Vineyard for the Boiler Room Girls who were group of young women who were given this nickname when they worked on the 1968 campaign of the Senator’s late brother Bobby (Robert Kennedy), who had been assassinated the previous year.  Kennedy arrives to Chappaquiddick Island, where he, Joe, and US Attorney for Massachusetts Paul Markham (Jim Gaffigan) try to win a sail race. After losing the race, Kennedy goes to the party at a beach house with his friends and the Boiler Room Girls. The married, 37-year-old senator (Ted) is relaxing on Chappaquiddick Island near Martha’s Vineyard, he leaves the private party a little early with 28-year-old Mary Jo Kopechne—one of the Boiler Room Girls. Kopechne leaves her basket-shaped handbag on the table at the party, a small wrenching detail. Then the accident happens where clearly a drunk Ted accidentally drove his car off the one-lane bridge and into the tide-swept Poucha Pond. For ten hours Ted Kennedy failed to report the accident, during which time Kopechne suffocated inside the submerged vehicle. In the aftermath of this event Ted and his team try to clean the mess caused by this accident in such a way that it does not sabotage Ted’s political career.

This movie was a brilliant blend of good story telling mixed with top notch acting. Jason Clarke portrayed Ted Kennedy so well that on one hand you’re disgusted by his actions, but on the other hand you feel sympathy for the man who was left to carry the staggering legacies of his brothers John and Bobby.

Crazy Rich Asians – Crazy Fun Movie

Crazy Rich Asians

Let me start off by saying that this movie is fun. Has the story been told before? Yes. Has it been told with this diverse of a cast? Not likely. It really brings home that no matter the culture, or where you’re from, parents want largely the same things for their children. Sure, there are differences among our beliefs, but when you boil it down to its essence. We just want better for our children than we had. This is on amazing display in Crazy Rich Asians.

This movie, based on a global bestseller, follows native New Yorker Rachel Chu (Constance Wu), a professor of Economics, to Singapore to meet her boyfriend’s family. Her boyfriend is Nick Young (Henry Golding), whose family is one of the richest families in Singapore. He is a year overdue coming home to take over the family business and his mother (Michelle Yeoh) is not happy about his new guest.

The movie is certainly cliché at times, but it makes up for it in wholesome charm. It knows what type of movie it wants to be and nails it. It’s a pretty good adaptation of the book, and considering how well it is doing at the box office, we may just see a sequel or two.

Overall this movie is definitely worth seeing. Is it worth today’s ticket prices? Probably not. But if you have a Fear of Missing Out (FOMO), then you ought not wait too long. See it as soon as you can. Then you can play chicken with your friends on who saw it first. Bock Bock.

Real Genius – Geniusly Good!

Real Genius

Teenage geniuses deal with their abilities while developing a high-powered laser for a university project. When their professor intends to turn their work into a military weapon, they decide to ruin his plans.

This movie is only dated by the music being used and the fact that Val Kilmer is not that actor that can portray that spry individual anymore. But man is it still fun!

Val Kilmer plays Chris Knight, a prodigy who doesn’t take life seriously anymore. Gabriel Jarret plays Mitch Taylor, one of the youngest individuals to be accepted at this prestigious universities. Chris teaches Mitch how to let loose and not take life so seriously. Mitch teaches Chris that responsibility doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Together they learn that doing the right thing is more important that doing what they are told.

Val Kilmer is amazing in this movie. Gabriel Jarret was chosen very well for the part they were trying to portray. It’s too bad they misspelled his name in the credits. Jon Gries is awesome in anything he does! Seriously, go watch anything he’s done and tell me he isn’t magnificent in it! And of course they cast William Atherton as the villain, because that’s what he played in every movie back then; Ghostbusters, Real Genius, and Die Hard, just to name a few.

I couldn’t really identify with Mitch’s character. I think growing up, we always fantasize about being a Chris Knight, not a Mitch Taylor. But it is nice to see him succeed, especially considering he worked so hard. Lazlo is where it’s at though. My man built a tunnel system in the college, without them knowing, and calculated the winning percentage of prizes from the Frito Lay contest. That dude is awesome! That was the first movie I remember seeing that promoted the idea that you could be cool and be smart. Revenge of the Nerds was good, but they were still nerds. So Real Genius helped teach that you didn’t have to sacrifice being smart to be cool.

Overall, this is a really good movie. As of this post, it’s on Netflix. So you won’t have to hunt too far to find it. Watch it, enjoy it, and then reminisce about it with your friends, or with strangers on the internet.

The Death of Superman – Way Better Than Doomsday

The Death of Superman

Remember the movie Doomsday? It told of the death of Superman. And it was not great. This movie is not Doomsday.

Just because I know you want to know. Yes, this movie is good. DC seems to understand how to make an animated film. Some of their live action movies are not great, but they are on it with their animated stuff.

This movie retells the 1993 story of the Death of Superman, but it updates the outfits for the current animated continuity. It’s a great story overall and I found myself a little misty eyed at the end, just like with the comic all those years ago.

Superman works in a lot of mediums as that awesome supporting character. One of the mainstays, in my opinion, that people understand about him is that he IS the cavalry. When you’re fighting something and you just can’t get the job done yourself, you call in the big guy. And that is exactly what is needed and exactly what happens. Superman a lot of muscle and even more heart. I feel like this movie captured that superbly.

Pick it up from Redbox, it is definitely worth the $2 rental fee.

And be on the lookout for Reign of the Supermen!

The Humanity Bureau – Worth a watch

The Humanity Bureau

I’ll get right to the point. Was the movie good? No. Was this movie worth watching? Yes. Please, let me try and explain.

We’ve all seen movies of this type before. Person entrusted to carry out orders against a certain individual, or individuals, ends up empathizing with them and helps them instead. What sets this apart from those others is Nicolas Cage. Any time I go into a movie with Cage I tell myself, if this movie is bad, don’t watch the movie. Watch Cage, and the other actors for that matter. Cage makes this movie actually watchable. Sarah Lind and Jakob Davies deliver surprising performances. The end is kind of terrible, but the lead up to it is not what I expected at all. Yes, there are better movies out there. But this is kind of a dirty diamond in the rough. It’s not flashy, it’s not even worth recommending to friends to watch it. But if you only watch the really good movies, then soon they are not good enough. I feel we need the bad ones to balance out, so that you can appreciate the good ones when they come around.

This movie is not the worst thing to touch your DVD player. So I say, give it a watch. It will fall a little on the left of middle of the road, but it’s not so bad. And Cage is pretty good in it too!

Deadpool 2 or How I Learned to Stop Thinking and Just Accept Luck as a Superpower

Deadpool 2 was a delight. Will it dethrone Avengers Infinity War? No. Will it entertain you for its two hour run-time? Most definitely. Ryan Reynolds is back as the Merc-with-a-Mouth and he is superb. He brings along Josh Brolin, who is wonderful as Cable, and is shorter than I thought. Deadpool noticed that too. He also has Zazie Beetz, aka Domino. Her superpower is Luck. But don’t tell that to DP.

I felt like this movie wasn’t as strong as the first one, but it was still good. The first kind of came out of nowhere and really raised our expectations, but the second one does a good job of following up, but not a great job. The easy thing about this franchise is if you run into problems you can just break the fourth wall and all is forgiven. Having said that, I really enjoyed it. I won’t go into any spoilers, but I think you’ll enjoy the movie. At least I hope you will. You have the right to enjoy something you’re spending money on.

If you have seen it, what did you think?

Let me know in the comments below or you can connect to me on Twitter @RedeemBadMovies

Justice League – Hope Springs Eternal

Justice League (2017)

I had a lot of excitement building to see this movie and the day finally came. The reviews came out and they were brutal. But I haven’t listened to a critic’s opinion on a film since 1993. I feel like Siskel and Ebert were wrong about Cliffhanger. I loved that movie. That’s when I knew. Critics watched a movie for different reasons than I did. So when I saw that the reviews were not good for Justice League. I didn’t worry about it. And man am I happy I have that outlook.

This movie was fantastic! The beginning felt a little rushed and felt like it was going to be. That is a lot of story and a lot of heroes to cram into two hours runtime. But once the story gets going, it really moves. I saw a news report today that Matt Reeves (Director of the new Batman movie that is in pre-production) didn’t want Ben Affleck for the lead role. After having seen Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and now Justice League I feel like there is no one better suited. Ben Affleck is wonderful in this role. Henry Cavill knocks the role of Superman out of the park…again. And don’t get me started on the awesomeness that is Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. Jason Momoa as Aquaman and Ezra Miller as Flash were great and newcomer Ray Fisher (Cyborg) was a welcome addition.

I won’t spoil anything for this movie, but I will say this. This movie made me feel something that I feel is in short supply these days. Hope. I actually got goosebumps while watching. I hope you feel the same when you see it.

Blade Runner 2049 – Will it win any awards?

Blade Runner 2049.

I wanted to like this movie, and on some level I did. It hit a lot of points in a movie that I like. Likeable actors, intriguing story, and I was entertained. But now that the newness has worn off I find myself going back and asking myself: did I really like this movie? I loved Ryan Gosling, Jared Leto, Sylvia Hoeks, and Ana de Armas. Of course it was awesome seeing Harrison Ford come back to this role. But after watching the original again, I just didn’t feel like he was Rick Deckard. Instead it felt like he was Harrison Ford playing Harrison Ford. The big surprise in this movie, for me, came from Dave Bautista. That guy really set the tone for me and I really enjoyed his performance. I definitely underestimated him. The movie is definitely worth a watch and overall I am happy I saw it in the theater. It will be interesting to see if this movie is up for any awards, considering the first one was pretty much ignored in its time.

What did you think? Let me know @RedeemBadMovies or e-mail me at redeemingbadmovies@gmail.com.

The House – I would not bet on it

The House.

When I first heard about it, I thought it would be a very funny movie. I mean, Will Ferrell, Amy Poehler, and Jason Mantzoukas. These are comedy giants, but they just couldn’t bring it. Not that they didn’t try. They did, they tried really hard. And that was part of the problem. They tried too hard. A lot of the jokes were what you would have expected, it was pretty formulaic. The big surprise in this movie was when Jeremy Renner showed up, but that couldn’t even save it. I’ve seen him be really funny and I feel like he was wasted in this movie. I rented the movie from Redbox, so it is definitely worth a watch if you can get it from there. Or maybe if it was reduced price on iTunes or Amazon. But I am happy I didn’t go to the theater for this one. Final verdict: Redbox Rent.

Thor: Ragnarok – Yes, it is as amazing as you think it will be!

Thor: Ragnarok. What can I say? This movie is highly entertaining. I judge movies based on their entertainment value and this scored an A+. It had everything: action, comedy, drama. You name it. Chris Hemsworth was amazing. Tom Hiddleston, amazing. Cate Blanchett, amazing. Have I mentioned that this movie is amazing? It is the highest rated Marvel movie so far, 94% on Rotten Tomatoes. And after having seen it, I can definitely see why. This movie sends a pretty powerful message too, women are just as strong as men. Our main villain, Hella, is a woman that destroys Thor’s Hammer (Mjolnir). Taika Waititi knocked this movie out of the park. Go see this movie. You will not be disappointed.

Guardians of the Galaxy – Things I Learned from Director’s Commentary

Guardians of the Galaxy 2014 IMDB Rating: 8.1

You know what movie I find amazing? Guardians of the Galaxy. When this movie was first announced that it was coming out in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I was really hoping that it was going to open up the appearance of Quasar into the movies. I’m a huge fan of Quasar, but that’s not the point. I was really excited, but also a little apprehensive. I worried that it would fall flat since these characters were not really known. I think a lot of people shared this same view. But James Gunn delivered an amazing movie. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 just came out on DVD and Blu Ray yesterday (August 22) and in honor of that coming out, I went back and watched the first one with director’s commentary. I present to you:

JUST A FEW THINGS I LEARNED FROM WATCHING COMMENTARY!

James Gunn’s brother plays Yondu’s right hand man, but he also plays the part of Rocket Raccoon pre-CGI so that the other actors have someone to play off of when they are doing their lines. How crazy is that? His brother, Sean Gunn, had to play two roles throughout the film and only get credited for one!

The giant prison that in space that they were taken to, the Kiln, was a real set built to film in. It was huge. James Gunn said that it was tons of steel that was built in a circle and they only way they could afford was after they were finished filming, they melted it down and sold it back to recoup some of the money!

A lot of the antics on set by Peter Quill are just mistakes that Chris Pratt made while filming. One of the biggest examples is when the Guardians are visiting the Collector in Knowhere, Peter pulls the orb from his pocket and drops it. He quickly recovers and presents it to the Collector. That was not in the script. Chris Pratt actually dropped the prop when he pulled it from his coat, but was able to recover and keep a straight face so it made it into the film.

When casting Drax in the film, they needed someone imposing because Chris Pratt is actually a decent sized guy, coming in at 6’2”. When David Bautista auditioned, James Gunn didn’t know that he was famous for being a wrestler. But he did love the emotion he could convey through his face and the fact that he is 6’6” and almost 300lbs certainly helped.

So that was JUST A FEW THINGS I LEARNED FROM WATCHING COMMENTARY and I highly suggest you go and watch too! Commentary of a film can sometimes create a whole other film. One day I’ll get into one of my favorite commentaries (Tropic Thunder). That movie, I feel, is even better when listening to the actors. What movies are your favorite movies with commentary? Drop me a line on Twitter @RedeemBadMovies or redeemingbadmovies@gmail.com. Until next time, keep on Redeeming.