Saturday, September 19, 2015

Black Mass: Welcome Back Johnny Depp

It's been a good long while since I've been blown away by a Johnny Deep movie, or, for that matter, a Johnny Depp movie. It's been a long list of serious duds. Mortdecai, Transcendence, Dark Shadows, The Rum Diary, The Tourist and Alice in Wonderland are by no means good movies.  In fact, most of them border awful.  But, you gotta hand it to Depp... it doesn't look like he's picking movies based on the quality of the script.  It looks like he's picking films where he knows he will have the most fun.  I mean, if you have to work, you might as well have fun doing it.  Who wouldn't want to be Depp's character in Tusk, The Lone Ranger, 21 Jump Street, Pirates, Sweeney Todd, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory?  For at least the last decade, Depp has been a household name, held to a standard that he doesn't necessarily meet.  But, his characters are so damn quirky and likable that we still give Depp a pass. But beyond Jack Sparrow, there isn't a character he's played recently where we've been blown away... and even Sparrow has become a caricature of its former self. Well, Depp has ended that streak with an amazing, unrecognizable, Oscar-worthy performance of James "Whitey" Bulger in the chilling crime-drama, Black Mass.

Black Mass is not a feel-good movie. There are no relatable characters or, for that matter, really any likable characters.  You're watching the rise of a bunch of evil, corrupt, and conscience-less individuals rising to power and falling HARD. Black Mass is the story of "Whitey" Bulger played to perfection by Johnny Depp.  "Whitey" is a calculating evil genius.  If he wasn't just trying to run the gangster racket around South Boston, dude could've been the supervillain in any other it's-time-to-take-over-the-world movie.  He's calm, yet violent.  He's smart, yet impulsive.  He's loyal, yet selfish.  He's a very complex character that's based on an actual human being, which makes the film even more terrifying. The film shows his rise to power and money and eventual insanity.  He's given the opportunity of essentially running all the crime in South Boston by becoming a protected FBI informant.  His confidante is John Connelly (Joel Edgerton), a newly instated FBI agent who also happened to grow up in the same neighborhood with "Whitey".  He's got a sense of loyalty that's so strong it's to a definite fault.  Then, there's "Whitey's" politician brother Billy Bulger (Benedict Cumberbatch) who watches his brother with a strange combination of adoration and disdain.  The way the story goes is once "Whitey" is ousted by the media as an informant, it began the road to his downfall which led him to going on the run for nearly two decades as one of the most wanted men in American history.

Depp plays Bulger with a terrifyingly quiet ferocity.  Yes, there's a significant amount of crazy makeup hiding that pretty Depp underneath, but it's more than just makeup that makes Bulger's appearance horrifying.  It's more than just a receding hairline, cold/dead blue eyes, filthy teeth, and bad skin that tells us to fear Bulger.  He's a calm calculating maniac.  He can kill you with a look right before he kills you with his bare hands. He has this honor code that he carries out without fault based on what he believes is right punishment for any sort of "betrayal" one might have caused him.  If you even know more than you're supposed to know, and end up in a police station... whether you've ratted on Bulger or not... chances are... you don't make it.  Hell, if you tell Bulger to 'fuck off' while drunk in a bar... you don't make it.  He's an unflinching monster that was given free reign for years to do whatever he wanted in Boston because he had a deal with a corrupt FBI agent.  It's insane how untouchable Bulger was due to the fact of how much of the crime in South Boston was attributed to him.  The rest of the cast is great.  Edgerton as Connelly is prefect as the little rat-faced FBI agent who has zero sense of self-worth and nothing but devotion for Bulger because "Bulger helped him out once as a kid and if you grew up in Southie you know what loyalty is."  Kevin Bacon shows up as the FBI task leader on the Bulger case, and while he's great, could've done the role in his sleep.  Cumberbatch is the only one that really sticks out like a sore thumb.  His politician character is only used once in a while, isn't entirely fleshed out as someone who knew exactly what his brother was up to and turned the other cheek, or just didn't want to know.  His accent is also pretty atrocious, but he gets a pass because he's still just a damn fine actor and presence in any film.  Adam Scott is also in the movie too.  His character hardly speaks, and does nothing of importance.  It's weird.

As far as being a capable gangster film, I'd say that it's up there.  The only problem is that most people are going to draw a LOT of parallels with The Departed, which is also the gold standard of gangster flicks and probably the best one (sorry Godfather, just because you're classic, doesn't mean you're still the best).  But, the only reason is because a lot of the story and characters of The Departed were taken from the real life crimes of "Whitey" Bulger and his crew.  So, when you tell the true story of Bulger it's not going to be able to hold up to the fictional story of someone based on Bulger's life. But, I believe it still holds its own and that Scorsese would be proud.  It still employs a lot of the traditional tropes of a typical gangster film, but does it so in a way that it's fresh and just as terrifying.  In the hands of capable director Scott Cooper (Out of the Furnace, Crazy Heart), he's able to show his love of the crime drama, while still honoring it with something new that we may or may not have already seen before, but still feels fresh.  The movie itself is a solid 7, but Depp's performance elevates it to a higher echelon of film that should definitely be seen if you're a fan of the genre.


Friday, September 11, 2015

The Visit: A Welcome Return To Form For A Director I'd Previously Swore I'd Never Watch His FIlms Again

M. Night Shyamalan is an enigma of a director.  His first huge break was The Sixth Sense, a small movie that wound up garnishing an Oscar nomination for Best Picture.  Not only was it a great film, but it had quite possibly the best twist ending a movie ever had.  So, his follow up was highly anticipated.  He shows up with Unbreakable... not exactly a horror film which surprised most folks, but it was still a very good movie.  It took slack because it wasn't as good as his previous film.  How could it at that point?  But, he made the mistake of adding a "twist ending". He started becoming known as the "twist ending" guy.  And why not?  They were clever.  If he was good at it, he should be known for it.  Then came Signs, which I would argue is his best film and is still a terrifying film to this day.  It's not just his best film, but one of the scariest movies I've ever seen.  Yes, the aliens look stupidly CGI, but that wasn't the point of the film  Thank back to the leg in cornfield, the alien walking by the home video, the hand coming out from the pantry, and the ENTIRE end scene where the family is locked in the basement with aliens running rampant through the house and trying to get in.  There was no twist, however, in Signs, and I believe that confused people.  However, M. Night Shyamalan already had a great track record and filmography under his belt. Then... something awful happened.  He made The Village.  I could not have been more excited for a horror movie.  It's M. Night back for summer, it's mysterious creatures in the woods that have a treaty with this little town, but the treaty has broken and they're coming!  Holy shit that sounds great.  Well, for one, the marketing doomed the movie from the start by misleading the audience of the plot.  Two, there were two twists in the film-- the first one was that there were no beasts in the woods and that one comes FORTY MINUTES INTO THE MOVIE.  FORTY! So, everything we are waiting to be afraid of is taken away and we have to sit back and watch some blind chick wander around the woods KNOWING she won't be harmed???  The second twist is that they weren't living in olden times, it's current times and they're all weird as shit.  That twist was--- WHO CARES??? You don't need a twist for the sake of a twist, M. Night.  If it's not organic, don't force it.  I hated The Village so much, but it didn't make me give up on M. Night.  All directors have a bad movie, this was his.

Then, came Lady In The Water, which wasn't horrible, but it wasn't M. Night.  It was a strange little movie that was visually kinda okay, but just didn't really work.  Then, came The Happening.  One of the most awful "horror" films I've ever seen. Nothing scary about it, a waste of great acting, a twist worse than anything else that could've been written.  This was the film that suggested M. Night might be done.  He's alienated his audience now as many times as he's pleased them.  He gets one more shot.  So, he decides to go with The Last Airbender and After. Earth.  Yeah, he's done.  There's no way he's able to make a good movie again and if he does... how does anyone trust him enough to spend money to see it?  How does a studio trust him enough to put his name on something? Well, it's happened. M. Night Shyamalan has defied the odds and been able to release a horror film for Universal called The Visit.  If you think his other films were his "last chance" films... this one is seriously his last chance.  This is the film that if he failed, people would swear off the name and he'd never get another movie deal again.  And, fortunately for him... he didn't blow it.

The Visit is a welcome return to form for Shyamalan.  Though, he's about two years too late with the "found footage" genre of horror (for the love of God please can this fad die??) but he returns with a story that proves to us the dude still knows what he's doing and can still write.  We have fifteen year old Becca and thirteen year old Tyler going to visit their grandparents for the first time ever.  When their mother was eighteen there was a huge argument over the man she wanted to marry, she left home and never spoke to them again.  They found her on the internet and asked if they could at least meet their grandchildren.  So, mom sends off the kids to meet the them while she takes a relaxing cruise away.  Becca, a budding filmmaker, decides in order to help her mother come to terms with the biggest mistake she's ever made, she'll film the experience, get interviews with her grandparents and try to get resolution to a fifteen year silence.  As far as reasons to go the found footage route with a film, this one isn't half bad and it's definitely not lazy.  The kids are there for a week, but even after the first night things with the grandparents don't seem right.  They're told not to leave the room after 9:30, but hear noises and scratching and goings on outside the bedroom.  The grandmother crawls around the floor at night, the grandfather consistently hides things in the shed and dresses in a tuxedo for an occasion that doesn't exist.  Is there something sinister going on at grandma's... or are they just crazy old people?  To be honest, it's a strange set up that really only a capable director would be able to handle.  Thank God M. Night has proven, once again, he's capable.

What's nice about the film is that it's not just a typical found footage horror film.  It's a comedy as well.  Both kids, but Tyler especially garnish a lot of laughs that ease the tension of the rest of the film.  Again, a weaker writer/director would have a hard time balancing horror and comedy tending to favor one over the other and appearing disjointed, but the comedy and horror in The Visit is well mixed and maintained.  What I had forgotten about M. Night that was a delight to be reminded of, is that he isn't just a scare you and make you jump as many times as he can writer/director.  He's very methodical, he's very meticulous, and he takes his time building up to the scares.  He also takes great care to develop his characters (something not often seen in horror films) and his films take a little bit of extra time getting to the scares because he's not done painting fully developed and complex characters.  Even in The Village, the scares were gone and the twists were painfully bad, but the characters still had a significant amount of depth to them.  This is especially the case in The Visit, just as it was in The Sixth Sense.  He builds up the suspense, but he's giving us real characters with real issues that we do end up caring a lot about.  They're not just stock voices behind a shaky video camera.  And, what wound up being a nice surprise, is I can say confidently about 95% of the time there was an ACTUAL REASON for the camera to be on at that point.  All of these found footage horror movies have that pivotal moment when the terror reaches its peak where you're taken out of the movie because there's no reason for the person to still be holding the camera.  Almost all of The Visit has a reason to still be filmed. (Please God, after Paranormal 5, let the genre die!)

Okay, let's address the elephant in the room-- M. Night is "the twist" guy.  Okay, yes, there is a "twist" in this film.  I personally believe it is a clever twist... however, it's not exactly that hard to figure out... IF you're looking for it.  I wasn't and was pleasantly surprised.  If you're going in there with your metaphorical trenchcoat and magnifying glass trying as hard as you can to solve the mystery of the missing twist... yeah, you'll probably figure it out. But, you'll sacrifice the joy of just sitting back and watching a good old fashioned horror flick play out in front of you.  And it is mostly a horror film.  While it doesn't have a significant amount of "jump scares" (he has a few just to mess with you) it's the entire atmosphere of the movie that's haunting.  Deanna Dunagan who plays Nana deserves an award for her performance.  She's equal parts unintentionally hilarious and downright terrifying.  It's also a film that sticks with you after it's over.  It's one you have a long conversation about in the car ride home.  It's one you wake up the next morning and you like it even more than you did when you walked out of the theater.

I truly believe that this is the comeback that M. Night was looking for and needed.  As long as he can stay in the realm of writing really great characters in really great stories, then it won't be too difficult to return to the land of Shyamalan.  But, he's still on thin ice.  I mean, The Visit is no Sixth Sense and I wasn't expecting it to be... but it's also not The Village.  I think most fans of a good old fashioned scary movie will be pleasantly surprised.  Welcome back to the game M. Night... don't screw it up.


ADDITIONAL RANT: I probably should just make this a separate blog post, but people are here to read about reviews of movies not how I feel about etiquette in movie theaters in general.  Let me give you good readers a bit of advice please.  If you are going to the theater to pay money to watch a film in the comfort of stadium seating and a gigantic screen with crisp surround sound... SHUT UP.  Don't talk.  There is no reason to talk throughout a movie.  With how expensive it is to see a movie nowadays, why ruin the experience with talking?  ESPECIALLY HORROR MOVIES.  The entire point of going to a scary movie is to hopefully get scared.  To feel the emotion of terror, just like when seeing a comedic film and feeling and expressing the emotion of laughter. Horror movies NEED silence in order for the horror to happen, for the suspense to build.  If you are a person who can't handle it and needs to talk it out loud and RUIN the experience for the people around you then you are of the worst moviegoers in the theaters.  If you feel like you can't handle the tension so you need to laugh loudly... get out.  Go see something funny.  If you are a 350 pound black chick who just HAS to sit next to me and just perpetuate the stereotype that black people yell at the screen during movie theaters, I'm going to slit your throat with my Pibb straw.  I paid my $12 to hopefully get scared, but mostly to hear what's happening on screen.  I didn't pay to hear your gravy-clogged throat shout "oh hell naw" at the screen.  You wouldn't do this in a comedy.  You wouldn't do this in an action film.  Why come to the theater and ruin the experience for everyone else around you.  The problem with horror films is this-- they need to be seen in a theater where the screen is large, the sound is loud, and the room is dark.  This is the perfect setup for a horror film.  Scary movies at home can still work, but they lose a lot of the effectiveness.  Yet, at home, you can ensure that no one talks.  In a theater, chances are, if you're not seeing at 11:45 on a Tuesday, you're going to have the one asshole who can't keep her porky lips shut and ruins the movie for everyone.  If you can't handle the film... don't buy the ticket to ruin it for everyone else.  Thank you.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Upcoming Best and Worst of Fall 2015



This is the beginning of the Oscar bait season.  While there will only be a few of these high quality films in Sept and Oct, it's November and December that really overloads you with every Oscar contender.  But, for now, we have the first one and it looks epic.  While I don't think it has a chance at best picture or anything, it still looks like an exciting, nerve-wracking film. And I'm like 90% sure something happens to Gyllanhaal early in this movie because he makes an appearance in the trailer in the beginning and then they don't show him again.  You never know though...

Black Mass

This is the other Oscar bait film of October and (hopefully) the resurgence of Johnny Depp's career, because judging from the trailer he looks bat shit insane.  It's been a while since we've had a really good mob movie (especially one not directed by Scorsese) and from what I can tell this one will have everything.  Depp is damn near unrecognizable as the notorious Whitey Bulger and he's got a fantastic supporting cast behind him.  I'm willing to bet Depp gets pretty far in the Best Actor category and this movie will be very memorable.


This is a little known heard of movie that is supposed to come out next week.  I'm guessing it had a decent-sized budget and it will probably make the budget back or even a little less.  It's a bit of a niche movie that isn't going to draw a crowd, but those that make the trek to see it will probably be very impressed.  There may be awards that stem from this film, but right now, to me, it looks to be a very smart and mature and thrilling action film with a very strong female lead that has proven she knows how to kick an ass or two.  I'm very excited for this movie.


The Green Inferno

I wrote about this movie this time last year.  It was sadly delayed for over a year because of production company troubles.  The movie has been done and there's been no tweaking of the film, it's just been a bitch to get to our theaters.  It looks like Eli Roth at his finest and it'll be nice to see something he's directed since the mediocre Hostel 2.  This movie will NOT be for the faint of heart as it looks unbelievably disturbing and hard to stomach.  But, I, for one, and very excited.


The Walk

If you haven't seen the documentary this film is based off of on Netflix called Man on Wire, I highly recommend it.  I saw it a few years back and this film adaptation of the documentary is even HALF as tense as that was... we are in for a great movie.  It's already the perfect setup for a movie.  Dudes have to con their way up to the top of one of the twin towers, shoot a high wire across the two and let some insane French guy walk across it.  Add brilliant director Robert Zemeckis coming off his last feat Flight with the acting of Joseph Gordon-Levitt and we've got a winner here.

The Martian

Based off the best selling book (as most everything is nowadays) I've heard that it's one of the most exciting books to read and that Matt Damon is the perfect choice to play the astronaut left behind after an expedition of Mars.  The trailer doesn't give too much of the side stories away (and the cast is big enough that there will be a lot going on) but essentially it's just Damon left on Mars for years trying to figure out how to survive until he is rescued.  Written by brilliant screenwriter Drew Goddard, hopefully director Ridley Scott can use this film to get back on track and give us a thoroughly enjoyable sci-fi film.


Remember how I said it'll be nice to see a good mob/gangster movie again?  Well, we are being treated to two gems this year.  While I'm excited for Black Mass, I'm even more excited to see Tom Hardy unleash his twin murderer crazies in Legend.  Twice the Hardy, twice the violence, twice the Brit, twice the fun.  That should've been on the poster.  Probably not.  It's dumb.  The movie won't be.


Steve Jobs

I know... ANOTHER Steve Jobs biography?  Didn't we already get to see a shitty one with Ashton Kutcher?  No.  This is on an entirely different level.  Now, we have top three one of Hollywood's best and smartest writers (Aaron Sorkin) writing the script.  This will make that Kutcher Jobs film look like it was written by fourth graders on a handheld camera.  Plus, the cast is better too.  Fassbender as Jobs, Kate Winslet, Jeff Daniels, Seth Rogen.  This will be a much better film.

Knock Knock

So, I'm filing this one under I HOPE it's good.  I don't actually know if it will be any good.  We haven't had a film directed by Eli Roth in almost a decade and now we have two of them being released less than a month from one another.  This one has Keanu Reeves.  He's a father staying at home while his family is away.  He's seduced by two women "stranded" in a storm.  After he's seduced, he's then, you know, tortured by them for hours and days.  It looks like a mindfuck, but one that I hope is effective.  I'm betting this will be a very chilling, under the radar, horror film.


Crimson Peak

Oh, hell yes.  Guillermo Del Toro has directed another goth horror film that he's also written.  While Pan's Labyrinth wasn't necessarily horror, it did have some gruesome and terrifying moments.  That's the beauty and genius of Del Toro is he's able to give story and substance and visual beauty to the movies he scares the crap out of us.  Don't Be Afraid of the Dark was a misfire, but from what I've seen, Crimson Peak will be his glorious return to horror.

Bridge of Spies

This is one of those rare movie situations where everything comes together so perfectly, I don't even have to tell you what the movie is about for you to be excited to see it.  Okay, check it out... there's a movie starring Tom Hanks.  Okay....  Okay, and it's also directed by Steven Spielberg.  Okay, I'm getting a little more interested.  Oh, and get this!  It's been written by the Coen Brothers.  Yeah.  I'm in.  Don't even care.  Like, I mean, it helps that the trailer makes the movie look interesting, but it could literally be Tom Hanks standing against a white backdrop saying give me ten dollars and I would do it with everyone that is attached to it.  This movie will be amazing!



This one doesn't entirely look like my cup of tea.  And I sincerely can not STAND Carey Mulligan in anything, but it doesn't mean that this isn't going to be a good movie.  Just because I'll be nagging and complaining when I'm asked by my girlfriend to go see it doesn't mean it's going to be a trash heap of a film.  Plus, Meryl Streep is in it.  Has she ever made a bad movie?



Hopefully this isn't the end of the Daniel Craig Bond era, but it seems like it will be.  Sam Mendes has been able to breath new life into the franchise and gave us one of the best Bond's in recent memory with Skyfall.  According to Craig, not only is this film better than Skyfall, it's like Skyfall on crack.  It's supposed to be his Bond magnum opus.  And, even if it wasn't... come on.  Any year a new Bond film comes out is a good year.

The Peanuts Movie

This isn't going to be the blow-you-away family animated movie of the year (I mean, come on, we've already seen Inside Out), but this looks to be a simple, fun, and pleasant homage to Charles Schultz's beloved Peanuts characters.  It looks well-written and honors the old newspaper strips perfectly.  It's not the most exciting movie to come out in Novemeber, but it'll be a good film if you have a chance to see it.


Now we're starting to get into the meat of Awards season.  I was wondering what the role was going to be that Bryan Cranston would take that he would dominate coming off of Breaking Bad.  How we haven't seen this dude in everything is a damn mystery.  But Trumbo looks like it could garnish him his first Best Actor nomination.  Portraying the real life story of a blacklisted screenwriter, this movie looks like perfect Oscar fodder for Cranston.  It'll probably only come out limited and be a bitch to try and find in a theater, but it's going to be one of the best films of the fall.  I'm calling it now.


Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2

Clearly this is one of the most anticipated films of the Fall.  All of us who were too lazy to read the books need to know how the saga ends.  And those who read the book need to be able to see it on screen so they can judge how much the movie got wrong that the book got right.  Either way, The Hunger Games films struck gold with a great cast and good direction that it's one of the few YA book trilogies that speaks to most people.  Each one has been good, this one will be as well.

Secret In Their Eyes

This is a remake of the Academy Award winning Argentinean film of the same name.  I was able to watch that film for a class and it's a gorgeous film.  While this new one doesn't seem to have the same aesthetic beauty, it looks like it's going to hit the same emotion chords the previous one did.  It's a heartbreaking tale that's quite bleak, but very emotionally powerful.


The Good Dinosaur


I honestly have not seen a preview or heard a plot synopsis for this film.  I don't need to.  It's Pixar.  It's the last original Pixar we are going to get for the next four years and it's the first time Pixar has ever released two films in the same year.  It's going to be good.

The Night Before

There are too many serious films coming out in the Fall that we are going to need something comical.  While we know that successful comedies weren't exactly the highlight of 2015, it's nice to see that we are getting a Seth Rogen movie before the year is up.  His films aren't ever amazing or have very much to say, but they make you laugh.  They make you laugh harder than most comic actors today.  And The Night Before, an R-rated Christmas comedy looks like it will do just that.  While you wade through the dramatic Oscar fodder... this will be a nice distraction that hopefully becomes a yearly Holiday staple in the long list of Christmas movies that have to be watched every year.



The Perfect Guy

The movie is supposed to be a thriller, yet I've never seen a funnier trailer.  It's supposed to be a creepy Fatal Attraction stalker type film, yet I've never heard such uproarious laughter in a theater while watching the film.  This movie looks like it could possibly be the worst film of the year.  Just find the trailer and the moment when he is literally UNDER HER BED AND SMILES AT THE CAMERA... fuck you.


The Last Witch Hunter

Granted, I'll give it this-- I've only seen the trailer and it doesn't show much.  Now, let's look at the track record of movies about witches in the last few years (Season of the Witch ring any bells?) and let's look at Vin Diesel's track record for movies that don't have the word fast or furious attached to it?  I'm just putting the pieces together and assuming this is going to be one bad failure of a film.  I won't see it, so you'll have to let me know how bad it actually is.

Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension

I'm a big fan of the first Paranormal films.  I've seen every one of them and they get just a little bit worse each time.  Except the last one.  The spinoff that looked like it had nothing to do with the original series except that it has a huge twist and a lot of information at the end that is necessary to see... that one was actually really good.  But this one.  Watch the trailer.  It looks like complete dogshit.  Why are black vine-y ghost strings scary to anyone?  When have they ever been?  Why is it that when you get more money for each new movie it sucks that much more?  I'm still going to see it because I have to... it's like Season 2 of True Detective.  I'm hating it, but I'm watching it because I have to know what happens.


Love The Coopers


It's that generic white people get together for the holidays and have white people problems movie that we tend to get every other year.  The selling point is that it's by the people who did The Family Stone, which if you've seen that movie... is not a selling point.  It'll have cute moments but overall be a shitfest that is so unforgettable you're upset you thought it would be the one to transcend the genre.

By The Sea

Angelina Jolie directs a douchebag movie about a douchbag couple who have douchebag problems and end up banging them all out over two hours in Europe.  The couple-- her and Brad Pitt.  I'm trying to remember the last movies where we watched a couple fight and bang the entire time... oh wait... Eyes Wide Shut... oh yeah... Gigli.  This should be a GREAT film.

Rings (The Ring 3D)

I didn't even know this was a thing!  There's not even a trailer for it.  Just a release date and a poster.  Oh, my god I'm so disappointed in the world.  And it's in 3D???  Please show us the way you irrelevant sequel to a movie no one saw the second one to!  Show us the light into brilliant horror that won't be jump scares and cheap effects.  I wish I hadn't stumbled upon this.  I just love the fact that there isn't even a trailer yet.  There are previews for movies out that are coming to the screen NEXT SUMMER and we don't even have an advertisement for a movie coming out in a month and a half.


Victor Frankenstein

I think in more capable hands this movie could actually be decent.  It's already got the cast, but the direction looks like that shitty generic Hollywood monster movie that no one has shown any interest in since I don't know when.  Look at I, Frankenstein or any of the Underworld sequels or Van Helsing.  These movies don't work because the filmmakers don't put any love into them.  It's poorly written with the WORST CGI.  We don't get to see the monster in the trailer but briefly... and from what I could tell is the same lazy CGI it's always been.  It sucks because this movie could've been great.



The Visit

Everything I've heard and everything I've read has suggested that this is M. Night Shyamalan's return to horror glory.  It's supposed to be a refreshing combination of terrifying horror and laugh out loud comedy... something very hard to perfect if you're not Sam Raimi.  And while I want to believe it... I'm in the fool me six times stages with M. Night where I thought I had sworn him off altogether.  Hopefully this brings him back because the found footage genre combined with his name just makes me want to stay away.


The Intern

Nancy Meyers, who directs the most white people movies of all time (What Women Want, It's Complicated) has a new movie with a bunch of white people.  It's like a reversal of The Devil Wears Prada, but Anne Hathaway is the boss and the Intern is... Robert DeNiro?  Eh, it could be good.  Might suck.  I probably won't see it either way.



For all intents and purposes, this movie should suck.  We've had SO many Peter Pan movies and remakes and reboots and all of that.  And we all know the best one is Hook.  So, why do we need another one?  We know the story and we all don't really care anymore.  Yet, it is Hugh Jackman.  And Joe Wright has shown he is a very capable director.  I don't see how it could be, but Pan might actually be kinda decent.  We'll have to see.



On the other end of the spectrum here is a movie I actually WANT to be good and want to see.  It's Goosebumps!  It's Jack Black!  It's my childhood.  Yet, I know it's going to suck.  It won't be as bad as Pixels, but it's not going to be funny... it's not going to be scary... it's not going to be well-written... it's not going to have CGI that should be up to par with 2015... but I really want it to be good and I'm holding out for the chance that it might actually be.


Rock The Kasbah

In that same vein, I want this movie to be great as well.  I love Bill Murray, but after seeing the trailer multiple times I'm thinking that it's going to be tonally completely off.  It's got a great cast and a director who used to be capable... but it's just got a certain quality to it that makes me question how good it's going to be... if it even does have any goodness to it.



I almost put this movie in the Upcoming Best section, but I just couldn't stand by predicting this movie to be that good.  While it looks like a high quality film with a very good director... at it's core it's yet another Rocky sequel.  It's about Apollo Creed's son.  And now Rocky is his trainer.  And it's yet another boxing movie.  There's only so much that can be said about boxing in a series that this will be number 7... so... that's why it's going into the wildcard section.

And obviously none of these movies hold a candle to the one everyone is most excited about-- STAR WARS!