Movie Review – ‘Cars 3’ Desperately Tries Not to be Cars 2

cars 3

If you haven’t been brought up to speed over the last eleven years of Cars history, I’ll help you out. The Cars movie only exists to sell toys. And if you’re parent, it’s likely you know this pretty well by now. Pixar makes bank selling Lightning McQueen and Mater toys. However, as a film franchise, it’s one of the worst Pixar properties in their long and successful film history. Of all their movies, Cars 2 is the only critically panned Pixar film to date.

Usually, when a sequel gets panned, a studio ends it and moves on. But since Cars is a merchandising cash cow, it was only inevitable they’d release the third installment and make it a trilogy. As a side note, it’s a little sad their worst property has a trilogy before The Incredibles. But I digress.

[Continue Reading]

Movie Review – ‘The Mummy’ is a Hollow Soul Wrapped in a Fun Adventure

the mummy movie

Many who hear the title The Mummy likely think of the 1999 Brendan Fraser movie, its two sequels, and that spinoff with The Rock. This is not that movie. We all know Hollywood loves trends. Endless sequels, remakes, reboots, and breaking up movies into parts, have all been the bread and butter of the industry. The Mummy directed by Alex Kurtzman and starring Tom Cruise hops onto one of those bandwagons (remake) with one additional one. It’s part of the “Dark Universe.”

With the outstanding success by Marvel Studios, cinematic universes are now tickling every Hollywood executives fancy and Universal Studios is no exception. The Mummy is the first of many monster movies to exist within the same cinematic universe. It’s important to note this before getting started. Understanding what a movie sets out to do is a big part of figuring out whether or not it’s any good.
[Continue Reading]

Movie Review – ‘Captain Underpants’ Overflows with Potty Humor, Delighting Kids and Ignoring Adults

captain underpants

When I was in third grade, I really wanted to see the movie Blank Check. My parents, on the other hand, weren’t so thrilled. Eventually, I convinced them to rent it for me and I loved it. As expected, they didn’t. Honestly, in my childhood mind, I didn’t understand why. But then I re-watched it this year and it all made total sense. Blank Check is geared entirely to kids in every way imaginable with no logical reasoning built into the story whatsoever. And who remembers Blank Check? No one.

[Continue Reading]

Movie Review – Despite a Familiar Plot, ‘Alien: Covenant’ is a Worthy Installment

danny mcbride katherine waterston
Alien
has always been one of those hallmark, eye-opening sci-fi movies, not just for its frights but also how it stretched the genre. It’s been decades since the first movie hit theaters and now we’ve had multiple installments. Of those movies, I would argue only three are good: Alien, Aliens, and Prometheus. All the others are either bad or just plain awful.

Alien: Covenant essentially improves on the flaws of Prometheus, uses a tried and true formula that works, and ratchets up the gross and violent scare factor, making it all-in-all a pretty solid film with a horrible Achilles heel; It depends too greatly on past plots and formulas, making it feel like a rehash of all the things we’ve seen in the past. They’re just done better this time.

[Continue Reading]

2017 Summer Movie Guide

Well, we got through the dry and boring month of April where most movies go to die (except The Fate and the Furious). Thankfully, May is here and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is about to kick off the season right (or so we hope).

[Continue Reading]

Coming Soon – April Movies that Aren’t ‘The Fate and the Furious’

Much like January, April is mostly a dead month in the film world with one big blockbuster film that’ll overshadow the rest. In this case, The Fate and the Furious takes the top spot. It’s highly likely it’ll dwarf the box office like an all-consuming black hole.

[Continue Reading]

Movie Review – Controversial ‘Ghost in the Shell’ is the First Good Anime Adaptation

Anime to live action adaptations have a troubled history. Unless I’m forgetting something, I don’t believe there has ever been a successful or well-done adaptation of an anime movie or television show. Of the most recent ventures, Dragonball: Evolution and Speed Racer were both critical and box office failures, and that’s putting it nicely.

Ghost in the Shell, then, had quite the mountain to climb to overcome past grievances and honor both the original anime movie while introducing the story to non-anime audiences. While it’s not perfect by any means, struggling to go as deep as the original, it still keeps the soul of the movie rather than settling for a shell, but also knows when to be its own thing. The end result is a satisfying science fiction that many people will enjoy.

[Continue Reading]

Filmed in Minnesota, ‘Wilson’ Premieres to Excited, Packed Theater


The line to see the Minnesota-based film Wilson grew quickly at the Showplace Icon Theater at the West End in St. Louis Park, hosted by the Twin Cities Film Festival. The excitement was palpable. It’s been some time since a major studio out of Hollywood set up shop to film an entire movie in the Twin Cities. Local actors and crew were excited to see their work on the big screen.

According to director Craig Johnson, the film was originally planned to be shot in Oakland, but that location was “cost prohibitive.” However, With the help of the “Snowbate” by the Minnesota Film Commission, a reimbursement program to attract major films, Johnson and Fox Searchlight decided to bring the production to the Twin Cities. According to Lucinda Winter, Executive Director of the MN Film & TV Board, they filmed over 50 Minnesota locations in under 30 days, hiring local actors and production crews, totaling 165 people working on the production. Overall, Fox Searchlight spent 4 Million dollars in Minnesota, benefiting the local economy.[Continue Reading]

Movie Review – ‘Kong: Skull Island’ Isn’t Monkeying Around

After the roaring success of Godzilla, the resurgence of the monster movie was officially in full swing, giving studios the green light to release several more remakes and reboots of classic monster films. And while we wait for them to unearth Steve McQueen’s The Blob (crosses fingers), we’ll have to settle for more popular franchises like King Kong.

Kong: Skull Island does everything it needs to be a crowd pleaser minus one pretty important piece. It’s heavy on the action and comedy, providing a fun escape to the theater, but the overflowing humor and lack of solid, likable three-dimensional characters weaken the stakes. It has great potential, but it doesn’t seem to care to go any further.

[Continue Reading]

‘Dunkirk’ PG-13 Rating is Nolan’s Boldest Move Yet

Christopher Nolan has never shied away from bold decisions, creating unique cinematic effects like Inception‘s mind-bending hallway scene, casting oddball actors like Heath Ledger as The Joker, and telling stories in mostly non-linear and splintered fashions. In the past, his creative instincts have led him to great success both critically and financially. Now, he’s making another bold move, and no it’s not casting One Direction heartthrob Harry Styles (though, that is head scratching), it’s creating a PG-13 war movie.[Continue Reading]