Magic Mike XXL: Not Enough Sexy, Way Too Much ZZZZZ…

Posted in 5, Comedy, New Releases, Ratings, Reviews, Romance with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 21, 2015 by mducoing

MMXXL -imdbIt is difficult to imagine that a film about beautiful men and women gyrating and showing off their bodies could somehow go wrong.  This film went wrong.

Unlike the first film which at least managed some degree of entertainment, director Gregory JacobsXXL is a series of small sexy islands in a vast sea of dusty dialogue, unbearable existentialism and boring everything else.

Premise: Mike Lane and his crew have one last hoorah at a stripper convention with many laughs and antics on the way. Result: Boring and messy even when naked is a terrible, terrible thing.

It is difficult to tell what XXL is about or better what it is not about. It attempts to be a naked-fest, a thought-piece on life and love, a quasi-romantic comedy, a drug-use cautionary tale, a commercial for frozen yogurt, a bordello-how-to kit, and just about anything in between. It successfully executes on none of these objectives.

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Ted 2: Disappointing…

Posted in 5, Comedy, New Releases, Ratings, Reviews, Sci Fi/ Fantasy with tags , , , , , on July 16, 2015 by mducoing

Ted2The hotly anticipated sequel to Ted – one of the funnier, nonsensical films in recent memory- simply does not deliver. While there are certainly many laughs to be had, or at least some, the film’s desperate need to be profound drowns the entertainment value in a shallow bath.

Seth MacFarlane & Co. Are no strangers to raunchy laughs as Family Guy and the first Ted film demonstrated do well. But this film mixes melo-drama with raunchy fun and everybody suffers.

Premise: Ted has to prove he is a person. Result: Unworkable mess with laughs few and far in between.

This film picks up not too long after our first film ends but long enough for Ted to marry Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth) and John’s (Mark Wahlberg) life to come crashing down around him. John and Lori (Mila Kunis) somehow never gelled in marriage, an initial premise that is nonsensical enough to derail the film in its infancy. The entire premise of the first film was how loving and supportive she was and how he had to learn to appreciate her – to have a major storyline focus on their inability to stay married after their lengthy dating and engagement feels wrong. Is wrong.

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Terminator Genysis: Ok. Fine. I’ll Take It.

Posted in 7, Action, New Releases, Ratings, Reviews, Sci Fi/ Fantasy with tags , , , , , on July 15, 2015 by mducoing

Terminator Genysis - IMDBAnother Terminator film. This one with enough time-travel mumbo-jumbo to make your head spin. But fortunately, director Alan Taylor (Thor: the Dark World) manages to deliver a new Terminator film that despite its short-comings, is actually a fairly fun time.

Premise: John Connor sends Kyle Reese back in time to protect Sarah Connor, but the past is not what he expects it to be. Result: Stupid time travel shenanigans mixed in with some great action thrills, excellent pacing and good heaping of nostalgia help the film do its job.

While an imperfect film, Genysis, the fifth installment of the fabled Terminator franchise, is essentially middling. Good action and pacing, some fair character development and nostalgia overcome a chaotic time-travel plot that threatens to derail the film.

To discuss this film in a linear manner is to forget that the nature of the film defies such discussion, for better or worse. But the film does begin with John Connor (Jason Clarke) and Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) as they make the final push to defeat SkyNet. But in their final throes of victory, SkyNet sends a Terminator back in time, essentially beginning the storyline we know well.

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Jurassic World: Some Fun But Ultimately Dino-Meh (I Went There)

Posted in 6, Action, New Releases, Ratings, Reviews, Sci Fi/ Fantasy, Thriller with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 14, 2015 by mducoing

Jurassic WorldMore than 25 years since the original masterpiece Jurassic Park altered movie-going forever, the powers that be sought to capture that experience once more. With director Colin Trevorrow at the helm, the result in Jurassic World is certainly a box-office bonanza, if certainly nowhere near the impact of the original.

Instead, we are left with a fun, often spotty film that does little more for the franchise except (thankfully) improve on the dismal, repellent sequels so insulted fans years ago. And all it took was a few decades.

Premise: Finally John Hammond’s vision of a park where humans and Dinosaurs might co-exist is realized. But the park’s newest attraction -a genetically modified horror-escapes and goes on a killing spree. Result: A film that was fun but more ambitious than it was competent.

Decades after the disaster first befell Jurassic park, science and money have perfected the shortcomings of the original efforts and opened up Jurassic World where John Hammond’s true vision has been realized: a dino-theme-park the whole family can enjoy. Run by mysterious eccentric Misrani (Irrfan Khan) and kept profitable by Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), the park has been experiencing some unforeseen obstacles: people have grown bored of dinosaurs.

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Bang, Marry, Kill: Tarsem Singh

Posted in Bang Marry Kill, Comedy, Comedy, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 10, 2015 by notlaz


We’re deep into the summer movie season. Max’s have been mad, Avengers have assembled, and Chris Pratt had a topless, Top Gun-style volleyball montage with raptorsSo which director’s body of work should I be an immature jerk towards in a futile attempt to cope with my own crippling inability to accomplish anything of significance?

There’s lot’s of big movies left to choose from, so instead let’s look at the really obscure director that no one’s heard of because he keeps changing his damn name with every movie he releases.

It’s like click-bait reverse psychology. By practically daring you not to click the link, you’ll click it so fast that the server room (aka Maurice’s porn dungeon) will explode and release the souls of all those 1920’s bootleggers buried in his basement.

Subject: Tarsem Singh


Occupation(s): Director. Guy who always has that smirk when you cut a silent fart in a crowded elevator.

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The Avengers – Age of Ultron: Still Good But A Step Back

Posted in 7, Action, New Releases, Ratings, Reviews, Sci Fi/ Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 5, 2015 by mducoing

AoU-IMDBDirector (Joss Whedon) has followed up his classic 2012 The Avengers with a good but not great sequel. While it still has much of what made the first film so strong, the timing and execution just aren’t quite there, making this film feel messier and less engaging than its predecessor.

Premise: When Tony Stark and Bruce Banner begin their Ultron project, their peaceful plans backfire. Result: Avengers in full force but the film is not nearly as good as expected.

The old gang is back: Tony Stark/ Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Bruce Banner/ Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Steve Rodgers / Captain America (Chris Evans), Natasha Romanoff/ Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Clint Barton/ Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and a recovered Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) now together facing the remnants of H.Y.D.R.A. with some added foes in Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen).

But there is truly no greater foe than Ultron (James Spader), Stark’s creation intended to protect humanity – a task it takes all too seriously. Believing that humans and their nature are the true sources of evil in this world and ultimately must be protected from themselves, Ultron undertakes a major campaign of catastrophic proportions. With an army of adaptive clones, Ultron pushes the team to the brink.

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Spy: Laughs That Connect

Posted in 8, Action, Comedy, New Releases, Ratings, Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 5, 2015 by mducoing

SpyThere has definitely not been a dearth of Melissa McCarthy in recent years. Since Bridesmaids, she has been as ubiquitous as erectile dysfunction at the old folks camp. Fortunately, she and cast along with acclaimed writer/director Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, The Heat) deliver a film far better than the hype.

Premise: A pencil-pushing CIA analyst must rise to the occasion and go undercover to infiltrate the world of a deadly arms dealer, and prevent global catastrophe. Result: A fun, funny, heart-warming comedy that is certainly worth the time.

Spy films abound these days and spoofs have been common ever since Austin Powers. But here we have Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy), a sweet CIA operative who looks as out of place as possible compared to the other regal, deadly agents. But when Bradley Fine (Jude Law) is killed on her watch and all other agents compromised, only Cooper can take the mission to stop imminent doom.

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