Author Archives: Jason

Life of the Party (2018) Review

A FLIMSY PASSING GRADE

(THAT DOESN’T GRADUTE

WITH HONORS)


 

Actress Melissa McCarthy has become a staple of comedy movies, with being featured in one or two motion pictures a year for several years now. While she does have the necessary acting talents to be in comedic feature film, McCarthy has become known for being both big (rotund) and using her foul-mouth language throughout many of her roles in movies. In 2011, with the film Bridesmaids as her break-out role, McCarthy unveiled her raunchy “potty” mouth angst to viewers everywhere, producing such hits in the coming years, including 2013’s buddy cop film The Heat, 2015’s spoof of the spy genre Spy, and the 2016 remake of Ghostbusters. On the other hand, McCarthy still has some comedy misfires in her career with films like 2013’s Identity Thief and 2014’s Tammy. In amongst her prominent roles in comedy features, McCarthy has started to dabble in more drama roles, including 2014’s St. Vincent and 2018’s future release of Can You Ever Forgive Me? Thus, like a lot of actors, McCarthy has some lows as well as highs. Now Warner Bros. Pictures (New Line Cinema) and director Ben Falcone bring forth the latest comedy angst of McCarthy with the movie Life of the Party. Does this 2018 release from McCarthy find its humor in foul-mouth body of work or is it another dud in her film career? Read more

Overboard (2018) Review

AN UNWANTED REMAKE

FROM HOLLYWOOD


 

Back in 1987, the same here when movies such as Wall Street, Good Morning, Vietnam, Dirty Dancing, Full Metal Jacket, and the Princess Bride theatrically debuted, an 80s comedy film titled Overboard was released. Directed by Garry Marshall, the movie, which starred actor Kurt Russell and actress Goldie Hawn, follows the story of a working-class man (Russell) who convinces a spoiled and selfish heiress (Hawn) with amnesia that they are a married couple. The premise of the film was simple and amusing, ensuring a lot of comedic angst that follow throughout the film (i.e. reversals as Hawn’s character adjust to her new lifestyle and current situation). Overboard, which made several million dollars over its production budget (i.e.  26.7 million at the box office against its 22 million budget) didn’t really win critics over, but does have small cult following through the years, with many praising the real-life relationship between Russell and Hawn reflecting strong on their respective characters in the movie. Eventually, Overboard found its way onto television being a sort of “comfort food” for several channels and its viewers throughout the syndicate programming years. Now, with Hollywood’s recent trend of remaking and revamping older films for a new generation of moviegoers, MGM Pictures (along with Pantelion Films and Lionsgate) and director Rob Greenberg present the 2018 remake film to the 1987 film, titled once again as Overboard. Does this updated version of the 80s film find a new stride within its narrative or is it just simply too bland and redundant for modern audiences to even care about? Read more

Avengers: Infinity War (2018) Review

DESTINY HAS ARRIVED


 

There was an idea…to bring together a group of remarkable people….to see if we could become something more…so when they need us, we could fight the battles…. that they never could. Thus, such an idea was born in the year 2008 with the release of Iron Man, a superhero movie that set-in motion one of the most famous (and profitable) shared cinematic universe in the history of filmmaking titled the “Marvel Cinematic Universe” (or simply dubbed the “MCU”). While Iron Man was well-received from critics and moviegoers alike (bringing the iconic superhero character of Tony Stark to life via actor Robert Downey Jr.), it was the start of something that really did usher in the “golden age” of superheroes film, bring together a collective group of actors and actresses in portraying these popular comic book characters on the silver screen. The pool of comic book character to grace the big screen range from some of the more popular ones like Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Hulk, and Spider-Man to some of the more lesser known ones like Ant-Man, Doctor Strange, and the Guardians of the Galaxy. Each one of the 18 films (so far) in the MCU series brings a sense of palpable superhero merits to stand on its own foundation on their own solo adventures as well as the team-up superhero features that bring together a group of them to stop an overpowered enemy. The film themselves have taken its viewers on big adventure experience to the next one, from the streets of New York City in Spider-Man: Homecoming, to the fictional / technological African nation of Wakanda in Black Panther, to the battlefields of WWII in Captain America: The First Avenger, and to the mythical land of Asgard in the Thor movies, and to the farthest reaches of the cosmos with the Guardians of the Galaxy films. With the success of these movies (both in its fandom with Marvel fans and in causal moviegoers), the MCU (as a whole) has continued to grow and expanded, especially when Disney acquisitioned Marvel to bring the superhero world into the “House of Mouse”, finding each new installment in their sequential Phases sagas to try to had another layer to the overall complexity to this cinematic world as well as being superhero entertainment to viewers everywhere. While some critics might be a bit miffed by “comic book movies” and in their criticism, the MCU movies have found their “golden ticket” formula of success with public (i.e a mixture of heart, humor, and blockbuster superhero nuances), raking in millions upon millions at the worldwide box office with each new release. Now, after the universal acclaim and huge financial success of Black Panther, Marvel Studios, in conjunction with their 10-year anniversary celebrations, and directors Joe and Anthony Russo prepare for the culmination of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with the highly anticipated film Avengers: Infinity War. Does super large superhero team-up film deliver on its inherit hype promise or does it flounder and ultimately crumble underneath the incredible high expectations from fans everywhere? Read more

Maze Runner: The Death Cure (2018) Review

EVERY MAZE HAS AN END


 

A bleak futuristic setting, a tyrannical government that holds dominance over the people, and courageous young people fighting to change the tide. Yes, I’m talking about the YA / Teen dystopian novels that were the prominent a few years back. While there were many out there (in publication) that spun a tale like this, none were more famous than Suzanne Collin’s The Hunger Games trilogy, Veronica Roth’s Divergent trilogy, and James Dashner’s Maze Runner trilogy. Naturally, seeing the popularity and lucrative money-making opportunity to the masses, Hollywood quickly snatched up the movie rights to these three-novel series, punching out cinematic franchises for each one. While The Hunger Games (a four-film series) was celebrated and completed Collin’s tale of Katniss Everdeen on the big-screen, The Divergent Series, telling Roth’s story of character Tris Prior, failed to impress its viewers and felt the tale being told uncomplete after its third installment. As for the movie representation of Maze Runner series, following the plight of Thomas and his fellow Gladers, this cinematic series falls somewhere in the middle of those two, finding a better groove in its dystopian action than teen drama romance (i.e. The Hunger Games Series and The Divergent Series). 2014’s Maze Runner, the first film in the franchise, was faced with mixed reviews, but more on the positive side as the movie itself was able to stand out more than its competition with its more intense sci-fi dystopian action. The movie went on to accumulate $384 million at the box office (worldwide), which gave a more favorable chance at the film’s sequel to profit. This second installment did materialize the following year with 2015’s Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, further continuing the adventures of the Gladers in the journey to uncover the evil organization WCKD’s nefarious plot. Again, the film had some mixed reviews from critics, but was generally more accepted by moviegoers, with the movie grossing over $312 million at the worldwide box office. Now, after three years and a delay to the project, the dystopian world of Dashner’s cinematic tale of Thomas, Newt, Minho, and the rest of the Gladers comes to end as 20th Century Fox and director Wes Ball present the film Maze Runner: The Death Cure. Does this final chapter in the Maze Runner series bring a resounding conclusion to this YA / Teen dystopian or is it “too little, too late” for audiences to care about the fate of the Dashner’s Glader characters? Read more

I Feel Pretty (2018) Review

DOESN’T EVEN GO SKIN DEEP


 

What does it mean it pretty? What does it mean to me beautiful in another’s eyes? What will it take (personally) to achieve that goal? How are you willing to go reach that status? These types of questions made be dubbed “superfluous” by some to even pose such a question, but it’s almost a universal / fundamental question that all everyone asks themselves (be it publicly or in private). The sayings that “Beauty is only skin deep” and “It’s what on the inside that counts” are always positive reinforcements to oneself, but it’s hard to measure what many deem as “beautiful”, especially with society’s almost jaded views on prettiness. This can cause a person to have low self-esteem / self-worth, lacking the confidence to go out and face the world without being judged by the public. This is even further judged harder given the rise of the various social media outlets in today’s world, body shamming individuals and objectifying people. Again, it’s really a universal question that literally almost everyone asks themselves regardless of gender, sex, religion, monetary status, or political stance. In the world of Hollywood movies, films have usually tackled such ideas in a wide variety feature films from hard-hitting dramas to more lighthearted romantic comedies. Now STX films and Huayi Brothers Pictures and duo directors Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein present the newest motion picture to present such self-identity issues with the film I Feel Pretty. Does this movie tackle its message head on with cinematic warmth and heart or is it just a shallow endeavor from Hollywood? Read more

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