Posts Tagged ‘2019 movies’

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Happy Death Day 2U (2019)

February 19, 2019

Happy Death Day 2U (2018)
Director: Christopher Landon (Happy Death Day, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones)
Starring: Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard, Phi Vu, Ruby Modine

Anticipation Level: Modest

How Was It? Even though I really enjoyed the first Happy Death Day, I had somewhat modest expectations for this sequel. First off, sequels to horror movies tend to decrease in quality with each new entry and second, the trailer for Happy Death Day 2U showed way too damn much in it.

I think fans of the first film will mostly find themselves enjoying this movie – Jessica Rothe is still great as Tree in the lead role and the mystery of “who did it?” is still fun to unravel. However, unlike the first movie, where I was basically pleased with every aspect of it except for the ending, Happy Death Day 2U presents more problems. Naturally, this movie delves into the how of the time loop and we get stuff like parallel dimensions and time-warping machines named Sissy. Credit to the writers for trying to branch out, but all the algorithm and trial and error stuff makes for a less fun movie. While the montage of Tree killing herself each day as her friends try to win the science fair is great (if you didn’t already see it all in the damn trailer), they need every minute of every repeat day to, uh, solve things, and she’s seen jumping out of planes and into wood chippers in broad daylight. Do they not get how time sensitive this thing is?

Oh, and the ending blew. It makes the ending in the first movie seem like The Sixth Sense.

For the most part, I somewhat enjoyed Happy Death Day 2U. I really think Jessica Rothe is stellar in these movies and I felt myself rooting hard for her character. Somewhere amidst all the science-fiction stuff, the movie finds a way to pull at the heart strings and find moments of genuine emotional impact. All in all though, I was disappointed and the more I think about the movie, the less I liked it. Go see it if you liked the first one and brace yourself.

Replay Value: I enjoyed watching the original again this past weekend, but this one would be less fun to watch again but…

Sequel Potential: …when they make the inevitable Happy Death Day 3, I will watch it again.

Oscar Potential: None.

Dina Meter: Dina never saw the first one, but I think she’d like it. This one, she would like less.

5/10 (Decent)

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Glass (2019), etc. – Movie Ratings!

January 30, 2019

Glass (2019) – I can’t call this a massive disappointment after the critics roasted it, but I loved Unbreakable and enjoyed Split as well, plus writer/director M. Night Shyamalan was on a two-game winning streak (2015’s The Visit was also good). There were reasons to be optimistic. Glass missed the mark though. It’s boring and silly and the big reveal at the end is way more “huh?” than “wow!” It’s not that it’s confusing; it’s just dumb and underwhelming. James McAvoy is a crusher again. He almost makes the movie worth watching. Almost.

Decent/Forgettable

Blindspotting (2018) – Funny and poignant, this movie rivals Spike Lee’s much more heralded Blackkklansman but is every bit as relevant and enjoyable. David Deegs gives a good performance, particularly in the incredibly powerful climax of the film. Blindspotting blends the buddy movie formula with timely social commentary, a strong hip-hop influence, and inspired performances from Deegs and co-star Rafael Casal (the same duo also wrote the script together). The masses have overlooked this, but Blindspotting is one of the must see flicks of 2018.

Must See

Vice (2018) – I guess this movie is a bit polarizing. I have two friends that walked out of it after 15 minutes while someone I watched it with walked in 15 minutes late and still enjoyed it. I thought it was good. Christian Bale and Amy Adams are as good as they always are and director/writer Adam McKay seems to have a knack for telling the stories in his movies in fun, inventive ways. Political movies can be a bore (for me), but this was amusing and entertaining with A+ performances. I’d recommend Vice but it clearly isn’t for everyone.

Recommended

The Mule (2018) – Not Clint Eastwood’s best work, but his best work is magnificent so that’s not really fair. This movie is mildly entertaining, but I had a hard time enjoying it because the decision-making from some of the characters didn’t ring true to me. Eastwood’s character is estranged from his family because he chooses to spend his life driving through the nation and… selling flowers? From what I can tell, he’s self-employed so… why is he missing his daughter’s wedding? Isn’t making your own schedule one of the top benefits of having your own business? How lucrative was this flower business that he had absolutely zero time for family? I didn’t buy it. I also didn’t buy anything that happened with his family in the last act of the movie either. The muling scenes are good and so is any interaction Eastwood has with a minority (he’s racist but doesn’t know it because he’s not really racist, he’s just ignorant). Not sure this is a recommendation but it’s close.

Decent

Aquaman (2018) – I never really thought this was going to be good but the critics didn’t crucify it and I thought maybe? Honestly, the first half or so of the movie was so bad I was pretty sure I hated it, but it’s charm eventually overwhelmed me to the point I realized I was actually enjoying it. It’s overstuffed and dumb, with some terrible one-liners, but there’s enough heart and humor, plus some decent set pieces that it just might be worth watching.

Decent

Mary Poppins Returns (2018) – I didn’t revisit the original before watching this (and I don’t remember it), so any callbacks flew right over my head, but I felt like I got the gist of it. Emily Blunt is fantastic. There is so much to like about her. I think she’s wasted here, mostly because, for the star of the film, she doesn’t seem to get enough screen time, especially in the last act. Some of the songs are good, but most of them are forgettable. Lin-Manuel Miranda has gotten some praise for his acting, but for someone that blew my mind away with “Hamilton” I thought this was a pretty underwhelming major feature debut for him. I thought this was okay. Definitely not the fringe Best Picture contender some have made it out to be.

Decent/Forgettable

Bodied (2018) – This is a movie that dives into the current state of battle rap while trying to offer social commentary and act as a satire. I thought the rapping was very elite for the most part (real battle rappers are used), but the acting and the story were borderline stupid. Also, in real life, these battles are mostly scripted with bits of spontaneity sprinkled in, but the “hero” in this movie is made out to be some sort of wunderkind that can create amazing content off the top of his head. That’s not really how rap works and there’s no reason for the audience to believe he is somehow an exception. The guy makes Eminem’s best freestyles sound pedestrian. This is a must watch for fans of rap and a total skip if you’re not into rap. Overall, I don’t think there’s much to see here when people aren’t rapping.

Decent

The Kindergarten Teacher (2018) – Maggie Gyllenhall gives a top notch performance as a teacher that becomes overly involved in the life of one of her students that appears to be a poetry prodigy. It’s a slow burn character study that sees Gyllenhall’s teacher gradually evolve from reasonably invested into something more creepy and, uh, sociopathic. This is a fine movie that is mostly worth watching for Maggie’s performance.

Recommended

And for fun… here are the top five movies I’m looking forward to in the first quarter of 2019:

1. Us (March 22nd) – Jordan Peele’s followup to Get Out. Trailer looks awesome. I can’t wait.

2. Captain Marvel (March 8th) – Marvel hasn’t missed with many origin flicks and Brie Larson is perfect casting.

3. Happy Death Day 2U (February 13th) – The first one was a pleasant surprise and the trailer for this shows too much, but it looks like more of the same fun with new twists. Yes please.

4. Alita: Battle Angel (February 14th) – This could be awesome or a total bomb. The trailer looks good to me.

5. Chaos Walking (March 1st) – Good cast with a capable director and a screenplay written by Charlie Kaufman (and six other people, yikes!). Could be a disaster but I’m intrigued.