Mar 3 2023

Creed III

After becoming the Heavyweight Champion of the world, Adonis (Michael B. Jordan) seems to be in a good place, strong family life, thriving gym, nice house, all indicators point to the good life. But, when an old childhood friend, Damian (Jonathan Majors), is released from prison, Adonis is called back to the ring for one more fight, a grudge match that’s been a lifetime in the making.Written by Keenan Coogler, Zach Baylin, and Ryan Coogler, and Directed by Michael B. Jordan this jump back into the Rocky universe delivers some of the heaviest hitting blows and transporting boxing cinematography leaving the viewer stunned from the time the bell first rings. But for all the punches that land, the emotional impact of the story overall still seems to miss a beat or two leaving the viewer a bit underwhelmed by the overall character arcs involved. Additionally, a few cheese whiz edits and CGI added for dramatic effect and stylistics manage to detract more than add to the narrative. Also, noticeably absent this go round, Bill Conti’s ever famous “Gonna Fly Now” from the film’s score, bummer, was really hoping to hear that infused one last time, then again also absent, Sly Stallone, although he was a producer on the film, so, perhaps this was all intentional, leaving room for Jordan to put his signature on the Rocky Franchise in his own way. Running one hour and 56 minutes, Creed III is rated PG-13.

Feb 24 2023

Cocaine Bear

Inspired by actual events in 1985 surrounding a crashed drug runner’s plane in Georgia, missing cocaine, and the apex predator/black bear that ate the stash; a handful of unlikely players, park rangers, drug dealers, parents and kids alike find themselves wrapped up in the rampage. The rules are simple, keep your nose clean enough to kill or be killed, but who will walk away?Written by Jimmy Warden and Directed by Elizabeth Banks, this gruesome period piece embodies and replicates the spirit and feel of the decade it’s set in from art direction, acting style, and cinematic vision. Steeped in absurdity, this horrific ride delivers gallon for gallon, kilo for kilo, the most blood we’ve seen on screen in quite some time, yet, acerbic humor cuts the edge and keeps things moving. So, for all of its short comings in editing and continuity, Banks has faithfully re-created a horror/thriller B-film spark that children of the 80’s will be familiar with. High cinema (no pun intended), not even close, screwball romp, absolutely. Enjoy it for what it is, entertainment that doesn’t overstay its welcome with a runtime of 95 minutes. Cocaine Bear is rated R….surprise.

Feb 17 2023

Ant-man and the Wasp: Quantumania

Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) and his whole family are sucked into the Quantum realm only to discover a new enemy is on the rise– Kang (Jonathan Majors). Thwarted at every turn, getting home will take efforts from friends old and new and require an open mind, proving there’s always room to grow. Written by Jeff Loveness and Jack Kirby and Directed by Peyton Reed, this third installation of the franchise comes up thin on plot, heavy on CGI graphics and a lackluster shine breaking a cardinal rule of Sci-Fi– the creation of an all powerful being, in this instance Kang. The issue being, once a character reaches an all powerful status and cannot be stopped, the story becomes uninteresting and momentum is lost, it’s the ultimate “who cares?” writers pitfall. Furthermore this is troubling in the fact that the next wave of Marvel action appears to be centered around Kang’s rule and conquering of the the Metaverse, and, we’re off to a significantly snoozing start. So, for all of its glitz and glamour, attempts at humor, and bombastic smashing at the quantum level, sadly the Ant-man just can’t carry the weight of this task. Running two hours and five minutes, task this as a rental later, Ant-man and the Wasp: Quantumania is rated PG-13.