Archive for April 13th, 2018

13th April
2018
written by Adam

Primatologist and former military badass Davis Okoye (Dwayne Johnson) finds himself torn between his friendship with George, a highly intelligent albino gorilla, and the powers that be as George is exposed to a chemical agent that seems to be altering his DNA. As it turns out, George is actually one of several fearsome creatures to be altered by a mysterious gene editing company run by the brother sister duo, the Wydens (Jake Lacy and Malin Akerman). Before long George is of Kong size and hungry to smash things, it’ll take all of Davis’s training and might (physical and mental) to protect his friend, and what of this mysterious government man Harvey Russell (Jeffrey Dean Morgan)? Directed by Brad Peyton and written by a whole host of folks, because the world needed another mediocre video game from the 80’s turned into a movie. But seriously, no, Rampage seems to suffer from a tonal dis-morphia; snapping between semi decent action sequences and hideously bad Snidely Whiplash villains juxtaposed a ridiculous premise altogether– you can’t take this film seriously. But, you kind of knew that didn’t you, and yet, you’re here, wondering if it’s a waste of your time or not. Short answer, it’s exactly what you already know it’s going to be, a corn syrup sweetened pastry loaded with preservatives and empty calories, it’s junk food, but sometimes we eat it anyway…you know the drill, just get ready to burn off the extra calories later. Rampage is miraculously only rated PG-13, crash boom bang!

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13th April
2018
written by Adam

Former U.S. Diplomat Mason Skiles (Jon Hamm) is called back in to service in Beirut to broker a deal that will ultimately aid in the release of an old friend and colleague, Cal (Mark Pellegrino). Trouble is, Mason hasn’t been the same since the death of his wife many years ago, an event that also took place in Beirut, a place he’d rather forget at the bottom of a bottle. Now, aided by CIA agent Sandy Crowder (Rosamund Pike), Mason will have to rely on every dirty trick in the book to work his diplomatic magic, even then, he might just be out of pixie dust. Written by Tony Gilroy and Directed by Brad Anderson, a pedigree that would suggest something between a Jason Bourne film clashed with an episode of Fringe, the right pieces appear to be in order on this game board; however, the downfall of this screenplay may in fact be that it’s trying too hard to look smart, twisty, turny, whatever, it just isn’t necessary. But never let the obscurity of a story stop the attempts and efforts of a solid ensemble. Hamm and Pike work effortlessly to assume their respective roles, and, the overall production of this period spy thriller certainly looks the part. It is unfortunate the overall politics of the region are lost in the mix and only referenced as passing comments, so much for clarification of that. Bottom line, if you were looking for a Middle East Bridge of Spies, with a bit more gunfire, welp, look no further, this one checks the boxes. Beirut is rated R.

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13th April
2018
written by Adam

When a group of college friends take a trip to Mexico for spring break a game of Truth or Dare turns deadly as someone, or, something keeps the game going, forcing more and more damning truths and more extreme dares. Surviving the game seems futile, but maybe there’s a shred of hope….somewhere? Directed by Jeff Wadlow this mild variation on a theme of 2014’s it Follows comes across as drastically less thrilling but also unintentionally more comedic just the same. Lowering the bar further, downright hokey special effects lose their “special” nature in the light of today’s Snapchat filter options, eh, so it goes. As for the ensemble, their willingness to commit to their roles automatically earns them a “good enough” award, but lets curb those expectations right now. Finally, a rather abrupt ending offers up the traditional teen/slasher/thriller pulp non-ending to little or no surprise or fanfare. Keep trying, we’ll hit something original again, sooner or later. Truth or Dare is rated PG-13.

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