Category: Blockbuster

“Anaconda”

6.2

Seeing as J Lo is making a comeback this week… “Anaconda.”

Were they really trying to riff on “Apocalypse Now?” Hahahahahahaha

If you’re looking for a ridiculous creature feature from the late 1990’s ripping off a horror classic, go watch “Deep Blue Sea.”

Honestly, almost everything was a miss for me on this one. The cast, the plot, the execution. It worked well as a comedy, but I don’t think that’s what anyone was aiming for.

“The Forever Purge”

7.6

I think they finally figured out how to make a great Purge movie!

The beginning got a little on the nose, which I’ve come to expect from this series. There are a couple of points where the narrative trips over itself. But I’ll be damned; they land the plane. And we finally get to wade up to our eyeballs in actual purge happenings!

The characters fit surprisingly well together, and there is an excellent twist on the usual purge film plot. I really came to care about the characters and not root for their untimely death. And… I didn’t want to walk out halfway through this one like I did the last one.

“F9”

7.7

Cards on the table – I would have preferred 2 hours of Tyreese and Ludacris in Space Pontiac Fiero, just making quips and being badass.

I’m only rating it this highly because I knew what I was getting when I went in. The fact that this monstrosity is making the film festival circuit has to be mentioned in the book of Revelations somewhere.

Get ready for narrative whiplash worse than the characters would suffer if they had to obey the laws of physics. Vin Diesel is yet again the only person on the planet still taking these things serious, and decides to take you on a trip to sadsville every time things start to get fun. To the academy: don’t give him an Oscar. Don’t encourage him.

It’s a great action film, and pure spectacle. The “turn off your brain and watch the cars go boom” we’ve all come to expect. Try to forget he’s making a 10th one and decided to piss away all of the goodwill regarding a certain situation from Fast 7. I’m still shaking my head thinking about the decision to greenlight the storyline in this one.

Fasten your seatbelts, and get ready for another 2.5 hour globe-trotting superspy action film. Or, you know, go watch “Tokyo Drift” or something.

Dom, what are doing? The dark side is no match for family meme -  MemeZila.com
Fast and Furious Family Meme
Dom Family Meme Fast and Furious

“Black Widow”

8.4

Hell of a send-off for Scar-Jo! Bravo!

If this is going to be the new Marvel, post-infinity saga, then I will continue to be a butt in a seat for every one. This was an amazingly well done action film/family drama. The runtime felt a bit long at points, but there were some important character things to round out before the credits rolled.

The entire cast killed it. At least the family. (good lord, I’m becoming Vin Diesel) They seem like they’ve been together for 20 films, not just one. Quips actually land, and you feel a sense of closure at the end that makes “Avengers: Endgame” sit much better.

The post-credits scene was a bit deep in the lore for me, but I’ll find a few Wikipedia articles and get it figured out before the next one.

“The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It”

8.9

Upfront, I’m a sucker for this franchise. Spinoffs and all.

The anchor of this film and one of the best parts of the tentpole films in The Conjuring universe is the relationship between Ed and Lorraine Warren. Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson are perfect together. The investment in these two characters takes these films to another level and keeps them above the typical studio horror film status. This film dives much deeper into the chemistry between the dynamic duo and a bit more of their backstory, as they are both tested in ways they haven’t been before. Vera, especially, shines as she takes the lead in this film after Patrick’s character is somewhat sidelined in this round.

Story-wise, it’s pretty straightforward. More of a detective story and a much broader scope than the other two prominent films in the franchise. The cinematography is again off the charts. The camera work is perfectly executed to give the audience all they need, framed just the way it needs to be, and timed for maximum impact. Even when the film leans on topes, they’re so well done that you won’t care.

I get a little worried every time they add to this cinematic universe, and each time my fears have been alleviated by the finished product. The balance is always there with just enough new set upon a foundation of familiarity, with strong enough characters that we follow them to hell and back. Extremely well done. Highly recommend.