Film Review: Bumblebee

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Michael Bay completely torpedoed a cartoon and franchise that molded many lives of my age group.  He did a great job with the first film but with each subsequent sequel, managed to out suck the previous installment.  Yes, even Bay gave the short shrift to one of these easiest characters in to make grandiose on a movie screen, the Dinobots.  Screwed the pooch big time. And after that, I swore after Transformers 4 that I would never see another Transformers film in the theater.  I waited till Netflix to waste another 2+ hours of my life watching the Transformers: the Last Knight.  I spent most of that time wondering how much they had to give Anthony Hopkins to appear in that stillborn.  So when they announced they were doing the origin story for Bumblebee, I still wasn’t caring that much.  After seeing Michael Bay wasn’t at the helm for this, I gave this a better than fighting chance.  After seeing the preview and seeing old school Transformers and see the battles on Cybertron (the home planet of the Transformers), I was hooked.  

I’ll give this review 2 parts and the first part of this review is for those who are not hardcore Transformers fans.  The second half of the review is for those who are going in with a more critical eye and have an affinity or solid background in Transformers.  Scroll down for the nitpicking.  So if you’re completely Transformers naive, here’s your review: 

The Transformers come from Cybertron and there are 2 types, Autobots and Decepticons.  Autobots, good guys, Decepticons, bad guys.  Decepticons have won the battle for control of Cybertron, forcing Optimus Prime (leader of the Autobots and one of my all time favorite characters) to send one of his top soldiers, B-127, to Earth and set up a new base for the Autobots.  Of course, the Decepticons track down B-127 to Earth and they want to take him out and set up their own base.  Charlie (Hailee Steinefeld) is a teenager living in the 80’s who just lost her dad and is full of angst.  She and her dad used to work on cars and uncovers B-127 who is hiding in a junkyard.  Surprise, she fixes B-127, brings him home, and uncovers his secret.  Bumblebee earns his name by Charlie finding in bees in the VW bug.  

John Cena plays Jack Burns of sector 7, probably the MOST cliched army-esque character of all time.  You’ll remember sector 7 as the agency John Turtorro worked for who made it his life’s mission to lock up the Autobots.  He was hilarious, Cena is not.  Burns encounters Bumblebee when Bee crashed landed onto Earth and made it his life mission to track him.  Arnold Schwarzennegger had the best action cliches, Stallone had some good ones too.  But they were tongue in cheek.  Cena doesn’t have that affable nature the Rock has but to his defense, even the Rock couldn’t deliver these lines without vomiting.  Yes, these are word for word: “I will personally rip off your face.”  Good to see he can do his own face ripping and not delegating a lacky to do that.  But my favorite: “There’s a door in my way.”  And then had his guys blow up a door.  How fun would that be?  I would love to loudly announce there are tourists in my way.  And then blow them up.  Stuck behind some asshole on the turnpike who refuses to move over but does 55 in the fast lane?  Blow them up.  Someone sits directly in front of you in the movie theater while there are 5234 other open seats?  Blow them up.  God, this character made my skin crawl.  

Let’s also discuss Charlie’s family.  The mom (Pamela Adlon) and stepdad (Stephen Schneider) try to recapture the Witwickis goofiness from the first 3 Transformer films.  Although it’s a little more deep and tumultuous with Charlie still holding on Even the brother Otis (Jason Drucker) gets in on the laughs as a karate student who is hell bent on kicking ass.  And why oh why is someone naming their kid, Otis?  What kind of sadist would do that, even in the 80’s?  Let’s cut that shit out, that name is now reserved for pets only.  But another problem with this film is it revolves WAY too much around Charlie.  The name of the film is Bumblebee.  The basis is robots coming to Earth and fighting.  Yes, I do want to see the relationship the Transformers have with humans.  And the cartoon/cartoon film/first Michael Bay film did a great job with balancing out robot battling and human interaction.  But this is too much on everything else but as Michael Bay said, “Giant fucking robots.”  

The reviews are pouring in how this is the greatest Transformers film.  I get we’re all eager to wash out the Michael Bay shlock from our mouths but slow the fuck down, people.  This films isn’t that great at all.  And how soon you forget about the animated movie?  And the first Bay incarnation was solid.  But this is the best film of the lot?  Please.  Is it because it’s a female lead and we’re savages if we all don’t agree that it’s the best, we’re sexist?  Please.  This film was almost 2.5 hours long and I felt myself looking at my watch as this dragged.  The final battle was meh at best and the ending was beyond lazy.  This is the 3rd best Transformers fan but that’s not high praise as all of the sequels were awful.  This isn’t in the same league as the animated film or the first installment.  

If you’re not a big Transformers fan, you’ll give it ~5.

Now, for a deep dive analysis for those who are fans of the franchise.

Here are my problems with this film.  You have the chance to undo some of the Michael Bay choices.  The film opens with Autobots and Decepticons fighting on Cybertron.  IMMEDIATELY, I was ecstatic to see some of my old time favorites on the screen.  Optimus Prime, Starscream, Soundwave, Wheeljack, and Shockwave to name a few.  No exaggeration, I let out a mini, “yes!”  THIS IS WHAT WE HAVE BEEN LOOKING FOR YEARS.  But this euphoria only lasts for 3 minutes before Bumblebee is shipped to Earth. You get another flashback to Cyberton fighting and yes, a Ravage sighting.  So explain to me why the opted to use Shatter and Dropkick as the main 2 Decepticons who track down Bumblebee.  Who are they?  EXACTLY, THEY DIDN’T USE ANY OF THE MAIN DECEPTICONS?  These are 2 made up Decepticons for the film.  And Christ, not even one Megatron sighting, really?  You do see Prime in a few video messages, fine.  And we even get a great Easter Egg.  They play everyone’s favorite song, “You’ve got the Touch” so be ready.  So they do get a few nods in there but man, such opportunity wasted.

I have no idea why these writers don’t utilize the perfect recipe.  All of the ingredients are here and mixed, all you have to do is throw in the oven and wait.  Like Mariano Duncan said of the 96 Yankees, We play today, we win today.  Das eet.  Have Cybertron battles.  Use the characters in the cartoon as they were.  Have more screen time focused on the Transformers but a nice dose of the human relationship. Das eet.

This wasn’t good by any stretch and the fake love from the critics is staggering.  As I write this article on Saturday afternoon, the news is already in that Aquaman is going to win the weekend.  Aquaman, the lamest of superheroes.  Aquaman, of the DC universe who hasn’t made a quality film yet.  Calm down Wonder Woman fans, that was just fine.  I understand the Bay has ostracized a ton of the fan base.  But to lose to a perennial loser superhero and franchise screams volumes.  Maybe if they get this franchise right, people will go back to the theaters to see the greatest cartoon series (next to Looney Tunes) ever.  But for now, I’m going back to my edict of not paying to see Transformers films.  

Autobots, transform and stay home.  I give it a 4.  And that’s only because of the Cybertron scenes.

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Film Review: Ralph Breaks the Internet

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Death, taxes, and Disney.  3 surefire constants in life.  Disney has made a TON of quality films: Toy Story 1-3 (Pixar but still under Disney umbrella), Lion King, Duck Tales Movie (You better believe that counts), Little Mermaid, the list goes on.  And hey, they’re allowed to have a Black Cauldron,  Chicken Little, or Meet the Robinsons every so often.  Then what happens?  Disney buys Star Wars and fires out films faster than Alexandra Ocasio Cortez fires out her lack of knowledge regarding government structure.  SHE ACTUALLY THOUGHT SHE WAS GETTING INAUGERATED??!! Anyway, some of the Star Wars films were solid (Rogue 1 and Episode 8), and a couple that weren’t (Solo and arguably Episode 7).  But Disney is that guy you want up to the plate with bases loaded and down by 3 in the bottom of the 9th.  They’ll bring it home and make more “feel good” memories for you 8 times out of 10.    

So when they announced a sequel to one of my favorite recent Disney films, Wreck it Ralph, I was immediately ecstatic.  How perfect was the mix of 80’s/90’s video games, humor, and even a message of acceptance for people with physical issues that doesn’t constantly hit you over the head.  I laughed throughout the first film and had to rewatch to see all of the characters walking in the background of all the scenes.  How did I think the sequel holds up?  Well…

Ralph and Vanellope (John C Reilly and Sarah “I don’t mind watching Louis CK beat off as long as that ginger juice doesn’t get on me” Silverman) are back in Litwak’s arcade, hooping it up when Ralph accidentally contributes to the breaking of Sugar Rush’s (Vanellope’s game) steering wheel.  Uh-oh!  A replacement steering wheel costs more than Sugar Rush takes in a year so all the characters escape from the now shutdown video game.  Vanellope and Ralph make their way into the wi-fi router and head to eBay so they can get that replacement steering wheel and save Candy Crush from being taken out of the arcade.  Cue the spam/pop up add jokes, the google autofill jokes, and various internet gags.  After Ralph and Vanellope win the auction for the Sugar Rush steering wheel, they learn that Ebay does indeed cost money.  Ralph heads off to make goofy videos and becomes a viral star with the help of the algorithm, YESSS (Taraji P Henson).  Meanwhile, Vanellope heads off and gets tied in with bad girl/wannabe Fast and the Furious racer, Shank (Gal Godot).  Vanellope wants to drive and Shank tells her that maybe Sugar Rush is not longer for the place for her.  Enter internal conflict of staying with her best friend or leaving for her dreams.  

At this point, this film is solid and just about as enjoyable as the first.  I must say that when Vanellope goes to the Disney section of the internet is HILARIOUS.  She runs into Star Wars characters, priceless.  But when she mets all of the princesses of the Disney films is when this film takes the cake.  Tons of shoutouts, tongue in mouth jokes from Snow White to Mulan to Elsa.  That writing couldn’t have been more sharp.  But I have to say, this film disappointed me when Ralph tries to sabotage the internet with a virus.  It really lost me in the end and I think the payoff was subdued because I wasn’t really on board with that final act.  Is this a fun film?  Yes.  Did I like it?  Yes.  But is this in the same ballpark as its predecessor?  Absolutely not.  

I give it a 6.5 out of 10.

Film review: Creed 2

Welcome to another sweet spot time for films!  Thanksgiving through Christmas is when Hollywood trots out the better than normal stuff: holiday feel goods, kids films, and comic book films.  Maybe even an academy award film in limited release or 2.  Let’s talk Creed 2 and take it back…do-do, doooo do. Take it baaaaaack.

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No, Carl Weathers doesn’t come back to life after his corpse is struck by lightning.  But it sure looks like Sly Stallone did.  Ryan Coogler is out as director as he was busy making billions with Black Panthers.  Stephen Caple Jr has come in from the bullpen to direct the sequel.  So Creed (Michael B Jordan) has risen through the ranks and has become the heavyweight champion of the world.  Meanwhile, in the center of American’s election, Viktor Drago (Florian Munteanu) is trained by his father, Ivan (Dolph Lundgren). But a hustling promoter (Buddy Marcelle) is watching Viktor smack around Russkies like Russian men knock around their wives.  Obviously, he’s looking to get a fight between Creed and Drago to recreate the fight that their fathers had 30 years ago.  FYI, the Dragos aren’t doing so well.  They’re humping crates around when they’re not training.  Russia has turned its back on Drago.  Brigitte Nielsen left Ivan because he lost to Rocky and then found true love with Flavor Flav.  You’ll definitely sympathize with Lundgren as Ivan Drago.  He lost everything and lived a life of obscurity, being SO CLOSE and missing it.  He is obviously trying to relive the glory days and what could have been through his son.  You’ll also remember he’s an asshole when he needles Creed and Rocky.   

Tessa Thompson reprises her role as Bianca, Adonis Creed’s girlfriend.  She continues to hit it out of the park in this installment.  She’s making strides with her music while fighting through her healing impairment.  And of course, Stallone is back as everyone’s favorite Italian pugilist/trainer.  Now that Creed is champion, Viktor Drago challenges him for a fight.  Cute the multitude of emotions/flashbacks that Creed and Stallone go through from 30 years ago, when we all had to suffer through James Brown’s “Living in America.”  And oh yeah, when Stallone balked at throwing in the towel and getting his best friend killed.  

Fast forward to Creed taking on the fight and getting smoked by Drago.  Except this fight ends in a DQ so Creed still holds onto the title.  We begin to channel Rocky 3 where Rocky gets tuned up by Mr. T and here are where the parallels begin.  Both are questioning their heart and hunger throughout the second acts.  A life changing moment occurs with Creed and he’s debating if boxing still worth it.  Phylicia Rashad appears fresh out of testifying at Cosby’s trial and returns as Creed’s mother.  She reminds him of the obvious that there’s no need to do the rematch  end up like his father but hey, make your own decisions, son.  And of course, what would be a Rocky/Creed film without a training montage?  Creed realizes he can’t go about it the usual way so Stallone takes him to another venue, a la Rocky 4, sans cheesy 80’s music.  No, he doesn’t finish at the top of a mountain while yelling, DRAGO, in a 360 degree shot.  One more parallel?  Sure.  Creed even enlists Tony “Little Duke” Evers, the son of his dad’s trainer, Duke.  Remember him? “Throw in the damn towel!” 

Creed 2 is pretty good.  We even get a nice cameo in this one, I guarantee you’ll have an, “Oh shit!” moment in this theater.  Yes, it’s pretty predictable and yes, there are a ton of obvious similarities to Rocky 4.  But this an enjoyable film and you’ll feel satisfied, not overstuffed, like Thanksgiving dinner.  And let’s cross our fingers that for Creed 3, he fights Clubber Lang’s kid.  And wrestles Hulk Hogan’s son, Nick.  Wait, whoops…

I give it a 7/10

Film review: Halloween 2018

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Horror films are still a major part of film releases and we’ve come a long way in the different types.  Early horror films were iconic characters like Dracula, Frankenstein, and Bea Arthur.  Then we had zombies, exorcists, and then back to iconic characters (Freddy, Jason, Michael Myers and to lesser degrees, Chucky and Pinhead).  Then after Hollywood made those franchises silly beyond recognition, (Jason goes to space?  Michael Myers was part of a druid cult?  Hillary Clinton pulled hot sauce out of her bag to relate to black people?)  we then hit the “found footage” horror types.  The Blair Witch Project started it all and then Paranormal Activities came which then gave birth to the Exorcisms of Haywood Jablowme.  For a hot second, we had the Saw franchise sneak a couple of ok sequels in there after a fantastic opening to the series.  But mostly, we’ve seen reboots fall flat: the aforementioned Jason and Freddy rebirths were lackluster and toothless.  

So when I read they’re doing a sequel to Halloween, I could’ve given 5 cat shits.  But then, the reviews came in from the Toronto film festival that this wasn’t a reboot or sequel in its typical sense.  David Gordon Green, Danny McBride, and Jeff Fradley decided to wisely ignore ALL of the Halloween sequels and pick up 40 years after Michael was captured after being shot by Dr. Loomis.  Jamie Lee Curtis reprises Laurie Strode, who is now a recluse that has a gun arsenal that would’ve made Charlton Heston harder than a shark tooth.  She regularly engages in target practice, has a hidden entrance to her basement, and has an insane home security system.  I’m sure Alex Jones would give this house a 5 star review on Zillow.  Laurie has a daughter whom avoids her like people from Pittsburgh avoid diction lessons.  She also has a granddaughter, Allyson, who keeps in touch with her, unbeknownst to her mom and goofball dad.  Laurie keeps reminding her family that Michael is due to be transferred to a new prison and oh yeah, it’s almost Halloween and the 40 year old anniversary of when Laurie’s friends were killed for fucking or just being clumsy.  

Spoiler alert: Michael escapes during the transfer and starts killing more people in 10  minutes than he did in Halloween 1, 2, and 4.  If this is a spoiler, than you need to go to night school.  Double M racks up kills like he’s trying to break the time record of getting 5 stars in Grand Theft Auto.  This film is insanely different versus others where you think some characters have a chance to live.  Nope.  He leaves corpses everywhere like the first 10 minutes of Saving Private Ryan on the D Day Beach scene.

Let’s take a brief timeout to discuss a few gems: John Carpenter never signed off on any of the sequels.  He saw this script and IMMEDIATELY wanted to be attached.  He also signed on to do the music again and the music is as masterfully scored as the first one.  Obviously, you hear a lot of the same arrangements but with cool twists.  And like the master scorers do: Williams, Zimmer, Elfman, etc, the music intensifies the mood and puckers up all the buttholes in the audience.  Back to the story. 

So of course, MM comes back to Haddonfield and lays waste to those good town folk, in search of Laurie Strode and her offspring.  I mean, wouldn’t you move FAR away from a town your mom get sliced up in?  It’s not like they live somewhere cool like Manhattan where you weight the pros and cons of a stalker possibly returning.  You live in a suburban town, ANY of them around the country can suit you just fine.  Why stick it out in Nowheresville where there’s the chance that lunatic could escape and easily track you down because of your laziness?  

Here’s why this film works and other serious reboots like the Batman trilogy, Star Trek reboots, or Dredd worked: Because they took it seriously and made it DARK.  No campy horseshit, no cheap gimmicks like the lack of cell phone reception.  There are a few laughs, some land and some don’t.  But man, these film knows how to build tension and hold it.  There are plenty of visual and musical nods to the original film.  And what really works is you really believe Michael is truly an evil spirit with ZERO human emotion.  Throughout the film, the characters BEG him to say “something.”  The reactions are priceless.  And you truly buy into Michael being a badass by just murdering ANYONE in the way but not for the sake of gore but for the sake of letting nothing stop him in killing Laurie Strode.  

This is EASILY one of the best horror film sequels ever made.  But honestly, besides the original Halloween 2 (It’s fine), Nightmare on Elm Street 3 (love it), or Friday the 13th 2 or 3 (Meh) Dawn of the Dead (maybe), this isn’t stiff competition.  Some will say that Silence of the Lambs (yes, that’s a sequel) or Aliens fall under horror.  I would call them thrillers, not horror.  This film is AWESOME, I dare you not to love it.  You’ll get sucked right in for the 105 minutes and already make plans to see it again.  But in the daytime when not many people will be in the theater.  Because most people chew loudly and make unwarranted, dumb remarks to their friend instead of shutting up for 2 hours.

I give it an 8/10

Film Review of “Bad Times at the Old Royale”

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Yep, it’s been a minute.  Why?  Because I heard Venom sucked.  Because seeing Night School is for people who barely have a GED.  Because I could care less about Crazy, Rich Asians than I care about than the homeless problem in Sudan.  The best film in September-Thanksgiving is like the NL East division winner, you get a playoff spot by being the best of the worst shitbox teams.  What else besides Halloween, Creed 2, Wreck it Ralph 2 and maybe Bohemian Rhapsody look good?  Johnny English?  Another garbage sequel that no one asked for.  So when the preview BTATOR came out, I thought that this has a shot of being decent.  Early positive reviews confirmed my thoughts so I figured, time to pony up 11 bucks to a matinee.  You may be thinking, “why not wait till movie pass picks it up?”  Because I don’t feel like waiting till the next election to see this film.  

A priest, singer, bellhop, vacuum salesman, runaway and her weird sister, and cult leader all stay at hotel that is split in half by state lines.  Cute idea but wish it played more into the plot. If you’re going to see this, you’ll going to say in 10 minutes, this is similar to Pulp Fiction.  Remember, nothing will top Pulp Fiction.  Don’t argue with me as that’s an infallible argument.  The stories are told in a circular fashion and from multiple angles.  Of course, this hotel has its own secrets and no one is who they seem who they are.  

Jeff Bridges plays Father Flynn, which is a cute nod to one of his early roles as Flynn from Tron.  Time and probably cigarettes have added to that gravelly voice of his; another 3 bottles of gin and he’s right into Sam Elliot vocal territory.  Hello avalanche of voiceover roles!  I did a double take with Dakota Johnson as she looks damn near exactly like Sophie Marceau.  Last I saw of her, she was in one of the worst Bond films of all time.  “The World is Not Enough” is in “A View to a Kill” territory.  Only saving graces of that piece of shit are Sophie and Denise Richards.  Goddamn, it’s a shame her looks became as bad as her acting.  Anyway, Dakota looks fantastic and kills it as a badass with a checkered past.  Jon “Footlong Dong” Hamm plays a vacuum salesman that turns out to be an FBI agent.  Mix in Lewis Pullman expertly playing a nebbishy bellhop and Cynthia Erivo playing a “Supremes-esque” background singer and you have a pretty solid cast of characters.

The problem with my review is so much is going on that I don’t want to spoil anything. I enjoyed a few curveballs and wait till Billy Lee (Chris Hemsworth) shows up. It’s a sadistic cult leader character that we haven’t seen yet.  And we’re used to Hemsworth shooting lighting and throwing hammers so it’s nice to see some range out of him.  My biggest complaint is this film begins drag at the 2 hour mark, ending at 2:21.  I think if they would’ve trimmed 15-20 minutes off of this, it would’ve felt much more concise.  Cut a little here and there and this would be a fantastic tale.  But this is a pretty damn good tale nonetheless.  Could you wait till Netflix, sure.  But if you’re looking to see something in the theater, I highly recommend this.  Otherwise, this is going to be a long season of banal shit.  

I give it a 7 out of 10.

Film Review: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

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There are some franchises that motor on because of the success and quality of those films.  See: 90% of Star Wars films, Rocky 1-4 as well as Balboa and Creed, Indiana Jones Trilogy,  (I don’t acknowledge the 4th like no one recognizes the third Godfather), 75% of the James Bond films, and most of the Star Trek films/reboots.  And there are some franchises that people feel obligated to stay with no matter how mediocre or films have become and they still make boku bucks, hence another sequel every 3 years.  See: Fast and the Furious, Saw, Transformers, and Pirates of the Caribbean.   What do some of these franchises have in common?  The first one is fantastic.  The second and third ones, meh.  By 4, you barely keep up with them and skip over them when they pop up on cable (I know, I just made myself look old by still having cable).  Sometimes, they manage to surprise the hell out of you by hiring new writers/director for the 4th or 5th and reinvigorate the franchise.  Fast and the Furious 5 is a perfect example, it brought me back in because it was excellent.  And then I sat through the next 2 oversized turds.  Guess what?  Now you’re hooked for at least 2 or 3 more films. And bang, you’re just like a vegan who came to their senses and started eating meat again.  

Let’s review Jurassic Park.  The first one, very solid but the book ending was MUCH better than the film ending but 8-9 times out of 10, that’s the case.  JP2, not great except the scene where the dino hunters ran through the field of velociraptors and most of them ended up looking like Jenna Jamison’s b-hole when she retired from porn.  JP3 was even worse, not even the pterodactyl scene saved this monstrosity.  And next thing you know, the franchise was shelved.  

But as Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum’s character in 2 and 1/10 films) says, “Life, ahhh finds a way.”  As does Steven Spielberg to jump start a dead franchise.  3 years ago, Jurassic World came out and ran roughshod through the box office like a T-Rex that just ate a Mexican village and is now looking for a bathroom.  What does that mean?  Fire up the sequel machine!!  JW recaptured the elements from JP and did it well with a bunch of cool nods to the first one.  It worked, even though it was just a blatant reboot of the first one.  But I dug it.  

Of all the previews I saw of FK, not one of them made me go, “Hmm, I’m looking forward to playing hooky from work to see this.”  But since I’m an (unpaid) film reviewer, I felt it was my civic responsibility to see this and comment.  FK starts off with the dino island in deep stegosaurus poop; a volcano is exploding and the dinos face extinction, sigh, again.  And of course, screenwriters Colin Trevorow and Derek Conolly, decide to make this one of the few social issues of the film.  Do dino lives matter?  According to Claire (one of the few attractive gingers, Bryce Dallas Howard), they certainly do.  She gets little resistance from persuading Owen (newly single Chris Pratt and who will be bedding GOTG nerds and film extras galore) to come with her to help save the dinos.  Financing the journey is Benjamin Lockwood (Jamie Cromwell) who apparently used to be partners with JP creator, John Hammond, until Hammond had the idea to make an amusement park with dinosaurs.  Standing in the way is Lockwood’s assistant, Mills, who has plans of his own for the Cretaceous creatures.

Here are several problems with this film:  

  1. What do people want to see?  Dinosaurs killing humans in cool ways with a little bit of gore. Yes, I know that a ton of little kids go see this but it’s rated PG-13 which allows them to get away with more.  When people get killed, it’s almost sanitary and really doesn’t scare you nor feel “real.”  
  2. This film DRAAAAGS.  The last 20-30 minutes should’ve been trimmed down, especially the scene you see in commercials where the dinosaur gets into the little girl’s bedroom.  The running time is just over 2 hours but it felt as long as the math section did of the SATs.  
  3. The plot fell into the same formulaic trap as some of the sequels did.  You know who’s dying within 10 seconds of the introduction of characters.  Asshole money- hungry assistant?  Surprise, he dies.  Overly aggressive and mean head of security?  Auf Weiderzehen.  Soldier who hits a woman?  Appetizer for T-Rex.  Just once, let’s see one or 2 of the good guys get picked off and not everyone making it home in time for dinner.  Let’s have the computer nerd get picked off.  Or the cute little girl.  
  4. Do we need a bunch of social issues in a popcorn blockbuster film?  I don’t think so. Do dino lives matter?  Should we let them acclimate into our world?  Is cloning humans acceptable?  And the last reveal was just plain lazy which ties into the ending.  
  5. You see 75% of Jeff Goldblum in the previews which obviously means he’s critically underutilized.  That character was great in the first and second films.  Maybe he didn’t want to do a full role but man, spread his scenes throughout the film.  
  6. JW hatched (I’m a cutup, I know) a hybrid dinosaur to mix things up.  So if it ain’t broke, Universal ain’t fixing it.  Yes, there’s another hybrid dinosaur and I immediately thought, “Ok, back to the well with this idea.”  20 bucks said the next sequel has TWO hybrids and one of them will involve a pterodactyl that looks like Kathy Griffin.  

I found myself over halfway through the film not really caring what happens next.  I honestly got bored through the final encounter.  I’m surprised I’m seeing more positive reviews than negative reviews for this one.  The poster should’ve had Spielberg, BDH, and Pratt holding bags with the $ sign while riding on the back of a Brontosaurus.  Because that’s exactly what this was, a vicious cash grab.  This film opened 60 million less than JW did.  But of course, it will be profitable and they’ll make another one.  Good luck getting me to invest me any more time in this franchise, I’m out.

I give it a 4/10.

Films that need to be removed from AFI’s top film list and films that should be added.

So here are the films I think that should be removed on the AFI top 100. I’ve seen 54/100. Either they’re not good or don’t hold up. The link to the list I’m referring to is in the comments.

Keep in mind that some of these films may be very good, just not amazing in my eyes. Some just don’t hold the test of time. And just because some of them have social issues doesn’t mean they’re great. Also, you may have enjoyed some as a child/teenager and it doesn’t mean you still have to hold it in high regard now. Lastly, I’ll define something as great if you have seen the film at LEAST 3 times and/or own it.

Here are the ones that should be removed:
1. Casablanca-solid but doesn’t hold up.
3. Citizen Kane- see above.
8. Schindler’s List- It’s very good but c’mon, you’re not re-watching this film. 
15. 2001-Hated it. Never saw this on drugs and if you need to be high to see this, it’s not good.
17. The Graduate-Good but again, do any of you own it or have seen this multiple times?
31. Maltese Falcon-solid but does it hold up? No.
34. Snow White-definitely doesn’t hold up. Not in my Disney top 20 and this has nothing to do with the animation.
35. Annie Hall-I know I’m in the minority but I hate this film. Just not funny whatsoever.
36. Bridge over the River Kwai- Good but not top 100
39. Dr Strangelove-Ambien, Aziz Ansari, or this. You decide.
42. Bonnie and Clyde-Mediocre at best.
50. Lord of the Rings-enjoyed it but definitely not top 100.
51. West Side Story-nope, nope, and nope.
53. Deer Hunter-it’s fine and I think the Russian roulette scene is what put this film on the list. Otherwise, it’s nothing remarkable.
62. American Grafitti- absolutely boring, couldn’t finish this film. Put Diner in this same category except I finished Diner…begrudgingly.
64. Network-fine but not top 100. Social issue film
68. Unforgiven-very good but not top 100.
70. A Clockwork Orange-Just because it was off the wall for the time doesn’t mean it should remain on the list. It’s fine but not list worthy.
76. Forrest Gump-I’m just bitter that this film beat Shawshank and Pulp Fiction in 94. But this film is also fine, not list worthy.
81. Spartacus-Definitely doesn’t hold up, couldn’t finish during a recent rewatch.
83. Titanic-Get the fuck out of here.
84. Easy Rider-Insanely boring. Great soundtrack but a big collection of nothing. Social issue film.
89. 6th Sense-Please. I called this ending out in the theater when I saw it. You’re not rewatching this except one time after you want to see how he never directly talks to Willis. Overrated.
92. Goodfellas-Just kidding, this film is flawless.
96. Do the Right Thing-Very good but not top 100. Definitely a social issue film.
97. Blade Runner-The Emperor’s New Clothes, I just don’t see it.
100. Ben Hur-Also doesn’t hold up.

 

And now, films I believe should be on the AFI top 100. If you disagree with a selection, don’t be a queef and just say the pick sucks. Offer another film instead of the one.

1. Aladdin-Next to the Pixar films (toy story 1 is currently on the AFI list), this is the best Disney film, ever.
2. Alien/Aliens-I prefer Aliens but fully acknowledge the first was groundbreaking.
3. Back to the Future-Go ahead, find me ONE person that hates this film. Good luck.


4. Good Will Hunting-Won multiple awards and hits a ton of emotional points throughout the film.


5. Heat-First film with DeNiro and Pacino doing scenes together and it doesn’t disappoint. One of the best gun battle scenes in film history.


6. JFK-Plenty of awards and noms. And it also made America restart their curiosity of the JFK conspiracy.


7. LA Confidential-One of the best crime dramas and also scooped up a bunch of awards, including Basinger and screenplay.


8. Naked Gun/Airplane-I prefer Naked Gun ever so slightly and there needs to be comedies on this list. Those films have non stop LOL moments and these films are daily quoted.


9. Terminator 2-one of the few times the sequels is better than the first. Groundbreaking technology at the time and this story is fantastic. Again, find someone who hates this film. And if you don’t get a little teary eyed when he lowers himself into the molten steel, you’re not alive.


10. Usual Suspects-See LA Confidential and one of the best endings I’ve ever seen. Spacey and best screenplay winners


11. Untouchables-Connery wins best supporting in the tale of Al Capone. DeNiro as Capone, brilliant.


12. Bronx Tale-And for those of you that want social issues in films, here you go.


13. The Dark Knight-This film is an 7 by itself, Ledger makes it a 10. Even the biggest anti-superhero people admit this is the one which is the exception.


14. The Matrix-More revolutionary technology and what an insanely original story. This one sure makes you think..


15. Halloween-Best horror film ever that isn’t shock-centric and what a score. I daresay this is better than the Exorcist.


16. Whiplash-I think this the BEST film in the last 10 years. JK Simmons destroys as an asshole jazz teacher and he won for doing so. This script is magnificent and EASILY should’ve beaten Birdman.

Honorable mentions that I could make an argument for but I’m sure would get shot down:

1. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade- my favorite of the trio. And Raiders is on the AFI list so this isn’t a stretch.
2. Glengarry Glen Ross- If you like acting tour de forces, this film is for you. Take the names out of this film and you have a decent script. But Pacino, Lemmon, and obviously Baldwin chew up the scenery and make this fantastic.
3. Commando-Just kidding but goddamn, I love this film and have a huge soft spot for 80s/90s action films with a hint of cheesiness.
4. Die Hard- Find me someone who hates this film. Best Xmas film of all time!

5. Caddyshack- My favorite film and it is one of the most quoted films of all time.  Still holds up and is fucking hilarious.

 

Favorite sports films, let’s hear ’em!

Football – Any Given Sunday. Fuck you, this film is solid.
Basketball – Teen Wolf. I know everyone is supposed to put Hoosiers but I didn’t like it. Hell, I could even put in Space Jam here.
Baseball -Major League or Field of Dreams. Flip a coin
Hockey – Miracle. 2nd place: Goon. Slap Shot is overrated.
Boxing – Rocky 1-3. Cinderella Man is HORRIBLY underrated.
Gaming – Tron Legacy
Racing – Rush. Forgot about this one, good call JA and NC.
Martial Arts – Bloodsport. Any other answer is wrong.
Golf – Caddyshack!!!! Tin Cup is boring, don’t even think about it.
Murderball – Murderball
Professional Wrestling – The Wrestler
Horse Racing – Seabiscuit
Documentaries-King of Kong
Poker-Rounders
Pool-The Hustler and Poolhall Junkies