Film Review: Bad Boys 4 Life

January has always been the dumping ground for films and relationships.  Which is why when I saw they were releasing BB3 at this time, that didn’t really instill confidence.  I’d say the same amount of confidence Mets fan of having Diaz come in from in the bullpen.  Anyway, let’s bring you up to speed.  Marcus Burnett and Mike LAAAA-RHY are back in Miami and 25 years old than when they made their initial appearance.  Will Smith barely looks any older while Martin Lawrence looks like he’s allergic to shellfish and just polished off 10 lobsters and then got stung by 10,000 bees.  Marcus is a now grandfather and fully into Roger Murtagh, “I’m getting too old for this shit” territory.  Marcus is ready to retire and Smith is not.  Things change when the son of a Mexican drug lord shoots up Mike LAAAA-RHY because Mike and other public figures sent Papi to prison.  Mike recovers and it’s vendetta time but not for Marcus, he’s in full Murtagh mode.  THE PLOT THICKENS….

So what’s different with BB3 than the others?  No Michael Bay at the helm but new directors Bilal Fallah and Adil El Arbi do not change the playbook when it comes to action choreography. Definitely see the slowed down 360 shot after a terse moment or 2 and fantastic cinematography as well.  Joey Pantaliano (Ralphie Cakes) reprises his role as Captain Howard so you know a few, “Don’t break the rules and fuck me” speeches are coming.  We also get the same ribbing back and forth between Smith and Lawrence which feels like those old, comfortable slippers that always put a smile on your face.  And what Bad Boys film would be complete without Theresa Randle as Marcus’s wife giving him an earful.  Seriously, you think she would divorce him by now or he would tell her cut the shit; he’ll never stop fucking up and the department will keep buying them new houses or cars whenever bad things happen to them.  Women?  AmIright?

What’s new?  We also get a new team working with Mike and Marcus within the Miami PD, the AMMO squad.  Vanessa Hudgens from High School Musical (never saw it, won’t bother) plays one of the squad and goshdarnit, she’s too damn cute to be shooting bad guys.  And let’s cue in the old guy jokes by the other dudes in the task force.  The creation of this task force beautifully sets ups the franchise for sequels or even a spinoff.  But don’t get cute with the spinoff idea, this group doesn’t have the charisma or humor to get people to drop $15 without Smith or Lawrence as the driving forces.

I liked Bad Boys but felt #2 dragged on.  This one was solid; top level action and had a John Wick feel to the fight scenes to it.  A couple of twists including a BIG one.  The soundtrack wasn’t as good as the first 2 but that’s because hip hop music has gone down the shitter in the last 10 years.  Example?  There are TWO Black Eyed Peas songs in here.

One more fun observation.  DJ Khaled has a scene where he plays a butcher and Mike has a few questions for him.  Mike uses a meat hammer on his hand to get some answers.  I feel Mike should’ve smashed his hand a final time while saying, “This is for your shitty music, ANOTHER ONE.” Now that kids, is a smart, well-written joke.  You better fucking acknowledge greatness when you see it.

Bad Boys For Life:

7 out of 10.  What you gonna do? Turn your brain off and enjoy shit blowing up for 2 hours.

Film reviews: Won’t You Be My Neighbor and Incredibles 2

We’re in mid-June, right in the sweet spot for summer film releases.  The last few years have had weaker slates of films.  How are we looking for summer 2018?  Pretty darn good, enough to keep you busy so you won’t have to pretend to give a shit about the World Cup.  Let’s stop the charade, people.  You only to claim to care about soccer during the world cup just to seem appeasing to Europeans and temporarily enjoying a sport primarily for 7 year olds.  

Avengers 3: Amazing

A Quiet Place: Solid

Deadpool 2: Solid

Solo: Fine 

I’ve heard Hereditary was excellent and Ocean’s 8 is surprisingly good.  And in the next few weeks:

Jurassic Park 34: Laura Dern’s crow’s feet look like she fought a raptor.

Sicario 2: A solid attempt to make us forget about the complete waste of time Benicio Del Toro was in Last Jedi.

This week, a documentary and a sequel blockbuster.  

Here I am, recreating the infamous shoe flip.35363327_10217446230854565_32544891347140608_o

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

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Congratulations go to this film as the only trailer that made me tear up.  30 seconds in and I’m welling up like being stuck in a car with someone cutting Indian food fueled farts.  You see, Mr Rogers and Sesame Street formed my early years of TV watching.  Those shows as well as Card Sharks, Press Your Luck, and Price is Right.  I had a thing for Plinko, Barker’s beauties, and white trash getting excited about winning a 1984 Toyota Corolla.  Mr Roger’s Neighborhood was one of my childhood memories that always bring a smile to my face.  He always made you feel safe and appreciated.  Mr Rogers hit on social issues like Vietnam, RFK’s death, and racial harmony.  He even un-retired to discuss 9/11 for his audience.  If he were alive today, I could easily see him talking to children about lockdowns in schools.   He TRULY gave a shit about kids and their feelings as well as fears.  Mr Rogers is one of the celebrities that would break my heart if he was ever outed as a pervert, child neglector, or Eagles fan.  

The film begins as he embarks on his post college career, deciding to get into TV over seminary school.  Mr Rogers eventually became an ordained minister and one fun fact is everyone interviewed made sure to disclose he never shoved religion down your throat nor through his show.  But you can see from his roots that his dedication to helping kids navigate through childhood was second to none.  It didn’t take long for his show to make its way to the stratosphere.  One scene you just can’t help your lip from quivering is where a little girl comes up to him and says, “Mr. Rogers, can I tell you something?  I like you.”  And he says, “I like you too.”  You see him visiting with countless sick children and watching their unbridled joy as he pulls out his puppets to temporarily brighten their lives.

Everyone from Fred’s wife and kids to cast and crew talk about him in the highest regard.  Yes, he was “like that” all the time.  No, he wasn’t gay.  You can thank him for saving PBS by testifying in front of a cranky Senator and swaying him with an inspiring tale of the importance of children’s programs.  One story they didn’t breach is the tale of how his car was stolen but once the thieves realized that the car belonged to Mr. Rogers, they immediately returned it with an apologetic note.  After googling (the only way to verify anything by reading the top 2 entries), this story was never verified by any of his family or close friends.  Mr Rogers also never spoke of this incident.  

And this goes out to the MPAA: How in the flying fuck is this film rated PG-13?  I believe they said, “ass” once.  They showed clips of someone saying dick and bastard.  Some footage of the Vietnam War and they showed a picture of a crew member mooning the camera.  THAT gets a PG-13?  You people need to remove that eyelash from your nether regions and calm down.

This film is nothing short of nostalgic magic.  The opening theme song got me teared up.  Him visiting kids, changing his shoes and clothes, as well as talking about horrific events in the news make your eyes puff up.  And hearing, “It’s Such a Good Feeling,” to end the film had the tears flowing too.  I don’t believe in God whatsoever.  BUT if there was one person who should be canonized and is as perfect as a person you could create, it’s Fred Rogers.  The man truly inspires others, even in death, to be better and caring.  My daughter just turned 3 and she’s a rabid Daniel Tiger fan, an offshoot cartoon of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood.  And I can’t wait until to show her MRN reruns on youtube.  I’ll just have a box of tissues nearby, just like when I watch ET again for the 193rd time.  Now excuse me while I go watch Bloodsport and Commando to get this lump out of my throat.

Absolutely loved this film and have tissues at arms length, 9/10.

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Pixar has birthed an insane number of hits: Toy Story 1-3, Coco, Monster Inc 1 and 2, and of course, the Incredibles.  Besides Marvel, name a studio that has this high of a batting average.  I get it, each of those studios only release 2-3 films a year but when they do come out, it’s rarely below “good.”  14 years later, the sequel has come out with all of the main voices returning: Craig T Nelson, Holly Hunter (her lisp is quite noticeable at times), and Samuel L Jackson.  The Incredibles are a family of superheroes and in this installment, they learn the baby of the family, Jack Jack, has not one but multiple superpowers.  Mom/Elasticgirl is tasked with joining a pilot program to help lift the ban on superheroes; financed and created by Winston Deavor and his sister, Evelyn, voiced  Saul Goodman and Catherine Keener.  Which leaves Mr Incredible to watch the kids while Mom is off fighting crime and enjoying her time in the spotlight.

I didn’t rewatch the first Incredibles before seeing this but I felt it captured all of the fun elements from the first one.  Watching Mr. Incredible play Mr. Mom is quite funny as well as helping his daughter, Violet, get over a boy standing her up is also quite amusing.  I found myself trying to figure out where the reveal is with the villain and the motive throughout the film instead of enjoying the ride.  Brad Bird, who also wrote and directed the first one, does a great job of the reveal and ends with a flourish.  

There’s no need to break this film down any further, you get exactly what you come in expecting from this franchise and studio:  a smart, well-written script infused with humor and leaving wanting more.  Although this film clocks in at just under 2 hours, it’s still a well paced ride.  My only ask is that they don’t wait another 14 years for Incredibles 3.  And they will as it’s grossed 180 million opening weekend.  Hear that?  That’s Disney executives high fiving over another money printing press is firing on all cylinders.

Fantastic watch, 8/10.