Kingsman: The Golden Circle

In this installment the Kingsman face a new challenge. Their headquarters and all of their secret places of operation are destroyed. The Kingsman discover a US Allied Spy organization called “Statesman”. After heading to the US to the “Statesman” headquarters the Kingsman soon learn that there is a drug cartel running an operation in a place called “Poppy Land”. If not stopped the Poppy Land operation could cripple the world. The two agencies join forces to try and stop the madness. The story unfolds from there…

Although not as good as the first installment, “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” does have plenty to offer in the way of action, intrigue and suspense. There is a bit of continuation from the first installment to tie the two together, but beyond that the movie starts off on a strange foot and continues on that path for quite a while. It’s not really clear at first what the movie is about. Things do start to heat up a bit and get interesting mid-way through the movie.

Once again I had high expectations due to the fact that the cast is strong and the first installment was excellent, but in the end “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” was a bit like letting the air out of a fully inflated tire.

This is a 3 Star Movie!

Logan Lucky

After a very slow start “Logan Lucky” revs its engine and races to the finish line. It’s a story we have all seen before, but “Logan Lucky” has a few entertaining moments along with a few interesting twists.

Brothers Jimmy (Channing Tatum) and Clyde (Adam Driver) Logan are trying to eradicate a family curse by successfully executing an elaborate bank robbery during the famous Coco-Cola 600 Race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. They need help and guidance, but the person they need help from is currently in prison. That doesn’t stop them. They figure out an elaborate scheme to setup a prison break and get their friend out to help them. The story unfolds from there…

“Logan Lucky” is a departure from the norm for Mr. Bond (Daniel Craig). You will see him in a very different light with his bleached blonde hair.
Director Steven Soderbergh is back from a 4 year hiatus. The last movie that he directed that I saw was “Side Effects” in 2013.

There are some strange, quirky and interesting moments in “Logan Lucky”. Example… just when things are heating up the movie plot stops for a beauty pageant. It’s a cute moment.

Director Steven Soderbergh is excellent at what he does, so I say that while “Logan Lucky” has a slow and strange start, the movie does come together at the end and it is worth a look.

I am looking forward to “Ocean’s Eight” in 2018 which is a Steven Soderbergh production.

This is a 4 Star Move!

Hail Caesar!

“Hail Caesar!” was not on my original watch list but, I decided to give it a look.

The Oscar winning filmmakers the Coen Brothers are back with a Star-Studded Golden Aged Comedy. Unfortunately I did not find anything golden about the movie.

The story is centered-around a typical day in the life of a “Studio Fixer”, but what you see is anything but typical and I can’t imagine that everything that goes on could have possibly happened in 24 hours. There are so many problems that even Olivia Pope from the ABC hit Scandal couldn’t possibly fix them all without a cast of thousands.

The movie starts off ok, but goes down-hill fast. There were too many stories and sub plots, so the movie is all over the place and no place. At one point I was bored out of my mind. I sat there thinking how could they have this many heavy weight actors and the movie be so boring. Don’t get me wrong there were some funny scenes, but not enough to be entertaining. I did not find George Clooney funny at all.

The paid critics said that “Hail Caesar!” was “Fresh”. I say its “Stale”.

This is a 2 Star Movie!

The Hateful Eight

Quentin Tarantino really hones his craft in “The Hateful Eight”.

This installment from Quentin Tarantino is a western set in the Abraham Lincoln era. The story could actually be told in about 20 minutes, but in a Quentin Tarantino production it takes hours, literally.

It’s the dead of winter in Wyoming. Traveling by stage coach, a Bounty Hunter, his prisoner and 2 other passengers find shelter in a cabin known as “Minnie’s Haberdashery”. There are several customers already comfortable in the cabin. Once the horses are put up and everyone is settled in, things start to unravel quickly. The story unfolds from there…

“The Hateful Eight” is viciously bloody and violent, but it’s really entertaining and moves quickly. It’s a long running time at 2:47, but it was over before I realized it.

This is a Quentin Tarantino production. If you have previously seen his movies, then you know what to expect. His movies are over-the-top, but he will keep you engaged and entertained. If you can stand the bloodiness “The Hateful Eight” is worth a look.

This is a 3 1/2 Star Movie!

Magic Mike XXL

I did not see the 2012 installment of “Magic Mike”. I thought it was cheesy, so I decided to skip it. After seeing an extended trailer I decided to give “Magic Mike XXL” a look.

All I can say is “Ooh La La!!! Eye Candy, Six-Packs and G-Strings Galore!!”

Mike (Channing Tatum) has given up the Stripper Life and owns his own Furniture making business in Florida. His old stripper friends come calling. They want to do one last blow-out show. With great reluctance Mike (Channing) agrees to join them, so they hit the road for Myrtle Beach.

What keeps “Magic Mike XXL” from being a 4 or 5 star movie is that the first 40 minutes is BORING!!

In comes Rome (Jada Pinkett Smith) and wow! The story picks up! From that point until the end you do not want to leave your seat!

Its sultry eye popping moves and G-Strings flying. The enticing dances are smooth and slick. “Magic Mike XXL” works really hard to keep it “R” rated, but with a little imagination it’s all “X” rated.
BTW…For you NFL fans, former NY Giants player Michael Strahan is in this movie. You will see him like you have never seen him before. I was shocked!!

“Magic Mike XXL” is definitely a “Chick Flick”. It’s all for the ladies. It’s definitely worth seeing even though the first 40 minute are a drag. The music is awesome!

I anticipate that “Magic Mike XXL” will do better than the $40 million opening weekend its 2012 predecessor enjoyed.

This is a 3 Star Movie!

Jupiter Ascending 3D

“Jupiter Ascending” is spectacular from a visual point of view. Too bad that’s as good as it gets.

Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis) was born under the night sky with signs that predicted she was destined for great things. Jupiter grows up to live what appears to be a dull mundane life. Then one day Caine (Channing Tatum) an ex-Military Hunter comes to earth to track her down. Jupiter soon finds out that a greater fate awaits her on another planet. The story unfolds from there…

The story and plot are not set, so you have no clue as to the reasoning for some of the events that take place in the movie. It’s only after the first 45 minutes that you start to piece the puzzle together, but it still does not make sense.
As I stated earlier the visual effects are great. There is a lot of action and nice special effects. The problem with “Jupiter Ascending” is that the story isn’t put into context soon enough. There is too much bewilderment.

This is a 2 Star Movie!!

White House Down

Movie: White House Down
Running Time: 2hr. 17min
Cast: Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jason Clarke, Richard Jenkins, James Woods

Capitol Policeman John Cale (Channing Tatum) dreams of being on the Secret Service Detail to protect President James Sawyer (Jamie Foxx). John has been granted an interview at the White House along with Tour passes for him and his daughter.
Once the interview is over and John has been denied the position, he doesn’t have the heart to tell his daughter the bad news, so instead he takes her on the White House Tour. While on the tour a HUGH explosion occurs. Soon after the White is taken over by a Paramilitary group; Racing against the clock John Cale tries to save the president, his daughter and the country. The story unfolds from there…

“White House Down” is ok. I have to compare it to “Olympus Has Fallen” and I know I was critical of “Olympus Has Fallen”, but after see “White House Down”, “Olympus” was the better movie.
“White House Down” is a non-stop action extravaganza with intense violence, intense gun fire and lots of explosions. You will be entertained.

The problem with “White House Down” is the plot. It’s not really laid out. This just sort of happens. However the holes are closed and the package is wrapped up nicely and tied with a bow at the end. You must sit through 2 hours and 17 minutes to get to the truth.

Once again in a review I will refer to the 1988 blockbuster “Die Hard”. “White House Down” is “Die Hard at the White House”. John Cale (Channing Tatum) is John McClane (Bruce Willis).

See it for yourself.

G.I. Joe: Retaliation: An IMAX Experience

“The Joe’s are back!!” “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” was originally scheduled to open in August 2012. Suddenly it was pushed to March 2013. Was it worth the wait…?

The Joe’s find themselves battling two different fronts, Cobra their mortal enemy is back and there is a catastrophic threat within the US Government. Is the President really the President? The story unfolds from there…

The plot and story for “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” are a “HOT MESS!!!” and both lack depth, but the action, special effects and sequences of martial-arts violence are pretty good. I love when Bruce Willis makes his entrance and is with the Joe’s on a mission.

“G.I. Joe: Retaliation” is definitely not great, but it’s better than the first installment. Fortunately the mayhem only goes on for about 99 minutes.

If you are a fan of G.I. Joe, you won’t want to miss this installment.

Side Effects

“Side Effects” is a tight Suspense Thriller that touches on the anxieties of depression and deals with the moral aspects of medical ethics.
Emily (Rooney Mara) and Martin’s (Channing Tatum) successful world collapses amidst a new experimental drug that is prescribed by Emily’s psychiatrist (Jude Law). The drug is intended to treat Anxiety, but of course has many side effects one in particular is sleep walking. The story unfolds from there…
“Side Effects” is a series of twists, turns, surprises, drama and deafening suspense. This is Director Steve Soderbergh at his finest. You will attempt to figure out what is going on in the movie and think you have it all figured out right up to the end, but you’d be wrong.
The sneakiness, surprises, suspense, twists and turns are what make “Side Effects” worth seeing. “Side Effects” isn’t great, but it is very good and has an excellent cast!!

If you love Drama and Suspense, “Side Effects” is your movie.