Since clearly I’m a failure at reviewing movies we see in a timely manner, I’m going to do Flash Reviews of the ones that are now available on home release.
The Great Wall (February 17th): It looked horrible from the trailers, so we waited to rent for cheap on Google Play. It was a wise decision. Contrary to what people thought, this movie was co-produced with China. the production is very much a Chinese film – lower budget, yet gorgeous aesthetics, fight scenes, and effects. Magical beasts being the reason for the wall being built isn’t a poor idea, but the execution was lacking. I really enjoyed Jing Tian performance and she really proves that Hollywood should “take more chances” on hiring east Asian actors to play characters, and not just within Asian locations. Dull and predictable, but the costumes and lady soldiers were great, but overall forgettable.
Power Rangers (March 22nd): I wasn’t a huge Power Rangers fan was I was younger, but I remembered enough to see the nods to the original throughout. It wasn’t as campy as I anticipated, which was actually refreshing. The representation of a lesbian gal and a boy who is openly autistic was really ambitious. It was made with those that grew up with it in mind, but open and independent for new viewers. The return was low, so it’s hard to say if a sequel will see the light of day. If you were weary of this one “ruining” your nostalgia, I’d give it a chance.
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (May 12th): A new take on the tale of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round table meets… the Matrix? The stop motion was cool, but the magical elements/rules of this world didn’t make sense. I waited the whole time for the mechanics to be explained and they never were. It was nice to see Charlie Hunnam from Pacific Rim in something else, it was just unfortunate that his character of Arthur was incredibly unlikeable. Every character, actually. Boring. May be worth a Netflix watch for laughs.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (May 26th): If the Pirates franchise could end right here, I’d be grateful. Everything was concluded and fit nicely together and basically erased the pointless movie that was On Stranger Tides. Lots of homages and callbacks to the original film. Lots of Barbossa. Not a perfect film, but a good time and recommended for fans that have kept up with it.
The Hitman’s Bodyguard (August 18th): Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson? You can bet it’d be full of laughs, right? The comedy was unfortunately a underwhelming, and I think that was due to Reynold’s character being No Nonsense. However, they have great chemistry on screen and there was still plenty of comedy to go around via Jackson and supporting cast. It had the best chase scene I’ve seen in the last ten years or so. Definitely one to check out.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle (September 22nd): A perfect example of a sequel that picks right up from the original and is arguably just as good. Beautifully violent, cinematography porn, self-aware in its social commentary, and the best cameo that outshone a headliner, The Golden Circle is a must. (Just see the original first!)
The LEGO Ninjago Movie (September 22nd): After Lego Batman, my expectations were high for a second Lego movie in the same year. Unfortunately it didn’t stand the test. Had it been saved for next year, would it still felt as stale? I think so. The humor fell flat, confusing message, poor character arcs, the main character was obnoxious, and underwhelming use of Jackie Chan. With a Ninjago series now several years old, this movie felt pointless. Especially since it rewrote everything. Unless you have a need to see everything Lego, this is skippable.