NOW PLAYING REVIEWS (on VOD): Bloodshot, The Hunt

I’ve been delayed getting this posted hoping the theater closure would be short-lived. Clearly we’re past that fantasy, so I might as well get caught up with the final two films caught in the theater before they all closed.

Week #11,12, and 13 (this week) have all passed with no “now playing reviews in the theater.” There were other films playing in the theater that we haven’t seen yet: I Still Believe and Emma. I have another post about those two movies at a later date. For now, let’s get to those final two movies we saw in the theaters before the shutdown.

Bloodshot ⭐️⭐️½

Vin Diesel is front in center in this adaptation of the Valiant comic book character. He dies, then comes back aided by nanotech that repairs his wounds. I haven’t ever read the comics, but the character has familiar regenerative powers as Wolverine, sans the metallic endoskeleton.

Just left theater (no spoilers) review of Bloodshot

Sony gave away the first 9 minutes of the movie to tempt others to see it. March was a terrible month to gauge the performance of any movie and now it’s on VOD. It’s not recommended, unfortunately, because it’s just kind of a killjoy to watch. You think it’s going to be cool, it feels like it’s going to be … and then just isn’t.

I wouldn’t even call it serviceable, so save your $19.99 VOD purchase unless maybe you’re a diehard Valiant comics fan and want to show the brand some love. It’s tough to get a comic book movie adaptation made, especially if your company isn’t Marvel or DC.

The Hunt ⭐️⭐

W️as looking forward to seeing this last year when it got pulled to see if the hype and controversy were warranted. Um, no, it wasn’t. This movie played it too safe, if that’s even possible. They should have chosen a political side — red or blue — and just drilled on the nerve of the opposition. That’s what I was expected to see.

Leaving the theater for the last showing before the theater shutdown in Las Vegas

On the plus side, we do get some cool women on women fighting and some graphic, gory kills. Bonus points on the grenade carnage.

Can’t recommend either of these movies, but if you want to take a chance on one, the other or both, give them a blood-y (The Hunt) shot.

NOW PLAYING REVIEWS: Onward, The Way Back

Week #10 of 2020 (3/5-3/8/2020) sees the first Disney/Pixar animated film of the year about a brotherly quest to bring back their father for one magical day and Ben Affleck wrestling sobriety demons and coaching a losing basketball team.

Although I didn’t verify, but I believe this is the first week with multiple movies playing in 2020 that both movies have been recommended.

The coronavirus continues to dominate the news with wide impact in international markets, including the news that Bond #25 No Time To Die has been pushed back from April to November 2020. Hopefully a vaccine will be created/discovered before too much longer or flu season will end the widespread concerns.

Back to a brighter topic, which movie this week takes the crown?

#1 is ….

Onward ⭐️⭐️⭐️½ 

The is a heartwarming, teen brotherly story with the right touch of humor and substance. The story is quirky and unusual, which is why we liked it so much.

UPDATE 8:19am PST: Just remembered when checking out other reviews from those I subscribe to at Letterboxd that before Onward played, there was a new Simpsons animated short featuring a romance for Maggie called Playdate with Destiny ⭐️⭐️½  Got to see this twice because of a theater screw-up (see my Onward review for details), but it’s not a very memorable or fun Simpsons short. Cute, though.

The Way Back ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Although Ben Affleck has had dramatic acting roles, this serious story really pits him against himself and the parallels in his personal life and his character’s life are profound. I think he really gets into his character better, drawing on his own well publicized issue of his break-up with Jennifer Garner and struggles with sobriety. It’s the best acting I’ve seen from him in quite some time.

The story is a little cliched and runs long in parts, but it’s a very meaty role for Affleck and he delivers.

Want to see what else we recommend NOW PLAYING at the theater?

Here are other movies we’ve seen at the theaters recently and liked (maybe they are available in your area still) that are recommended. Any movie rated at least 3-stars is recommended. You should read any 3-star review (click the title), because sometimes we do qualify those recommendations, meaning we were entertained, but it doesn’t mean that the film was that good.

4-star movies are highly recommended and films rated as 4 1/2 or 5 stars are must see.

  1. 1917 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½ 
  2. Onward ⭐️⭐️⭐️½ (current week) 
  3. Sonic The Hedgehog ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  4. Bad Boys For Life ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  5. The Way Back ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (current week)
  6. The Call Of The Wild ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  7. Bad Boys For Life ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Happy movie watching to you!

NOW PLAYING REVIEWS: The Invisible Man (2020)

Week #9 of 2020 (2/27-3/1/2020) and only one wide release movie to see. It’s from Bluhouse, a reboot of a classic Universal monster tale and called …

The Invisible Man ⭐️⭐️⭐️½

This movie took us both by surprise. Kara isn’t a big fan of horror and she actually gave this four stars in our video review (see below).

It doesn’t take the path of the scientist as the main character. Smart move considering recreating the awesome role Claude Rains played in the 1933 version would give difficult, if not impossible, comparisons.

Instead, this tells the story of Adrian’s wife, Cecilla (played skillfully by Elisabeth Moss), as the main character and how she deals with an abusive genius husband. In my review I called it, The Invisible Stalker, because that’s the story in a nutshell and it works well. His invisible torment of Cecilla is gripping. Camerawork of empty chairs and other furniture are creepy.

Cecilla’s harrowing, haunting journey is tense and thrilling. You want to see someone there … but they aren’t.

Our video review of The Invisible Man (2020)

This is a winner from Universal and Blumhouse and recommended. It’s getting many well deserved good reviews from others. If you’ve seen it or want to, tell us about it in the comments.

Want to see what else we recommend NOW PLAYING at the theater?

Listed below are movies we’ve seen at the theaters recently and liked (maybe they are available in your area still) that are recommended. Any movie rated at least 3-stars is recommended. You should read any 3-star review (click the title), because sometimes we do qualify those recommendations, meaning we were entertained, but it doesn’t mean that the film was that good.

4-star movies are highly recommended and films rated as 4 1/2 or 5 stars are must see.

  1. 1917 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½ 
  2. Little Women ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  3. Knives Out ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  4. The Invisible Man ⭐️⭐️⭐️½ (current week)
  5. Uncut Gems ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  6. Parasite⭐️⭐️⭐️
  7. Frozen II ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  8. Bad Boys For Life ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  9. Sonic The Hedgehog ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  10. The Call Of The Wild ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  11. Bad Boys For Life ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  12. The Last Full Measure ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  13. Dolittle ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Happy movie watching to you!

NOW PLAYING REVIEWS: The Call Of The Wild (2020), Brahms: The Boy II

Week #8 of 2020 (2/20-2/23/2020) has two movies with main characters that are not human, animal or alive: Buck the CGI dog and Brahms the creepy doll. A weekend of new movies dealing with, yes, imaginary friends.

It’s still pretty easy choosing the top wide release from these two, not even a close dog fight, really ….

… #1…

The Call Of The Wild (2020) ⭐️⭐️⭐️

This dog sorta hunts. The movie is more endearing once/if you can get past the fact that it’s just a bunch of whiz bang computer effects tricking us into thinking it’s a real dog. Don’t look around Buck’s dog collar because that’s where it looks the most fake. Just floating in space as a lifeless thing the collar just doesn’t belong.

Just leaving the theater (no spoilers) reaction to The Call of the Wild (2020)

And you’ll have to forgive me for wanting more Harrison Ford, despite the fact that he’s billed as a supporting actor. I get that the main character is Buck, but to get only half or less of the movie involving Ford made the film less entertaining. Also, I thought seeing Ford in a beard, weathered and old would be a sad experience (He’s Han freaking Solo!), but it wasn’t. He was good in this role. He showed up, did his thing, so pay the legendary actor already.

The million dollar question is whether or not Buck is more dog than computer? Suppose it’s done good enough but there are several places a real dog — that shelter dog Buck is based on, in fact — could have been safely used. I guess if we want that, then we need to go back to watching a prior adaptation. The dog being beaten bloody with a wooden stick in the older version scars the mind, so I’m OK with CGI for stuff like that.

Buck’s story is less compelling in CGI. I know, I know, there are animated movies and those don’t use real actors/actresses, but there is something missing in this movie not including a real dog like there was in The Art of Racing in The Rain ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ This movie is on the streaming / rental circuit, so check that out and compare. Both are based on books, the latter on Garth Stein’s, the former Jack London’s.

Brahms: The Boy II ⭐️⭐️

Dolls, dolls, dolls. Oh, those creepy dolls you find buried in the woods. Yeah, taking that home, cleaning it up, dressing it like your young son is going to work out — not! I did like the name, Brahms and his child friend, Jude (Hey Jude!), but it’s an overall anemic effort.

Just leaving the theater (no spoilers) review of Brahms: The Boy II

None of the horror movies released so far in 2020 — including this one — have been good. I’m hoping this all changes when we get to A Quiet Place: Part II next month or maybe Blumhouse’s take on The Invisible Man next weekend(?). My favorite genre has been lacking, sadly, but it’s early in the year so far. October is when the big guns start firing. I’m ready, bring it!

Sonic is not going to have much trouble leading box office sales for a second week (Actually after Friday’s numbers, the race is tighter). Another CGI character, but at least one that was never real to begin with.

Want to see what else we recommend NOW PLAYING at the theater?

Here are other movies we’ve seen at the theaters recently and liked (maybe they are available in your area still) that are recommended. Any movie rated at least 3-stars is recommended. You should read any 3-star review (click the title), because sometimes we do qualify those recommendations, meaning we were entertained, but it doesn’t mean that the film was that good.

4-star movies are highly recommended and films rated as 4 1/2 or 5 stars are must see.

  1. 1917 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½ 
  2. Little Women ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  3. Knives Out ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  4. Uncut Gems ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  5. Parasite⭐️⭐️⭐️
  6. Frozen II ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  7. Bad Boys For Life ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  8. Sonic The Hedgehog ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  9. The Call Of The Wild ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (this weekend)
  10. Bad Boys For Life ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  11. The Last Full Measure ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  12. Dolittle ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Happy movie watching to you!

NOW PLAYING REVIEWS: Sonic The Hedgehog, The Photograph, Fantasy Island, Downhill

Week #7 of 2020 (2/13-2/16) sees four very different films: a videogame movie about a supersonic blue alien, a romance involving a couple researching her mother who just died, a remake of a 70s TV show and a dramedy involving a family of four not enjoying a skiing trip.

Only one is sticking out and recommended, racing ahead of the others ….

… #1 …

Sonic The Hedgehog ⭐️⭐️⭐️

I somewhat expected Jim Carrey to steal the show in this videogame adaptation, but he’s actually one of the underwhelming features.

This Hedgehog will definitely bring back SEGA Genesis memories — gamers unite!

The speedy little alien has sort of an E.T type storyline that works. It’s a faithful recreation from the SE-GA! game to big screen. The animation is good and it’s an entertaining film that deserves to do good numbers at the box office. Oh, and bonus: check out the super cool 8-bit gaming end credits.

The Photograph ⭐️⭐️½

#2 pick of the Valentine’s Day weekend is the sole wide release romance. It wasn’t quite what I was hoping for based on the trailer.

I expected more intrigue and mystery around the photograph, but there is some decent chemistry between the two leads. Not quite a recommendation, but close.

Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island ⭐️⭐️ (2020)

Not the Fantasy Island I was looking very forward to seeing and very much deserving of Blumhouse in front of the title, but this might appeal to viewers who like every single little thing explained ad nauseum.

Downhill⭐️½

It’s all downhill from here, pun intended.

Open to debate who had a worse time: the family portrayed on the skiing vacation or the viewers slogging through this unfunny, mostly cold, dry movie. Julia Louise-Dreyfuss and Will Ferrell have some of the worst ever chemistry of any married couple portrayed on screen that I’ve seen. Sure, they are having marital problems in the film, but I can’t really see how they ever had any happy times. What a great example of when to seek a divorce.

Want to see what else we recommend NOW PLAYING at the theater?

Here are other movies we’ve seen at the theaters recently and liked (maybe they are available in your area still) that are recommended. Any movie rated at least 3-stars is recommended. You should read any 3-star review (click the title), because sometimes we do qualify those recommendations, meaning we were entertained, but it doesn’t mean that the film was that good.

4-star movies are highly recommended and films rated as 4 1/2 or 5 stars are must see.

  1. 1917 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½ 
  2. Little Women ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  3. Knives Out ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  4. Uncut Gems ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  5. Parasite⭐️⭐️⭐️
  6. Frozen II ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  7. Bad Boys For Life ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  8. Sonic The Hedgehog ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (this weekend)
  9. Bad Boys For Life ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  10. The Last Full Measure ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  11. Dolittle ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Happy movie watching to you!

NOW PLAYING REVIEWS: Birds of Prey (And The Fantabulous Emancipation Of One Harley Quinn)

“Lonely, lonely, lonely…” — Robert Plant wailing in a famous Led Zeppelin song. It’s also how week #6 of 2020 (2/6-2/9/2020) at the movie theater works with only one lonely wide release movie. We last encountered this on week #1 of 2020, too with The Grudge being the only wide release that week.

This week we get one of a couple dozen movies (see: 24+ movies to watch in 2020 to make buying an Unlimited Pass worthwhile) I’m eagerly looking to see at the theater.

So, what did I think?

Birds of Prey (And The Fantabulous Emancipation Of One Harley Quinn) ⭐️⭐️½ 

Kara and I video review Birds of Prey (2020) just after leaving the movie theater

Unfortunately, we’re not recommending this movie. I am considering watching it one more time and maybe (?) I’ll change my mind. It was one of those movies that is on the edge of recommend or not. As much as I want to say, “yes, go see it now!” I don’t feel that way after seeing it on opening night Thursday.

But good news for Harley Quinn fans, because I do have a fantastic recommendation.

A movie ticket to Birds of Prey is going to cost you an average of $12 USD. Here’s a much, much, much better idea: buy a subscription to DC Universe ($7.99/month) and watch Harley Quinn adult animated TV series.

Harley Quinn TV show on DC Universe is more entertaining than Birds of Prey

There are 11 episodes of Harley Quinn available as of this writing. Each episode is 22 minutes, which means for $7.99 USD you can binge watch all 11 episodes available (22 x 11 = 242 minutes / 60 minutes = 4+ hours!)

Four hours of entertaining, creative adult animated stories vs. 109 minutes (1 hr, 49 minutes) of a below average (in our opinion) live action movie featuring Harley Quinn played by Margot Robbie.

Want to see what else we recommend NOW PLAYING at the theater?

Here are other movies we’ve seen at the theaters recently and liked (maybe they are available in your area still) that are recommended. Any movie rated at least 3-stars is recommended. You should read any 3-star review (click the title), because sometimes we do qualify those recommendations, meaning we were entertained, but it doesn’t mean that the film was that good.

4-star movies are highly recommended and films rated as 4 1/2 or 5 stars are must see.

  1. 1917 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½ 
  2. Little Women ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  3. Uncut Gems ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  4. Frozen II ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  5. Bad Boys For Life ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  6. The Last Full Measure ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  7. Bombshell ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  8. Like A Boss ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  9. Doolittle ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Happy movie watching to you!

NOW PLAYING REVIEWS: The Rhythm Section, Gretel and Hansel

Week #5 of 2020 (1/30-2/2/2020) offers a woman tortured by the loss of her family turned into a spy hellbent on revenge and a film retelling a story of two children who encounter a woman in the woods that is not at all what she seems.

We saw both films on opening day, Thursday, and choosing the one that was more entertaining was fairly easy.

#1 is ….

The Rhythm Section ⭐️⭐️⭐️½ 

Starring Blake Lively in a number of different wigs, hairstyles, hair colors, makeup and outfits and training to be a modern day spy.

Blake Lively flexes her muscles in The Rhythm Section

This isn’t your average revenge spy flick. A fair amount of time and effort is spent training an every day regular woman into a spy killing machine. Some might think the transition is too fast, others might enjoy the effort and spotlight into explaining how and why this tortured woman could and would become a spy. We are in the latter camp.

From the creative team at Eon, behind the James Bond films and an adaptation of a novel series by Mark Burnell. The screenplay was written by the author. Haven’t read the book, so the review doesn’t evaluate the merits of the adaptation.

Blake Lively on how she prepared for each day on the set to film The Rhythm Section

Some of the early critic and audience reviews are not as positive on this movie as both Kara and I in our review and rating. This is one of those “depends on what you genre you are expecting” movies that is best evaluated as a drama-thriller instead of a spy action movie. It’s not a very good action movie, but it’s a much better drama-thriller. You can tell Blake Lively is giving everything to this script. She gave so much to her performance that she had a serious hand injury that shut down and delayed filming for months. The video above details her daily grind for 8 months to make this film.

So, if you go to see this, try and think of it as a drama-thriller for the optimal viewing experience. Blake Lively is very good in this film, but since it was a dump month film, it will probably be forgotten as the year goes on. Too bad, it doesn’t deserve that sort of apathy.

Gretel and Hansel⭐️½ 

Why was this made? I’m tempted to start a list of remakes/reboots/adaptations that should never have been made. Gretel and Hansel doesn’t deserve a feature film treatment, but could have been an awesome short in an anthology horror show.

Gretel & Hansel tells a very familiar Grimm fairy tale

Just too long. There is a good deal of effort put into establishing a dark, foreboding atmosphere which I appreciated, but it becomes painfully aware that the story is unnecessarily padded. This is one of those horror tales that works better as a quick and nasty bite, not some long, slow bloodletting.

Want to see what else we recommend NOW PLAYING at the theater?

Here are other movies we’ve seen at the theaters recently and liked (maybe they are available in your area still) that are recommended. Any movie rated at least 3-stars is recommended. You should read any 3-star review (click the title), because sometimes we do qualify those recommendations, meaning we were entertained, but it doesn’t mean that the film was that good.

4-star movies are highly recommended and films rated as 4 1/2 or 5 stars are must see.

  1. 1917 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½ 
  2. Little Women ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  3. Uncut Gems ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  4. Frozen II ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  5. Bad Boys For Life ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  6. The Last Full Measure ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  7. Bombshell ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  8. Like A Boss ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  9. Doolittle ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Happy movie watching to you!

NOW PLAYING REVIEWS: The Gentlemen, The Turning, The Last Measure

It’s the week of “The” titled movies for #4 of 2020 (1/23-1/26/2020), so which one is the best?

This week features three very different films: a drug kingpin is cashing out, a young woman caring for two children in a haunted house and a fight for a soldier to be awarded a prestigious medal many years later.

#1 goes to ….

The Last Full Measure ⭐️⭐️⭐️

This tale of the at first reluctant and later committed Pentagon staffer fighting to have the Medal of Honor awarded to hero William Pitsenbarger, an enlisted Air Force Pararescueman.

The Last Full Measure has gripping source material that will both frustrate and make proud

The Gentlemen ⭐️

After reading other reviews and according to several others, Guy Ritchie is returning to the style of his earlier films Lock, Stock and Smoking Barrels and Snatch, two films I’ve not seen. I didn’t find the style of this one to very entertaining. It’s a lot of grandstanding talk from drug thugs, none of the characters of which I found to be very endearing or likable interspersed with violent deaths. Seemed to me more like an attempt to do something like Quentin Tarantino did with Pulp Fiction, only not remotely as skilled.

This is one film where I’ve rated it lower than others — much lower in some cases — as it has pretty good reviews overall. Sticking by our rating and review as neither Kara or I enjoyed it, but you definitely should read other reviews and have an open mind to this film, despite our review. It might be that you like the style of this film. That’s the defining factor here, if you don’t dig how it flows, the rest of it blows.

The Turning ½ 

This isn’t quite Cats level terrible, but for horror films, this is among the absolute horror films I’ve ever seen. Poorly paced, scripted, directed and acted (probably in part due to such ghastly material to work from) with a plot that is so cliche-ridden it’s more stupid than spooky and among the worst endings of any film ever made in any genre.

A total hatchet job of a film that not only doesn’t deserve watching, it participates to the flawed notion that the horror genre is trashy and devoid of substance and quality. The Grudge⭐️⭐️ sucks too this month, but is an amazing film compared to this cinematic sludge.

Suffer the “The” title films

The weekend of “The” films turned out mostly whimpers and thuds. None of the films above were breakout entertainment, with only the true story that The Last Full Measure being noteworthy. This came disturbingly close to three no recommended votes.

Can’t wait for January 2020 to get over because it hasn’t been a very good month for new movies at the theater. Yes, we’ve had a couple OK to average films, but this month is holding the line for the dump month stigma of every January. The only film so far I can say I actually loved seeing was 1917 and I’m not considering that a January 2020 effort, it was technically released in 2019.

Want to see what else we recommend NOW PLAYING at the theater?

This is my favorite part of this week’s NOW PLAYING post: recommending other movies you can see instead of the newest films.

Here are other movies we’ve seen at the theaters recently and liked (maybe they are available in your area still) that are recommended. Any movie rated at least 3-stars is recommended. You should read any 3-star review (click the title), because sometimes we do qualify those recommendations, meaning we were entertained, but it doesn’t mean that the film was that good.

4-star movies are highly recommended and films rated as 4 1/2 or 5 stars are must see.

  1. 1917 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½ 
  2. Little Women ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  3. Uncut Gems ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  4. Frozen II ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  5. Bad Boys For Life ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  6. The Last Full Measure ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  7. Bombshell ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  8. Like A Boss ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  9. Doolittle ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Happy movie watching!

NOW PLAYING REVIEWS: Doolittle, Bad Boys For Life

Week #3 (1/17-1/19/2020) for wide opening films at the theater and time for me to pick the wide opening movie of the week to recommend.

On one hand we’ve got talking animals and a children’s classic for soft reboot live action vs. the third movie in a buddy cop series starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence back together again. Neither film is earth shaking good, let me get that out of the way right now before picking …

#1 … goes to …

Bad Boys For Life ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Not too much suspense, as the title graphic is a giveaway, but sometimes I play around and put up a different title graphic than the top wide release film of the week.

This film is simply more fun than Doolittle. It’s also a little better than the second film in the series, which, like the original, was also directed by Michael Bay. There wasn’t enough in the budget for all three to return for this film, so famous action frenzy director Bay was not chaired. The new directors are the team of Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah. Don’t know who these people are, but they did a competent job for the franchise and made another entertaining Bad Boys film.

No, it’s nothing groundbreaking and you can watch my just left the theater review and read the starred review (just click the title) for more specific thoughts, but it is entertaining enough to take this week’s watched in the theater #1 crown. And, more importantly, it joins the list of recommended movies to watch.

This brings us to the other wide opening film this week:

Doolittle ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Honestly, I had mixed emotions going into this one. I’d seen the low star rating reviews and some very unflattering and negative headlines for reviews. Here is a video that explains my thoughts going into this film and similar films where the early critics have panned the film.

Now here is my actual review of the film after watching it.

This apprehension before viewing and then relief afterwards is similar to my feelings regarding Little Women, although that movie was worlds better than both of these (that was one of my top 5 favorite films of 2019).

I don’t make a habit of doing both on the way to theater videos to accompany the just left the theaters that have been done for every wide opening film (and a few that weren’t even wide screenings) since Lion King (2019) on October 5, 2019. The times I do shoot videos on the way to theaters are when there is something else noteworthy about the moviegoer experience prior to seeing the film.

In the case of Doolittle, it’s seeing numerous negative critic reviews. The audience reviews so far, however, at Rotten Tomatoes are more positive. This remains one of my early telling barometers for how likely I’ll be entertained by a movie. No offense to the critics pool, but they haven’t been as accurate a gauge to my movie tastes.

Again, neither of these films are rewatchable to me and my recommendation is selective, at best. Those who like the Bad Boys franchise will likely be interested in the new movie and animal lovers will at least be entertained by Doolittle.

Both are toward the bottom of the movies playing in theaters that I’d recommend seeing. Go see 1917 or Little Women if you haven’t seen those yet. Much, much, much better movies.

Want to see what else we recommend NOW PLAYING at the theater?

Here are other movies we’ve seen at the theater recently (maybe they are available in your area still) that are recommended. Any movie rated at least 3-stars is recommended. You should read any 3-star review (click the title), because sometimes we do qualify those recommendations, meaning we were entertained, but it doesn’t mean that the film was that good.

4-star movies are highly recommended and films we rate as 4 1/2 or 5 stars are must see.

  1. 1917 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½ 
  2. Ford v Ferrari ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ScreenX
  3. Little Women ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  4. Richard Jewell ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  5. Uncut Gems ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  6. Frozen II ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  7. Bad Boys For Life ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  8. Bombshell ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  9. Like A Boss ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  10. Doolittle ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Happy movie watching!

NOW PLAYING REVIEWS: 1917, Like A Boss, Just Mercy, Underwater

Week #2 – 1/10 to 1/12/2020 – offers four very different genre films to choose from at the theater: war, comedy, legal drama or action-horror:

  • An imaginative directed and amazingly shot war film creates a completely immersive experience
  • An unfunny and yet oddly entertaining comedy,
  • A dramatic fight to save a death row convict against seemingly impenetrable legal odds
  • A murky mess of a film that belongs at the bottom of the ocean.

#1 is …

… easy to pick (because it’s so much better than the others) …

1917 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½ 

1917 is one of the greatest technical marvel films ever shot

Roger Deakins is clearly a genius cinematographer. I defy any moviegoer to watch this film and not come away with at least one “how did they shoot that?” moment. They are using wires to guide the camera hovering over water, panning steadily as they are in almost constant movement.

This film is literally on the move and you feel it. Even thought we don’t get to know that much about the two soldiers with a mission to deliver critical battle instructions, viewers are riveted by the danger and peril of the battlefield. It is a captivating, yet unusual war film. Usually war films show tons of battle scenes involving a bunch of soldiers. Here we are treated to mostly scenes after the battle has taken place. It’s like walking through a gigantic cemetery and it’s very, very unsettling.

This is the definition of a must-see film. I’m calling it my favorite film of 2019, even though I watched it 9 days into 2020. Director Sam Mendes, doesn’t get to have his film cover two different years, although it’s probably one of those rare films that deserves the calendar in his favor. Moviegoers will be talking about this film for awhile. Deservedly.

Like A Boss ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Tiffany Haddish keeps her streak of unfunny comedies going. If you think her over the top yelling, raspy voice is somehow funny — and many people in the theater we watched did — then this movie is recommended.

The almost completely sold out theater laughed many times at Like A Boss — I didn’t even smile

Kara thought this was funny and a “good” film. I keep going back in my review to the story, which was different for a comedy. I can’t remember the last time seeing any movie about a cosmetics store, so points credited for a creative script. It’s just not funny though. I want to laugh at least a little bit in comedies. Others did, I felt like the person in the room that didn’t get the jokes. This is a very, very reluctant recommendation.

Just Mercy⭐️⭐️½

What a segue to a film that should be rated much higher. The source material is great and there are outstanding actors like Jamie Foxx as an innocent death row convict and Michael B. Jordan as his fiercely determined attorney fighting for his freedom.

Alas, the script is mostly boring until the ending. Major props to Foxx and Jordan for trying to squeeze lemonade out of lemon of a script. I wanted to love this film, but in the end, only loved what it could have been if it had a better script, editing and directing.

Underwater ⭐️

Kristen Stewart is as forgettable as the film

There are so many things wrong with this film, where to start? How about the lack of any significant character building? Compare this to other films underwater like Leviathan (Robocop’s Peter Weller and Richard Crenna ) where building a detailed sense of the crew underwater actually matters. This film inexplicably decides we need none of that.

No, instead, let’s burst into the action with an earthquake and an imploding underwater structure that six members of the team must escape.

Then there is the whole logic problem of how on earth are these people walking around on the ocean floor almost seven miles underwater? Do these incredible underwater suits actually exist that can protect a human being from the massive depth pressure? I kept thinking, almost saying aloud, “is this even possible?”

Now, the other big hazard, the gigantic monster. How it can toss around these crew members like rag dolls and not breach their suits every single time is, well, ludicrous. When it is convenient for the tentacled creature to get the people inside the suit it’s easy, but when the plot requires extending the life of a particular character, nope, the creature is unable to breach this magical logic-defying suit.

Where to start with Kristen Stewart? She is all kinds of bad, and not bad as in a good bad way. Just bad bad. She walks around most of the film with this annoying smirk on her face. Is she constipated? Does she not really care about the film (understandable!), in some kind of physical pain (the suit allegedly was painful to be in) and/or just there to collect a paycheck? We rarely see lead characters in a film so completely disinterested and uninspired. Sure, we can blame some of this on an abortive script and mediocre directing, but no actor/actress leaves with this kind of performance unscathed.

This movie is full of more holes than Titanic.

Want to see what else we recommend NOW PLAYING at the theater?

Here are other movies we’ve seen at the theater recently (maybe they are available in your area still) that are recommended. Any movie rated at least 3-stars is recommended. You should read any 3-star review (click the title), because sometimes we do qualify those recommendations, meaning we were entertained, but it doesn’t mean that it was necessarily that good.

4-star movies are highly recommended and films we rate as 4 1/2 or 5 stars are must see.

  1. 1917 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½ 
  2. Ford v Ferrari ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ScreenX
  3. Little Women ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  4. Richard Jewell ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  5. Uncut Gems ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  6. Frozen II ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  7. Bombshell ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  8. Like A Boss ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Happy movie watching!