Voyagers⭐️⭐️½

Voyagers – PG-13 – 1 hr 48 min
NO SPOILERS Movie Review
Watched in theater Thursday April 8, 2021
AMC Kent Station 14 – Kent, Washington
18th new movie seen in theater in 2021

Earth’s natural resources have been ravaged and is dying, leading to a search for a planet nearby that could sustain human life. A planet if discovered, but it will take 86 years to travel there. A crew of 30 children is groomed, growing into teens by the time the flight takes off. One adult teacher joins the mission which hopes to have these teens grandchildren populate the distant planet, should they arrive.

This is almost entirely a story aboard a ship. Might have made a good play, but it’s a bit weak as a movie. Think Lord of The Flies in space and you kind of have something like what this reproduces.

Tye Sheridan who we last saw in Ready Player One is an actor with seemingly one dramatic expression. I don’t know if it’s wonder or dumfounded but it gets tiring after 30 minutes of this movie. He doesn’t strike me as a leader and unconvincingly plays one here.

The movie isn’t all bad. There are moments which kind of redeem it, like the whole issue of “taking the blue” a drug meant to subdue their inner desires. That was what I thought the movie would be about in the trailer, but that is only part of the tale. Like there would be some grand conspiracy.

Sat on this review for a few days, trying to see what this movie left behind. Like so many new movies we’ve seen since the pandemic begin, there just wasn’t a lot of soul there. Sure, we’ve seen a few good movies here and there. This isn’t one of them.

So, we left the theater, recording our non-spoiler video review and both agreed this movie was … just an OK experience. Not terrible, but not good. The box art teases that this might be a more raunchy space film than it is. Something like a hyper-sexed up Ammonite in space with a bunch of horny teens. Why couldn’t we get those Voyagers? No, not recommended.

Rating (out of 5 stars): ⭐️⭐️½ (Todd) ⭐️⭐️½ (Kara)

Opening 4-9-2021 in Theaters: Voyagers

Thursday, week #15 of 2021 (4/9 – 4/11/2021).

Talk about provocative box art. Not sure what to think from the trailer for this sci-fi film, but I like a good dose of sci-fi now and again. The last sci-fi film we saw in theaters was Chaos Walking, and I liked that one.

Voyagers

A science fiction film starring Tye Sheridan from Ready Player One. Sheridan was good the last time I saw him and haven’t seen him in much else, so good too see him again in this film.

Anticipation: 6/10

Wherever you are watching movies this weekend, happy watching to you

Raya And The Last Dragon⭐️⭐️⭐️

Raya And The Last Dragon – PG-13 – 1 hr 54 min
NO SPOILERS Movie Review
Watched in theater Friday April 2, 2021
AMC Lakewood 12 – Lakewood, Washington
17th new movie seen in theater in 2021

Several kingdoms are protected by a giant gem that was forged by dragons in a pact to keep the water-fearing Druins away from turning people to stone. When the kingdoms can’t agree on who will control the gem, it breaks into five pieces.

Raya’s father casts her into the river to embark on a quest to reunite the kingdoms, piece back together the five gems and summon the final dragon to assist.

We took our grandchildren to see this in the theater, age 6 and 4 and surprisingly (to us anyway) they made it through the entire movie without bailing. This was a first. Apparently, they had seen this at their house several times, so must have been a premium buy through Disney+ for that. They liked it enough to stay with it, and it seemed a little more suited to young girls than boys, but hey, we were excited they watched it all the way through again (for them).

As for us? It was an entertaining movie. The kind that Disney knows how to crank out on an assembly line. It is lacking the music and songs that normally accompany movies like this. There’s like one moment, maybe two, where Raya starts to break into singing something, but it’s not a full song.

So, this becomes a quest movie with the goal pretty clear: try to retrieve all five gems so the dragon can help them reassemble into a single, big gem. This keeps viewers engaged, because we want to see what happens if/when they get all those gem pieces back. Along the way obstacles and conflicts are thrown in their way.

When we talked about the movie, Kara and I felt similarly toward it. Not bad, not amazing, just kind of an average Disney animated movie. Would we have paid $30 for this to see as part of Disney+ premium? Nope. Glad we saw it with our grandchildren. They had a good time.

No, we don’t recommend this, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth seeing. It’s the kind of movie when it finally appears on Disney+ without the $30 fee that you might want to check out. Again, I think younger girls would be more interested in this movie than boys. Adults will not be bored by it, so that’s a win.

Rating (out of 5 stars): ⭐️⭐️⭐️  (Todd) ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (Kara)

Godzilla vs. Kong⭐️⭐️⭐️½

Godzilla vs. Kong – PG-13 – 1 hr 53 min
NO SPOILERS Movie Review
Watched in theater Thursday April 1, 2021
AMC Lakewood 12 – Lakewood, Washington
16th new movie seen in theater in 2021

“Kong bows to no one.” This is one of the early-on quotes for this film and really sets up the giant hairy gorilla forced to be captive in a Truman-like sphere with fake jungle environment surroundings. Meanwhile, Godzilla is out there waiting for him to make an appearance so he can fight him to see who is the #1 Apex monster.

When I was growing up, watching those old Godzilla and Kong movies, I was amazed by how big the monsters were. In a versus movie like this, we want to see some major battling between the two. Eventually, we get this, but it takes a little while in the story.

There is an almost completely unnecessary substory involving a conspiracy theorist with a podcast, an ex-employee of Apex, which is playing the evil big company role and a girl. The only real human story of interest that matters, however, is Kong and the deaf girl that do sign language between each other. Let’s be honest, it’s the monsters facing off, perhaps smashing some giant cities in the process — that’s what we want to see here.

While leaving the movie theater, we talked in more depth about these types of movies. Kara has almost zero interest in these types of films. I make a mistake in our just left the theater calling a mcguffin and Mcguvyer lol, oh well.

What you really want to know is whether or not you should see this in the theater? On the big screen or on streaming? I’m saying no to streaming, but yes to on the big screen. We saw this in 3D but that was basically unused, so you don’t need to worry about 3D, just go see it while it’s in the theater if you can. If you like this type of movie and can get past the first act and into the second act, you’ll likely enjoy it.

However, if you’re like Kara, this not being your type of movie, then skip it. Nothing that new here.

Rating (out of 5 stars): ⭐️⭐️⭐️½  (Todd) NR (Kara)

6 Movies COMING TO THEATERS in April 2021

Theaters/HBO Max: Apr 23

Month #4 in 2021 seems to be looking up with potentially bigger movie releases, the first of which is Godzilla vs. Kong at the end of March/beginning of April leading to Mortal Kombat on April 16, both are from Warner Bros. and following their plan to have movies released in theaters and on HBO Max on the same day.

While the number of new theatrical releases is still very small, it looks like it will be increasing as we head into the summer months. Regal will finally be reopening many of its US theaters again soon, maybe.

On an incidental note, we’ve been seeing more people attending the theater. We’ve made it up to 17 movies seen in theaters in 2021 as of this writing.

For historical reference, we’re including the films originally planned for this month, delays and reschedules dates when available as of this writing.

We’re also including some notable streaming releases, but this list isn’t meant to be all-inclusive. Weekly on Thursdays usually we post a “WHAT TO WATCH THIS WEEKEND” list covering streaming in more depth.

2021 Theater Releases
JAN | FEB | MAR | APR

If you’d like to see an UPDATED list of all movies released in 2021 click here (post will be continually updated throughout 2021).

All April 2021 movie release dates unless otherwise indicated are for the United States, the release dates in other countries can/may/will vary.

APRIL 2021 (6 movies)

  • The Unholy (Apr 2) [LIMITED]
  • French Exit (Apr 2)
  • Voyagers (Apr 9)
  • Mortal Kombat (delayed, moved from Jan 15 to Apr 16, move #2 to Apr 23)
  • Together, Together (Apr 23)
  • The Asset (Apr 23)

    STREAMING PREMIERE
  • Concrete Cowboy – Netflix (Apr 2)
  • Thunder Force – Netflix (Apr 9)
  • Shadow and Bone (Apr 23)
  • Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse – Prime Video (Apr 30)
  • The Mitchells vs. The Machines – Netflix (Apr 30)

    DELAYED/MOVED
    • No Time To Die (delayed, moved from Apr 2 to Oct 8)
    • Nobody (delayed, moved from Feb 19 to April 2, moved UP #2 from Apr 2 to Mar 26)
    • Bob’s Burgers: The Movie (delayed, moved from Apr 9 to “TBA”)
    • Fatherhood (delayed, moved from Apr 2 to Apr 16, move #2 to June 16, 2021 Netflix)
    • BIOS (delayed, move from Apr 16 to Aug 13) Tom Hanks
    • Reminiscence (delayed, moved from Apr 16 to Sep 3)

The Unholy
(Apr 2)
[LIMITED]

French Exit
(Apr 2)

Voyagers
(Apr 9)

Mortal Kombat
(Apr 23)

Together, Together
(Apr 23)

The Asset
(Apr 23)

Which of these movies, if any, are you looking forward to seeing?

Of the list of movies above released or delayed, what are you most looking forward to seeing? Are you going to wait for these movies to come to streaming or venture into theaters? If you’re still in a holding pattern, it’s all good. Let’s chat about it in the comments.

As always, wishing you all happy viewing, whatever you’re watching!

Opening 3-31-2021 in Theaters: Godzilla vs. Kong

Theaters/HBO Max: 3/31/2021

Thursday, week #14 of 2021 (3/31 – 4/4/2021).

This week my most anticipated movie so far of 2021 is coming. It’s already making the rounds on theater screens internationally and doing our best to avoid early spoiler-laden reviews. We’ll have our norml non-spoiler review coverage after seeing on the big screen soon. No, we’re not planning on seeing this on HBO Max.

Am not sure how well the HBO Max deal is working, but for us, it’s pretty much a non-event. We’ve seen two of their releases so far on HBO Max. The first was because there were no theaters open and the second because we had limited interest in seeing it in theaters. We are AMC Stubs A-list members and our preference is to watch new movies in theaters first.

Godzilla vs. Kong

I enjoyed watching all the Godzilla vs. movies when I was younger. Godzilla seemed so big. I’ve started rewatching some of the classic Godzilla movies on HBO Max and a lot of it seems cheesier to me now then all those years ago. Given these movies were made a long time ago and special effects and budgets were tiny compared to what Warner Bros. has available in 2021.

Anticipation: 9/10

Wherever you are watching movies this weekend, happy watching to you

Nobody ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Nobody – PG-13 – 1 hr 52 min
NO SPOILERS Movie Review
Watched in theater Friday March 26, 2021
AMC Lakewood 12 – Kent, Washington
15th new movie seen in theater in 2021

Hutch seems like your typical father going through the motions: work, forgetting to put the garbage out on time and recapture that spark in his marriage when burglars break into their home and he holds back on protecting his property from theft. This brings out a darker side of his professional past on a bus leading to hurting the brother of a Russian singer and crime boss hellbent on revenge against Hutch.

There is a definite Liam Neeson type action film here a la Taken, although the only thing taken is Hutch’s normalcy, replaced by his prior shadowy life as an “auditor” working for the government. The shtick that he’s “nobody” is a curious, but somewhat limp part of the story. It’s too bad we never learn more about his prior life, except that what he did was secret.

From the trailer I thought this might be about his past life seeping into his current one — and while it does, certainly — it seemed like it might be a former job gone wrong. Instead, it’s just a completely random event on a bus that spirals Hutch back into the violent things he did in the past.

Props to Christopher Lloyd’s role as Hutch’s semi-retired father with his own twisted taste of violence. Lloyd skillfully and humorously channels Rutger Hauer in Hobo With A Shotgun (go see that film, BTW). Alas, I wish there had been more of the father-son duo than we got.

Kara and I leaving the theater felt pretty much dead on, pun intended, the same about this movie in our just left the theater video.

Lots of violence and some creative ways to kill people seems to be what (too) many of these new actions movies rely on. It’s not funny seeing a bad guy blown away at close distance with a 12-gauge shotgun and yet people in the theater were laughing. The creative kills reminded me of the ending sequence of Rambo: Last Blood, only it wasn’t with a character like Rambo.

It’s entertaining, sure, but not much more substance or originality to make us think. Oh, and it’s setup for a sequel, if anybody wants one. Not recommended.

Rating (out of 5 stars): ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (Todd) ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (Kara)

Opening 3-25-2021 in Theaters: Nobody

Theaters: 3/25/2021

Thursday, week #13 of 2021 (3/25 – 3/28/2021).

Another movie coming out that has been showing frequently in previews is this week’s wide screening. Love the title.

Nobody

This one has a quiet sort of vicious action charm to it. It seems from the trailer like a man is trying to move on from his former business which was very dangerous and violent. Apparently being a “nobody” isn’t going to be that easy when his new identity is discovered by various bad guys.

This is the kind of role we might have seen a younger Arnold Schwarzenegger in. Kind of a touch of True Lies meets Eraser, but this comparison based of the trailer below might be way off.

Anticipation: 6/10

Wherever you are watching movies this weekend, happy watching to you!

The Courier ⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Courier – PG-13 – 1 hr 52 min
NO SPOILERS Movie Review
Watched in theater Sunday March 21, 2021
AMC Kent Station 14 – Kent, Washington
14th new movie seen in theater in 2021

In the early 60s, Businessman Greyville Wynne (Benedict Cumberbatch) is recruited by MI6 to courier top secret documents from Russia traitor Olen Penkovsky whom he befriends. If the KGB discovers their ruse, it could have deadly consequences. Based on a true story.

Generally, I’m a fan of historical true stories. The early 60s, when JFK was President of the United States was an especially compelling period of time. You could pick at least a half dozen different stories as juicy material. The lesser known ones, like this story, at least to us make good fodder for a movie.

There was good tension in the early part of the film, setting up how dangerous it could be if the KGB discovered they were spies, but it takes a long time to get to any payoff on this threat. The KGB is never realized as anything more than a shadowy police presence. We don’t get to know any real KGB characters, other than very generic bad guy sketches. This ruins some of the suspense because we don’t get a good sense of who to root against. It’s like saying, the boogeyman is there, he’s in the shadows, he’s watching, but we don’t really get more of a sense than that. Missed opportunity.

Another disappointment is the portrayal of Greville’s wife, Sheila Wynne (Jessica Buckley). Again, she’s setup pretty one-dimensional. She’s a wife thinking her husband is cheating on her — again. Yeah, how many times has that story been told? We don’t really learn any more about her background, motivations, other than to be almost a stereotype. It’s unfortunate because more could have been done here.

The last quarter of the movie everything finally happens. Even though we didn’t know the history, it all seemed predictable. My favorite part was when the movie was over and we found out what really happened to everybody involved. Then we left the theater, recorded the video below and I learned more about the real people involved from Wikipedia.

If you want a more suspense-filled drama dealing with Russia and the Cuban missile crisis, there are several available, including one starring Martin Sheen (look it up!). As a businessman everyman turned into somewhat of an unwitting spy this was interesting enough — mostly due to the subject matter, not the telling of it — if that turns your crank, give it a look, but we can’t recommend.

Rating (out of 5 stars): ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (Todd) ⭐️⭐️½ (Kara)

Opening 3-18-2021 in Theaters: The Courier

Theaters: 3/18/2021

Thursday, week #12 of 2021 (3/18 – 3/21/2021).

Been seeing a lot of previews for this week’s wide release movie, but the biggest release this week is happening on streaming with the long awaited Snyder Cut of Justice League. I’d heard rumors this might be making some kind of limited theatrical run, but don’t see it playing at any of the theaters open in our area. Maybe it will appear on Friday somewhere. We’re going to be beach bound for a couple days, but will sneak in movies when/where we can, if not when we return this weekend.

The Courier

This espionage thriller has an intriguing trailer, see below.

This could be one we really enjoy — or not. I have enjoyed many stories based on true stories. A businessman turning into a spy isn’t as interesting as some other occupations perhaps, but guess it all depends on what type of businessman he turns out to be.

Anticipation: 5/10

Wherever you are watching movies this weekend, happy watching to you!