Friday, July 12, 2019

What to Watch This Weekend: July 12, 2019

In Theaters: Stuber
Stuber is a wild ride from start to finish that has plenty of laughs, ridiculous situations, and interesting commentary on societal norms

See our review here:

From Redbox: Pet Sematary
The remake of the Stephen King classic is a creepy update to the original film.  The remake keep the same, suspenseful story with some updates.  It's not overtly scary, but it has enough suspense and unease to scratch the horror itch.

Streaming (Amazon): East Side Sushi
This movie was previously on streaming but took a haitus.  It was recently added back and it is defintely worth a watch.  The film is a great underdog story about a working-class, single mother, who decides to take a job at a local Japanese restaurant and pursue a dream of becoming a sushi chef. 

Streaming (Netflix): The Hundred Foot Journey
Continuing with the food theme for streaming, the Hundred Foot Journey also tells the story of an unlikely chef who decides to pursue his dreams against all odds.  

See our review here:

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Review: Stuber

Release date: July 12, 2019
Running time: 93 minutes
Starring: Kumail Nanjiani, Dave Bautista, Iko Uwais

STUBER is a new buddy cop-style movie where Kumail Nanjiani--an unsuspecting Uber driver--agrees to give Dave Bautista a ride that leads to the journey of both of their lives.  Along the way there is plenty of humor, action, and some introspective conversations.  Think Collateral, but funny.  I went in thinking that this was going to be a terrible buddy cop movie, but boy was I wrong.  This film is legitimately funny and has a crazy enough ride that you will be enjoying it until you reach your destination.

The first thing you will notice about the movie is the chemistry between Nanjiani and Bautista.  Although they are completely different actors who play very different personas, they have a great back and forth throughout the film.  The charisma between the pair is evident from the start and only grows stronger throughout the journey.  This leads to some very funny interactions, where the cowardly but humorous Nanjiani has some great lines with the serious but courageous Bautista.

And STUBER is not just a one trick pony.  Although the main draw is the comedy and the interactions between the two leads, those interactions lead to some interesting dialogue and viewpoints about our changing times.  Maybe it is just the contrast of the two leads, but this film has some interesting things to say about old school vs. new school masculinity.  Some of this might be improv, some of it might be good writing, but either way it is interesting to watch the two compare and contrast old societal norms vs. current societal norms.  Whether it is the changing nature of technology, the differences in masculinity in our current society, or brute force vs. subtlety, the film is much deeper than I expected or initially gave it credit for.  

STUBER is a wild ride from start to finish that has plenty of laughs, ridiculous situations, and interesting commentary on societal norms.  As with any uber ride, you might start off guarded, but once you start to cruise you might actually enjoy it and leave a five star review.  STUBER is a ride that should not be missed.

Watch it.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

What to Watch This Weekend: July 3, 2019

In Theaters: Spider-Man Far From Home
Spider-Man Far From Home is a welcome change of pace from the gravity of Endgame, with a ton of humor, amazing special effects, and an enjoyable end to this era of the MCU.  Make sure to catch it in theaters and stay for the two stingers!  4th of July Bonus, includes plenty of fireworks!

See our review here:

From Redbox: Captain Marvel
Keeping with the Marvel theme, revisit another recent Marvel movie this weekend with plenty of fireworks, a strong female protagonist, and plenty of fun 90s nostalgia.

See our review here:

Streaming (Amazon): The Spy Who Dumped Me
I was expecting this film to be terrible but ended up really enjoying it.  Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon are a great pair and lead to a ridiculous, but funny caper.

Streaming (Netflix): A Silent Voice
One of the best anime movies I have seen recently, a Silent Voice is a testament to the medium and an amazingly deep film about a boy who tries to redeem his past indiscretions.  It is a beautiful, moving film that should not be missed.  4th of July Bonus, also includes plenty of fireworks scenes!

Screening: GOOD BOYS

In Theaters - August 16, 2019

Cast: Jacob Tremblay, Keith L. Williams, Brady Noon, Molly Gordon, Lil Rel Howery, Will Forte

Director: Gene Stupnitsky

Rating: R

Just how bad can one day get? The creative minds behind SuperbadPineapple Express and Sausage Party take on sixth grade hard in the outrageous comedy, Good Boys.

After being invited to his first kissing party, 12-year-old Max (Room’s Jacob Tremblay) is panicking because he doesn’t know how to kiss. Eager for some pointers, Max and his best friends Thor (Brady Noon, HBO’s Boardwalk Empire) and Lucas (Keith L. Williams, Fox’s The Last Man On Earth) decide to use Max’s dad’s drone – which Max is forbidden to touch – to spy (they think) on a teenage couple making out next door.

But when things go ridiculously wrong, the drone is destroyed. Desperate to replace it before Max’s dad (Will Forte, The Last Man on Earth) gets home, the boys skip school and set off on an odyssey of epically bad decisions involving some accidentally stolen drugs, frat-house paintball, and running from both the cops and terrifying teenage girls (Life of the Party’s Molly Gordon and Ocean’s Eight’s Midori Francis).

From Point Grey producers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, the writers of SuperbadPineapple Express and Sausage Party, and James Weaver (Neighbors), Good Boys, from Universal Pictures and Good Universe, is written by the team of Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky (NBC’s The OfficeBad Teacher). Eisenberg also produces and Stupnitsky directs.

Screening Details:

Wednesday, July 10
Regal Majestic

How to Enter:

If you would like to enter for an admit-two pass, please send an email to watchorpass [at] gmail with the subject "GOOD BOYS SCREENING", and in the body include your name, email address, and the answer to the following question:  What is the craziest (legal) thing you did as a kid?

Be sure to Like and Follow Watch or Pass and share with your friends!

As always, screenings are first-come, first-served so please arrive early to ensure you get a seat.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Review: Spider-Man Far From Home

Release date: July 2, 2019
Running time: 129 minutes
Starring: Tom Holland, Zendaya, Jake Gyllenhaal

Spider-Man Far From Home is the latest marvel cinematic universe movie, however this one is from Sony, not Disney.  Thankfully, since this is still in the MCU, there is plenty of overlap with the main MCU threads.  Several well known Marvel characters make appearances, and the events of Endgame are referenced heavily in Far From Home.  It is definitely a continuation of the overall story and the is the movie that closes out this era of the MCU.  

However, unlike Endgame's rather serious tone (which makes sense given the gravity of what was occurring in that film), Far From Home keeps Spider-Man's lighter atmosphere and humor.  Although Spider-Man's situation is dire, he never misses the chance to crack a joke, and many of the situations he gets into in this film will make you laugh out loud.  Unfortunately, the addition of two comedic characters (Martin Starr and J.B. Smoove) do not add much to the overall comedy.  Although the film doesn't need them to fully flex their comedic chops as there is already plenty of humor, it still feels like a missed opportunity to really let those comedians shine.

Like every Marvel movie, there is plenty of over-the-top action and special effects that really pop on the big screen.  The visuals in this film go all out, with some truly amazing action sequences that both devastate cities and bend reality.  And despite the heavy use of CG in this film, the purely CG scenes don't distract you from enjoying the film, unlike other recent Marvel movies (cough, Captain Marvel, cough).  Accompanying the visuals is some truly rattling sound that feels right at home in a big summer blockbuster.

One thing that I have always appreciated about Tom Holland's Spider-Man is that he really feels like a kid trying to fill some very big shoes.  Far From Home continues this theme with Spider-Man forced to choose between the normal life he wants and the super hero responsibilities that he has been given by the events of Endgame.  His character feels conflicted and forced to grow up too quickly, and should be something that many movie goers can relate to (though not at the scale of Spider-Man).  And Holland is just a likable character who really seems to understand what makes Spider-Man special.  His addition to the MCU was brilliant and he does not disappoint in his latest caper.  Holland is joined by an equally impressive supporting cast, highlighted by Jake Gyllenhaal's portrayal of Mysterio.  

The film feels like a super hero Eurotrip, with Holland and crew visiting many different European locales that keep the film fresh and moving along.  It really is fun to see the different venues and especially to watch the action in famous European cities.  Far From Home is just an enjoyable movie from start to finish and a worthy palate cleanse to the seriousness of Marvel's last film.  

Spider-Man Far From Home is a welcome change of pace from the gravity of Endgame, with a ton of humor, amazing special effects, and an enjoyable end to this era of the MCU.  This is one summer trip you won't want to miss!

Watch it.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

What to Watch This Weekend: June 28, 2019

In Theaters: Toy Story 4
Pixar magic is at it again with a film that revisits our classic friends while introducing new ones. It took the impossible task of following up on the third film, and went to infinity and beyond.

From Redbox: Us
Jordan Peele's creepy sophomore effort won't be for everyone, but those that give it a try will find a suspenseful horror film that focuses on psychological horror and less on gore.

Streaming (Amazon): Gattaca
One of my favorite movies of all time was recently added back to Amazon Prime.  You probably have already seen it, but if not it is a movie about a man who pushes himself to be greater than what anyone thought he could be.  It is a sci-fi film that was ahead of its time when it was released and is still relevant today.  Also, the film doesn't rely heavily on CG, which allows it to hold up even 22 years after it was released.  

Streaming (HBO): Love, Simon
The heartfelt and heart warming coming of age story of a young teenager struggling with his own feelings while trying to maintain the status quo in his final year of high school.  This film leaves HBO at the end of this month so if you haven't seen it (or wanted to watch it again), make sure to check it out!

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Review: Annabelle Comes Home

Release date: June 26, 2019
Running time: 106 minutes
Starring: Vera Farmiga, Mckenna Grace, Patrick Wilson 

Annabelle Comes Home is the latest movie in the long-running (potentially too long running) Conjuring Cinematic Universe.  The movie is loosely tied into previous movies in the world, with the creepy doll Annabelle making a major (though not as major as I would have expected) appearance.  The movie ties into the lives of ghost hunters Lorraine and Ed Warren, though this movie deals more with their daughter Judy.  

If you've seen any of the movies in this universe, you'll know that these filmmakers are masters of suspense.  There are times when you are on the edge of your seat, waiting for the jump scare to happen or the creepy scene everyone knows is coming to finally unfold.  The filmmakers are also masters of light and dark, with shadows moving just outside your periphery and objects in the dark shifting to build up tension or outright scare the audience.  

Unfortunately, this is about all the praise I can give this movie.  Even the excellent filmaking is marred by poor special effects at times that really draw you out of the film.  And it pains me to say it, because the Conjuring is probably my favorite horror movie of all time, but this film just doesn't meaningfully advance the story of this series.  The main characters of Lorraine and Ed are barely featured, with the film focusing almost exclusively on their daughter and a host of teenage newcomers to the story.  They do an admirable job, but they just don't have the pull of the main characters we have grown to love.  

The story itself is all over the place, with a host of new ghosts and haunts introduced with little backstory and not enough of a cameo to really grab the audience.  It seems like each main character has to deal with one main ghost, but it jumps around too much to effectively pull you into the conflict.  And the problem with all these additional ghosts is that very little time is spent on Annabelle.  In this film, she is simply a malevolent spirit that relies on goon ghosts, not a main antagonist that must be conquered.  This movie should have really been called Annabelle and Friends, not Annabelle Comes Home.  Or even, Annabelle, and the other characters you care about, Make Quick Cameos At Home.  I’m guessing that this is the studio attempting to bless a few new characters to then go off and have their own spin off origins movies a la the Nun.

Annabelle Comes Home just feels like a movie that didn't need to be made.  It doesn't meaningfully advance the story of the Conjuring Cinematic Universe, it barely features the main Conjuring characters, and it introduces a host of new ghosts that don't have enough backstory to really grab you.  Annabelle Comes Home to little fanfare and a disappointingly disjointed Conjuring film.

Don't see it.