BILL & Ted FAce The Music (Review)
It’s funny when I think about it. Last year I thought of all the 2020 summer blockbusters I couldn’t wait to see.. Tenet, Mulan, Jungle Cruise, Godzilla Vs Kong, The King’s Man, Bond 25, Black Widow, Top Gun: Maverick, Ghostbusters: Afterlife , Charm City Kings, Promising young woman, Antebellum, legally blonde 3, Run, Spiral, Halloween kills, Fast 9, spongebob 3, candy man, irresistible, soul, in the heights, free guy, morbious, Hitman’s wife’s bodyguard, monster hunter, without remorse, snake eyes, enternals, cut throat city, (my list could literally go on), I would of never believed you if you told me not only I wouldn’t be able to go to the movies again after seeing “Bloodshot” and “The Hunt” but the only new theatrical movies from 2020 I would see would be “Trolls: World Tour”, “Scoob” and “The Tax Collector”, I probably wouldn’t have believed you.. but here we are with 4 months of left of 2020 and I’m up to my 4th newly released film all year.
Now I have been anticipating “Bill & Ted face the music” ever since I heard they were in development of this film. I loved these movies as a kid, I watch these teens get to become a “teenwolf”, get “licensed to drive”, go “back to the future”, get “gremlins”, visit hogwarts & have excellent adventures while all we got to do was be “boyz n the hood” be a “menace to society” & search our “roots”. I didn’t realize how much of an impact that made on me growing up until looking at the screenplays I write now that are basically black genre pictures (just wait to y’all see my brand of urban sci fi comedy/action adventures or my horror or fantasy films). I would of never expected this would be the only film of summer 2020 I would get to see but I’m so grateful that it exists! I’ve been going to drive ins lately to see movies I already own on DVD and digital so it’s great to see something new that’s not a Netflix original. I love sequels to movies that’s as old as me. I loved the force awakens. I loved Jay and Silent Bob reboot, still waiting on Coming 2 America this holiday (if corona doesn’t push it back) so to say how I excited I was about Bill and Ted 3 is an understatement.
Now I’m a big fan of the original “Bill and Ted excellent adventure”, not so much of “Bogus Journey” but I still have the VHS (to me, that film was too dark with the killer robots from the future sending Bill & Ted to hell compared to the light time travel film the first one was). The film isn’t a cinematic masterpiece and isn’t that great of a comedy but it’s a fun light adventure that entertained me as a kid and holds a special place in my heart. I didn’t play the games, watch the show, read the comics or anything but the nostalgia factor is heavy for me. I couldn’t wait to see what happened to Bill & Ted 25 years since we last seen em, especially since now we’re all adults (even though I’m still 20 years younger than the characters).
As soon as the film starts we get an update on what has happened since the last film and immediately we see Bill and Ted hasn’t changed at all since the last film. I couldn’t stop myself from smiling and laughing seeing Kneau Reeves and Bill Winter resume these roles like they never stopped portraying these characters. They continued exactly where they left off and it feels like seeing old friends again. It was also great to see a few of the returning cast from the previous films. It sucks not everyone returned (and I get it, you got to cast popular faces for marketing reasons but the nostalgia factor plays a huge part in these sequels for me) but it’s great to see the return of Missy, Ted’s dad and even the grim reaper himself (plus there's a George Carlin cameo)! As for the new cast, I love the fact Bill and Ted are girl dads but thought it was kinda of weird they had the girls act the exact same way their fathers were (well, still are) but it didn’t push me away from enjoying the film.
I love the issue Bill and Ted have in this film is the fact they still didn’t reach their destiny yet. A lot of us after we leave high school don’t achieve what we planned as soon as we join the workforce, graduate college or return from the military. I feel like that’s a problem everyone can relate to. Being the exact person you were years ago and not reaching your full potential is a great way to start the hero’s journey myth but using the logic for the last two films, why not go back in time (in the future) and drop off the music that will unite the world and when they get to the present when the originally wrote the song, they bring it back to the past instead of stealing it from their future selves, the future Bill and Ted would just give it to themselves in the past.. but then again, that would make the movie only 20 mins long.
Now this film doesn’t touch new ground like they did with the first two film (with excellent adventure being a time travel film and bogus journey about the afterlife) but instead they rehash the time travel and killer robot from the future plot, taking a page from the force awakens book by having their children try and rescue our heroes by time traveling and eventually, ending up in the afterlife in the process of saving their dads. Basically passing the torch.
I haven’t seen much of the director’s Dean Parisot work other than Home fries and Galaxy Quest, two films from my childhood that I’m still very fond of (and Galaxy Quest is to blame for my love of Star Trek) so I’m not surprise Dean can direct a great modern science fiction comedy adventure film like this. In my opinion, this is the best directed Bill & Ted film. Definitely the funniest out of the three. Now the ending was definitely on the worst end of what was the conclusion of “Terminator: Dark Fate” but unlike the terminator movie, this film didn’t kill Bill and Ted but instead allow them to play a crucial part of what ended up being their children’s destiny and I loved that. I am jealous of the end credit sequence cause I saw when they were requesting people to send in video clips... I could of been apart of that .. but hey, at least I got to see the movie. Definitely stick around for after the credits tho but I gave the film a 10 out of 10. To me, this film is the best one of the “Bill and Ted” franchise.
PROJECT Power (Review)
Who would of thought in the year 2020, all of our summer blockbusters would be on streaming services? Earlier we had (what usually would be huge Hollywood blockbuster to see in theaters) “Underground 6”, “Extraction” , The Old Guard” and now “Project Power”.
Jamie foxx stars as a former soldier teams up with a drug dealer and a cop (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) to find the source behind a dangerous pill that provides temporary superpowers for five minutes. The film is directed by Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost, produced by Eric Newman and Bryan Unkeless, and written by Mattson Tomlin. It stars also stars Dominique Fishback, alongside Colson Baker, Rodrigo Santoro, Amy Landecker and Allen Maldonado.
This film is somewhere between the film “Limitless” and the comic book series “The Boys”. While I did enjoy the film, I found the movie to be lacking in certain areas. There was a lot of things in the script I think was missing that could of made the film feel whole. It wasted a lot of opportunities. I love Jospeh Gordan Levitt and I peep that’s why they cast him as the lovable cop who takes illegall drugs, who quotes Clint Eastwood and goes beyond the badge to catch a criminal.. y’all know cops in real life are going to walk away with something else.
One huge missed opportunity is with Jamie Foxx who people tend to forget is a comedian!! There was a scene when Dominique Fishback had asked Jamie was was his power. They could of made a whole comedic scene where he tells her he has a power of a shrimp and she could of clown him the whole time and in the end when they reveal his powers, it would of been a twist which shrimp power he had. Overall, I love Project Power . Would of loved to seen it in theaters (definitely a summer blockbuster) but they definitely missed a lot of opportunities to tackle things such as the effect hurricane Katrina had on people in New Orleans and crooked police. I dig the film theme though. Find your power.
Hollywood is show business. It’s not about making art, it’s about marketing. It’s show business, not show art. It’s about making a product. Films like Cinema Paradiso is a work of art. Some filmmakers are artists and they create art. Others just make movies. Fast and the furious is one of those movies. It’s just a product. Another promotion for toys, t shirts and convention tickets. Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (also known simply as Hobbs & Shaw) is a 2019 American action film directed by David Leitch and written by Chris Morgan and Drew Pearce, from a story by Morgan. It is a spin-off of The Fast and the Furious franchise centered around the titular Luke Hobbs and Deckard Shaw, characters introduced in the main series. Starring Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham as Hobbs and Shaw respectively, the film follows the unlikely allies who are forced to team up against a greater threat who is threatening the world with a deadly virus. Idris Elba, Vanessa Kirby, and Helen Mirren also star.
Fast and the furious is like a major name brand like band-aid where Hobbs and Shaw feels like a generic store brand like wallgreen bandages. This film doesn’t do any justice for the original films of the franchise, it feels like it’s own thing. It feels disconnected and making up rules (and siblings) as they go along. It relies too much on jokes and switches the original genre to become a sci fi action comedy and triggers our nostalgia by showing us shots of nitro and flashing fast and the furious in the title but this film is no fast and the furious.
The visual effects and action was fun but nothing breathtaking. My biggest issue with the direction is that it didn’t know when not to be epic. So many unnecessary climactic shots! The direction seems like the director doesn’t understand film vocabulary. I hate it when I see it in amateur films like “I got the hook up 2” and I hate in in big budget Hollywood summer blockbusters! What supposed to be simple close up are these wide Spielberg/Micheal Bay style shots which usually means something amazing is happening (like when the scientists see the dinosaurs for the first time in Jurassic park or someone sees a transformer in person for the first time) but these shots happen while the characters just stand around explaining the plot.
This feels like the fast and furious amusement park ride at universal studios. It’s a straight to streaming spin off sequel. It feels like how high 2. It feels like the straight to dvd sequels to bring it on and honey. I’m going to see it again and try to completely turn my brain off seeing the epic action in imax but this is definitely the weakest fast film in the franchise and I can’t wait for fast 9 to come out and make me forget this was a thing (but oddly enough I want to see more spin off, like tyrese and ludacris get caught up in their own buddy road trip comedy). We’ll see where this franchise goes.
Originally this was going to be titled “3 reasons why Shaft (2019) Sucks” like I did for a previous Samuel L. Jackson movie “The Hitman’s bodyguard” (and other films like “All Eyez on me") but the problem is, the new shaft film doesn’t suck. It’s just not “Shaft”. So instead of saying the film sucks, let’s point out why this film isn’t considered a Shaft film (to me at least). This film is the fifth film in the Shaft film series and a sequel to the 2000 film with the same title, although way more comedic in tone. Unlike its previous film, which was distributed by Paramount Pictures, this film is produced by New Line Cinema & Netflix (who already have it streaming overseas) and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, who own the first three features and the TV series due to its acquisition of the pre-1986 MGM library when it absorbed Turner Entertainment through the Time Warner formation in 1996.
On February 18, 2015, it was announced that New Line Cinema had acquired the rights to Shaft, based on the famous detective character, John Shaft, and would develop a new film within the series along with producer John Davis of Davis Entertainment. On July 28, 2015, it was reported that Kenya Barris and Alex Barnow would be writing the script for the new film, which would also be produced by Ira Napoliello. On January 20, 2017, the studio hired Tim Story to direct the film. On August 18, 2017, Jessie Usher was cast to play the lead role as the son of Samuel L. Jackson's John Shaft II from the 2000 film, while Richard Roundtree and Jackson would reprise their roles from the previous films and in October 2017, Netflix signed a deal with New Line Cinema to cover more than half of the film's $30 million budget in exchange for the rights, which allowed Netflix to release the film on its platform outside of the United States two weeks after the theatrical release in the U.S. Filming began in February 2018. It was reported that the film already wrapped up production in the early part of the year but the cast went back to re-shoot some scenes in Atlanta (which is why Harlem doesn’t look like Harlem in this film) in August 2018. They should of reshot this whole movie because it’s soo inconsistent with the rest of the franchise (films, tv show, comics, the shaft theme song), that this film feels more like a reboot than a sequel to the classic film and it’s modern sequel in 2001. Here are a few reasons why I feel like that.
1)Shaft was not a fuck fest!
Rewatch 2001’s Shaft. How many times did Samuel L. Jackson said the word “motherfucker”? 13 times. In total. In the new film, within the first 5 minutes, not only did they surpass the number.. everyone is screaming “fuck”, “motherfucker”, etc. The franchise always been rated R and it’s basically have become Samuel’s thing to say fuck a lot in his films but I feel like this film took it a bit too far! When Samuel used to say motherfucker in his films, it was like poetry. This film on the other hand is mumble rap. I don’t mind cursing in film but shaft isn’t Samuel L Jackson. Samuel may play Shaft but shaft isn’t Samuel. I felt like I was watching a Wayan’s brother parody of Shaft. Like a “low down dirty shame part 2”. Speaking of comedy, that brings me to my next point.
2)Shaft ISN'T a comedy!
The original films are neo-noir action crime movies with the 2001 version kinda going the thriller route. This new film however is a generic action comedy (think of films like “Ride along”). Shaft and the rest of the cast are cracking jokes every 5 minutes. Everyone is a comedian! You can have funny moments without making the whole film a comedy. Look back at the last shaft. Scenes like Busta Rhymes talking to the press when he’s supposed to be driving off in the limo or the fat guy eating donuts who’s wants to become a cop, the last film had a perfect balance of drama, suspense and comedy. This new film only kept the comedy.
By October 2016, discussions had begun for a sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming, with a release date given to the film before the end of the year. Holland was confirmed to return in July 2017, with Watts and the writers also confirmed to return by the end of that year. In 2018, Jackson and Gyllenhaal joined the cast as Fury and Mysterio, respectively. Holland revealed the sequel's title ahead of filming, which began in July 2018 and took place in England, the Czech Republic, Italy, and the New York metropolitan area. Production wrapped in October 2018. The film's marketing campaign attempted to avoid revealing spoilers for Avengers: Endgame prior to its April 2019 release. Spider-Man: Far From Home premiered in Hollywood on June 26, 2019, and was theatrically released in the United States on July 2, 2019, in 3D and IMAX. The film was positively reviewed, with critics calling it a "fun and satisfying sequel" and praised the performances of the cast, particularly Holland and Gyllenhaal. It has grossed $110 million worldwide. The movie has only been out in New York for 2 hours and it’s already making millions. This is actually the first time I ever seen a movie released on a Monday. It’s a work night! I got to be at work in 9 hours but I had to see the latest spider man adventure before going to bed.
I really enjoyed this film. I could go ahead with the cliche “the actors did a great job”, “the visual effects were amazing”, bla bla bla.. but what really amazed me is how emotionally invested I was in the film knowing who the villain was before Peter Parker/Spider-Man did. Any fan of the comics or TV shows know who the villain of this film is, even though the trailer tries to misdirect you but even though you know who the villain is, you’re at the edge of the seat screaming at Peter to stop what he’s doing (but of course he can’t hear you). I literally punched a wall watching Peter doing something really stupid in the second act (I don’t want to spoil it for you). Now my only complaint is that this film villain storyline feels a bit copied from “The incredibles” but they do make it work, connecting the film to Avengers: Infinity War/End Game and goes back all the way to Iron man 1 and 3 (and even “Captain Marvel” if you stay for the end credits). This film is a perfect epilogue to the long ass book that was the MCU.
Defiantly a must see for any marvel or Spiderman fan. If you haven’t seen any Spiderman films, you can enjoy it but this film is really fan service. Fan service for the ones who love the Mysterio character, those who want to see Peter tell MJ how he really feels, how soon does she find out that he’s Spiderman (Look at the old films with Tobey McGuire and see how long it took MJ to find out before and you’ll get your answer), does he every accepts the responsibility that comes with his great power? Funny enough its the same stuff over and over again if you read the comics and watch the show, just told in a different medium but hey, I love it. 10 out of 10.
Child's Play (2019) Review
Last Saturday, I went to the movies for a triple feature and for the second movie of the day, I saw "Child's play" (the 2019 movie) and it is a lot more entertaining than I thought it would be. Child's Play is a 2019 American slasher film directed by Lars Klevberg and written by Tyler Burton Smith. It serves as a remake and reboot of the 1988 film of the same title, following a family that is terrorized by a high-tech doll that rejects its programming and becomes self-aware. The film stars Gabriel Bateman, Aubrey Plaza and Brian Tyree Henry, with Mark Hamill as the voice of Chucky. I wanted to see this film knowing there’s basically two different Chucky franchises now.
In February 2018, it was announced that a television series is in development with involvement from franchise creator Don Mancini, and producer David Kirschner. The show will share continuity with the original film series, and be a continuation of that story. Mancini stated that besides the TV series, feature films will still continue to be developed. By June of the same year, it was confirmed that Brad Dourif would return for the 8-part series to voice Charles Lee "Chucky" Ray. The film was officially announced in July 2018, developing at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer without the involvement of franchise creator Don Mancini or Brad Dourif. Lars Klevberg and writer Tyler Burton Smith signed on as director and screenwriter, respectively, alongside It producers Seth Grahame-Smith and David Katzenberg.
It’s not as scary as the original but it’s definitely a modern take on the original story. Chucky is more like amazon Alexa. It’s more of a bloody Techno thriller than the supernatural horror the original was, I don’t hate it tho. I just think it could of benefited better if it was its own thing instead of riding the coattails of the Chucky franchise. I enjoyed it tho. It’s an interesting take on the film. Imagine if amazon Alexa had arm and legs and went crazy, that’s the new Child’s play film... I enjoyed it a lot! Great script. Great cast (especially Brian Tyree Henry who kills this role). Might be one of my favorite remakes.
The film has stranger thing/The goonies meets iRobot, Eagle Eye & small soldier vibes and I’m really stuck between a rock and a hard place. Someone asked me if I had to pick between the classic Chucky/Child's play movie and the new one, which one do I prefer and I couldn’t give a proper answer. It’s not the same movie. It’s two different movies to be exact. One film is about a serial killer possessed doll who’s try to get back into his body (and later, the body of the child he first told his secret to) where the new film is about a defective home assistant/doll (similar to smart devices like Alexa and the new smart technology Barbie dolls) that goes iRobot on his owner. I enjoy the original story line but I enjoy the new story as well. One of the guys in the “half in the bag” movie review series called this film a cover, in the way musicians cover songs by other musicians and I actually like that way of describing the film. It’s a cover. A remix. A reimagining.
Definitely not a remake. Now I do want to see where the “Chucky” franchise is going with the new tv show and movies in the original universe. Curse/Cult of Chucky still lives up to Bride of Chucky (but I wouldn’t consider them my favorite in the series) but I’m equally excited to see what they will do with the child's play universe. I just wish it wasn’t the Chucky character they used in the new movie. It could of been any other good guy doll! Could of even been from the same manufacturer but of course, people won’t go to the theaters unless they recognize the “brand”/IP. If I have to pick l, I love the new one. It’s probably my favorite but it’s hallow when it comes to the personality of the killer Charles Ray. The new doll is a baby robot who learns to kill. Sometimes cute but creepy when it “shows it’s loyalty”. Charles Ray was a wise cracking asshole who could make you laugh after witnessing a brutal murder. Love the update but the classics can never be replaced.
Black and Blue (trailer)
One of the films I’m excited to see is the upcoming "Black and Blue" movie directed by Deon Taylor (who is becoming one of my favorite film directors). Now I didn’t like Meet the blacks (which he already shot the sequel) and though I like the plot of supremacy, I didn’t like the ending but every film Deon has done since then has been an improvement. Traffik was really good (I feel like it had a horrible trailer tho) and The Intruder was even better! I have a feeling Deon is one of those next directors to watch. His films are great social commentary to the world we live in now and are very entertaining and black and blue doesn’t look any different. @NaomieHarris and @Tyresestar in #BlackAndBlueMovie
Black and Blue is an upcoming American thriller film directed by Deon Taylor, from a screenplay by Peter A. Dowling. It stars Naomie Harris, Tyrese Gibson, Reid Scott, Beau Knapp, Mike Colter and Frank Grillo. It was previously scheduled to be released on September 20, 2019 but is scheduled to be released on October 25, 2019 by Screen Gems. In August 2017, it was announced Screen Gems had acquired the script written by Peter A. Dowling, Sean Sorensen will produce the film under his Royal Viking Entertainment banner. In August 2018, it was announced Deon Taylor would direct the film, Roxanne Avent will serve as an executive producer under her Hidden Empire Film Group banner. In December 2018, Naomie Harris joined the cast of the film. In January 2019, Frank Grillo, Reid Scott, Tyrese Gibson, Beau Knapp, Mike Colter and Nafessa Williams joined the cast of the film. In March 2019, James Moses Black joined the cast of the film. In April 2019, Frankie Smith joined the cast of the film. Principal photography began on January 16, 2019. Production concluded on February 28, 2019.
Hobbs and Shaw (trailer)
I love a good popcorn action flick. Growing up I would sit in my classrooms, day dreaming and writing out trailers and action set pieces/sequences like the ones you see in the fast and furious movies and mission impossible. Matter fact when I produced my first full length feature "New York Shorties" I didn’t look at it as an crime thriller, I saw it as an action comedy (but I quickly learned if you film any action in a low budget street movie, it automatically becomes a hood action comedy).
Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (internationally known as Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw) is an upcoming 2019 American buddy cop action film directed by David Leitch and written by Chris Morgan. It is a spin-off from The Fast and the Furious franchise featuring two characters, Luke Hobbs and Deckard Shaw, in the leading roles. The film will star Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Idris Elba, Vanessa Kirby, and Helen Mirren and is scheduled to be released on August 2, 2019 by Universal Pictures.
Ever since hulking lawman Hobbs (Johnson), a loyal agent of America's Diplomatic Security Service, and lawless outcast Shaw (Statham), a former British military elite operative, first faced off in 2015’s Furious 7, the duo have swapped smack talk and body blows as they’ve tried to take each other down. But when cyber-genetically enhanced anarchist Brixton (Idris Elba) gains control of an insidious bio-threat that could alter humanity forever — and bests a brilliant and fearless rogue MI6 agent (The Crown’s Vanessa Kirby), who just happens to be Shaw’s sister — these two sworn enemies will have to partner up to bring down the only guy who might be badder than themselves.
Granted, they shoot these films with 100s of millions of dollars and my first movie was shot for less than $2k but when I see these big budget movies, I become a big kid in excitement for all the explosions and martial arts. As much as I love my indie dramas that express the directors/writers social commentary & message to the world, I do love these popcorn fast food flicks. Can’t wait to see the rock, Idris elba and Jason statham in Hobbs and Shaw.
The Hustle (2019) Review
You know how every once in a while, a trailer is released and you have no reservations about it? You don’t know if it’s going to be funny, you don’t know if it’s going to suck.. you’re just shrugging your shoulders and thinking “eh, it’s seems alright”... that’s how I felt when I first saw the trailer for “The Hustle”.
The Hustle is a 2019 American comedy film directed by Chris Addison and written by Stanley Shapiro, Paul Henning, Dale Launer, and Jac Schaeffer. It is a female-centered remake of the 1988 film Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, which is itself a remake of the 1964 film Bedtime Story. Now I have not seen either of the original films and I don’t have any problem when they remake a film or reboot a franchise with a female cast.
I went and saw both Oceans 8 and the Ghostbusters reboot.. not better than the original but I don’t hate em . I do think Paul Feig is the worst comedy director working right now and I’ve never laughed at his films and feared ”The Hustle” would be just like his films (as of now “A simple favor” is his best film)so seeing this film was purely out of curiosity.
The film stars Anne Hathaway, Rebel Wilson, Alex Sharp, and Dean Norris, and follows two women who set out to con an internet millionaire. Anne plays Josephine Chesterfield is a glamorous, seductive British woman who has a penchant for defrauding gullible men out of their money. Into her well-ordered, meticulous world comes Penny Rust (Rebel), a cunning and fun-loving Australian woman who lives to swindle unsuspecting marks. Despite their different methods, the two grifters soon join forces for the ultimate score -- a young and naive tech billionaire in the South of France.
I know I’m going to enjoy a movie if they can get me to laugh in the first 15 minutes and even tho at first Anne’s French accent didn’t feel authentic, her performance kept me laughing. Some of Rebel’s jokes were a hit and miss but overall I enjoyed watching both women size each other up and compete for their territory. Now it’s not the best comedy of the year (so far) but it isn’t the worse. My only complaint is the last act. I don’t know how the original films ended but something about this film ending didn’t feel right. Maybe it’s the “I bet I can sleep with him before you do” or the “team up” at the end that threw me off but overall it’s an excellent date movie. The perfect Netflix and chill film. I give it a 7 out of 10. Definitely plan on seeing the original films so I can compare all 3.