Movie Review

An episode dedicated to the review of a single movie.

Review: Triple Frontier (Carson’s View)

Triple Frontier (I still don’t understand the title) is a military-style heist movie with an impressive cast.  Reminds me of the 1999 Gulf War film Three Kings with George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg and Ice Cube.  A group of soldiers decide that stealing from bad guys isn’t really stealing.  That they should be paid for their time served and their sacrifices from the millions of dollars that their enemies have socked away. While Three Kings is an action-adventure with comedy movie, Triple Frontier is more of a drama with some action sprinkled throughout.

Triple Frontier has a good set up and general direction from the start.  We are introduced to Charlie Hunnam, Oscar Isaac, and Ben Affleck in their lives after their military careers have ended.  Then Oscar has a plan.  A plan to set them all up for life.  When you listen to how they rationalize their involvement in the heist, it is hard to believe that this type of thing doesn’t happen often in real life.  Men with a particular set of skills, who have a network of informants and contacts, who feel cast aside by society choose to go hunt down bad guys and take their money. Makes perfect sense to me.

It is during the second half that Triple Frontier started to unravel.  Questionable decisions are made by both the characters in the movie and by the writers who wrote it.  Triple Frontier more than most movies in the genre, could have greatly benefited by Netflix new gimmick of Choose Your Own Adventure.  Almost exactly 1 hour into the movie, you should get three options of what the crew should do.  Do you continue down the path of poor choices that we saw in the movie or do you make a different decision and make this one of the best movies of the year?  The choice is yours!

Even with it’s flaws, Triple Frontier is a big step forward for Netflix movies.  Big names, big budget, solid directing. I am looking forward to where they go from here.

Review: Triple Frontier (Garrett’s View)

A slight misfire but doesn’t totally miss its target.

Episode 83: Captain Marvel

Garrett and Carson are flerken excited to talk about Captain Marvel.

Episode 82: Dawn of the Dead (2004)

Garrett and Carson take a bite out of Dawn of the Dead.

Review: Paddleton (Garrett’s View)

Brutally honest and bittersweet, yet satisfying.

Review: Happy Death Day 2U (Carson’s View)

Happy Death Day 2U picks up right where Happy Death Day leaves off… Finally Day 2!  If you have not seen the first Happy Death Day, it is a slasher movie that is caught in a time-loop (think Groundhog Day but with a murderer).  A baby-masked killer murders college student Tree Gelbman, and she continually wakes up at the beginning of the day she died. Over and over she is killed and starts the same day again until she can unmask the killer and survive the day.  Fantastic concept for a horror movie; poor execution.  The sequel had the chance to take this concept into so many different directions and learn from the mistakes of it’s predecessor. Unfortunately, Happy Death Day 2U makes all new mistakes and seemingly kills the franchise going forward.

Happy Death Day franchise completely dropped the ball here.  They were the first-to-market in the “Horror-Time-Loop” space and they switch genres into a goofy, run-of-the-mill, sci-fi cluster. It focuses more on why there is a time-loop than enjoying being in a time-loop.  The audience doesn’t care why there is a time-loop, we just accept that they are in one.  Sequels often fall into this trap of over explaining things that we don’t need to know.  In the movie series Final Destination, Death is hunting a group of teenagers because they escaped a tragedy.  We don’t know or care why they escaped the first time or how Death is chasing them, it just is. And it is fun.  Happy Death Day 2U could have had a different person in a time-loop or have Tree stuck in a different time-loop.  No explanation needed.  As soon as you try to bring in the physics involved in how this could be possible, you lose the focus and interest of why we came.  We came for a fun new twist on a horror/slasher genre.  We left disappointed.

I am excited for the reboot of this franchise when they get to wipe the slate clean and start from scratch.

Episode 81: Happy Death Day 2U

Garrett and Carson talk in circles about Happy Death Day 2U.

Review: The Upside (Carson’s View)

The Upside is based on a true story about a rich quadriplegic man who hires an ex-con as his live-in caretaker.  The Upside made some changes from the true story.  Instead of a son of a wealthy French Duke who was paralyzed, they went with a wealthy American businessman whose father gave him nothing and he earned every penny himself. Instead of an Arabic career-criminal from Algeria, we get the always entertaining Kevin Hart who plays a thief fresh out of prison in New York.  While these background changes (along with a few others) could absolutely make for a drastically different story, it seems the rest of the tale stays pretty true to the original.

Going into The Upside, I was prepared for an emotional rollercoaster with minimal comedy.  I got the opposite of that.  While it could have benefited from a more emotional core, the humor had me rolling.  You know when you watch Saturday Night Live and the funniest parts of the show are when the actors break down laughing when they aren’t supposed to? That is what Bryan Cranston’s performance was like throughout the entire movie.  It was like he was trying to be serious, but he couldn’t help but laugh at Kevin Hart.  There is a scene where neither actor could stop laughing at each other, which was contagious and I could not stop laughing along with them. I laughed harder and longer in The Upside than I have in a movie for a very long time.

It is very possible that The Upside caught me at just the right time for me to appreciate it as much as I did.  There are a lot of things I would have changed to help the story hit home a bit better, however, I enjoyed the experience.  I am looking forward to the next Kevin Hart/Bryan Cranston collaboration!

Episode 80: Alita: Battle Angel

Garrett and Carson battle it out over Alita: Battle Angel.