Another weekend at the movies

John was in town, and it was hot outside, so we hid out in the theatre where the air conditioning was. There were lots of great movies out, and I think we saw most of them. At least, we saw the ones intended for an adult audience. This weekend we saw: Max, Magic Mike, The Gallows, Ant-man, Trainwreck, Terminator Genisys, Self/less, and Ted 2. It was a great weekend, and I hope you enjoy the reviews.

Max – Wow, what an awesome movie! A military dog handler is killed in action, and the dog refuses to respond to anyone else, so he is given to the soldier’s brother. An unlikely but deep friendship develops between Justin (Josh Wiggins) and Max (Carlos), and their close bond allows them to survive the adventures contained in the film. The only negative I could possibly give is not about the movie, but about the promotion that it received. It was billed as the family film of the summer, and had it been about a wonderful dog who changed the lives of a troubled boy and his family, I would have completely agreed with that description. But…I’m not so sure that this film is appropriate for young family members. The sad parts are very sad, and Max faces death several times from both human and animal opponents. There are dog fights in this movie. There is gunfire, explosions, and attempted murder. I would hesitate to bring young children to this movie. Adults, and kids who are beyond the age of being frightened by loud noises and precarious situations will love this movie. I wish I could give it more than five stars, because it sure does deserve them. 5*

Magic Mike XXL– I was very disappointed in this film. Quite honestly, I was bored. Don’t get me wrong – the dancing was wonderful! There just wasn’t nearly enough of it. The film was basically a road trip with some dancing thrown in along the way, and I found the plot to be monotonous. Not to say that it wasn’t well written or that the acting was bad, because that wasn’t the case. It was just that, like most women, I didn’t go to see a well written plot. I went to see beautiful men, nearly naked and shaking their stuff. Now, there was one scene where Joe Manganiello dances in a convenience store on a bet, and that dance alone is more than worth the price of admission. I’m glad I saw XXL, because the men were gorgeous and the dancing was good, what there was of it. But it’s not a movie I ever need to see again. 4*

The Gallows – Don’t waste your time. Seriously. Twenty years after a student was killed during a high school play when a gallows prop malfunctioned the play is revived. I have no clue why. The ghost of the dead student starts killing people, but I was expecting more of a prom night kind of thing, with a fairly high body count. Instead, there were four students locked in the school overnight, so potential deaths were limited. The script was decent and the acting wasn’t bad, but the plot was more than predictable, and it was seriously missing the horror element that a horror movie kind of needs. Also, it was filmed entirely with a hand-held and cell phone cameras, which I personally found irritating. A waste of money. 1*

Ant-man – It’s a cute film, and it was a pleasant way to spend two hours. Paul Rudd turned in an excellent performance as Ant-man, and the other roles were also well cast. Michael Douglas and Evangeline Lilly were wonderful, and Corey Stoll shone as Yellowjacket. I think people of most ages would enjoy this movie, and I do recommend it as a cute summer action film. 4*

Trainwreck – We laughed our way through this light, delightful romantic comedy. It was predictable, as those movies so often are, but we didn’t care. Not a movie for kids, but adults who enjoy a well-acted movie with some off color hilarity will probably love Trainwreck. 4*

Terminator Genisys – One of my favorite Terminator films, rating five stars because of Arnold’s stellar performance in the lead role. The action was intense, the plot fast-paced, and I have to say that I loved Jai Courtney as Kyle Reese. I’ve heard that the franchise was failing, but if so, Genisys is exactly what it needed. Humor, action, drama…this one has it all. A very strong 5*.

Self/less – Incredibly rich man is dying of cancer. Man pays the wealth of a small country to transfer his mind into a lab-grown body that will allow him to live on in health. Man discovers that things are not as they were explained to him, and it all goes haywire from there. A reasonably believable plot, good acting by Ryan Reynolds and Ben Kingsley as Damien, Matthew Goode as mad scientist Albright, and Victor Garber as Martin, Damien’s longtime business partner and friend. Personally, I would have ended it differently so that there could have been a sequel, but I think most people will like the way it turned out. Overall, a good film and we both like it. 4*

Ted 2 – Don’t go see this movie if you are easily offended by…well, pretty much anything. Otherwise, buy your ticket, get your popcorn, and settle back for two of the funniest hours you’ll see this year. Long story short, Ted has to prove his’s a person in the eyes of the law, and sets off on a quest to accomplish that. An absolute 5*. Times 350.  

Thank you so much for joining me today, and for taking the time to read my ramblings. I plan to be back on Wednesday with a look at my upcoming novel, Winter of the Drill. I hope you will stop by and take a look.    

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Twitter: @rhanidchae



Shadow of the Drill

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