Double Feature: Perfect Stranger (2007) & Red Riding Hood (2011)

Welcome to the next double feature. Still braving through some Netflix titles as we head into the P and R selection, well, the first R selection, it would seem. The alphabet thing is more of a guideline at this point. This time, we’re heading into two thriller-esque movies. The first being Halle Berry and Bruce Willis’ Perfect Stranger which I remember I had wanted to see when it first came out but never did until now. The R selection is also a movie that I had wanted to see even though it looked like it was not going to be good which is Red Riding Hood. The result of both of these films were fairly similar, to be honest.

Let’s check it out!

Perfect Stranger (2007)

perfect stranger

Director: James Foley

Cast: Halle Berry, Bruce Willis, Giovanni Ribisi, Richard Portnow

A journalist goes undercover to ferret out businessman Harrison Hill as her childhood friend’s killer. Posing as one of his temps, she enters into a game of online cat-and-mouse. – IMDB

With a pretty great lineup of cast playing a tight knit group of characters, Perfect Stranger definitely feels like it could be a winner. While I can’t truly fault the acting or the roles here, its the final moments that somewhat break the film a little. Plus, some of the roles are a tad over the top. The story does make the effort as a thriller to keep you guessing while giving you a few suspects to consider but as experienced viewers now know to question whoever is the most obvious in movies, it creates those smokes and screens fairly well.

Perfect Stranger is one of those films that I really want to like. Bruce Willis is pretty good in his roles. There some issues with Halle Berry’s character and then, the best role here that really delivers has to be Giovanni Ribisi who brings up a lot of question marks. Deal is, the story feels really choppy and the ending is one of those trying too hard to give you a surprise endings and it thinks its more clever than it actually is.

Red Riding Hood (2011)

Red Riding Hood

Director: Catherine Hardwicke

Cast: Amanda Seyfried, Gary Oldman, Billy Burke, Shiloh Fernandez, Max Irons, Virginia Madsen, Lukas Haas, Julie Christie

Set in a medieval village that is haunted by a werewolf, a young girl falls for an orphaned woodcutter, much to her family’s displeasure. – IMDB

Red Riding Hood has a decent idea behind it. Its a bit been there done that. Which is also why, it hasn’t been too long since I saw it and I already don’t remember too many of the details. So, let’s get the good things out of the way. This one was alright in the acting department, not so much in the dialogue department though and its one of those things that feel very much one way that it could all go. Plus, its one of those easy to figure out twists because its not exactly far-fetched and it doesn’t help that its a re-imagining of Red Riding Hood which doesn’t seem like the Red Riding Hood elements make a huge difference to the outcome. The ending is pretty meh and honestly, the film wasn’t so bad at the beginning but falls apart as it goes along.

Overall, Red Riding Hood was kind of a lot of weird bits added together. Nothing felt really necessary but it felt like it needed to add those elements of love to give that spicy edge, the vengeance to give the revenge and hatred edge and then the reveal being the surprise element except nothing seems like it works long enough to make it have a truly lasting effect. Its not exactly a bad film but then its not exactly anything special either. I mean, to make things better, I went ahead and watched Hoodwinked which is a much better twist on the Red Riding Hood story.

That’s it for this double feature!
I’m indifferent regarding these two films so its a bit harder to write about.
Have you seen either of these films? Thoughts?

Advertisements

Double Feature: Natural Selection (2016) & Ouija (2014)

Welcome to the next double feature! This one is going to be a fairly odd pairing but also one that I can’t say that I am particularly sure how to write about. We have officially passed the halfway point in the Netflix A-Z and going into the N selection. This one was a fairly hard choice and it ended up being drama thriller Natural Selection. My main hook for it is because Katherine McNamara is part of it and I was going through a Shadowhunters phase when I added it to my list. For the O selection, it is horror film Ouija with Olivia Cooke. This one didn’t have great reviews but I figured I’d give it a chance anyways.

Let’s check it out!

Natural Selection (2016)

natural selection

Director (& Writer): Chad L. Scheifele

Cast: Mason Dye, Ryan Munzert, Anthony Michael Hall, Katherine McNamara, Amy Carlson, Tyler Elliott Burke

As the new kid, a shy high school senior finds himself tormented by all his peers except one, but his new friend has a dark, infectious outlook. – IMDB

Natural Selection is not an easy film to talk about. In fact, the story itself is done pretty well and the whole meaning and message behind it also is done pretty well. The only issue with it is that the cast itself, especially the cast playing the students are not quite as refined in their characters. Some might like it because it makes their acting more raw but for myself, the acting was the downside of the film. The other little part that was the downside was the romantic connection here which felt slightly disposable. It had a purpose to pretty much strain a developing “friendship” but that was all it was, which made it make the movie contrived.

However, the pros of this film can’t be ignored and that is the movie itself. It takes a fairly serious issue which potentially haunts unexpectedly schools and the safety of it. It all dials down to ignored youths and their repercussions. The film does a good job at putting together very similar characters, the new kid in town Tyler (Mason Dye) and a somewhat of an oddball Indrid (Ryan Munzert) who ends up being friends and they are pretty much parallels to each other in a lot of aspects from parents that don’t take care of them to being bullied or looked down upon in school. The differences in their characters here is what changes and makes these characters intriguing to learn about especially as the end result becomes more and more obvious.

There’s some execution issues and some acting issues here but Natural Selection is not a bad film, plus, its always nice to watch something to learn about the things that teenagers that don’t get noticed and the dangers that may lurk in them. However, I have recently seen films in the similar vein to this recently which have been done a lot better however, the strength of the film is in its message.

Ouija (2014)

ouija

Director (& co-writer): Stiles White

Cast: Olivia Cooke,  Ana Coto, Daren Kagasoff, Bianca A. Santos, Douglas Smith, Shelley Hennig, Sierra Heuermann, Lin Shaye

A group of friends must confront their most terrifying fears when they awaken the dark powers of an ancient spirit board. – IMDB

Oh boy…Ouija is another one on my list that falls into the bad reviews but why not check it out pile. I personally like Olivia Cooke because she’s done some good roles like in Bates Motel and Me, Earl and the Dying Girl (review). Ouija is exactly what you would expect it to be. Its full of horror troupes and you can probably figure out whats going to happen next and when the jumpscares are going to show up. Everything here is pretty much playing it by the numbers a whole lot. Ouija (for those who do believe that it can channel spirits and shouldn’t be touched like Tarot Cards, etc) is creepy. Its not something you want to mess with but people still do. While I can’t say that Ouija is the bottom of the barrel, it also doesn’t offer a whole lot of wow moments either. The script tries really hard to give it a twist and yet, because its so deliberate (or at least feels that way), it ends up not quite landing that punch so well.

There’s not a whole lot to say about Ouija. Its fairly predictable and if you don’t buy into the idea of just being tempted to keep giving Ouija a go after bad things happen, then this movie falls apart at its seams. I fall into that category so this movie had some moments but because it was so easy to figure out, it loses its impact a lot. Not to mention, if you are a gamer, Until Dawn delivers the whole sitting around a table and something creepy lurks about a whole lot more effectively than this whole movie combined.

That’s it for this double feature!
Thoughts and comments?

Double Feature: Leatherface (2017) & The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013)

Welcome to the next double feature as we continue on the A-Z journey through Netflix. As mentioned in the previous one, I did two L selections mostly because I have nothing interesting I wanted to watch for the Q selection. Here we are with a horror franchise addition Leatherface and a YA fantasy novel adaptation in The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones.

Let’s check them out!

Leatherface (2017)

leatherface

Director: Alexandre Bustillo & Julien Maury

Cast: Stephen Dorff, Lili Taylor, Sam Strike, Vanessa Grasse, Finn Jones, Sam Coleman, Jessica Madsen, James Bloor

A teenage Leatherface escapes from a mental hospital with three other inmates, kidnapping a young nurse and taking her on a road trip from hell, while being pursued by a lawman out for revenge. – IMDB

I’m not going to lie that its been a while since I saw Leatherface (or at least it feels that way). Either that or it was simply one that I didn’t really care too much for because its fading really fast from my memory. I’ve never been really on track with Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise. My startoff point was with the 2003 remake where I was so new to horror that I barely even watched that one and then went on to watching Texas Chainsaw in 2016 (Review) which was pointless and disappointing so I wasn’t sure how to feel about this one. Leatherface is something of an origin story. But then Texas Chainsaw was kind of an origin story also. I believe how I feel about Leatherface is probably how people that I’ve talked to who dislike Rob Zombie’s Halloween feels like where the fact of giving Michael Meyers a reason behind why he is the way he is makes it less scary (although I do like Rob Zombie’s Halloween) however for Leatherface, the movie seems to be doing the same thing and in a much less effective way might I say.

There’s a ton of problems here. The story in general does work in the beginning and then it falls apart in the middle and somehow ends up trying to pull off a twist ending because the deal with this is that we never quite know who is meant to turn into Leatherface and that is the big question throughout this entire crew we’re watching. I’m not going to lie that it did work on some levels but then, something just never seems to land.

I’m not sure if its because I’m not familiar with this franchise but I’d really like to hear fans of this franchise tell me whether this one worked for you or not?

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013)

city of bones

Director: Harald Zwart

Cast: Lily Collins, Jamie Campbell Bower, Kevin Zegers, Jemima West, Robert Sheehan, Robert Maillet, Kevin Durand, Godfrey Gao, Lena Headey, Harry Van Gorkum, Jonathan Rhys Meyer

When her mother disappears, Clary Fray learns that she descends from a line of warriors who protect our world from demons. She joins forces with others like her and heads into a dangerous alternate New York called the Shadow World. – IMDB

You can tell from the way the story ended and where it chose to end The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones that it didn’t plan to be a one movie deal but unfortunately, I believe the movie didn’t do too good so somehow it ended up being a TV series instead. Since I haven’t gotten around to writing up the TV binge for Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments quite yet, I’m going to get down to business and say that I have never read the novel series but I do love the TV series a lot and felt pretty sad when it got cancelled. However, we are here for the movie adaptation and I’m going to go straight out with this and say that, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones was actually not too bad. Its biggest fault (very similar to what I thought about Death Note) is that it had too much story to stuff into a movie (which is probably why it works better as a TV series).

The movie itself had a decent cast. I actually didn’t mind the chemistry behind the two main leads, Lily Collins and Jamie Campbell Bower playing Clary and Jace respectively. They were pretty decent. Everyone else was also pretty good in their roles. Except, the biggest problem is with a story built through a lot of background lore and connections and deeper relationships (family, love, revenge, friendship), it falls apart because none of the characters get the depth and development because of the lack of screen time. At the same time, there was a whole lot of Shadowhunters things that weren’t really explained or highlighted which made it seem even more confusing for people who haven’t been exposed to this world before. Seeing as the film took 2 hours to get where the TV series took almost a season to achieve, this shows how much was taken out.

In the end, the overall issue with The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones was its execution and an oversimplification of content making it lacking a lot of substance hence, making it feel disjointed. There are some cute scenes between Jace and Clary which worked but the story was all over the pace. Its always interesting to see how some more known stars end up in these YA adaptation projects and in this case, we have Lena Headey as Clary’s mom and Jonathan Rhys Meyer as the villain Valentine, who pretty much had zero presence, another issue with the movie having too much to cover and not enough time for its characters.

That’s it for this double feature!
Have you seen either of these films before?

 

John Wick – Chapter 3: Parabellum (2019)

John Wick – Chapter 3: Parabellum (2019)

Director: Chad Stahelski

Cast: Keanu Reeves, Halle Berry, Ian McShane, Laurence Fishburne, Mark Dacascos, Asia Kate Dillon, Lance Reddick, Anjelica Huston, Said Taghmaoui, Jerome Flynn

Super-assassin John Wick is on the run after killing a member of the international assassin’s guild, and with a $14 million price tag on his head – he is the target of hit men and women everywhere. – IMDB

Let’s face it. Not a whole lot of movies make it to the third film in a franchise and are still watchable. Its a very small amount of films that get that far without actually just watching it with a lot of hope. That doesn’t apply to the John Wick franchise because while the second film might not have been as good as the first film (in my opinion, of course), the third film has a lot of the qualities of what makes this franchise stand out (the action, the style and the characters) while there are still some bits that get toned down but other elements gets amped up and yet, it all seems to come together for the thrilling ride. It does help that John Wick has the plot of everyone trying to chase him down and the tension from that situation. But John Wick is a man with a plan, even when things get crazy, the one hour grace time he got from Winston (Ian McShane) in John Wick 2 was enough for him to somehow construct his next move and hope for the best that it would get him to where he needed to be. At the same time, the story wasn’t just with John Wick trying to survive but at the same time, his actions causing the High Table to send out the Adjudicator (Asia Kate Dillon) to trace back to those who didn’t stop him despite knowing what he had done and delivering their punishment.

John Wick 3

Parabellum does a lot of things right. For one, it keeps it a fairly straight forward story. It has two story lines going on at the same time that links to each other. Its not complicated to follow and while it does rely a little on the previous movie, you could essentially sit down and watch this one simply knowing the pretext that John Wick had an hour grace period to make his escape and sit down to enjoy this one. It might have some confusing elements in terms of how the assassin tree of power works, I guess but then a lot of it wasn’t really explained before either so here we learn a little more about those elements as John Wick fights for his freedom. However, aside from that, what has always made this franchise thrive is its action and fast-paced story. The action choreography as well as the fighting scenes here excel. There is a bit more of a subtle background track than the previous movies however it does still work to meld well with the situation. At the same time, there is a lot of change in different weapons or techniques in the situation that John Wick ends up which gives it a lot of creativity even in having horses and other elements.

John Wick 3

Parabellum also manages to keep its charm by retaining its characters whether its John Wick which is a role absolutely perfect for Keanu Reeves or Ian McShane’s Winston or Laurence Fishburne as the Bowery King or the Continental’s concierge Charon played by Lance Reddick which are all standout characters that make this movie shine. Parabellum brings forth a few new characters as well. The first to mention probably is Halle Berry as Sofia and Angelica Huston as The Director, two characters who we learn had past business with John Wick and helps him reluctantly. Both of them being ladies who are quite intense however Angelica Huston having the more power in her words and attitude and Halle Berry being the one with some of the really fantastic action scenes as she is accompanied by two dogs. Then we have somewhat of a more villainous character which is The Adjudicator played by Asia Kate Dillon who actually seems like the tough chick role who you’d expect would end up being in some fight scenes but she was there solely to lay out the deal as a diplomat sort of role which is pretty interesting. With that said, this one added in some dark humor which was less obvious than in this one and it had to do with the villain bad-ass fighter Zero played by Mark Dacascos who is this fanboy of John Wick but also wants to be the one to take him out. He does a fantastic job. The characters here remain very strong and add a lot of charm to the film and the story and its these characters that add depth and substance.

Overall, John Wick 3 does an awesome job. Its still not quite at the John Wick level of awesome but its pretty close. There’s a lot here that works and while some of the things feel like it speeds through it, things still fall into place and the heart of the story is in the right place. It also helps to have all these characters that have some mystery and so much to discover while managing to keep the action and fighting sequence fresh and fun.

***As a side note, there were moments it did feel like it was moments of tribute to Keanu Reeves past movies. I mean the obvious is Laurence Fishburne and some other Matrix-like moves while you have signs like Bridge Closed, which it felt like was a Speed reference and I’m sure there’s tons of other stuff that I missed.***

Double Feature: Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV (2016) & Life (2017)

Next double feature comes at us with nothing too in common. For the K selection, I chose Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV which came out as the story leading to Final Fantasy XV’s video game release. For the L selection, which you will notice is going to be the first of 2 selections (the second title paired up in the next double feature with the M selection) is the 2017 sci-fi film, Life, which got relatively low ratings but remains intriguing to me.

Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV (2016)

Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV

Director: Takeshi Nozue

Voice cast: Aaron Paul, Lena Headey, Sean Bean, Adrian Bouchet, Liam Mulvey, Alexa Kahn

King Regis, who oversees the land of Lucis, commands his army of soldiers to protect the kingdom from the Niflheim empire’s plans to steal the sacred crystal which gives Lucis its magic and power. – IMDB

Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV is the story that takes place before the events of Final Fantasy XV. The ending of this film introduces the four main characters in the game however doesn’t show them anywhere else in the film. With that said, this story takes a look at the kingdom and the threats as well as the soldiers abilities. Video game adaptations or even films derived from a game always has the difficulty of just appealing to those familiar with the franchise or the story. In this case, while Final Fantasy has had a lot of games so far and is a successful franchise, FF15 is a different story with different characters so the idea of making this film is a good one however the execution might not have been done quite as well as the story feels convoluted.

Voiced by Aaron Paul as Nyx, Lena Headey as Lunafreya and Sean Bean as King Regis, the character voiced here are done pretty well. At the same time, the visuals of the kingdom and even the action itself as well as the character design all are appealing. However, where this movie does fall apart is that the script isn’t written well, some dialogue feels very rigid and the story flow feels a bit slow where some parts actually start feeling a bit boring and slow.

Final Fantasy may be an overall pretty great gaming franchise however, its movies have mostly been lacking except for maybe one. Therefore, Kingsglaive might not be a good movie but I also didn’t expect to feel all that much different when I finished with it. Its visually appealing but everything else falls short in the spectrum of things.

Life (2017)

Life

Director: Daniel Espinosa

Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, Ryan Reynolds, Hiroyuki Sanada, Ariyon Bakare, Olga Dykhovichnaya

A team of scientists aboard the International Space Station discover a rapidly evolving life form that caused extinction on Mars and now threatens all life on Earth. – IMDB

Life’s one of those films that I’d chalk up their general lack of box office or negative reviews on expectations and the fact that their trailer reminded the audience of an Alien rip-off. I’m not going to argue that I wasn’t affected by the trailer hence why I’ve put off watching it for so long. However, putting aside the similarities of sci-fi films and comparing it to the very fantastically done ones like Alien, Life is a pretty solid sci-fi film. Its quite entertaining that most sci-fi films in the Alien veins reminds us of the fascination of finding that we are not alone in the universe but then quickly wishes that we were because foreign extraterrestrial organisms are probably going to be much more lethal and a good part of it has to do with it being unknown. In that sense, Life’s best attributes is giving us an organism that develops and grows exponentially in a short frame of time and we learn about it just as the characters stuck in the spacecraft is at the same time.

Life is also quite good in the sense that its paced fairly well. The background music is done well especially to boost the atmosphere. With that said, the atmosphere and environment is controlled and the use of gravity and space is also done quite effectively. There is a good deal of tension throughout the film and it has a lot to do with the setup of the film being in a closed space within another closed space for a good part of the film.

Overall, Life is actually pretty good. If you can set aside some of the similarities it does have and see some of the things that are done differently. The quality of the film is definitely still there. There are tense moments and intriguing moments and the pacing is very fast paced so it helps propel the film forward without giving much time to think too much about the things in depth. Maybe its because I went into this one with lower expectations but its one that I’d gladly sit down to watch again. There are issues with it and it has to do with some of the very familiar characters which also don’t truly get a whole lot of depth because we don’t spend too much time with them before things get bad.

That’s it for this double feature!
Have you seen either of these films? Thoughts?

Triple Feature: Jaws 2, Jaws 3 & Jaws: The Revenge

Welcome to the rarely seen Triple Feature! A little change in pace in things as the Jaws franchise being available on Netflix lead us to watching the sequels back to back to back. With that said, there are only so many words I can say about these sequels so I’m going to jump right in!

Jaws 2 (1978)

Jaws 2

Director: Jeannot Szwarc

Cast: Roy Scheider, Lorraine Gary, Murray Hamilton, Joseph Mascolo, Mark Gruner, Ann Dusenberry, Barry Coe, Gary Springer, Donna Wilkes

Police chief Brody must protect the citizens of Amity after a second monstrous shark begins terrorizing the waters. – IMDB

In this sequel of Jaws, Jaws 2 takes us into a good time after the Jaws events (it can only be expected as the councilman doesn’t seem to care about it anymore). As the town has recuperated slightly and moves forward, Chief Brody yet again starts suspecting that there is another shark attacking and yet no one seem to believe him. Jaws 2 is a pretty good premise to start off and in general, executes the movie pretty well. While its not quite the character depth or sophistication of the first film, this sequel directed by Jeannot Szwarc is pretty much a decent success and a real thrill to watch for the majority of the time, with some exceptions character-wise.

Its great for one to see the sequel bringing back familiar faces and at the same time, still giving it the same location and Chief Brody’s family. This time it gets slightly more personal. With the first movie, Chief Brody becomes a more-fleshed out character and can now be diving into other aspects and this one, we see how he interacts as a parent and the heaviness he has for his duty to protect especially seemingly being the only person that has learned from the previous shark situation that happened and making precautions than everyone else. In that element, we don’t only get to see Chief Brody as different situations that the audience gets to see gets brought to his situation reinforcing his belief that there is a second shark haunting the waters while at the same time, there is a focus on his older son Mike who has gotten a liking for sailing with his other teenage friends as well as trying to show off to get a girl’s attention. As expected, these sailing trips will uncover and also be the focus of where trouble hits at a certain point and Brody ends up heading to the rescue despite his lack of knowledge of driving a boat.

To be fair, there’s a whole lot more of good here. There are some great shark attack moments and a decent build of tension. The story itself, while a bit predictable, still manages to be a fun shark movie to watch as it has a few tricks up its sleeve. The teenagers are mostly fun to watch. The one exception, which is my main complaint about the film, would be one of the girls is incredibly annoying to watch. Overall, its a decent sequel effect and one definitely worth watching if you haven’t seen it yet.

Jaws 3 (1983)

Jaws 3

Director: Joe Alves

Cast: Dennis Quaid, Bess Armstrong, Simon MacCorkindale, Louis Gossett Jr., John Putch, Lea Thompson, P.H. Moriarty

The sons of police chief Brody must protect customers at a SeaWorld theme park after a thirty-five-foot shark becomes trapped in the park with them. – IMDB

Not sure how many years after the 2nd movie this takes place but Brody’s sons are already adults now. In this third movie, Jaws takes its set to SeaWorld. Jaws 3 is meant to be in 3D and for that, there are a lot of crappy, out-dated and forced 3D shots done that really makes it feel like its trying too hard. To be fair, Jaws 3 has a decent premise. Nothing is more at stakes than the idea of being trapped in an area with a shark and for that, the story does work. Its the execution here that has a lot of issues whether logically or just how the story spirals. There is a theme park element here as well as a mother shark seeking its baby element as well, put together while its a fairly commonly used outline, does have potential to be done well.

Jaws 3 does give us Dennis Quaid in one of his earlier roles where he also does take the lead as Mike Brody while Sean is played by John Putch, who at the time took up his first movie role in his career with this movie. Mike and his girlfriend Kay (played by Bess Armstrong) have a good deal of screen time as they play key roles in the park as the engineer and the biologist respectively. Their roles are portrayed well. While with any theme park movie, you always have the rich boss, Calvin Bouchard (played by Louis Gossett Jr.) who makes bad decisions that makes a lot of situations worse.

Its hard to say outside of the forced 3D elements here where things ultimately fail. Perhaps its because the story lacks enough depth to make it feel like a good shark movie. Maybe its the fact that we never learn enough about Mike or Sean Brody to make them characters that we care about before they are headed straight for danger. Or it could attribute to the fact that there are some close-ups of the shark attacks that make the shark extremely animatronic or robotic, just the opening and closing of the jaws itself. However, it has some nice points and that is the emphasis on the cleverness of dolphins and their instincts to save humans in times of danger during shark pursuits. Overall, Jaws 3 is many steps down from its former two films. There are good elements and a lot of flawed ones but I think one of the main issues is that the ending feeling is that its pretty much forgettable.

Jaws: The Revenge (1987)

Jaws The Revenge

Director: Joseph Sargent

Cast: Lorraine Gary, Lance Guest, Mario Van Peebles, Karen Young, Michael Caine, Judith Barsi, Mitchell Anderson, Lynn Whitfield, Cedric Scott

Chief Brody’s widow believes that her family is deliberately being targeted by another shark in search of revenge. – IMDB

Jaws: The Revenge is the 4th instalment of the Jaws franchise. After Jaws 3, its hard to have too much hope about this one being better. Out of the original cast, Lorraine Gary returns as Chief Brody’s wife but as we can see, Chief Brody has passed on leaving her a widow. Adding salt to the wounds, Sean starts off the movie on Amity Island who has followed her father’s footsteps as a police officer and gets killed by a shark. Because of this loss, she ends up moving to Bahamas to live with Mike however the haunting fear of water and how sharks are out to get her family bothers her. Let’s first start this off by the fact that this script doesn’t seem to match with the previous one where Mike had mentioned how Sean doesn’t like to be on Amity Island which is why he didn’t study on the island so why did he go back? Then you think about what shark is revenging on her family because in our memory, every shark has died in the previous movie. Either way, just a few points to think about how the story in the beginning already has its plot holes.

Lets say that we look past that and accept for the way it is. There are still some annoyinh characters here from Lorraine Gray who overacts a bit. At the same time, Mike’s buddy, Jake is supposed to be a fun character but also stands close to the line into annoying as his dialogue feels very rinse and repeat. Theres a whole emphasis on the relationship between Mike and his wife which doesn’t seem to matter much other than give the movie some character building but then, Mike Brody has been a character in each of these films just at a different age. One thing that did bring my heart up a little is seeing Michael Caine here who brings some character to the film as a whole.

Jaws:The Revenge seems unnecessary and forced. The story doesn’t seem to flow with the previous film and then has this element of never giving intriguing characters. If this film didn’t take itself seriously, maybe I wouldn’t either and then at least there would be some fun.

That’s for this rare triple feature!
Have you seen any of the Jaws sequels before?

Double Feature: The Incredible Hulk (2008) & Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

Next up in the double features, we head into a Marvel Cinematic Universe double feature as I try to catch up with all the movies that I’ve missed to date. Also, one of the reasons why I haven’t gone to see Avengers: Endgame in theatres as almost everyone has. Pairing it with my I selection on Netflix, The Incredible Hulk is a rental that I got for cheap and chose to see what the latest version of Spider-Man is like, because we’ve had a lot of them in the past 15 to 20 years. If its the first time being here, I have no basis on comic book adaptations or how it is there and only the movies so if you want to share your knowledge about how characters and villains are and how they are adapted in terms of these movies, feel free to share it in the comments below but  I’m not comparing to the source material.

Let’s check it out!

The Incredible Hulk (2008)

the incredible hulk

Director: Louis Leterrier

Cast: Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, Tim Roth, William Hurt, Tim Blake Nelson, Ty Burrell

Bruce Banner, a scientist on the run from the U.S. Government, must find a cure for the monster he turns into, whenever he loses his temper. – IMDB

Its quite incredible to think that The Incredible Hulk is the second film in Phase 1 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films especially since he’s essentially become a supporting superhero in the films that follow with no sequel. However, it is understandable as this one outlines how he became Hulk. The Incredible Hulk portrayed Edward Norton is pretty much different from the one that reappears in The Avengers portrayed Mark Ruffalo. The Incredible Hulk isn’t a bad film, in fact, it lines up quite well the style that Marvel was doing in Phase One. There is some dark humor and then some deeper moments. Hulk is a pretty sad origin story as he has no control over his actions when he transforms and turns into a beast. In that sense, the story here is done well. Plus, its paced fairly well. The best part here does have to go to Tim Roth playing a fairly adequate villain (and I don’t quite acknowledge a lot of the villains much). However, it still feels slightly far-fetched in the sense of the motives of Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth) and Abomination.

Its not that the movie itself isn’t enjoyable. The Incredible Hulk feels a bit disjointed in its storytelling in general. The story doesn’t lean too much on the origin and never dives too deep in the relationship side nor does it go very deep on the disapproval and the issues with the General and then it never really explains the reasoning behind Tim Roth’s Emil Blonsky and Abomination. However, the movie does offer up a lot of action and there’s some cool moments here which work to make this a fun movie to watch.

Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

spider-man homecoming

Director: Jon Watts

Cast: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr., Marisa Tomei, Jon Favreau, Gwyneth Paltrow, Zendaya, Donald Glover, Jacob Batalon

Peter Parker balances his life as an ordinary high school student in Queens with his superhero alter-ego Spider-Man, and finds himself on the trail of a new menace prowling the skies of New York City. – IMDB

I’ve lived through three changes in Spider-Mans already. To be honest, Spider-Man is about the most familiar superhero now other than Batman at this point. Another very fair point is that there is something  about being quite skeptical about how successful this Spider-Man will be and what makes him different. Of course, we’ve already had a snippet of Tom Holland’s Spider-Man due to Captain America: Civil War (review) who was adequate enough with that dose of geeky humor. Tom Holland’s Spider-Man is not too different from the first films of both Spiderman (Tobey Maguire version) or The Amazing Spiderman (Andrew Garfield’s version) in the sense of say humor and personality. However, this one changes because we don’t see how he became Spider-Man which is a nice step because after so many, most people already know but rather takes the path of his feelings after the events of Captain America: Civil War and coming to terms with his desire to be more helpful rather than stay in his everyday routine as Ironman would like him to do. However, as dynamic as Jon Favreau and Robert Downey Jr. add to the humor of the film, its feels underused in the sense of Peter Parker and his best friend because there is a nice friendship bond with that as well.

One of the things I also did enjoy with this one (similar to The Incredible Hulk) is Michael Keaton as The Falcon. For one, the villain design is really nice. The Falcon still doesn’t have that sort of evil villain sort of feeling to him but there is this nice mesh of bringing together past events and technology to create this character and the many situations that Spider-Man encounters because of it. At the same time, it gives this Spider-Man a real sense of learning a few qualities to become a part of The Avengers and realizing when he feels that he is ready for it and how it ends gives it a sense of the coming of age of Spider-Man. The direction and the characters and even the humor works overall in Spider-Man: Homecoming. However, the issues with it is that the film does feels at times a bit dragged out and long (but then I have issues with a lot of these superhero films being too long).

That’s it for this Marvel double feature!
Have you seen these two films?