Movie Review: The Dark Tower



Producers: Akiva Goldsman, Ron Howard, Erica Huggins
Director: Nikolaj Arcel
Writer:Akiva Goldsman, Jeff Pinkner, Anders Thomas Jensen, Nikolaj Arcel,
Based on The Dark Tower by Stephen King
Cast: Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey, Tom Taylor, Claudia Kim, Fran Kranz, Abbey Lee, Jackie Earle Haley

Before I get on with the rest of this review I would like to quote a small bit of lyric from what was arguably one of the funniest shows on TV. 

Just repeat to yourself “It’s just a show, I should really just relax”

Now if you go to this movie thinking that they have through the wonders of Hollywood magic they have been able to condense an eight book series into a ninty minute movie.  Go to another movie!

If instead you go into this movie expecting to see common elements of Stephen King’s themes in his books played out on the screen you might enjoy this movie.  

The plot is very basic. Idris Elba Is the last gunslinger charged with protecting the Black Tower. The Dark Tower which stands in the center of the multiverse preventing darkness from entering the multiverse.  The enemy of all the gunslingers and ultimately the Dark Tower is the man in black played by Matthew McConaughey.  And like I said you get references to King’s work.  The young boy, Jake Chambers played by Tom Taylor, has the shine (The Shining) and it allows him to see visions of both the gunslinger and the man in black as well as the Dark Tower.  This makes him valuable to the man in black because he uses kids with the shine to attack the Dark Tower.  The young boy escapes from the man in black’s minions and meets up with the gunslinger.  The boy then inspires the gunslinger to continue his quest to protect the Dark Tower.

This is a “western” sci-fi movie similar to Serenity and a few others.  And it isn’t the train wreck many have portrayed it to be.  I will say that the best part of the movie is Idris Elba but I haven’t seen anything yet that he didn’t impress me by his acting skills.
I am giving this a three star review see it at a matinee or wait for a second run theater.  

Movie Review: The Accountant 



Producer:  Lynette Howell Taylor, Mark Williams
Director:  Gavin O’Connor
Writer:  Bill Dubuque
Cast: Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, J. K. Simmons, Jon Bertha, Jeffrey Tabor, Cynthia Addai Robinson, John Lithgow
The Accountant tells the story what appears to be an accountant someone who works out is a strip mall and is affected by a form of autism. This  allows him to focus on his bookeeping to the point that he can take boxes of paperwork that fills a room and find the hidden accounts.  

But that isn’t all as you learn through flashbacks he was trained by his father, along with his brother, to shoot, fight, and in general become a killing machine.  His autism effects this too as his focus is absolute whether it is in placing his shots perfectly or knowing precisely how to disarm and kill a person.  

During this entire time there is a treasury agent trying to find the accountant as he is the accountant to not just mom and pop businesses but also to drug cartels, terrorist organizations, and the Mafia.  But he has his identity so well there is no clear picture of him only the back of his head.  

This is an interesting story.  I remember reading an article from Sweden on how they were using some people with a form of autism in network repair and coding as they are able to focus on the problem ignoring all distractions.  And this movie seems to build on that premise.  Ben Affleck also does a good performance as someone who has to mimic normal human emotions in order to blend in with other people.  As well as to learn how to read those emotions on other people’s faces.  

If you’re looking for action there is enough in this movie to satisfy you.  As well as some twists that you may not expect.  Because it is rated “R” it has its share of profanity and violence and is more suitable for an older teen audience at the least.

I give this movie three and a half stars.

Movie Review Valerian and the City of 1000 Planets. 



Producer: Luc Besson, Virginie Besson-Silla
Director: Luc Besson
Based on: Valérian and Laureline by
Pierre ChristinJean-Claude Mézières
Writer:  Luc Besson
Cast:  Dane DeHaan,Cara Delevingne,Clive Owen,Rihanna,Ethan Hawke,Herbie Hancock,Kris Wu

Don’t see this movie.  To say that I was disappointed would be too weak a word.  And let me state for the record that I have seen some horrible movies in my time.  Movies that even a guy and his three robots heckling at the screen couldn’t improve it.  But I had hope for this film mainly because it was so very pretty.  But what it had in effects was done away with by both the plot, what there was of it, and the lack of je ne sais quoi between the two main characters.  I didn’t care for any one in this film and was embarrassed by the presence of certain actors who I thought should have passed on this particular job.  

So don’t see this movie even if it is playing for free on a cable channel just pass it by.

I give this movie five black holes.  

Movie Review:  The Martian 


 
Producers: Simon Kinberg, Ridley Scott, Michael Schaefer, Aditya Sood, Mark Huffam
Director: Ridley Scott
Screen Writer: Drew Goddard
Based on The Martian by Andy Weir
Cast: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig Jeff Daniel’s, Sean Bean, Michael Peña, Kate Mara Sebastian Stan, Aksel Hennie, Chiwetel Ejiofor

So a few months ago my son was reading The  Martian and could not put it down.  He told me that every page grabbed him and he couldn’t wait to read what happened next.  So when I had a chance I picked up the book and when I next looked up it was in the wee hours of the morning.  It was an amazing read and I would recommend it to anyone who likes hard science action packed science fiction. 

Having said all that you know that my expectations for the movie were high.  If it couldn’t get close to what the book had for the story I was going to go spare. 

Fortunately the movie didn’t disappoint.  If you don’t know the basic plot of The Martian is that on a mission to Mars after a base camp was set up a Martian dust storm forces the crew to abandon the planet leaving a crew member behind presumed dead.  But the crew member was alive and once back in the enclosed environment of the base camp has to figure out how to survive on the amount of food, oxygen, water he has left and somehow contact NASA.  It is how he figures out how to survive that makes this story so enjoyable. 

Now first warning the F-Bomb gets dropped a lot in this movie.  Second warning some of what he does to survive isn’t pleasant to watch.  If you have young children be prepared to explain how plants get nourishment.  

I give this movie three and a half stars.  Read the book (5 stars) 

Movie Review: Spider-Man Homecoming 


Producer: Kevin Feige, Amy Pascal
Writers: Jonathan Goldstein, John Francis Daley
Director: Jon Watts
Cast:Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Jon Favreau, Zendaya, Donald Glover, Tyne Daly, Marisa Tomei, Robert Downey Jr.

It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing

So I have seen three different actors portraying Spider-Man and up to this point I have been a Tobey Maguire fan.  I am no longer just a Tobey Maguire fan.  Tom Holland is excellent as Peter Parker a fifteen year old highschool kid who is crushing on the most popular girl in school and just happens to walk on walls.   

 But as good as Tom Holland is as Spider-Man Michael Keaton as the Vulture is perfect.  Keaton pulls off scarey in a very understated way and the reason why Keaton has entered the life of crime is well written.  

Tom Holland portrays Peter Parker as a kid who was asked to help the Avengers and then was told don’t call us kid we’ll call you.  Only they never call him indeed his contact with the Avengers is  Happy Hogan, played by Jon Favreau,who  is irritated with Peter every time he calls and mostly just refuses to call back or hangs up on him.  This treatment causes Peter to look for high profile crimes so that he can prove he is worthy to be an Avenger.  This puts him in conflict with the Vulture, and despite being warned by Iron Man to let the Avengers handle it he keeps at it until unforseen consequences occur.  

Stuff I liked:  I liked the DIY nature of Peter’s home made costume.  That was one thing I found that stretched the limits of my imagination was that a teenager was an accomplished tailor in his part time.  Holland’s costume reflects more like what a fifteen year old could do with his limited access to money and supplies.  

Stuff that made me say hmm:  Marissa Tomei as Aunt May.  I understand that she is no longer a young actress and is in her fifties but there is something a bit disturbing when you see Tony Stark hitting on her.  As well as most of the men in the neighborhood.  Maybe it’s me but I prefer my Aunt May to be a gray haired saintly lady not a object of sexual desire.  

Parental warning, there is profanity in this film as well as a young woman using a ride hand gesture.  Fantasy violence as well as regular violence.  When I was in the movie I heard a little child ask their parent about the language and I could almost sense their frustration.  So be aware.

Over all Spider-Man Homecoming is a good film, it is good to see Spider-Man finally being back in the MCU production instead of being owned by another company.  I give this movie four out of five stars.  

Movie Reviews: GOG2 & Wonder Woman 


I have seen three movies so far in theaters.  This was one of them.  And I will say that of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) it is different enough from the super hero ones to be very enjoyable.  And it doesn’t hurt that it has a kicking soundtrack.  And the dancing baby Groot is one of the highlights.  There are adult language and conversations in the film especially one involving Ego and Drax that may want you not to bring too young of children to the movie.  I give it four stars.


This was the second movie that I saw in a theater.  Cast, writing, direction all great.  The only what I would call semi serious criticism I have heard regarding this movie is that’s too Captain America.  But since the original Wonder Woman comic came out during World War 2 just like Captain America’s comic  you would expect some similarities.  And they tried to off set that by having Wonder Woman fight in World War 1.  Now the only other thing I would add to this is that of all the recent DC movies they really got this one right.  It would be great if they could continue this trend.  I give this movie five stars.

Monday, monday 


Ah technology how wonderful it is.  Just a FYI gentle readers no matter what they say, no matter how shiny and new it all is, count on no less than 48 hours to one week to get everything switched over when transferring from one smart phone to the next.  But that isn’t what I wanted to talk to you today.  Officially I am off hiatus the wife is back to semi normal so I can devote time to the blog.

Now I know that Mondays have been devoted to movie reviews and I have an amusing story regarding that.  As you know Sunday was Father’s Day.  And my son wanting to the Dad/Son thing decided to take me out to the movies.  Now we had seen most of the new releases so our choice was limited,  Seeing that we decided to see the latest Johnny Depp/Pirate movie.  Well we are about two-thirds through the thing when the fire alarm goes off and the building is evacuated.  My son being the good man that he is saw me to my car first before going to his.  I love that boy.  But in regards to the movie, well it was drabbing awful.  And I speculate that someone pulled the alarm to keep our brains from leaking out our ears.  So my recommendation is to skip that movie and go see something else.

And speaking of drabbing awful it amazes me sometimes the people who follow me in twitter.  Some I just block, immediately some well they are subtle in their awfulness.  Take for instance a fellow that goes by Balm of Gilead.  He tweeted that we must die an perish in the lake of fire removing the vapor of our lives to leave behind the substance of Christ.  It’s not often that I am gob smacked on twitter but he did it.  So I told him to check his theology one thing led to another and I find out that he is a gnostic.  But not the old gnostic he is gnostic 2.0 He experiences his theology.  Can’t stand that I use quotes from commentaries and confessions not to mention the Bible itself to disprove his heterodoxical views.  I use words he, being so much more enlightened {he really is like the old gnostics isn’t he} uses experiences.  But it is the Faith not the force that I follow.  That what was once for all delivered to the saints.  You know where we study not experience to show ourselves approved? Anyway the upshot of this is be careful who you follow  dear readers especially on social media because you just don’t really know who they might turn out to be.

See you next time.