Monday, June 29, 2015
Terminator Genisys (3D IMAX)
As promised by Arnold Schwarzenegger's original Terminator, he's back for the fifth installment of humans vs. machines battle for world supremacy. This is more of a reboot where Kyle Reese, John Connor, Sarah Connor, and her Guardian are thrown into a fractured timeline meant to keep fans off balanced where everything is familiar but different. Alien liked the new Sarah, didn't care for new Kyle nor John, didn't like the latest Terminator version, and thought Arnold was funny. Fans will probably like this twisted version with the crazy outrageous action stunts they expect. The goals are still the same: the bad guys want to kill Sarah Conner and the good guys want to stop Skynet & Judgement Day. Stay for the credits for one last scene buried in the middle.
Alien gives it 3 "raised by Pops" stars out of 4.
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Magic Mike XXL
The Magic is back with Channing & Company sans Dallas but stepping up their game for their encore performance. It's one crazy "Road Trip" when the Kings of Tampa head to Myrtle Beach for a stripper convention with a stopovers at Mad Mary's as well as with the horny "Real Housewives of Atlanta". This is just one last ride where the boys dump their tired old cliché routines and bring it from their hearts. Look for some surprising faces to show up for this funny wild and raunchy ladies night out romp. These guys have moves that will leave the ladies hot and bothered. Ladies, round up your girlfriends for a show to remember.
Alien gives it 3 "objectifying men is fair play" stars out of 4.
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
That foul-mouthed, bad boy, idiot teddy bear Ted is back for more obnoxious, politically incorrect entertainment with his thunder buddy (Mark Wahlberg). Ted's wedding and a big Busby Berkeley style dance number start off this fast and furious series of jokes and sight gags poking fun at everything from civil rights to court cases to Comic Con. It's produced, written, directed, and voiced by Seth MacFarlane so you should have a clue to his odd crude sense of humor. Amanda Seyfried also stars as a young attorney who is clueless about many joke references, not unlike some of Seth's potential audience. Look for some cameo appearances. If you can tolerate the repetitive bad language, gross sexual references and mean spirited humor, you may enjoy some of the more creative jokes in this sea of silliness. If you liked the original, you'll probably like this sequel. Look for one more gag after the end credits.
Alien gives it 2 ½ "person or property" stars out of 4.
Monday, June 22, 2015
It's a modern day update of those old-fashion "Rin Tin Tin" and "Lassie" TV shows about a boy and his dog who manages to always save the day. Marine service dog Max suffers from post traumatic stress after his handler is killed in action. Once back States-side, Max bonds with his handler's little brother. Of course, wherever danger lurks, it's Max to the rescue. Although it is contrived and predictable, it is still a wonderful wholesome family film. Thomas Haden Church and Lauren Graham play the parents. If you are a dog lover, you may want to check this one out.
Alien gives it 2 ½ "Belgian Malinois" stars out of 4.
Thursday, June 18, 2015
Love & Mercy
This is not a sneak preview. This film has already released.
This is a behind the scenes look at the tragic story of Brian Wilson, the talented Beach Boy singer/songwriter with a tortured soul who heard more than music in his head. Told in flashbacks, Wilson is brilliantly portrayed by both Paul Dano and John Cusack although they bare little resemblance to each other. Elizabeth Banks & Paul Giamatti have key roles influencing his later years. It's a terrific retro look back through iconic visual snippets and musical sound bites, but this is no "Good Vibrations" experience. It's a sad, depressing tale of a troubled individual being abused and controlled. When the credits roll, the real Brian Wilson appears and sings the song after which this movie is named.
Alien gives it 2 ½ "Cadillac sale" stars out of 4.
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
It's geeks in the hood get trapped on a slippery slope in this urban drama/comedy about drug dealing, getting into college, and being more than a perception. This is not a film for everyone as it stays true to it's South Central L.A. roots with language (the F & N words), attitude, life style, and urban speak. Although the majority of the population maybe lost at times having not grown up in the hood, it doesn't really matter in this clever take on who are you going to be in life. Hip Hop is the musical flavor as influenced by producers Pharrell Williams & Sean Combs. Producer Forest Whitaker narrates.
Alien gives it 3 "from geek to dope to finding yourself" stars out of 4.
Tuesday, June 09, 2015
Jurassic World (IMAX 3D)
Twenty-two years later on Isla Nublar, it's "Return to Jurassic Park" meets "Frankenstein" meets "Disney World" meets the "Dino Whisperer" as humans repeat their same mistakes as they attempt to mess with Mother Nature in order to boost park attendance. This movie, like the Jurassic World Park, must up the ante with bigger dinosaurs, more scares, and more teeth. This marvelous iconic homage to the original has bigger spectacular special effects, a bigger park, more dinosaurs, new dinosaurs, and more people endangered. The film looks amazing in 3D on the IMAX screen. It's a thrilling fun film with predictable situations but a climax that Alien didn't see coming. Filmmakers didn't bite off more than they could chew.
Alien gives it 4 "if something chases you, run" stars out of 4.
Monday, June 08, 2015
Inside Out (3D)
It is poor little 11-year-old Riley when her parents move her world from Minnesota to San Francisco; a new home, a new school, and missing her old friends & old hockey team. See what goes on inside the head of this troubled child as portrayed by her inner emotions, Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger, and Disgust. This is a cute representation of how the mind thinks, remembers, forgets, dreams, imagines, and reacts. The humor here seems to favor adults but hopefully the animated antics of these five colorful personalities will entertain the little kiddies who feel their emotions more than they understand them. This feature film is preceded by an amusing animated short that sings about volcanic lava love with an Hawaiian flavor.
Alien gives it 3 "imaginary Bing Bong" stars out of 4.
Wednesday, June 03, 2015
Insidious: Chapter 3
In a prequel to Insidious 1 & 2, a young teen's desire to speak to her dead mother gets her more than she bargained for. The psychic Elise & those ghost busting boys are back too for more fright fun & spirit games. Depending on how easily you scare may determine your entertainment value here. If you have not seen or do not remember the first two films, you may not get some of the subtle references. There are some startling jumps but in general it's not very scary or terrifying. Nothing gory or disgusting. Some scenes are almost comical. True horror fans will probably be disappointed. It's typical things that go bump in the night as well as a body possession tale in a creepy hotel building.
Alien gives it 2 ½ "leg casts & neck brace" stars out of 4.
Monday, June 01, 2015
This is not a sneak preview. This film has already released.
A military contractor (Bradley Cooper) returns to Hawaii to broker a deal to launch a private satellite in this romantic comedy by producer/writer/director Cameron Crowe. The movie deals with some complicated human interactions where love makes people do crazy things. All the while, a secret space mission unfolds. The island backdrop is gorgeous and the sound track is terrific. The all-star cast also includes Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams, Bill Murray, Alec Baldwin, & John Krasinski who steals his scenes. Surprisingly, some of the funnier and touching moments are nonverbal. Steeped in Hawaiian culture, this is a feel good movie & a good date film although contrived as in most rom-coms.
Alien gives it 3 "Operation Brave Angel" stars out of 4.