F9: The Fast Saga

F9: The Fast Saga

The only thing worse than a bad action movie is a boring one.  F9 Is a comedy but it just doesn’t know it.  F9 comes out flat and lazy without any new story for the fans to enjoy.  My biggest issue with F9 is that it is everything the audience has seen before.  The heart of the franchise seems to be missing in this installment.  The absence of Dwayne Johnson is felt in F9.

They completely jumped the shark by sending Tej and Roman into space, then comparing them to Minions.  F9 should do well at the box office as Americans race back to the theaters in search of an escape from covid restrictions.  If you are a true fan of the Fast and Furious franchise, then check it out, if not, then wait for this to hit one of the many streaming services.

Stowaway

Stowaway

Stowaway had the potential to be an incredible examination into the views and philosophy surrounding survival and hope, yet delivers with a lackluster presentation.  In a world where Gravity and The Martian don’t exist, perhaps Stowaway would find a place as an elegant space thriller, but it’s really only that about half the time.

Anna Kendrick plays the same character we saw in all of her other movies.  Shamier Anderson is the shining star of this flick.  Yet his performance cannot overcome all of the plot holes this story is riddled with.  Stowaway is not a terrible space movie, there are just much better ones offered on Netflix.  If you love space and are out of new options on Netflix, maybe give this a viewing.

Boss Level

Boss Level

I was hoping for a high-octane flick inspired by Groundhogs Day, but what I got was a forgettable movie.  Boss Level places Frank Grillo into a video game universe that is never fully programed with forgettable motivations.  The biggest mystery to me, with a title of “Boss Level” you would think the final battle would be epic, yet it seems mostly nonexistent.

The time loop formula seems played out.  From Edge of Tomorrow, Palm Springs, Source Code, and The Map of Tiny Perfect things, its time Hollywood produced something different.  If you loved Frank Grillo in Kingdom and you want more, maybe give Boss Level a shot.

Cruella

Cruella

The Devil Wears Prada with a mix of Joker, but not in a good way.  The endless hit parade of tunes could not save this movie and causes for a big distraction.  Despite this being based on an animated movie, Cruella is very dark for youngsters.  Cruella could have been saved with a 45-minute edit.

At least this Disney live action is a new story and not a direct copy of an animated movie.  The Disney adults will push this movie to the top of the box office.   Cruella is all eye and ear candy without any substance.  I would recommend waiting a few months till Cruella is free on Disney Plus.

The Little Things

The Little Things

The Little Things wants to be a movie absorbed in its meticulous clues and details. Yet, many of its key pieces and performances feel totally out of sync with each other, creating a suspense thriller that stumbles over itself.

The plot “twist” lands with an underwhelming and frustrating thud, as you go from “who did it?” to “is that it?”.  My main issue with this movie is its ending.  It is just completely unsatisfying.

This might be the one time I recommend skipping a Denzel Washington movie.

 

Unhinged

Unhinged

Unhinged has a lot of shock and awe, but no real substance or plot.  If there’s a redeeming feature to this movie it’s Russell Crowe’s performance.  Unfortunately, we never learn Crowe’s true motive other than he just snapped one day.

If you are a fan of the 1993 movie Falling Down movie starting Michael Douglas, you might want to give Unhinged a chance.  Otherwise this is an easy skip.

The Informer

The Informer

The Informer is like an experiment to see if an amazing cast can make uninspired material worth watching.  Spoiler alert, the answer is No.

The Informer is not bad, it is just nothing special.  The story is overly familiar and takes some odd twist and turns that stretch the plot’s credibility.  The saving grace to this movie is its cast.  The Informer has an all-star cast including Joel Kinnaman, Ana de Armas, Rosamund Pike, and Clive Owen just to name a few.

If you’re like me, searching for anything to watch during this pandemic, The Informer isn’t a bad selection.  Its just an easily forgettable movie.

The New Mutants

The New Mutants

Maybe its just the longing for new material in me, but I really enjoyed The New Mutants.  The issues this film had from the delays, reshoots, and director fighting with the studio can been seen on the screen.  This movie doesn’t seem to have a true identity, is it a superhero movie, horror flick, or drama?   I couldn’t decide.

The cast is by far the silver lining of this movie.  Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones) and Anya Taylro-Joy (The Queens Gambit) steel each scene they are in.  I wish we would have gotten more from Charlie Heaton (Stranger Things) but it felt like his character was never fully developed.  At least he did the best with what he was given.

If you are looking for something a bit different from the Super Hero world, give The New Mutants a shoot.

Promising Young Woman

Promising Young Woman

Promising Young Woman is a great movie that is full of surprises, well-paced comedy, and a ton of satisfying and shocking moments.

Carey Mulligan gives a dynamite performance that could generate some buzz come award season. Director Emerald Fennel really brings this world to life with his use of vibrant pastel colors.

Promising Young Woman is wildly entertaining, while being both troubling and disturbing.  If you are looking for a good revenge flick, look no further.

Anna

Anna

If you enjoy spy movies with double crosses, triple crosses, and quadruple crosses, then this is the movie for you.   Over and over, the movie proceeds down one narrative path, then jumps back as each twist reveals a new, hidden thread.  The director keeps the story and action clear while deftly slipping in minor details that prove crucial later on.

Sasha Luss (Anna) and Helen Mirren (Olga) have true chemistry as teacher / student.  Anna delivers on the action and miss direction.

This might be one of the best action movies I have seen in the past year.  If you love action movies, give Anna a shot.