Movie Review: Godzilla: King of the Monsters

There are several tell tale signs of a bad movie with special effects. The first is darkness throughout the entire movie. In the new movie “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” every special effects scene was shot during a rain storm, tornado, hurricane or at night. The reason for this is because of the special effects budget, that for this movie must have been low. Another sign of a bad special effects movie is a bad script and the logic and reasoning for this story was about as bad as I have ever seen. The third bad sign for this movie was there were so many named actors in this film, because once the producers knew that the story was bad, they thought that they could fix this disaster by throwing in about 7 well known actors. This tactic did not work. The worst thing about this movie is that it was very boring in way too many areas, as people stand around and try and explain what is going on and most of the explanations are just plain ridiculous.

Why this movie was made, considering how bad the script is, was a mystery to me. Why not re-write the script a few more times, come up with a much better story and then start over again? Wouldn’t this be a far more cost effective way to save the Godzilla franchise then trying to fix a bad screenplay by hiring 7 known actors? The problem here is favors in Hollywood, where a script is green-lighted for reasons other than it being good because something was promised to someone years ago. Once a budget is created for a production, they just move forward because they believe that because of the name recognition that comes with Godzilla, all you need is special effects and no story. I was also quite surprised that so many well known actors could read this bad script and still agree to sign for this movie.

The Rotten Tomatoes rating for this bad film is a low 40%, my rating is around 20% and I recommend that this movie be skipped by everyone except for the most die hard Godzilla fans.

Movie Review: The Biggest Little Farm

“The Biggest Little Farm” is one of the most unforgettable real life documentaries I have ever seen about a young couple who have very little money, live in a small apartment and mainly because their dog would not stop barking when they are away at work, decide to raise money and start a farm. It is impossible to not appreciate the incredible amount of hard work and risk taking this couple go through, overcoming hundreds of problems over a course of 10 years to achieve their dream of owning a farm.

Anyone who might have the ambition to start their own business or start a farm, might think twice after seeing the incredible hardship of taking a run down farm that went bankrupt and turn it into a business, that makes money.

I was most impressed with the farm science depicted in this story, from irrigation, to creating healthy soil, to problems with chickens, sheep, pigs and attacking coyotes. The life cycle and ecosystem of nature depicted within a farm like this was also fascinating and very well done.

The biggest little farm has a very high 91% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and I agree with this grade and highly recommend this film.

Movie Review: Brightburn

The idea for “Brightburn” is a good one. What would happen if the parents who found Superman when he crash landed on a Farm somewhere in the Midwest, adopted an infant that turned out to be evil rather than good? The entire idea of both Superman and Brightburn are ridiculous from the start because the odds of an alien child landing on earth that looks human are impossibly remote. Any two adults who found any alien child in a crash landed spaceship would call the police or the FBI long before any thought of adoption would set in. Setting aside any level of common sense or logic gives us science fiction or in this case horror movies like Brightburn. Most of this inane logic can be acceptable because its science fiction, but when a story gets too preposterous, this is where the movie becomes more annoying than entertaining.

The problem with Brightburn is a problem with most horror movies. People just do not react or behave in these movies like an average person would behave when faced with circumstances like these. The police would have been called long before horrendous problems and murder would happen. The boy, a who is about 12 years old when the mayhem begins, would have been sent off to an scientific observation center as soon as any dangerous super powers would be revealed. It has been rare in my experience as an avid moviegoer where people in insane situations react like any average person would. One reason for this is dramatic effect and another reason could be that the producers of these movies believe that people like to feel superior to the actors in the movie, who are running for their lives.

Brightburn stars Elizabeth Banks and avid Denman as the boys parents and Jackson A. Dunn, who plays the superhero gone bad. Dunn shows very little acting ability in his role and seems more like a robot than a 12 year old boy with super powers.

The Rotten Tomatoes review for this film are only 58% and I mostly agree with this opinion and give a very marginal recommendation to this film because of all the easily fixable problems in this story.

Movie Review: Booksmart

As a professional movie blogger, a must see movie is any movie that is rated 95% or higher on Rotten Tomatoes. Almost without exception a movie ranked that high is either very good or great, with the exception of “Booksmart”, that is at best a below average teenage comedy.

For me, the entire premise of this story did not work. Two girls about to graduate from high school realize that all their years of never partying or having any fun was wasted, because other students who partied and skipped school also got into the best schools. Already this is a bad idea, because this would never happen in real life. The two girls then decide that they will make up for all this lost fun in one night, another bad idea. This movie was somewhat raunchy but mostly not funny and did not work as a comedy. Why the critics liked this movie so much I makes no sense. My rating is only 50%.

Booksmart is the directorial debut of actress Olivia Wilde and I thought the directing for this film was OK, but nothing that stood out as out as memorable.

I do not agree with the critics for Booksmart and I do not recommend this movie.

Movie Review: Trial By Fire

Getting thrown into jail for something you did not do is bad enough for any human being to live through, but to be put on death row when you are innocent is for most of us a fate worse than death. What the new movie “Trial By Fire” shows better than just about any movie I have ever seen is a true story of massive injustice. The main character Cameron Todd Willingham, played very well by Jack O’Connell was railroaded onto death row in Texas for arson and the murder of his 3 young children, even though he was completely innocent.

The corrupt court system in Texas in the early 1990’s that illegally forced an innocent man onto death row by convicting him of arson and the murder of his 3 infant children was one of the most outrageous stories of incompetence and the treatment of the poor that I have ever seen. Witnesses were paid off and given reduced sentences, Willingham’s lawyer did not care enough to do his job at all, the arson experts who testified that the fire was set on purpose were 100% wrong. Despite all of this Willingham was on death row for 12 years until Elizabeth Gilbert, played by Laura Dern, through a series of letters became involved with Willingham’s case. Gilbert’s efforts over several years eventually became more desperate as Willingham’s execution date became closer and her realization that nobody in charge cared enough to help an innocent man.

The state of Texas has executed more people than any other state for many years and this movie showed at the end that as many as 158 people in recent years, were days away from being executed before new evidence was found to save them. In the case of something as extreme as the death penalty, killing another human being should not only be the last resort, it should be something that happens only when all avenues of evidence and doubt have been completely exhausted. Unfortunately because of the politics and corrupt, incompetent people in charge, too many innocent people have been put to death in this country.

I thought that this movie was very well done, despite the low 61% ratings on Rotten Tomatoes and I give a strong recommendation to this film.

Movie Review: A Dogs Journey

The problem with making a sequel to 2017’s “A Dogs Purpose” is that a movie about the constant death and then reincarnation of several dogs for 2 hours can become extremely depressing. The new movie “A Dogs Journey” is unique in that it is a film both for Dog lovers and not for Dog lovers at the same time, because of the death scenes of beloved dogs. There is nothing in this world like the pure unconditional love of a pet and the pain of an understanding that most pets do not live much longer than 15 years at best. Dealing with this harsh reality can be devastating no matter how much we prepare ourselves for the inevitable loss.

This sequel once again stars Dennis Quaid and I thought that the story for this movie was better because it included less dogs who are reincarnated and one central story throughout the entire movie about a dog who protects the granddaughter of Dennis Quaid’s character. I thought this story was very well done throughout this film.

The Rotten Tomatoes rating for this movie is an anemic 47%, but I would give it a solid 70% because of the good job it does with emotional impact, especially at the end. I give a solid recommendation to A Dogs Journey, but prepare yourself for some very painful moments that are hard to watch.

Movie Review: The Sun is also a Star

The new movie “The Sun is also a Star” is a romance and fate movie, at the level of the memorable “Serendipity” released in 2001, starring Kate Beckinsale and John Cusack. The problem with Serendipity is that Beckinsale’s character believed in miracles and fate so much, that the odds of that relationship actually happening after the ridiculous beginning of this movie were a billion to 1. I thought the ending of Serendipity was very well done however.

This movie has many scenes of fate and unlikely circumstances, and most of them are not believable. I also did not believe the unlikely relationship between the main character Natasha Kingsley played by Yara Shahidi and Daniel Bae played by Charles Melton. The underlying story of Natasha’s family being deported back to Jamaica connects the action of this entire film and I found the conclusion to the deportation and the final scene unsatisfactory. I would have gone into a completely different direction with this story. Another problem was the many time killing music with no dialogue in this movie, that mostly means they did not have enough screenplay for 2 hours. Not a good sign for any film.

The Rotten Tomatoes ratings for The Sun is also a Star is a low 50% and I agree with this, and do not recommend this film.

Movie Review: John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum

Anyone who has seen any of the 3 John Wick movies knows how extremely violent they are. None of these movies are about a great story, they are all about expertly choreographed gun-play, martial arts and extraordinary action. A high number of the violent scenes in “John Wick 3” are so well done they surpass the extreme action of the previous 2 movies. There is a knife fight towards the beginning of this movie that is incredible, another fight scene in a library with a very tall assassin that is as well filmed as it was violent. There are scenes with motorcycles that are some of the best I have ever seen, and some other scenes with different horses that are extremely impressive. If you forego any sign of a screenplay or common sense and concentrate on the incredible amount of work that went into a movie like this, you cannot help but appreciate how well all of this was done.

John Wick 3 stars Keanu Reeves and Halle Berry and both must have trained for a long time to look as good as they did in the action scenes in this film. Also returning is Laurence Fishburne and Anjelica Huston and both are excellent in their roles. This movie starts when John Wick 2 ends and the convoluted story of a consortium of assassins and a 15 million dollar bounty put on Wick at times makes little sense, but none of this matters against the extremely well done action scenes.

The Rotten Tomatoes ratings for John Wick 3 are a very high 88% and I agree with this rating and highly recommend this movie, but only for people who do not mind extreme violence like this.

Movie Review: Poms

The problem with the new movie “Poms” starring Diane Keaton is it tries to combine a depressing story of a woman dying of cancer with a comedy about older women competing in a cheerleader competition. The cheerleader practicing and issues along the way are the majority of this movie and way too boring to fill two long hours. The part about the main character, played by Diane Keaton, dying of cancer ruins any chance of the cheerleader part of the story, which is supposed to be uplifting, from working at any level.

This movie was not very bad, but not good either and the story is so minimal I was surprised it was made into a movie. I agree with the low Rotten Tomatoes ratings for this film at 31%, and I cannot recommend it.

Movie Review: The Hustle

“The Hustle” is another one of those bad movies where you wonder if anyone read the script before signing on the dotted line. You wonder why a respected and bankable actress like Ann Hathaway would take this bad part, her second this year along with the horrible “Serenity”. This is a bad movie for someone like Rebel Wilson, who can probably afford to be in a film this bad, but one wonders what Hathaway is doing with her career lately. Unless you are spending money like water, less is more especially when it comes to making two bad movies in a row.

Everything about this movie was bad, it was supposed to be funny like the movie “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” was, starring Steve Martin and Micheal Cane, released in 1988. There was not a single laugh during the entire 2 hours. Many of the scams and the rip off’s in this story made no sense and had no logic to them. The entire movie was extremely boring and I for one had to fight just to stay awake. Through it all you wonder how millions of dollars could have been spent just because some producer thought making a female version of an above average movie from 30 years ago, would somehow draw an audience. The Hustle is easily one of the worst movies this year.

The good news is that this movie has such low ratings on Rotten Tomatoes, 17% and is so bad that it will be out of the theaters in a few more days.