Muppets Most Wanted begins literally seconds after the first film. The Muppets have the studio back, which oddly enough isn't featured in the film, and so they hire a new manager, Dominic Badguy who recommends they go on a world tour. On this tour Kermit is kidnapped and replaced with the world's deadliest criminal, Constantine who looks almost identical to Kermit and is working with Dominic to steal the crown jewels.
Muppets Most Wanted was actually a pretty funny movie although there's a few jokes that just don't work. There's a lot to love in Muppets Most Wanted and nearly every joke made by one of the muppets or by the as always hilarious Ty Burrell was done well. In fact I was laughing out loud frequently. There was also a handful of jokes that just don't work. A few of Tina Fey and Ricky Gervais' jokes just went nowhere. They had several decent moments each, but they also had several dud jokes each.
The film features near constant cameos. There were a lot of cameos in the first, most superior muppets movie and in Muppets Most Wanted there's even more. In practically every scene a recognisable celebrity made an appearance. Some of them were expected as they made a brief appearance in the trailer or announced publicly, but there's also a lot of others that were a surprise. The cameos just keep going and going and while a fair amount of people may be annoyed by this, I thought it was a joy and wouldn't even mind if the inevitable third film featured more!
There's a lot of CGI in the film that didn't feel as Muppet-ish as previous films. If there was any CGI in the first movie then I obviously didn't pick up on it, but in Most Wanted it's used a fair bit. Some characters go jumping over walls or flying through the air yet it was done digitally which is unlike how it was done in essentially all the previous Muppets related media. It was also done pretty sloppy in a few of the cases, a certain scene near the end of the movie especially. It was distracting and unlike all the practical effects of previous movies.
The song and dance numbers were catchy, but they've been better. The first film in this recent reboot series featured countless song and dance numbers, one of which even won an Oscar, and while they are catchy here they aren't up to the standards set by the previous film. Majority of the lyrics for the songs are forgettable, but the tune is what really sticks.
The film is really predictable, but it's the Muppets so it can easily be forgiven. A lot of these flaws can be overcome and forgiven because people go into the movie to see the Muppets and everybody knows what they're in for and predictability is the main one that can be forgiven. I knew just by watching the quite revealing trailer that the film would be predictable and it was. The film was actually very predictable, but this is the same for nearly every Muppets movie and so I will get over it yet again and just have fun.
To sum up Muppets Most Wanted doesn't reach the standards set by the first film, it uses too much CGI and is predictable, but it's also hilarious and features toe-tapping songs as well as unexpected cameos. It's the Muppets, c'mon.
3 1/2 Stars
Mr. Peabody & Sherman is the story of a genius dog named Mr. Peabody who was never purchased and brought into a home when he was just a puppy. When he finds a baby boy on the side of the road he decides to give the boy what he never had, a home. To teach Sherman, his son, about history Mr. Peabody builds a time machine, but problems with the space time continuum begin to occur when they get lost in the past.
Mr. Peabody and Sherman was surprisingly a very entertaining movie. I was actually really surprised as to how much fun I had with this movie, I enjoyed it an awful lot more than I thought I would seeings as I am not overly familiar with the original cartoons. There's a lot of fun to have with this movie as they go back through time and make some of the most intentionally cheesy history puns that work in the scene. I may not have been familiar with the characters prior to watching the film, but I was familiar with a lot of the dates they visited and I found the jokes made to be absolutely hilarious. Understanding the importance of these events made the film all the more funnier.
The film is brilliantly written. The film features all most Sherlock Holmes like moments where we occasionally go inside Peabody's head which is thanks to the intelligent, witty, pun filled screenplay that was an absolute delight when put up on screen. The film boasts with genius and even brings the odd tear to eye which can also be thanked by the terrific voice cast, the very minor flaws about them will be mentioned later.
There's a lot of jokes that went right over little kid's heads. The cinema that I was in was nearly full with parents taking their little children and throughout the whole film hardly any of them laughed. The ones that were a little older and the adults especially found the film to be funny, but little children just didn't get it. This isn't so much a bad thing for the adults being dragged along to the movie, but if I were a little kid wanting to see the film I wouldn't be overly entertained as I wouldn't understand much of what is happening. For me this made it more enjoyable, it just didn't work for its primary audience.
When some of the characters were talking all I could picture was the actors in a studio. This is what I really hate about animations although it hardly ever happens which means I usually don't have a lot to hate about. In Mr. Peabody & Sherman when Peabody and a few of the minor characters were talking all I would picture was the actor, such as Ty Burrell, in a recording studio and this really took me out of the scene. In most scenes this wasn't the case, but for a few, especially in the first act, it's what came to mind.
To sum up Mr. Peabody & Sherman was surprisingly very entertaining, a delight to watch, witty, smart, hilarious, wonderfully voiced and features a terrific screenplay. Most jokes will go over kid's heads, but it's fine of the rest of us.
Noah is a new take on the biblical story of Noah's Ark. The film follows the story of Noah, a man who God has chosen to save all the innocent beings of the Earth before it is destroyed in a great flood. With the help of his wife, his three sons, a young woman they've aided since she was injured as a child and spiritual beings brought down from heaven they make an ark to hold all of these innocent beings.
I thought that from the trailer I'd seen nearly all the film, but I couldn't have been further from the truth. The trailers actually hold back on so many events as well as problems that are needed to be overcome and even hold back on some of the characters present in the film. The flood itself only occurs halfway through the movie which would of course would make you think that the second half would be boring, but it's not. It's far from it actually. There is so much more to this movie than just the flood and that's what makes it stand out over other biblical movies that I have seen.
The visual effects in this film were beyond brilliant! They are of course not up to the same level as Gravity, which still stands as the best visual effects I've seen in a movie, in fact it's way off Gravity and various other films, but they were still breathtaking! Practically whole second half of the movie takes place in the centre of the flood or in the great battle going on the special effects were incredible. Noah was such a beautiful movie to witness and it's certainly the best looking film I've seen so far this year.
The film portrays Noah in a much more realistic and natural way than in the bible. I'm not having a go at the bible or religious beliefs in this paragraph, but instead I'm saying that in the film Noah the protagonist was shown in a more mature, realistic way and it showed the tolls that these action took on him as well as the moral decisions he was faced with. The film also showed the reactions of the people living around them in more realistic way. I won't go into spoilers about how these characters react in the situations given, but I will say it's much more realistic than how it's portrayed in the bible, or at least that is what I believe.
The film is emotionally investing the whole way through. For the whole of the movie I just couldn't stop caring for these characters, thanks to the consistently incredible performances, and the bad things that happen to them along the way which were very upsetting. Well bad things isn't really the best term for it, most like upsetting situations occurred throughout that were shocking and unexpected. On the note of shocking there were a few moments in the film that were shockingly violent and really pushed the limits of its classification. There were several instances of bloody scenes that I presume were actually held back in order to lower the classification.
To sum up Noah was a much more realistic take on the biblical story with much more to it than the trailer showed. The visual effects were beyond brilliant, the film is emotionally investing and the violence pushes the limits of its classification.
Ride Along is the story of Ben Barber, a high school security guard, video game addict, wannabe police officer and about to get married. There's only one problem that is getting in the way of his life and that's his fiancee's brother, a reckless cop, who doesn't approve of Ben. To prove himself to the brother he tags along with him for one day on the job.
Ride Along tries to be a comedy, but fails miserably. I've never actually been a big Kevin Hart fan. I've seen a few clips of his stand up and I like the ones I've seen, which isn't really much. Without Kevin Hart this film would have no energy whatsoever although that wouldn't really change the level of hilarity that it has. I didn't even smile or chuckle once in this movie and this isn't even an exaggeration. For the whole movie I had a straight, dull and boring look as I was bored out of my brains. If it were classified as an action movie I would say that it's a mediocre movie, but since it's a comedy it takes place as the second worse movie I've seen all year.
The film is very predictable too. Ride Along tries to add in a twist just over three quarters of the way through the movie yet it could be seen a mile away. As well as this, every single joke or "funny" situation that goes on in the movie is spilling with predictability. The way that every situation goes down wasn't the least bit surprising.
Majority of the acting in the film is dull and lifeless. The only actor in this entire movie that looked like they were either having fun or remotely trying was Kevin Hart, not that he was that good either. Every other actor in the movie looked like they were about to die of boredom and they simply didn't try. I mean Laurence Fishburne is in this movie for goodness sake! I've loved him in a lot of things, but here he was excruciating to watch.
Every bit of logic in this movie is ignored just so they can have a joke. There are so many illogical and just dumb situations that are completely unrealistic put into the film for one reason and one reason only: to make the audience laugh, although it failed at that too. There's the cliched something hits a car "oh it's still drivable because it's in the back" then the car blows up a few seconds later just so they can have a joke about how the car is not drivable anymore. That's the only non-spoiler illogical moment that I will share, but there are several scenes that are a whole lot worse.
To sum up Ride Along is a dumb, unfunny, illogical, predictable and almost completely lifeless movie. Kevin Hart gives a bit of energy to the film, but it doesn't change the fact that I didn't laugh once.
Non-Stop is the story of US Air Marshall, Bill Marks. Aboard a plane trip to London he receives a message on a secure phone network from somebody who threatens to kill a passenger every twenty minutes if $150 Million isn't transferred into their bank account. Bill seems to be the only one who believes the message, but this changes when a body is found on the plane. Now he must find the killer before many innocent lives are lost.
There are so many plot holes in the movie that it becomes ridiculous. To enjoy this movie it is absolutely necessary that you go into it knowing this fact and simply agree to go along with all of it. The movie simply cannot be both taken seriously and enjoyed. You really have to watch the movie and just accept everything that happens and not to question it all because it will lower the overall quality of the film. This film is really an un-enjoyable mess, but if you can get over the plot holes then it is a very very fun movie.
Liam Neeson plays the same badass character he is in Taken. As soon as the plot for this film came out the internet exploded with jokes about how this is just Taken in a plane and while it features the same protagonist the plot is very different. Liam Neeson is just an awesome actor and even if a film he's in is bad I still find enjoyment in it and this goes for Non-Stop too. It's always awesome to see Liam Neeson hunt someone no matter where.
There are various twists and turns in the movie that are unpredictable. From the trailer it really made the film seem predictable and I already thought I could figure out who the bad guy is in the film, but I was way off. For majority of the movie there are several passengers and crew members that appear suspicious and who the actual villain was I didn't see coming. It's not just who's the bad guy that's the biggest twist as this enjoyable action thriller is full of twists and turns that I don't wish to spoil.
The final act of the movie really pushes our disbelief. Like I've previously mentioned there are many moments in the film that are easy to just accept, but the final act of the film pulls everything together and makes it really hard to suspend our disbelief as it's so perfectly timed throughout the whole movie that when looking back if just the tinniest little detail was altered then hardly any of it would have actually happened, but I did manage to get over it and have a fun time at the movies.
To sum up Non-Stop is a fun, action packed thriller with several twists and the same badass Liam Neeson character that he plays in Taken. It also has a ridiculous amount of plot holes and a third act that you'll need to suspend your disbelief on.
300: Rise of an Empire is neither a sequel nor a prequel to the original 300 movie. The film begins before the events of 300 then take place during 300 and finally come to a conclusion after the events of 300. This film follows the story of a Greek general, Themistokles as he prepares for war against the evil and relentless Artemisia, the woman who's family were slaughtered when she was just a kid and now lives a life of violence and hatred.
I was actually a fan of the first 300 movie and was really looking forward to this sequel. The first film was really a guilty pleasure movie for me as it was so over the top, violent, quotable and just a bunch of fun and so going into this movie I pretty much knew it would be the same sort of thing. If you enjoyed the first film, like I did, then you will almost certainly be able to have fun with this sequel. It's twice as gory and over the top, but somewhat less quotable. This is not to say that there are no awesome quotes, there is one particularly great one towards the end.
This new 300 is much much bloodier than the first film and this really helped to make it a fun movie. This movie is just mindless entertainment in the most positive way possible. The film features a very large amount of fake CGI blood that's frequently over the top and gory, but without it the film wouldn't be nearly as fun. But there is A LOT of blood in this movie.
The film doesn't run for too long and hardly slows the pace down. One of the few problems I had with the first movie was that it ran for just a little too long and in this sequel this isn't the case. The film is a mere hour and 42 minutes long and is very fast paced. The film just kicks right into the action with blood-spilling and violence taking place all over the screen and from here to the end it hardly ever stops or slows.
Eva Green's character steals every scene she's in. There are so many movies where the bad guy gets more fans that the protagonist such as Darth Vader in Star Wars, Loki in Thor and The Avengers and Hannibal Lector in Silence of the Lambs (all of which are great movies) and in 300: Rise of an Empire Eva Green's character will join this list. Her character is just so incredibly badass and enjoyable to watch plus I cared more about her than I did the main character. There's also a rather interesting and unforgettable sex scene in the movie that will be one of this film's most memorable moments.
There were a few moments were the CGI needed a fair bit of improvement. These films are known for being 99% CGI and full of slow motion shots and I don't have a problem with this, but when you can see traces of the green screen in the character's hair then I've got a problem with it. There were more than a few scenes were either every character was obviously not played by an actor, but made on a computer or the green screen was visible through the outline of the characters and this really isn't good for a professional hollywood movie.
To sum up 300: Rise of Empire is wild, violent, over the top, incredible bloody, the right runtime, fast paced and features a great villain which makes it just as much a guilty pleasure as the first film. There were just a few dodgy CGI moments.