Robot & Frank (2012, USA) | Rating: 4/5
Around the time this movie came out, for some reason I thought the story was about this elderly man living with a robot assistant because he had Alzhemier's or something, but that isn't the case at all. After reading Ophelia's review, I figured I needed to check it out since our tastes are very similar. I popped into the player and found myself slowly enjoying myself. Frank's personality somewhat fits the usual grumpy old man against technology, but there's more to this grumpy old man. He has a not so innocent past of being an infamous burglar and not having the best of relationship with his adult children. The film focuses on his relationship with his new live in robotic assistant and the spark of inspiration to take on one last thief. The acting is great and I loved watching these characters interact and react to this unusual situation. It presents a good balance of drama and comedy and the ending brought me as much joy as it did for Frank. I highly recommend this one!
Barbershop: The Next Cut (2016, USA) | Rating: 3.5/5
After 12 years (not counting the spin-off Beauty Shop), they decided to make another installment to the franchise. Was it necessary? No. But was it bad? No. This movie and the following have both already been quickly reviewed by BlipMasta5 and, once again, I'm just behind on reviewing. I think I saw this before it left the theater as it was just me, my friend, and four other people there for the show. I enjoyed the previous installments, so I expected more of the same. For the most part, it still fits into the franchise's framework, despite not having all of its cast back. I thought I would have my review up for Chi-raq to compare this too, but you'll just have to take my word for it until I get around to it. The news of police brutality and the rise of fallen African Americans is nothing new or unfamiliar to the movie's demographic or American citizens, so the storyline took advantage its platform and star power to promote the message of community support and honestly, I think it did a great job with its message. While at times it does have its father knows best moments with Ice Cube and Common's characters and plot conveniences, it's effective and entertaining. In general, it doesn't hold back with its social commentary just like the first Barbershop and that's what makes this movie so honest and true to reality, especially black culture. A short comment on Nicki Minaj's acting and character: I admit I'm not particularly fond of her as an artist, I think she should stick to music. Her speaking voice is a little annoying and she didn't quite add too much to the story, other than the usual infidelity catalyst for Common and Eve. Oh, and to be blatant eye candy for anyone who came to see the movie for her.
The Jungle Book (2016, USA) | Rating: 4/5
So, Disney is doing this thing where they're going back and making their classics into live action films for some reason. Also, Warner Bros. was planning on releasing their own adaptation of this story next year, but pushed it back another year probably due to the massive success of this film. I hadn't seen the animated version in a really long time, but I still remember enough to compare that version to this recent one and it definitely deserved its success and praise. The story was extremely immersive with its highly realistic settings and enjoyable characters. I'm still in disbelief that that was in a film studio. The touch of musical elements from the animated version worked mostly well into the narrative and the pacing was good. My mom and I really enjoyed this experience together and Shere Khan was quite the impressive threat. I was a little frightened by him. Small bits of criticism was that there were moments where the animals didn't look real and I think they could've utilized Scarlett Johansson more. She had such a small part; it felt like a waste of an interesting character. Andy Serkis has some big competition in 2018.
Sisters (2015, USA) | Rating: 2.5/5
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are a match made in heaven. They've always shared an astounding chemistry together no matter what they do and this film is no exception. I didn't doubt their dynamics at all, but the premise remained too silly for me to shelve out any money. Even though it was silly, it was still a fun movie, but it focused more on the party element and put the actual story on the back burner. I guess this movie is geared more towards college students and adults trying to hold onto their youth or whatever. While party movies can be somewhat fun to watch, we've had a bulk of them years ago with Spring Breakers, Project X, etc. Honestly, Trainwreck did a better job balancing adult humor and fun than this movie. Sometimes some of the jokes tried too hard to be edgy and cool and it just felt awkward. It's like if your mom tried to hang out with your friends and threw some borderline offensive or sexual jokes. It's uncomfortable. Nonetheless, the movie isn't terrible in the least, there's simply not a lot of content and consistent adult humor.
Krampus (2015, USA) | Rating: 3/5
Sometimes you need a little campy holiday horror to brighten up your day. This cheese fest has been compared to the iconic Gremlins and I can see the similarities. Its humor and holiday spirit are on the right track and I can see this being the almost Gremlins of this generation. For me, it won't be as memorable as Gizmo and company, but I did manage to have fun with these characters dealing with their dysfunctional problems while trying to survive Krampus' reign of terror. There's plenty of late 80s/early 90s influence throughout this film and I think that's what makes it enjoyable. Realistically, I don't see myself returning to this movie, even though I would like to fully wrap my head around the conclusion; I do believe this would be a great holiday watch for horror fans.
If there's something you want me to review (or want a more in depth review of the movies above or previous ones), check out this post on how you can submit requests.