Belated Summer reviews 2
As summer has come to a close, I managed to view a few more movies before ending the season as we cross over into September and Fall films.
Now You See Me 2
The first film came out as a surprised hit, even though it wasn’t exactly a box office smash. Just entertaining enough to warrant a possible sequel and sure enough, they did. The film centers around a group of magicians called the Four Horseman as they have been summoned to perform one last major trick before having all their secrets exposed to the whole world. Whereas the first one left you with a “Hey! I did not see that coming!”, this one left us with a big, not so positive “Wait, what?!” It’s not a terrible movie by any means, just feels a little bit unwarranted. I mean, the tricks are pretty cool and the actors do well with what they are given even though each of them seem to be in their typical typecast shtick. Could be fun for a family viewing for a Redbox night. Just make sure you see the first one before seeing this one, or you’ll miss out the “big reveal”.
The Conjuring 2
James Wan returns with his haunted house franchise and takes us across the pond for what is known as the English Amityville. Where a single mother and her 4 children are plagued by a malicious spirit. Like the first one, this is based on a true account from famed “demonologists” Ed and Lorraine Warren. Whether or not you believe them is entirely up to you, however it doesn’t discount the possibility of creating a movie out of it. James Wan is a genius when it comes to horror movies. Conjuring 2 had such an atmospheric presence that will keep your full attention and the same time make you grab a nearby security blanket of some sort. One thing (amongst many other things) that I really appreciate out of this movie is that I really truly felt the love that Ed and Lorraine had for each other and the understanding of who each of them was. There is one pivotal scene where Ed gets trapped and leaves Lorraine behind. With much fear of the evil spirit that has threatened his life, he still chooses to abandon himself in order to save the girl and Lorraine knew this even though she didn’t want him to go. It may not mean much to anyone but it resonated pretty deep for me. That aside, Conjuring 2 is the perfect summer blockbuster for the horror genre and it’s pretty spooky to boot. I may or may not have avoided looking into mirrors for the night.
Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping
Turns out the rising to fame and falling from it can be pretty damn funny. I laughed a lot more than I thought I would have. Popstar is a mockumentary following the rise and fall of Connor4real played by Andy Samberg. Along with a talented comedic casts, the laughs keep coming and the film never overstays its welcome. There’s some raunchy materials in there, so keep that in mind if the kids are around. Beyond the jokes from Samberg and his posse, is the celebrity cameos from the like of Usher, Mariah Carey, and my personal favorite cameo Justin Timberlake. Turns out, they can be pretty funny as well. If you enjoyed Spinal Tap, then this is definitely worth the watch. Even if you haven’t seen it, I still think you’ll get quite a bit of laughs.
Free State of Jones
Helmed by Gary Ross (Hunger Games), Free State of Jones is about the events of Jones County, Mississippi where a Confederate deserter (Matthew McConaughey) forms a small army of fellow deserters, runaway slaves, and locals to fight against the Confederate army. McConaughey leads with much heart as the movie plays out. The underlying story of racial tension is evident throughout. The big issue is that it’s quite long. They seem to wrap it up at an hour and a half, but no we still have about an hour to go. So we can watch more racial tension as they go into “rebuilding” now that the Civil War has ended. Maybe this could be better served as a mini series. Even then, the story fizzles out. But hey, Gary Ross has done his research, there’s a lot of history to be learned in this movie. Not a summer blockbuster type film for sure. The box office numbers can testify to that.
That’s it for the summer. Summer in review is coming soon.