The Saw Franchise Tortures The Audience in ‘Jigsaw’ – (2017) Review

The Saw Franchise Tortures The Audience in 'Jigsaw' (2017) Review Years ago it was a Halloween tradition for a Saw movie in the cinema. Back in 2004, the series tried to change the slasher game. It put you in the minds of the victims and gave you a moral quandary or two along the way. You didn’t revel in the violence like a night at Crytal Lake. Over the years, the series moved so far away from that original germ of an idea, it became a whole different animal. Jigsaw’s rules became idiotic but were presented as profound. Now, after all this time, Jigsaw returns in ‘Jigsaw’. The new film talks a lot about the legacy of the Jigsaw killer, the impact he left on the world after all this time. The symbolism between fans of the Saw films and fans of Jigsaw itself worked 10 years ago, but these days it feels like a fantasy land. Perhaps that’s the point since the movie is entirely populated with moments that defy what we know as reality. Everything from character interactions, physics, and even the movies brain dead psychology feel ingenuine. Typically in an idiotic horror movie, you can still enjoy yourself and ignore the more distracting fallacies. Not so here. Here if you’re distracted by the tv movie acting, you can’t exactly ignore it to focus on the nonsensical story. If a movie is the greater sum of its parts, ‘Jigsaw’ is…

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‘Tyler Perry’s Boo! 2: A Madea Halloween’ (2017) Review

The Accountant (2016) Review: Miscalculated I'm distraught.I'm worried.I'm scared too.It's been a year since Tyler Perry hit a new low with his return to the Madea-verse, 'Boo!'. A movie that defies explanation for its irreverent disregard for narrative structure, character development, and humour, but made a lot of money. Now, the sequel has been released, 'Boo 2!' and I can't help but feel personally targeted. It feels like an added dose of punishment for a crime I didn't commit. I know Tyler Perry didn't make this movie for me, or that he intentionally made it as bad as it was for people like me to suffer. He made it for him. It has become my nightmare.I suppose it’s a recurring nightmare. Madea has long been a staple of Hollywood, and is rightfully in my mind one of the most iconic characters of the last 20 years. She is something that feels genuine, relatable, and continuously funny. Truth be told, she still is. However, this film has no claims of genuineness. It’s distinctly unfunny, and anyone who can relate to it, deserves to be clinically examined.Just like the last time, the film is an incoherent mess that paradoxically has too much substance, and none whatsoever. So much of the film goes on and on and on and on and on and on, and on, until you find yourself nodding off, having a nice nap, and waking up to find yourself stuck in the…

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‘American Assassin’ (2017) Review

American Assassin (2017) Review: As Dull As It Gets 'American Assassin' is a mess. Not a great way to start a review. You can probably tell where this is going. It's the story of 'Mitch Rapp', played by 'The Maze Runner' himself, Dylan O'Brien. A tragic, superhero-esque origin story sees Rapp lose the love of his life to a mass shooting on the beach. It's told in graphic detail and is likely to evoke some intense reactions from the audience. For anyone looking to escape the all too frequent tragedies on the nightly news, perhaps skip 'American Assassin'.As hard as it is to watch, for the first half of the film, the violence feels earned. Rapp becomes a vigilante, touring the world to stop evil, one terror cell at a time. You understand his motivations clearly, and Dylan O'Brien gives a good portrayal of a man with Punisher levels of unprocessed grief. It's also in that first half that 'American Assassin' has one of the more interesting training montages I've seen in a while, as Rapp develops his relationship with Michael Keaton's character, Stan Hurley. A man who has the training style of Mr. Miyagi, but the bloodlust of John Rambo.For a while, it seemed like my worst fears about 'American Assassin' were gone. The film had maintained my interest, given me decent characters, and interesting action. It had defied comparisons to Jason Bourne, and other spy thrillers and become its own…

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‘King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword’ (2017) Review

King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword (2017) Review: A Story Best Left Untold Guy Ritchie seems to be a director who is his own worst enemy. His style no doubt marks him as one of the most distinctive directors alive, and his ability to frame dialogue like a well-crafted action sequence, is nothing short of mesmerizing. The 2009 'Sherlock Holmes' was taken as a sign that his filmmaking could be translated onto any property, however recently the English director has not been so fortunate. 'The Man from U.N.C.L.E' had all the telltale Ritchie quirks, but instead of an overall enjoyable picture, the film was decent with a few bright spots.Sorry to say his latest picture is even worse than that, as 'King Arthur: Legend of the Sword' brings the summer movie season to a screeching halt. After the promising start of 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2', this film serves as a harsh reminder of the worst a blockbuster can be. Director Guy Ritchie of 'Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels' fame is at the helm of this retelling of the classic story. It follows Charlie Hunnam as Arthur, as he grapples with the responsibility of wielding the mighty Excalibur, the sword he pulled from stone. On the face of it, 'King Arthur: Legend of the Sword' should be easier to watch than it is. The film takes Guy Ritchie's frenetic style and captivating dialogue, and mixes it with the stunning visuals and…

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‘Keeping Up With The Joneses’ (2016) Review

Keeping Up With The Joneses (2016) Review: They're Boring. I don't know what it is but spy comedies never seem to do it for me. I think on the face of it, movies making fun of spies, or just playing with the espionage genre could be great. There are plenty of tropes to make fun of, but I've never really seen it done well. I haven't seen last years 'Spy' so maybe that would tickle my fancy, but by and large, making light of spy movies has never really been watchable. Any time I see Mike Meyers say groovy I want to hurl something at the screen. That's not much different with this film, although less throwing, more groaning. Zach Galifianakis can’t seem to catch a break these days. I haven’t seen ‘Masterminds’ myself, but from what I’m hearing, it’s not much better than the movie this review is focused on ‘Keeping Up With The Joneses’. Both feature Zach playing everyday characters who get thrust into a life of dangerous adventure. This is the one where he discovers his neighbours are spies, and helps them out with their spying. If you’re thinking ‘Why would spies need Zach’s help, he’s really not equipped for that kind of job” you’d be right, and the movie doesn’t seem to care. Many times I was burdened by questions like that, only for the movie to slap me across the face, punishing me for daring to take…

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‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ (2016) Review

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) Review: I Think I Hate Superheroes Now. The very first review on this blog is for Zack Snyder's 'Man Of Steel'. In that review, I compared the development of a new 'Star Wars' movie as being just as ambitious as bringing Superman back into the modern cinematic conversation. Not only by himself, but for the purposes of ushering in a new universe of superheroes that included some of the most recognisable comic book characters across the world. While the movie had it's problems, I nevertheless maintained that there was enough groundwork laid to give me hope for where this story could go, and that the mistakes made weren't so grave that they couldn't be rectified, with a little attention to audience feedback. Oh what precious innocence hath left me today. For starters, I'll make this review brief. Odds are you're already planning to see the movie called, 'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice' (henceforth known as BvS) if for nothing else than to get a glimpse of the titular battle between these two huge counterparts. This review isn't going to stop you and neither should it, your opinion is just as good as any. So this piece of writing isn't for you, it's for me. Therapy is expensive and this is next best way to express my trauma. Following the events of 'Man of Steel', BvS imagines a world where the events at the end…

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‘Goosebumps’ (2015) Review

Goosebumps (2015) Review: Go Read A Book The films we see today are usually based on some other medium; whether it be comics, a TV show or based on the novel Push by Sapphire. Regardless, these films are the ones that get put under the closest scrutiny as fans of the original source material automatically rally behind that age old battle cry, "the book was better". Trouble is though, I'm not sure we should be comparing the two. Yes, the film adaptation takes its cues from the book but a true adaptation should be celebrated in its differences. We should look to the film version to see what it did differently and why it worked for the change in medium. Not only that, why would you want to have the same thing twice? That seems to be a set up for disappointment because no adaptation is ever going to match the imagery of your own imagination. 'Goosebumps' tries to circumvent that mess of fan expectation by not adapting just one of R.L Stine's classics, but instead crafts a subpar picture about the 'Goosebumps' craze. Main character Zach is a city boy who has trouble adjusting to his new small town life. Thankfully though, Zach has a bonafide Sam Raimi Spider-Man, girl next door, love story in cute girl next door Hannah. After Zach assumes Hannah's father is a danger to her, he sneaks into their creepy house and accidentally knocks down what…

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‘Transporter: Refueled’ (2015) Review

Transporter: Refueled (2015) Review: Running On Empty This summer saw quite a few fourth and fifth franchise iterations. There was 'Jurassic World', the spiritual sequel to the original 1993 epic, but still the fourth film in the series. 'Mad Max: Fury Road' saw the return of a franchise long thought dead, and even 'Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation' brought back a Tom Cruise that most believed to be past his prime, for the second time in a row.Typically a franchise tends to lose steam after the third film, but in the age where the seventh 'Fast & Furious' film was the #3 movie at the worldwide box office, that doesn't seem to be the case anymore. They're also doing well critically. Both 'Rogue Nation', and 'Fury Road' have received great praise so far this year standing at 93 and 97 percent respectively on Rotten Tomatoes. No longer is it easy to write off a franchise that goes beyond the standard trilogy, as the viewer might just be walking into something marvelous that they didn't expect to.Immensely, 'Transporter: Refueled' is not that. In fact, the only thing unexpected about the film is just how bad it can get. After 3 films starring Jason Statham, a critical and commercial failure of a television series, the Transporter returns with Ed Skrein at the helm. He plays the same character as Statham, Frank Martin, and his role is the exact same. I never much got into the…

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‘Fantastic Four’ (2015) Review

Fantastic Four (2015) Review: Fanta-Stick A Needle In Both My Eyes. Superhero movies have come a long way in the last ten years, since the release of the original 'Fantastic Four'. Since then Batman has become the dark knight he was always meant to be and the galaxy is now sufficiently guarded. The genre has evolved past its origin of cringe-worthy dialogue and now garners the attention of everyone from Robert Redford to Jeremy Irons. Aside from its credibility, the genre has expanded its storytelling horizons.Each one these days corners a different sub-genre. You have a conspiracy thriller in 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier', a fantasy epic in 'Thor: The Dark World' and most recently, a heist film in 'Ant-Man'. If superheroes are going to be dominating the release schedules of the next decade or two, it's a comfort to know they'll at least be interesting.The most recent of superhero cinema, Fantastic Four, seems to completely ignore all that goodwill and innovation.The movie starts out with Reed Richards, established as a misunderstood boy genius. While every other kid says they want to grow up to be firemen, he says he wants to instantaneously travel across space. A bit of an overachiever right? His teacher mocks him, his parents dismiss him. The only respite he can find is through his friend and partner Ben Grimm. Together the two work over the next 7 years to perfect Reed's plans of teleportation. Eventually, this perfection catches the eye of Franklin Storm…

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