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Atomic Blonde– Video Review

Charlize Theron + comic book movies= Atomic Blonde and we’ve got our review!

What did you all think of Atomic Blonde? Hit us up in the comments below and let us know!

Review: ‘The Dark Tower’ flimsily stands atop solid foundation

Hollywood has been looking to Stephen King for adaptable source material for decades now. Some projects have become classic works of cinema, such as The Shawshank Redemption or The Shining. Others have been cast aside and forgotten like many of the restless spirits in King’s works.

Despite widely varying results, there is an obvious hunger for seeing King’s nightmarish imagination play out on the silver screen. Still, many have opted out of adapting The Dark Tower series, which is largely considered King’s magnum opus.

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Fast forward to 2017. Not only do we have a live-action retelling of Stephen King’s iconic novel, but it features two of the biggest stars on the planet in Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey. And while the collision of so much talent may seem like the cosmic workings of a greater power (a turtle, perhaps?), I’m afraid this iteration of The Dark Tower is doomed to the limbo of forgotten Stephen King movies.

That isn’t to say The Dark Tower is an outright mess. It isn’t. It’s actually pretty fun throughout thanks to occasional flashes of inspired world building and a strong outing by Elba as the heralded gunslinger, the last in a long line of badass cowboys who guard The Dark Tower from forces that would do it harm.

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Matthew McConaughey’s Man in Black is one of those forces. He’s a powerful sorcerer who causes people to stop breathing or hate their own mother (no, really) by simply waving his hand. However, the Man in Black does more damage to the actual movie he’s in than anything.

Whereas the gunslinger seeks revenge for the death of those closest to him, no such motivation is given to the Man in Black. He wants to raise The Dark Tower and destroy the universe because he’s evil and that’s the type of thing evil characters in these types of stories do. It comes off as if no attention was spared to his development. Not even the Academy Award winning  McConaughey sparks any excitement from the one note writing. He delivers each eye-rolling line with spectacular boredom.

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But the Man in Black is only one convention inside an overly conventional film. Oozing from the mind of Stephen King, The Dark Tower movie should at least feel like a singular experience. Nobody tells the types of stories he tells and his creative influences are felt even during the most lackluster of his adaptations.

I knew where this movie was headed the moment Jake Chambers (Tom Taylor) had his doodling pad ripped from his hands by the school bully, right down to the laughable final showdown. And I was right. You don’t have to possess any Shine to be able to predict each next step in this fantastical journey.

Grade: C+

What did you all think about The Dark Tower? Did you have fun with it? And what did you think about Matthew McConaughey in this role? Let us know in the comments section below!

Port of Dorks Podcast Ep. 16: The Dark Tower & Atomic Blonde

The Port of Dorks Podcast is back! In episode 16, the dorks discuss the roller coaster movie that is The Dark Tower and the new Charlize Theron spy thriller Atomic Blonde!

What do ya’ll think about these films? Did you like or dislike one more than the other? And who is more brooding: Charlize or Idris? Let us know in the comments below!

False advertising & ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ review

War for the Planet of the Apes rounds out one of the greatest trilogies of the 21st century. It also featured a blatantly false marketing campaign. We talk about both in our video review!

 

What do you all think? Does the new ‘Apes’ franchise belong in the discussion of one of the all-time best trilogies and did you feel lied to by the marketing campaign at all? Let’s talk about it in the comments!

Review: ‘Transformers: The Last Knight’ is dense and dumb

Director: Michael Bay

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Anthony Hopkins, Josh Duhamel, Laura Haddock, Stanley Tucci

Synopsis: Humans and Transformers are at war, Optimus Prime is gone. The key to saving our future lies buried in the secrets of the past, in the hidden history of Transformers on Earth (IMDb).             

Rating: PG-13

Year: 2017

Thankfully, Hollywood averted a looming writers’ strike back in May. So can somebody please explain why it still feels like nobody bothered showing up to the writer’s room for Transformers: The Last Knight?

I get gruff for it, but I actually enjoy the first live-action Transformers movie from a decade ago. It has a good understanding of itself and never takes itself too seriously. Like its animated source material, it whole-heartedly embraces the ridiculousness of giant, alien robots turning into cars and fighting each other. Most importantly, though, it features a coherent story with somewhat relatable characters, which is something the other films seriously lack.

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It’s sad then to see that Bay seems uninterested in addressing this long-standing critique of the series in ‘The Last Knight’ (that or he’s completely oblivious). Again the emphasis for Bay is on beautifully framed action set pieces and not the cartoonishly dull characters who occupy them.

If you care about Mark Wahlberg’s Cade Yeager at all during this movie, chances are it’s because you saw the previous film. Here Cade’s a shell of his former self. Instead of organically developing through character decisions, it feels like he is being artificially manipulated through an indecipherable narrative via convenient, clunky dialogue. It’s obvious by Wahlberg’s undying deer in the headlights look that even he’s not sure what’s going on. That’s no mark against Marky Mark; rather, it speaks to how dense and dumb the script is.

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Adding insult to injury, Bay has miraculously managed to annoy me with Sir Anthony Hopkins, one of my all-time favorite actors. He plays the head of a mysterious organization in charge of keeping safe the secret history of the Transformers, although I couldn’t tell you why or how that’s done. Whatever their techniques, it seems the cat is out of the bag and Hopkins is out of his mind, or at least his character is: constantly babbling on and ceaselessly insulting everyone around him. Eventually, shaking my head became a reflex each time he opened his mouth.

Wahlberg and Hopkins may be the sexy names atop the marquee, but Transformers has always been about Optimus Prime and the best stories always pit the Autobot leader against his nemesis Megatron. One of the more exciting additions to the cast is Frank Welker, who returns to voice the dominate Decepticon for the first time in this live-action run (with no explanation for the character’s apparent resurrection). Alongside Peter Cullen, there is novelty in hearing the two original voices together again but neither one gets significant screen time.

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Like everyone else in this movie, the pair are unfortunate victims of an over-bloated script that doesn’t much bother itself with what makes the most sense story-wise. Major characters move around the world with no explanation as to how, major damage from epic fight scenes just disappear, and looming conflicts are easily explained away as if they never happened. After a numbing while of exposure, I began to question my own competency.

Despite his blatant disregard for these characters or their story, Bay knows how to shoot action. This is readily apparent throughout these films, ‘The Last Knight’ included. The problem is that most of it becomes digital noise because we’re not invested in the outcome and we’re not invested in the outcome because either we don’t care about the characters or we don’t spend much time with the ones we do care about.

Grade: F

What did you all think of Transformers: The Last Knight? Or did you give up on the franchise a long time ago? Let us know in the comments below!

 

John Wick: Chapter 2– Steelbook Unboxing

John Wick: Chapter 2 is as much fun as the original and one of our favorite movies of the year so far! Thankfully, as is the case with the first film, Best Buy has delivered a sleek, new Steelbook! Check it out in our short unboxing video!

What do you all think of this steelbook and/or the John Wick franchise so far? Hit us up in the comments below with your thoughts!

John Wick– Steelbook Unboxing

The Badass Assassin is back with an all-new Steelbook exclusively from Best Buy! Check out our unboxing for the original John Wick!