Victor Frankenstein (2015)

Trailer: Victor Frankenstein (2015)

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, James McAvoy, Jessica Brown Findlay

Directed by: Paul McGuigan

Runtime: 1 hr 50 mins

Genre(s):  Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

Review by:  John Dixon

Spoiler Free Review: (read if you have NOT seen this movie)

A re-imagining of the classic horror filled tale of Doctor Frankenstein and his assistant? Yes, his assistant (Daniel Radcliffe) takes center stage here not to upstage the obvious side character that actually is the main character. I’m talking about Doctor Frankenstein folks! There are many tales of Frankenstein, this is one of the many lower on the list. Now, if you’re really wanting a movie on Igor, then I think you’ve found your movie!

 

Spoiler Filled Review: (read only if you HAVE seen it and don’t care about spoilers)

Before I get started, I felt that I needed to give you a brief back story of the Igor character. Did you know that his first appearance in Media was not a movie at all? Not even a book. It was the song “Monster Mash”. You know you’ve heard it. Unless you sleep the entire month of October. The first Frankenstein movie did not contain Igor. The Bride of Frankenstein didn’t either. He had an assistant but his name wasn’t Igor. I will get more into his name later. Lets talk about another name real quick. Victor Frankenstein wasn’t in the first film’s either. In those movies his name was Henry. Just so we are straight here, Victor was the original name for the good doctor. It was a total Bruce Banner / David Banner moment. Which is why I’m guessing they threw in the easter egg of Victor’s “older” brother Henry. The best part of this movie came from its originality and the particular path it took as a story.

You can’t get any better than James McAvoy as Doctor Frankenstein. There were times that he took it to a 10 when it should have been a 9 but he melded the Mad Scientist character with the tortured soul character. Brilliant. Daniel Radcliffe was fine as well as anybody else in the movie. I didn’t have any “acting” complaints from him. Now his character? We will touch on that in a bit. The character of Lorelei I had felt was going to be a damsel in distress character. I thought she would mirror the Elizabeth character that was fiance to Henry Frankenstein in ’31 but this time around possibly fiance to Igor since he was getting a major overhaul. The Barnaby character played by Daniel Mays was convincing but again, the writing didn’t help his cause.

The plot was something that I thought was promising. I remember hearing about this movie before it even filmed. I was excited to see what could happen when they took the story from the point of view of Igor, Frankenstein’s trusty assistant. By the time it made it to theaters though the name had changed most likely because Igor wouldn’t pull in audiences like a trustworthy Movie title such as Frankenstein. Maybe it was named that the whole time, I’m not sure but from the way Radcliffe had described the story, you would think the same thing. Igor taking the name of another man? Maybe this was another Easter egg to the fact that Igor really wasn’t Igor in the earlier classic movies. The Name of this movie should not have been Victor Frankenstein yet it was and they tried to throw the brother connection in there to make this movie tilt more towards his salvation. It was more so Igor’s film and rightfully so, since it was his come up. It made more since to have Igor be a savant when it came to medicine. Why else would Frankenstein choose to have him aid? To get dead bodies John. Oh yeah. There’s always that. They may want to reconsider re-classifying this movie. This isn’t a horror film in any sort of way.

I think Doctor Victor Frankenstein… wait. He never graduated. He wasn’t a Doctor. Did they call him doctor? Anyway, maybe he could have become a great chiropractor. Seriously he fixed a 18-year-old back disorder in the matter of minutes. With only a slam to a pillar and a back brace he had lying around. Oh, and he totally could start-up his own YouTube channel siphoning (by mouth) Cyst’s from People’s backs that are so large that they think they are hunchbacked. So much ridiculous writing. The Hunchback gets the Pretty girl to fall in love with him how? How about how young Igor scaled the side of a mountain after being in bed for like a week and he did it all with no problem! Igor the 1st body encased in Ice? What was the purpose of that? Why did he steal the eyes? Was this to make Igor not trust him. I just don’t know. The crazy Religious Police detective was a one note pony. Would he really gather a bunch of Officers and try to break down this guy’s door when he didn’t have a warrant? Nobody thought to check that out? He was more focused on the fact that he felt he was doing god’s job in this thing. I get that, but c’mon give him some proper reasoning. He was not smart. Can we talk about the “Monster”? My, my that thing was hideous. Not hideous as in scary. But hideous as in this is what they put their best foot forward with. Listen, if you make any form of a Frankenstein movie. Your “Monster” has to be good. This thing was a joke. Lasted about 4 minutes of screen time too. Boo! The monkey abomination was cooler than the actual Frankenstein monster. There! I said it!

I didn’t like this movie. James McAvoy carried my torch, but I carried the pitchfork. Mainly because it could have been so much more than what it turned out to be. I went in thinking that it was going to be the Frankenstein story told through the eyes of Igor. Instead it started that way but got confused halfway through and didn’t have enough steam to make up its mind by the end of the film.

 

1.5

STARS

 

Comic Book Connection James McAvoy (Wanted, X-Men: Origins, X-Men: Days of Future Past, X-Men: Apocalypse, X-Men: Dark Phoenix)
Nudity Bonus That could have helped this movie out a bit.
Favorite Moment Watching Victor work in the castle (lab).  It reminded me of the classic movie.
Most Hated Moment Sucking crap out of Igor’s back.  Disgusting.
THIS Movie reminded me of THAT Movie This movie reminded me of a subpar Sherlock Holmes movie for some reason.  Not as good.  Not even close.
What did my wife think of this movie? She liked it.  She thought it was good.
Box Office Budget $40,000,000.00
How much it made Domestically $5,775,076.00
Was it a Box office Success? Or Failure? Failure
Did you notice? 1.  Igor does actually say “Yes, Master” in the film.  Monkey showcase at the school.
2.  The movie made Worldwide:  $34,227,298.  Which didn’t even make its budget back.
3.  Max Landis wrote this movie.  He wrote movies like Chronicle, American Ultra, and that’s the decent stuff.
Rotten Tomatoes Score
Critics 24%
Audience 35%
Advertisements

Minions (2015)

 

Trailer:  Minions (2015)

Starring:  Sandra Bullock, Jon Hamm, Michael Keaton

Directed by:  Kyle Balda, Pierre Coffin

Runtime:  1 Hr 31 min

Genre(s):  Animation, Comedy

Review by:  John Dixon

Spoiler Free Review: (read if you have NOT seen this movie)

 

You’ve seen the Despicable Me movies right?  Well, have you ever wondered where the Minions come from and how they long to serve the most evil of villains?  This movie points you in the right direction.  Seriously, there is one goal here and it is to find out that one thing that happened to the minions to bring them to where we know them today.  The kids will love it and you will like it.  How does this movie rank against the Despicable Me movies?  It comes in 3rd.  Lacking that specific touch that Gru has.  Unfortunately, the Minions cannot carry an entire movie by themselves.  Although it made a TON of money in the box office so, millions of people can’t be all wrong… right?

 

Spoiler Filled Review: (read only if you HAVE seen it and don’t care about spoilers)

 

I’ve always thought the Minions were the highlights to the Despicable Me movies.  Like everyone else it made you wonder why they just don’t have their own movie.  I’m glad we get a taste of what that would be like.  Can we go back now?  Even though you singled out 3 Minions and made them stand out as individuals.  It doesn’t help me feel like there are hundreds of minions that could do the same job.  Ok, they aren’t singled out as much but there are some changes made to them to make them more unique.  For example, Bob’s eyes & hair, & Kevin is a different Kevin from the first film.

With Sandra Bullock and Jon Hamm leading the charge you would figure that the acting is top notch.  …and it is.  I have no problems with the acting but I do have to say why use these actors/actress if you’re going to make them so different than what we can expect.  I don’t really find Sandra Bullock to be a great villain-ess, but she hardly sounded like Sandra and I knew Jon Hamm was in this movie but couldn’t peg him until I IMDB’d it.  So, in this case why not pay some cheaper actors for the job that they did anyway?  Why?  because Sandra and Jon put little denim butts in the seats that’s why.  The only casting I was happy with was Steve Carrell as young Gru.  Michael Keaton was in this movie!?  He played Walter somebody?  I didn’t even know that!

How was that plot?  It was interesting to see what the Minions did pre-Gru.  I wished they would have spent more time on the days before Villain-Con.  I thought the evolution of the Minions was super interesting but it went by way too fast.  We basically jumped right into 1968 and they just so happen to meet the Villain just before they meet Gru.  If it were me, I would be looking at this as a series of movies.  Take them way back and track their adventures.  Don’t introduce a young Gru until the final 3rd movie!  Winner!  No, it’s like they felt this movie had no legs.  The minion characters were written pretty plain even though each one of the 3 stood out on purpose.  Nothing new here, same old antics, same old banana.  Scarlett Overkill was a little bit over kill.  She was nice then she was bad, then nice then crazy.  What did she do to earn the spot of top villain?  Nobody knows, its just a title as easily won as grabbing them red gem out of my hand…  I did like Herb.  He was funny.

I want to tell the directors that they forgot something.  If they weren’t planning on making another Minions movie then why didn’t they throw in Dr. Nefario.  He could have been younger and awesome to see what he was doing in the 60’s.  The reason I bring him up is because he has been instrumental in the movies and to not even give him a shout out I think is a missed opportunity.  This movie flows fairly well until the ending.  Its just a flippity floppity here’s the ending because we didn’t know how else to end it type ending.  Although the very ending…

…was my favorite part.  Gru completes these characters.  I think we all know that now.  I was interested in finding the true Hollywood story of the Minions and I get one anecdote about this chick claiming to be all evil tricking them to steal the Queen’s crown.  Weird sloppy story and the end.  We meet Gru.  Don’t get me wrong, My Kids loved this movie!  My son is all about the Minions and he loved it especially.

 

 

3.0

STARS

Comic Book Connection Michael Keaton – Batman, Batman Returns
Nudity Bonus Minion Butt.
Favorite Moment The introduction to Gru
Most Hated Moment I thought the giant Kevin was a bit too much on the side of “ok, lets go big or go home” type movie making.
THIS Movie reminded me of THAT Movie Reminded me of Puss In Boots, or Penguins of Madagascar where the spin-off wasn’t as good as the main movie.
What did my wife think of this movie?
Box Office Budget $74,000,000.00
How much it made Domestically $324,755,670.00
Was it a Box office Success? Or Failure? Success
Did you notice? 1. That Michael Keaton played Walter Nelson in this movie.  Yeah, I had no clue (as I mentioned above)
2. Geoffrey Rush was the Narrator.  Wow they needed to exentuate their voice talent here.
3. This movie ranks #2, just below Despicable Me 2 in terms of Box Office haul in the 3 film series.
Rotten Tomatoes Score  Did not watch the entire movie.  Fell asleep…
Critics 54%
Audience 52%

Trainwreck (2015)

Trailer:  Trainwreck (2015)

Starring:  Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, Brie Larson

Directed by:  Judd Apatow

Runtime:  2 hrs & 5 min

Genre(s):  Comedy Romance

Review by: John Dixon

Spoiler Free Review: (read if you have NOT seen this movie)1_natural

Growing up with a father that didn’t believe in monogamy is what sisters Amy & Kim did.  After their mother was out of the picture there was nobody left to raise them but their father.  This spells trouble for Amy (Amy Schumer) when her future shows up right in her face and she doesn’t know how to handle it.  That means she doesn’t date well.  With an all star cast to help out Amy’s first theatrical release written and starring her you will love the relationships, cringe at the self destruction, and then wonder how it all stays together.  If this is considered her freshman effort man, I can’t wait to see what she does next.  Standard practice for Judd Apatow, as his comedies are always good.

 

Spoiler Filled Review: (read only if you HAVE seen it and don’t care about spoilers)

 

I bet you figured that Amy Schumer was funny.  Yeah, you got that from the trailers.  Really, she is a talent.  She is more daring in her comedy than most females and Bill Hader was the perfect combination to make this thing hit.  I’m also glad that Hader finally was substantial this time around.  Most of the time he’s playing a side character that is funny as hell but has no real purpose.  He plays the boyfriend that almost gets away and even though there wasn’t an airport scene with Amy running through it dodging people, bags & babies he played the girl getting on the plane.  …so to speak.  I did enjoy the many appearances from a lot of stars.  Amy really called in the favors for this one.  Check this out:  Colin Quinn, John Cena, Dave Attell, Tilda Swinton, Randall Park, Ezra Miller, Mike Birbiglia, LeBron James, Daniel Radcliffe, Marisa Tomei, Method Man (nice accent), Tim Meadows, Amare Stoudemire, Matthew Broderick, Marv Albert, Chris Evert just to name the ones I recognized.

Which brings me to my next part.  Casting.  Who wasn’t cast in this movie?  I wasn’t.  I thought Colin had a perfect role as well as Amy Schumer & Bill Hader.  Perfect roles.  Mike Birbiglia nailed the “playin it safe” hubby perfectly.  So, I liked the casting a lot.  Brie Larson (sister Kim) could have been played by anyone I feel, but maybe I just missed her “nailed it” part of the movie.  Not only bringing the perfect role selections but acting was on Par for your typical Comedy/Romance film.  Although LeBron is not your typical actor on a scale from Kazamm to He Got Game LeBron scored a slightly better than MJ in Space Jam.  I make it sound like Amy made the movie but I got to give credit to the director Judd Apatow.  With movies like This is 40, Knocked Up, The 40 year-old virgin, this movie falls right in there.

I’m impressed that Amy Schumer wrote and starred in this movie.  But that’s not going to stop me from picking it apart.  My first problem was the non-information about her dad.  If it was briefly mentioned and I didn’t catch it I’m sorry, but I had no idea what was wrong with him.  I wanted to understand why he was the only “Younger” guy in a assisted living facility.  He just didn’t look aged enough to warrant that.  So, my wife had guessed stroke.  Most stroke victims have it affect one side of their body.  He was facially all there.  Expressions all over the place.  So, that wasn’t it.  Then he dies of what?

maxresdefault

alcoholism?  I don’t know, I can’t tell ya.  I wished there was some explanation on that.  I could have felt that loss a bit more if I wasn’t spending that time trying to figure out why he died.  Second problem, LeBron James is besties with a doctor (surgeon)?  I didn’t buy it.  It felt more like a conversation was made “wouldn’t it be cool if you were best friends with King James?  Yeah!  Let’s make THAT happen!  Oh, and Amy next time you write a

movie… give your characters last names.  No biggie just a small thing that makes people human.  Aaron got a last name and the “guest” stars got to keep their names.  My final gripe would be the fact that they were apart for several months before she tried to “win” him back.  I’m sorry but after a girl/guy self destructs a relationship if it isn’t resolved in that week then its over buddy.  Sorry but thats the truth.  The longer you go without that person that bad taste that was left in your mouth grows into a horrible fungus and you learn to not want to be with them.  So, other than that piece being totally fictional once in a lifetime type stuff, I did enjoy how she won him back.  It was very fitting of the character.  The plot was overused and it could have been found in any romantic comedy out there in your local Netflix queue.  That’s why I think everyone did great with a overused plot.  They made it feel new.

It’s not everyday you get a 2 hour comedy.  Most are scheduled for 1 hr and a half.  So, with that being said I didn’t notice the time and they made it as long as it needed to be to tell a great story.  Her destructive bomb towards the end felt forced and annoying because we were all expecting it to happen but the movie recovered fast and kept it going.  The soundtrack was a party soundtrack at times which I enjoyed.  Other than that nothing to write home about.  Actually, it did make me think when is the “y’all ready for this!” anthem at basketball games is going to go away.  Its been around since forever ago and I’m ready to say goodbye.  Anyone else?

Like I said above, it didn’t seem very believable but lets pretend this is a movie and say that this is make believe.  I liked the ending.  Very fitting and well deserved.

4.0

STARS

2444_d054_00633rv2_crop_cmyk1

Comic Book Connection Tilda Swinton (future role) – Doctor Strange, Ezra Miller (future role) – The Flash, Marisa Tomei (future role) – Untitled Spider-Man (2017)
Nudity Bonus Oh, and all the Man Ass in this movie doesn’t get a Nudity bonus.  Sorry.  Not today!
Favorite Moment Cheerleader Win Back dance with a double flip not-quite-dunk!
Most Hated Moment LeBron James asking Amy what her intentions are.  It was bad yall.
THIS Movie reminded me of THAT Movie Most Rom Coms but with a role reversal.
What did my wife think of this movie? Trainwreck was pretty funny, some of it might have made me a little nostalgic for my younger years.  And no, I will not be more specific on which parts reminded me of my younger self.  Amy Schumer is absolutely hilarious and Bill Hader was amazing as usual.  I am like most other chicks and love the Rom-Coms all day long!  This one was no different, but it was a nice reminder of what would have happened if I hadn’t met my husband at the age of twenty. 🙂
Box Office Budget $35,000,000.00
How much it made Domestically $102,384,000.00
Was it a Box office Success? Or Failure? Success
Did you notice? 1.  Method Man was using an African Accent.  I think it was African?
2.  How much Chris Evert looks like an older Cheri O’Teri.  I was lookin for Will Ferrell to pop out.
3.  Six SNL Alum was in this film:   Bill Hader, Vanessa Bayer, Pete Davidson, Leslie Jones, Tim Meadows and Colin Quinn
Rotten Tomatoes Score
Critics 85%
Audience 75%