By: Justin Hopkins
I know what you are thinking. That there are no such thing as a good video game movies. That they are all bad and should have never have happened, and others may say that there is perhaps one, maybe two, but no way could I actually have found seven. True, it was a bit of a challenge towards the bottom of the list. Wishing I could just go the normal route of Top 5, but with that said, I do enjoy all seven of these films. They may not be classics, but not asking for them to be. Just want to kick back and let the story take me along for a ride, with the tools that make the game they come from so enjoyable. Before we start, there was one rule, and it’s the same as always. I can’t judge a movie without having seen it. So, movies like Rampage and Detective Pikachu, along with a few others were out of the running. Alright, with that said, lets begin.
7. Dead Rising: Watchtower
The only movie on the list to not spend time in the theaters, which for me is kind of a surprise. It also took a second viewing for me to really enjoy it as well, but they do a lot of enjoyable things throughout. Going with a new lead character in the form of Chase was a bit of a questionable choice, but Jesse Metcalfe performed really well at the rule to make us care enough about him. They way they incorporated them making their own unique weapons and having a psychopath as the main villain was wonderful. Dennis Haysbert did great as the General. Fans on the game know there is always a conspiracy going on, and his soothing voice and tone really adds to the menace when you get to the end. Would be higher on the list had they treated Frank West better than they did, but still an enjoyable film.
Wait, please don’t go. Hear me out. I know, they did the game wrong in quite a few places. I am not disagreeing with you there. Had they dropped all the scientific and super soldier like shot. All they had to do is keep them demons from Hell. This could have been really something. The action was great. Liked the characters and set pieces. The actors did as well as they could with what they had to work with, and that First Person Point of View shot they did is still beautiful. Respect they had for the BFG. They had a fun assortment of demons, loved Pinky, and they could have easily swapped the science bits for demons and ran everything and would easily be jockeying for the top spot, and maybe have The Rock go full on Demon at the end, for Urban to square off with. Also, watching Doom Annihilation, this one is light years better.
5. Tomb Raider (2018)
This movie had a lot of things going for me, loved the story and the dark tones and atmosphere, but what really made this movie so good for me, was Alicia Vikander’s performance as Lara Croft. That she wasn’t this over the top can do anything characters. Playing her with gritty realism of a character who was in over her head. Having to scrape and claw and fight for her survival, because she isn’t the over the top, legendary Lara Croft yet. By playing it the way she did, left her so much room to grow in the future, and thankfully, we will be getting a sequel, which will hopefully be even better.
4. Resident Evil
Yes, this series went screaming down the draining faster than even I expected it to, and the seventh one, was one of the worst finales of anything I have ever seen in general, but the first one though. That is still a good watch. The atmosphere of the lab and the music were fantastic. The zombies were perfect and the Licker looked gorgeous. Even the fact that it transformed was reminiscent of the game. Feel the danger around every corner. Milla Jovovich gave us a character, at least for this movie, felt like a character that could have appeared in a Resident Evil Game. If Paul carried this much love forward, who knows how good this run could have been after the second one, but the first, Definitely still a good time.
3. Sonic The Hedgehog
This one and entry number 2 had to of changed spots at least a dozen times and they are razor close to one another. You can check out my review for this for more details, but they hit a homerun with this film. Sonic came across in a great way. Having a hyper friendly attitude you would expect for him to have. Fun use of the rings, and callbacks to the games. While, Jim Carrey was spectacular as Robotnik. Check it out if you haven’t. You’ll have a best.
2. Mortal Kombat
The song alone earns it’s spot as one of the best of all times. Almost impossible to say the name without trying to imitate the famous scream of, MORTAL KOMBAT! In all seriousness though, this is fun from start to finish. The fights were well choreographed and done so well. The characters all felt ripped straight from the game. The lines, as hokey as they were. All felt like something they would say. Again, if you want to hear more, can check out our review on it. Paul W.S. Anderson hit gold with this, and to many, it never got better. Well.. except for one, in my opinion.
1. Silent Hill
It couldn’t be anything else. When they take the entire opening scene of Harry chasing who he thinks is Cheryl until he is attacked by they Grey Children, and replicate it shot for shot with Rose and who she thinks is Sharon. The psychological elements are deep and great. From sins of the mother and the town being tortured by Alessa in their own version of Silent Hill and wanting to finally crush them for good. The gore was awesome and Jodelle Ferland is still one of the creepiest kids in a movie. Way she danced around in the blood raining down and then moving straight to the camera. Excellent from start to finish and wears the crown as best video game movie.
Do you disagree? Feel free to let me know in the comments. In the meantime, I hope you enjoyed, and as always…
Thank you for reading.
By Paul Anthony
I am sure you guys have heard of the show called Impractical Jokers on Tru Tv and now even on TBS at times as well. I have been a fan the show for a few years now and every free moment I get I watch the show, sometimes I know I seen the episode a few times doesn’t matter I watch it anyway. When I found out they were going to come out with a movie I knew I had to see it. However then I found out that the movie was going to be in select theaters, which made me nervous because here in Pittsburgh we don’t see too many movies that are on a limited release but we struck gold this time. The film was released in 380 theaters and we were lucky enough to have a few places showing it, so here I go to get watch one of my favorite shows on the big screen. before I break down the story let me say this, in it’s opening weekend it made 2.6 million dollars and nearly cracked the top ten. Mind you it missed out just by like a million dollars but the tenth film also was in 3 to 4 thousand more theaters so good job to them!
Now this where things will become a spoiler for those who haven’t watch the film just yet. The Movie blends storytelling and reality in on film. The story begins as the team is in high school and well out to a Paula Abdul concert, they get into trouble which pisses Paula off and she even knocks down a young Sal. 25 years later the jokers are at an Red Lobster eating and they run into Paula who doesn’t remember that night congrats them on their success and asks them to join her in Miami but she only gives them three passes instead of 4 which causes them to think of what to do and then they decide to do the challenges and whoever loses the most will be the odd ball out. The challenges are the reality part and trust me they are funny as hell. Well they are traveling they try to wonder what Murr does when he isn’t around them so each night one member visits Murr to see what he is up to and it is always some type of party. Long story short Murr is the one that loses the most and is left out which at the party the group realizes that without the four of them that it is just not the same. But little does the group know Murr plans on sneaking in which makes Paula remembers them which stuff gets crazy but the night ends and the Jokers relax on the beach where Joe tells them that Paula wants him to be her hype man but he turns it down to remain a joker. The team flies back without Murr who is attached to another plan as the plan does tricks.
Now I am mixed on the film as whole the storytelling part was hit and miss at times but the challenges were the funniest parts of the film. No doubt that the pranks and challenges are the jokers bread and butter. In the end I am giving it a good B plus film or 85 percent and would say if your looking for a good laugh, this is your film.
By Paul Anthony
Here we are new week and new predictions, last weekend we saw the release of The Call of the Wild which stars Harrison Ford and CGI animals, which is funny because I think we had another movie using CGI animals and a big name actor. The Movie was going up against the surprise hit Sonic. The biggest question is could Sonic hold the number one spot with many predicting that Ford’s movie would come in at number 1 and the winner is Sonic The Hedgehog. The Call of the Wild came in a close second only lost out by two million. Even though Sonic is the repeat winner we do have some losers this week first we have Fantasy Island which went from three to 7th and the biggest loser is The Photograph that went from number 4 last week to number 10 this week. And now the rest of your top ten!
- Sonic The Hedgehog, 26.300 million
- The Call Of The Wild, 24.820 million
- Birds Of Prey, 7,005 million
- Brahms, The Boys 2, 5.900 million
- bad Boys For Life, 5.860 million
- 1917, 4.400 million
- Fantasy island, 4.185 million
- Parasite, 3.121 million
- Jumanji: The next Level, 3 million
- The Photograph, 2.800 million
Now here are the predictions for the next box office weekend!
- Sonic The Hedgehog
- The Call Of The Wild
- The Invisible Man
- Birds of Prey
- Bad Boys For Life
- Brahms: The Boy 2
- Fantasy Island
- Jumanji: The Next Level
By: Justin Hopkins
Hello and welcome back to this weeks B Movie Sunday. Took a bit of a break from this series and when I saw this movie. Thought it was going to be a fun little ghost killer movie, and well, that couldn’t possibly be further from the truth. Proving to be a wild and one of the more darker movies I have seen in quite some time. Lets jump and discuss shall we, and see if it was worth while and if I would suggest it shall we.
We open with a bit of a flashback to when the hotel was open, and we see a Mom in a lawn. Not paying attention to her Daughter, who chases a rabbit out into the road, and gets hit by a car. Then we get a fast track of the hotel becoming dilapidated and we jump to a group of college kids in an RV. Arguing over a shortcut that Kyle took. Off the bat, we find out that three of them are keeping some sort of secret, and coming out at the store. See one buying a pregnancy test, a pill popper, and one is cutting herself. After they leave, they run into a road closed sign, and in a fit to make up. Kyle ends up flipping the RV and after the quickest walk in the world. Corey and Spencer finds the abandoned hotel and they decide to hold up here till the morning and the store opens again. Right away, Megan takes the pregnancy test and discovers she is pregnant, and runs off crying. This was not a planned pregnancy and doesn’t understand how this happened. Telling all of this to her friend Rachael, who saw her buying the test, who opens up with a secret of her own. That she ran someone over when she was drunk and left the scene. Suppose to make it clear she wouldn’t tell anyone, but these two don’t really don’t even out, but more on that later. After she leaves, Rachael stays back for a moment. Broken up by her own memory, and the ghost girl appears. Leading her out into the road. Stunned by her injured and bloody face. Freezing Rachael up long enough to get hit by a car. Her friends find her dead and the driver is drunk and unconscious. Bringing him inside and Kori goes off to find something to fix him up with and that is where I will stop, not to refrain from spoiling anything, but because at this point, things start to run and nothing is ever as it seems.
The people who worked on this really didn’t want you to have any idea on what was happening next. Any time you thought you knew where this movie was going. It would immediately turn into and run into a vastly different direction. From the events after Angela’s death and what happened to her Parents. To your main cast of characters. Everyone having a horrible secret and the direction they went with them, and things just kept getting darker and darker. I can see some people looking at it as too much, but it worked well for me. It kept me curious and wondering exactly where this was going and how it was going to end. At some point, just had to give up and go along with it.
Casting wise, there wasn’t many who really stood out. They were alright. I did like Angel McCord’s Corey. Would have liked to see more of her. The fact that it seemed like she might play heavily into the ending later, but didn’t was a little frustrating. The one who did stand out for me, was Rileigh Chalmers. Creepy kids always freak me out, and she did a wonderful job as Angela. Especially, when she was just staring down Kyle while he was shooting up. Great job throughout.
I am kind of torn on the ending. Much like the rest of this movie, it is dark, and while I understand why. It kind of goes for how easily secrets can tear people apart and the grave consequences that their secrets have on one another, they may have gone a bit to far at the end. Not with Spencer, but with how Megan’s story ends. I already think she was the weaker of the three female characters, and could have used a slightly better ending.
Alright, got to talk about the little sharing moment between Rachel and Megan. Megan’s problem, while is a big one, is a far stretch away from hit and run. She is admitting to murder as a bonding moment. Megan’s secret is going to be outed in a few months, while the horrific thought of her friend killing someone is forever. Should have had this moment with Corey, so you can at least tell us what is going on in her life, and why she is hurting herself. Plus, her and Megan have that in common. Both are kind of suffering in silence and could have built them both up, and since you weren’t going anywhere with Corey’s Character anyways. Could have her run over and Rachel’s secret can come out with Spencer later.
With all of that said, would I suggest No Tell Motel. After thinking it over, I would, but with a bit of a warning. This movie, although short. Has more than its fair share of twists, and goes down a dark road, with an not so happy ending, and these movies are not for everyone. If you are, you may find some enjoyment in No Way Motel. I for one, did.
As always, I hope you enjoyed and…
Thank you for reading.
By: Justin Hopkins
Hello, and welcome to this weeks Roundabout. Where we go back through the week and give my opinion on some of the things that occurred throughout the past week, and this weeks has given us more than enough to pick through. So, let’s dive right in with some Baseball news.. that doesn’t revolve around the Astros, but a more personal team, The Pittsburgh Pirates.
It’s very difficult to be a Baseball fan in Pittsburgh. A team that looks at a growing team with 98 win season and think, Lets rebuild. A lot of times, you got to go in and just try and enjoy the fact you are watching the game, and less about the team. It’s one thing to think that as a fan, but when a recently signed Center Fielder is saying it, it makes it that much harder. When Jarrod Dyson was asked about being apart of the Pirates organization, he went on about how he has to take the good with the bad, and there was nowhere else to go and play. Now, a lot of people got on Baker Mayfield and how over confident he was about the Browns the past season, but as a fan of a lackluster team. Would love to go in with some big talk and false hope from the players. Cause all this interview did, was make it that much more depressing, with my only hope, that he’ll play hard to better his odds on being traded. No wonder why Pittsburgh ranked at last, with a zero percent hype for this season.
On to some potential better news. According to the great Bruce Campbell, there are a few Evil Dead Movies in the works, with one potentially set to start shooting this year. I would love to see Jane Levy return as Mia, but it sounds more like they are going into a completely new direction, and no, it does not sound like Ash will be involved. Which, I am fine with. Bruce has given us a ton of great memories, and in his words, it’s time for another idiot to try and save the world, and there are other stories to tell, and I for one, am looking forward to a new adventure in this world.
Borderlands is a game that has been sitting in my Playstation Library for quite some time now. The promise that next week I am going to start playing made over and over again. With the news that Eli Roth has been brought in and filming to begin by the end of the year though. May force me to follow through with actually playing. WIth Video Game Movies seeming to come more and more. With Sonic and Detective Pikachu doing so well. Mortal Kombat due out in January, Tomb Raider 2 in the works, and Uncharted trying to get out of the starting gate. Eli has a chance to make Borderlands a fun ride. Just hope that he learns from the pitfalls and brings the spirit of the game to life.
With a new movie and a continuation potentially on the horizon. Where else can we go, but to two remakes coming to us from HBO Max. Both Police Academy and Oceans being in the works. Police Academy has a better chance of succeeding out of the two, if they let it be raunchy and have fun with it. Oceans on the other hand, is going to have a much harder time. I don’t normally care about studios doing remakes. If someone has a better idea for an idea, let them run with it and see how well they do, but this will be remake number 4 for the franchise. Third in twenty some odd years, and the last one didn’t fare so well. I do wish them luck and hope they got a good script. Cause they will need it.
In sad news, the world lost a great entertainer in Ja’net DuBois. I grew up in a house that always played classic TV shows such as Good Times and have seen her quite a few times, and always sad to see a true Pioneer pass away. Contributing heavily to African American Actress breaking out in Hollywood. Passing away in her sleep at the age of 74. Our thoughts and positive energy goes out to the DuBois family in their time of mourning.
#NoMoreSpoilersInTrailers is still in effect for more than one trailers, but there were a couple first trailers going around that you should check out. The movie Run looks particularly good and Castlevania Season 3 has me hyped for the next installment in the excellent series. If you haven’t seen them, I do suggest giving them a watch.
And that brings us to the end of this week’s Roundabout. As always, I hope you enjoyed and…
Thank you for reading.
By Paul Anthony
Welcome to this holiday weekend edition of Box Office Rundown and the first to feature Sonic as the number 1 movie. Now I am sure Sonic will be repeating it’s success next weekend as well. Sonic may have taken the number 1 spot but no one thought it would run away from the pack like it did. Usually when a movie gets delayed it never a good thing but in this case it turned out to be a great thing. Birds of prey came in a at distant number 2. Sonic wasn’t the only film to debut, we had The Photograph and Fantasy Island debut as well as Downhill. I didn’t think much of Downhill or the Photograph but I thought Fantasy Island would do a little better than it did. Sure it came in at number 3 but this year hasn’t been kind so far to horror films which is bad news for Brahms: the Boy 2 because that film has no hype around it. Now this upcoming week we have Harrison Ford’s movie The Call of The Wild on top of The Boy 2, once again we will be having an revolving top ten but here is the current top ten.
- Sonic The Hedgehog, 57 million
- Birds Of Prey, 17.115 million
- Fantasy Island, 12.4 million
- The Photograph, 12.270 million
- Bad Boys For Life, 11.305 million
- 1917, 8.090 million
- Jumanji: The Next Level, 5.7 million
- Parasite, 5.500 million
- Dolittle, 5.050 million
- Downhill, 4.671 Million
Now Sonic was no doubt the winner but here are the losers, Dolittle and The Gentlemen dropped 5 spots with The Gentlemen falling out of the top ten. Now here are my predictions
- Sonic The Hedgehog
- The Call of the Wild
- Birds Of Prey
- Brahms: the Boy 2
- Fantasy Island
- The Photograph
- Bad Boys For Life
- Jumanji: The Next Level
By Paul Anthony
Recently Johnny Depp has been in the media’s eye for abusing Amber heard well that is what she claims but then a tape got recent and it was Amber who was the abusing luckily the truth came out and cleared Johnny’s name. So With that being said I decided it was time to review a Johnny Depp movie and then I decided on Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest. Here is the run down, Dead Man’s Chest is a direct sequel to the first film which is The Curse of the Black Pearl, which came out in 2003 and grossed over 650 million dollars from a budget of 140 million. Which back then was a pretty good amount, by today’s standards that would be the low point where a movie should be at. Nevertheless a sequel was coming. Three years later we got Dead Man’s chest. Like always the budget got larger it went from 140 million to 225 million which is an increase of 85 million, did it pay off for them in the end? Well it sure did because it grossed over a billion dollars and ended up becoming the highest grossing film of the series only the fourth film came close to it. it’s one thing to make a lot of money but another to live up to the film so the question is did?
The film starts with Will and Elizabeth wedding which comes to an halt when they get arrested for allowing Jack to escape at the end of first film. At this point I would have to assume the events of the first film was only a few months ago because it couldn’t have taken years for Lord Cutler Beckett to arrive and arrest them. At this point Will’s father Bill visits Jack on his ship to reveal that the debt he owes Davy Jones needs to repaid which Jack made a deal with him years ago to raise the Black Pearl and jack would join his crew for 100 years or 100 souls, this debt was something Jack was never going to repay and forgot all about it. Commodore James Norrington who gave Jack a one day lead to escape is on the run and disappears but is also set to be arrested for his action. All Three men want Davy Jones’s chest which contains his heart for their own goals some better than others. Will wants the heart to free his father and Jack wants it to free his debt and Norrington wants it so he can join the navy again. The adventure begins and they have a good one on one on one sword fight but Davy Jones’s crew catches up with them and battle begins and at first Jack runs away when the Kraken is released Elizabeth realizes the monster only wants Jack so she tricks him and chains him to the ship which allows the others to escape and Jack goes down. Its not long after that we learn Norrington won the battle for the heart and rejoins the Navy. The group now decides to rescue Jack but first they need a captain whose been there and the resurrected Hector Barbossa to lead the way and the film ends.
the film overall did get better but did seem at times that they couldn’t figure out when to actually end the film but found the perfect ending. The story had a good twist with the good guys not truly winning, which was gambit if this film would have failed. The highlights for me was the sword fight and the ending of course but other than that there wasn’t too much magic that carried over from the first film. In the end I am giving this film a good high B grade or 89 percent.
By: Justin Hopkins
It was almost a shoe in that I was going to go see this movie. No matter how far away from my normal it is. Growing up, you had your Mario games, which were always good, and the insanity that was Crash Bandicoot, where I spent most of my time. Then, you had Sonic The Hedgehog. A bright, colorful world, with some interesting music, that was all about going fast. Levels that were so much fun, and tested you each time. Doing your best to try and beat your top score. Trying to rescue the animals and defeat Eggman. While the years have not been as kind to him, as his Nintendo counterpart, the character of Sonic has maintained his allure, and when his movie was announced. Brought all of those feelings I had when playing the earlier games rushing back to the surface, and couldn’t wait to see it. Was it worth the wait though. Through all the years, and marketing fiasco. Did they do the blue hedgehog justice, or was it just another nail in the coffin. Lets jump through some rings and discuss shall we.
The movie starts out with Sonic running through a city, with Dr.Robotnik chasing after him. Firing rockets at him. A bit of narration later, and we jump all the way back to when he was a child. On his own planet, that looks a lot like the games, and he is running wild. Despite being told he had to keep his speed a secret, from his mother figure. An owl named Longclaw. Who scolds him for exposing himself like that, and they are attacked. She tries to escape with him, but ends up getting shot down. Using a ring, opens a portal to Earth. Giving him the sack of rings. Telling him to never expose himself again, and to never stop running. Before making him go through, and the portal closes, with her holding off their attackers. We jump to ten years later, and he has made himself home in the small town of Green Hills. While he has stayed true to Longclaw telling him to stay hidden. He has made himself a part of everyone’s lives. By watching from the shadows. From messing with Crazy Carl, the lone person who knows he is there and especially the Police Chief Tom Wachowski and wife Maddie Wachowski, and while he puts on a good face about it. The loneliness is eating away, until it literally bursts out of him. Causing a massive blackout. Which is picked up immediately by the Government. Who sends in the eccentric genius, Dr. Robotnik to figure it out. Sonic seeing that he is about to be caught. Collects his things and runs to Tom’s shed to make the jump to a new planet, but before he can go through with it. Is busted by Tom, and he drops the rings into a portal. Sending them to San Francisco. Enlisting Tom’s help, Sonic sets off to retrieve them, with Robotnix right on their heels the entire way. Dead set on either bringing him in, either alive or dead.
I really enjoyed how they handled bringing the characters to the big screen. Had a lot of simple things that were just woven into one story. From Sonic struggling to keep himself a secret, but being torn apart in his loneliness. His desire to have friends and do all this stuff he can only observe from afar. When you mix in how hyper active and good natured he is, really shows many layers Sonic actually has. Then you have Tom, who is longing to have more in his life. To be a hero, and have the excitement and rush that he feels should come with a badge. Along with a foil of a bad guy, who is not only the smartest guy in the world, but knows it, and brow beats and terrorizes everyone in his wake. Mix in fast paced action, comedic moments, and a lot of emotion and you get yourself a really charming story.
Speaking of, the action scenes were perfect. It took him back to his roots and made it all about his speed. Showing it in the bar that he can’t throw fists, but when he just uses his speed to his advantage, is next to unstoppable. Especially in the finale, during the final chase from Robotnik. Didn’t know how he was going to turn things around, but excited to see how it was going to happen.
Now, suppose I should talk about the animated look of Sonic The Hedgehog. Now, I may be the rare exception that didn’t mind his first look. They definitely made the right choice though. With all the close ups they had on him. Would have wore thin on those who didn’t like it, and he looks better now, but the part I loved, was the end credits. They had a full animated look of the Sonic from the game. Running through a level, that was set up with moments from the movie. Was such a fun way to bring us into the Mid Credit scene and hope more people take a lesson from this, because it was great.
Of course, there was plenty of call outs to the games. Living in Green Hills, which is a play off the Green Hill Zone. Love how they showed how he got his red shoes, in a rather touching scene of him getting his first ever gift and how much they meant to him. This might be me reading to much into it, but found it amusing that when he was hit off the roof and the rings went everywhere, like they would in the game, but when he was knocked down for what appeared to be for the count, was also when he didn’t have the rings on him, which again, what happens in the game. Also, Robotnik’s robots, and one downed robot would spawn another and another. Really showing how much of a genius he really is. Plus, one that really wasn’t part of the game, but loved the line, I hate mushrooms. Taking a friendly jab at his rival Mario which got me to laugh a little harder than necessary. Always have to appreciate when they pull from the resources at hand, and they do that in spades here.
Castwise was simply perfect. Ben Schwartz did wonderful as the voice of Sonic. Bringing out the fun loving side of Sonic, but also how hard he was taking having to leave. Was finally getting to enjoy Earth one moment and how much that it hurt that he had to leave. James Marsden was great as Tom. A fun loving cop, who lives to do the right thing by everyone, with a ton of sarcastic wit. Which blended so well off not only Sonic, but even more off Jim Carrey’s Robotnik. There is a moment where Robotnik and Tom meet and just feels like a really conversation off the cuff and not scripted. Carrey doesn’t seem to have missed a beat. Bringing out so much of Robotnik. Eccentricities, Egomaniacal, and stole a lot of the scenes he was a part of. Made the comically villain seem like a genuine threat and not just a joke. Just wanted to see more of him especially if it was with Sonic or Tom especially.
Negative wise.. Would kind of like to know why Sonic called him Eggman. He had a reason behind everyone’s nickname. Called Tom Donut Lord due to him talking to his donuts, and Maggie the Pretzel Lady because she does Yoga. Kind of hyped for the DVD to see if there was something I missed or deleted scenes. Suppose that since I am hyped this isn’t a negative, but it’s all I got, and starting to realize that I am pretty much praising every movie I have seen this years and it’s all I got.
This was all around, just a fun, heart warming movie. It wasn’t side splitting movie, just one that made you smile, and even more so if you are a fan of the Sonic The Hedgehog Games, but not necessary to kick back and simply enjoy it. Final Grade is an A+ and would gladly suggest checking it out in theaters.
I hope you enjoyed and as always…
Thank you for reading.
By Paul Anthony
Welcome back to another week of where we find who made it to the number 1 spot and who came up short. This week we saw the release of Birds of Prey which as predicted debuted at number 1. However the problem is the numbers were underwhelming with barely making it to 34 million but with international numbers which saves a lot of movies to worldwide gross came to around 81 million dollars. Another winner in my eyes has been Knives Out this movie last week was out of the top ten only to be back in the top 10 and been in the top ten for most of it’s box office run which started at the end of November. We can’t have winners without Losers though only one of these two films are actually an loser both Gretel and Hansel and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker fell three spots though both remain in the top ten. This week will no doubt shake things up a bit because we have three new movies joining the box office with one being a big name. We have Sonic the Hedgehog which is predicted to be number and then you have Fantasy Island and The Photograph. 2020 hasn’t been all that kind to horror films so it will be interesting to see how well Fantasy Island will actually do.
- Birds of Prey, 33.250 million
- Bad Boys For Life, 12.005 million
- 1917, 9 million
- Dolittle, 6.660 million
- Jumanji: The Next Level, 5.553 million
- The Gentlemen, 4.180 million
- Gretel and Hansel, 3.510 million
- Knives Out, 2.350 million
- Little Women, 2.325 million
- Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, 2.226 million
- Birds of Prey
- Bad Boys for Life
- Fantasy Island
- The Photograph
- Jumanji: The Next Level
- The Gentlemen
- Knives Out
By: Justin Hopkins
Had some excitement going into Birds Of Prey. Suicide Squad was a let down, but Margot Robbie was a standout, and was looking forward to seeing her play the character again. This was about the time where I stopped watching multiple trailers for movies, but the one I did watch looked good. Liked the fact they were bringing in newer characters into the fold and wondered what they had in store for this movie. So, lets jump in and see if they were able to live up to the hype.
Movie starts out, with a cartoon style opening, narrated by Harley. Taking us back to her troubled childhood. Showing us everything that lead up to her and Joker breaking up. We follow along with her trying to get over him. See her get an apartment, her hyena, and joining the Roller Derby. Along with a lot of drinking and just causing general chaos. Getting away with the fact that she hasn’t told a lot of people about the break up. Riding the security of being The Joker’s Girlfriend brings her. Until, she heard her derby team talking down about it. Since she was still wearing the necklace and that she can’t stand on her own feet. That she would go right back to him the moment he said to. So, she runs out. Going to the Ace Chemical and steals a truck. Throwing away her necklace, and crashes the truck into the building. Causing it to blow up. As a sign that the relationship was over. We then jump back a few minutes, to Renee Montoya investigating a murder, by the Crossbow Killer (Huntress) She is kind of overlooked for her age and crazy lone killer theory. When they were interrupted by the explosion, and she puts it together by the necklace. Pointing out how bad of a move this was on Harley’s part, and we see it go into effect the next morning, but first, we get our first look at Roman and Victor, and just how brutal and lethal these two are. Than we get to the morning, Harley’s breakfast is interrupted by Renee. During the chase, she is confronted by all of these people she has wronged, and are now gunning for her. About to get away, with assistance from Huntress, but is caught by Roman’s men. We follow Renee back to the precinct. She is trying to open a case against Roman, but her Captain and D.A both hold grudges against her, and take the case off her. She tries to fight it, but a call comes in. Warning that she has to get Cassandra Cain to safety and Harley attacks. Looking for Cassandra as well, and everything gets crazy from here, and a good place to stop talking about it.
There is almost too many pros to cover and don’t know where to start. At heart, this was Harley’s Movie. Story revolved around her. She even narrated during the movie, but they gave each character a fair amount of time for us to get to know them. We got to feel Renee’s struggle in the Precinct, with the Co-Worker stealing her work, and the D.A who was her Ex that was still angry over what happened in their relationship. We got to see Dinah struggling between wanting to avoid getting involved and her upbringing and Mother’s Heritage, and Helena being a powerhouse, but awkward at the same time. Practicing how to introduce herself as Huntress in the mirror, which was a nice touch. Then you get the extreme charismatic, psychotic nature of Roman and the even more creepy, evil Zsasz. This may have been Harley’s Movie, but everyone got a chance to shine.
I loved the colors that they used throughout. From the multiple explosions from the Chemical Plant. Later when her and Cassandra were walking and they had this purple hue on the road behind them, I get that is weird to point out, but it stood out for me. You get the colorful outfits of Harley, but the suits worn by Roman were just tremendous. They were so over the top, but fit his personality so well.
The fight scenes were intense and brutal and so many leg breaks that made me cringe every time (Broken Bones always gets me) Harley’s unorthodox style was entertaining, due to never really knowing what she was about to do, and I nearly jumped out of my seat when she fired off a confetti packed grenade during the raid on the Police Department. Don’t know if she used that in the comics, but she did in Injustice 2 and love that ability, and love the fact she used it in the movie. During the end siege, we get everyone fighting waves of enemies. Keeping Cassandra between them, and everyone felt special and unique.
On smaller notes, appreciated the little nods to the comic. Sure there was more, but having the Hyena and Bernie the Beaver were nice touches. Can’t wait to watch again to pick up on what else I missed. Then you get Grievances, anytime someone attacked Harley, they would stop, show their name and what she did to them. It was a fun way to explain their appearance and added a little laugh.
Margot Robbie has really made this role her own. She shined in Suicide Squad, and blew it away here. She just know how to bring Harley to life. She would respond to something she said in Narration. Bringing out so many layers. Her pain of the breaks up. Unsure of where to go from here, and that she was facing an impasse. Balancing out the crazy, violent, humorous Harley and the intelligent, good nature of Dr. Harleen. Mary Elizabeth Winstead really sold it for me, when Harley pointed out why Roman was coming for her, and she grinned over the memory, and was awesome in the final fight scene and the end. Rosie Perez was good as Renee. Felt like a cop, in a room full of characters. She didn’t have hitman training, or Super Hero lineage, or the insanity of Harley. Just a cop trying to do the right thing, and nothing more, and helped her stand out. As much as a challenge Margot had, bringing the character back. Thought Jurnee Smollett-Bell had a much harder one. Having to follow several talented Black Canaries in the Arrowverse, and to her credit, she did a good job. Could have let her use her Cry sooner, but she handled herself very well with the emotional conflict over where she stands in all of this.
On the villain side, Ewan McGregor and Chris Messina were excellent as the Black Mask and Victor Zsasz. Ewan really brought out the viscous nature along with the spoiled child that lay within the Black Mask. He grew up with money, but had to work for his own wealth, and carried that anger inside. Looking at people as his things, and can do what he wants, and Ewan did that justice. Then you had the disturbing performance from Chris. Generally coming off as creepy and how much he loved killing people. Often egging Roman on to continue humiliating other, or worse. Both knocked it out of the park.
This is normally reserved for negatives, and yes, this would be considered a negative, but not an out right one, and that is Cassandra Cain. It is difficult to explain.. I thought Ella Jay Basco played her really well, and the character works well with what they were going for, but why did it have to be Cassandra. I get that they not want to use the human weapon, able to beat anyone, Cassandra. Due to Huntress being raised an assassin and would have felt to similar, but could have been just given her random a name, and if I am getting Cassandra’s mixed up. I am sorry, but when I heard Cassandra and we don’t get Batgirl or Orphan. It sets itself up for a little bit of disappointment.
And that has been my review of Birds of Prey. It was a crazy, fun, wild movie that I enjoyed from start to finish. Everyone really did a fantastic job. The comedy was good, the action was solid, and I would strongly suggest going out and checking it out for yourself. Know I will probably check it out again. Final Grade: S
I hope you enjoyed and as always..
Thank you for reading.