Fantastic Four is the ‘Daredevil’ of this generation of Marvel and superhero movies… and we’re not talking the Netflix version.

We have had a year full of fun and exciting films, from Avengers: Age of Ultron to the most recent Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, but unfortunately Fantastic Four wraps up the summer season with a weak attempt at a second chance.  Let’s face it, the earlier versions of the Fantastic Four series didn’t exactly set the bar very high to clear, yet even with the bar that low this current reboot still manages to trip on the bar and fall flat on its face. 

I seriously don’t even know where to begin with this review.  I had hoped that this film could make up for the bad taste we had in our mouths from the past versions but all this version does is make me want to watch the old ones again.  Let’s start with the cast…. There is no denying that the cast is a group of heavy hitters, from Miles Teller who just came off hit Oscar nominated film ‘Whiplash’ to Kate Mara (House of Cards) and Michael B Jordon (Fruitvale Station) who are also fan favorites.  But unfortunately a cast is only as good as what they have to work with…. which isn’t much at all. 

The story is weak at best.  It’s no secret that they steered away from the comic source material to put their own spin on an origin story, but where they got their ideas for that different spin, who the f*ck knows.  With a running time of around 106 minutes, almost 100 minutes of it makes up a convoluted, over-drawn character development that shows no development.  We get introduced to these character, find out how they get their new abilities (SPOILER ALERT: They’re drunk… what?!?), then we skip a whole year’s time NEVER even seeing how they focus on them, adjust to them and learn how to use them.  Um hello FOX, as comic book fans WE WANT TO SEE THAT! 

As far as action goes, this is probably the one Marvel movie that has the least amount of action, namely barely any.  The “climax” of the movie is barely that at all.  It builds up to a weak final battle that comes out of nowhere and is also the first real action we see all movie only to fizzle out with a lack-luster conclusion that isn’t even explained how it’s done or what the hell even happens. 

There is so much more to say about this film but I think I’ve gotten the point across.  Die hard comic fans will go to see this movie no matter what the reviews are and while some may enjoy it, most will leave extremely disappointed like myself… and I’m not hard to please (See my review on Pixels).  Bottom line, save your money and time and use it for something more entertaining… like watching grass grow or paint dry.

OFFICIAL REVIEW: 3 out of 10

 
 
It is “Impossible” not to enjoy this movie!!! (<-- You see what I did there, right?)

Okay so now let’s get serious… Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation is one of if not the best action movie of the summer.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of the comic book movies that come from the Marvel camp but this movie was just plain exciting and fun.  It's filled with jaw-dropping action, premium stunts (some even performed by Cruise himself!) and elements of comedy that bring the movie back down to earth.  

I honestly never expected this franchise to survive as long as it has since the drop off of the second film in the series.  The first was good, the second I'd skip, however the 3rd film found it's footing once again setting up the awesomeness that was the 4th installment, Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol.  And now with Rogue Nation, these films just get better and better with this one that is right on par with Ghost Protol.  Cruise himself proves once again as well by doing his own large stunt that he earns every penny that he earns for these movies.  Cruise has said time and time again that he is very proud of this film franchise and it definitely shows in the production of this most recent one.  Not neglecting the rest of the cast, Tom Cruise is reunited with previous cast members Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, Jeremy Renner and new comers Rebecca Ferguson and Alec Baldwin.  Short of The Avengers, this cast has to be one of the strongest emsemble casts of any action movie that we've seen yet.  

All in all, this movie is a blast!  Awesome action, great timed comedic moments... it's worth checking out  on the big screen.  Watch it on IMAX if you can for the full experience.  

OFFICIAL REVIEW:  9 out of 10

 
 
Trainwreck is raunchy, it’s dirty… and I loved every minute of it.

If you are a fan of Amy Schumer and her brand of straight forward comedy, then Trainwreck is a movie you are going to love.  Staring alongside Schumer is SNL alum Bill Hader who definitely holds his own against Amy as well as adding his own comedic charm to his role.  Throw in a great supporting cast made up of Brie Larson, Colin Quinn, Vanessa Bayer, Dave Attell, and a nice handful of other up and coming comedians and you’ve got a cast that really holds this whole film together nicely.  However, besides Amy and Bill, the surprise stand out is NBA star LeBron James who definitely holds his own in this cast of comedic chops.

Trainwreck hits on every level.  It most certainly makes you laugh, it will make you cry, and at times will even make you feel completely uncomfortable but in the most fun way.  It’s a movie that you’ll want to see twice just to see what jokes you missed the first time around from laughing through them.  Her first time as a leading lady, Amy Schumer has a sure fire hit on her hands!

OFFICIAL REVIEW = 8 out of 10

 
 
Yes it's true... great things come in small packages!

Okay now that that cliche is out of the way, let's talk Marvel's Ant-Man.  So what can I say about this film that would sum everything up?  Marvel's Ant-Man has the comedic charm of "Guardians of the Galaxy" along with the thrilling action of The Avengers, but something new that we haven't seen yet in a film out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.... pure heart!  

While there are some nods to the rest of the MCU (including an appearance from an Avenger and some cameos from other movies on top of that), Ant-Man stands alone apart from the other superheroes we've already seen and it works.  It includes a fantastic cast rounded out by lead Paul Rudd and a solid supporting cast that includes Michael Douglas, Corey Stoll, and Evangeline Lily just to name a few.  Being familiar with the comic source material, Paul Rudd does a great job in portraying the lead of Scott Lang, and the story does one thing better than the latest Avenger movie in that it gives time for proper character development of all the supporting cast.

One thing I was worried about when it came to Ant-Man was the special effects considering the transition from big to tiny and the use of a lot of insects.  The CGI however completely holds up and even does a great job in making Michael Douglas seemlessly look decades younger in one part of the film.

Bottom line is that Ant-Man is just a fun, charming movie that is worth heading out this weekend to see, especially if you are a fan of anything having to do with the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  The cast is great, the story is witty, and the action keeps you on the edge of your seat.  But as I mentioned earlier, my favorite part of this movie is the emotion and the heart that it carries that we have not seen come from the MCU.  For that alone it is worth the view.  

Oh yeah and in typical Marvel style... stay all the way to the end for the mid AND after credit cut scene.

OFFICIAL REVIEW: 9 out of 10
 
 
I try not to go into movies with high expectation (with the exception of some movies like The Avengers and other Marvel properties) because that is when you end up disappointed.  However I could not help going into this one with very high hopes.  While the last two installment of the franchise (The Last World and Jurassic Park III) were not the greatest of films, I am still a big fan of the Jurassic Park franchise in general.  I mean let’s face it, the original Jurassic Park still holds up in every way to this day.  That being said, I walked into this one with those high hopes and I am happy to say that I did not leave disappointed in the least!  Then again, I am very easy to please haha.

While Jurassic World takes a little bit of time to find its proper pacing, once it does it is all hands on deck and non-stop to the very end.  This film features more dinosaurs than previous installments, after all the park is finally open after 22 years.  The cast is made up of familiar faces from Chris Pratt (Hollywood’s current golden boy), Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D’Onofrio, Irrfan Khan, Judy Greer, and Jake Johnson as well as some other faces you may recognize from other projects and the cast doesn’t disappoint in their mix of comedic moments to moments of terror.  And let’s just say that if Pratt hasn’t already established himself as a true action star and bad ass, this movie definitely does it for him.  Move over Indiana Jones is all I’m saying.  Btw, to anyone who thought the idea of a “Raptor Wrangler” was dumb, the premise makes more sense after seeing this.

The action of all things does not disappoint in Jurassic World, whether it’s jumping from waterfalls to a massive end of movie battle involving multiple dinosaur species (not saying any more than the fact that it’s AWESOME!).   The score which was originally done by John Williams in previous films is now done by composer Michael Giacchino (Pixar’s “Up”, ABC’s “LOST”) and completely lives up to the emotion of the film.  Being the fan that I am of the franchise, I got chills the moment I heard that famous and well known Jurassic Park suite as part of the film.  Lastly, this film does one thing that its predecessors never did and that is spotlight a little bit of humanity in the dinosaurs themselves.  While it was great treating them as the monsters that they are in the first 3 films, the creatures in this film have evolved much like the franchise itself.  It truly asks the question as to if there ever could be a way for a once extinct species to co-exist with humans today.  We may never know, but I can promise you that after seeing this movie you may question it yourself.  Do yourself a favor and go enjoy what is sure to be this summer’s blockbuster hit.

Final Rating:  Solid 8 out of 10