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Men in Black: International (2019) Movie Review By The Moviie Couple

Men in Black: International Review

Director: F. Gary Gray
Writers: Matt Holloway, Art Marcum
Stars: Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Kumail Nanjiani,Liam Neeson, Emma Thompson, Rafe Spall

Moviie Couple here!   We went to see ‪Men In Black‬: International this weekend!  Remember we are just a married couple that loves movies!  We’re here to tell you if we liked it.  Film experts we are not!  Just a quick reminder of our rating system.   Mrs. Moviie Couple and I, rate films on whether they are worth the cash spent on a night out.  we use a 1-6 Dollar Bill system.  1-2 Bills equal a waste of both our time and money!  3-4 Bills equal Meh to Pretty Good, money well spent!  5-6 Bills equal Wow!  Well worth the price of dinner, movie and sitter!  Please take our money again!

‪Men In Black: International continues and builds on the world started in 1997 with the original Men In Black starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones.  MIB:I introduces us into a new recruit to the MIB ranks (The mysterious covert government organisation that protects Earth from any and all threats without the public’s knowledge)  and expands our story to the London Branch of the MIB.  The film stars Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson as the new Agents in the spotlight.  They are joined by Liam Nesson and Emma Thompson as the Agents in Charge.

Rebecca Ferguson (of recent Mission Impossible fame) and Kumail Nanjiani round the cast out as alien enemies and allies met along the way.  MIB:I begins with the story of Molly and how she becomes a member of the MIB (We never spoil here at Moviie Couple) and the facing of an alien threat known only as the Hive.  As Tommy Lee Jones legendary MIB agent once told us all, there ALWAYS is a threat to Earth’s existence going on at any given time.  Our director is F. Gary Gray of Straight Outta Compton and Fate of the Furious success! New characters, Big Stars, action sequences, alien threats and alien comic relief, a space McGuffin!  I believe that covers our mission briefing.  Will Molly earn her shades? Does Chris Hemsworth save the day?  Does he manage to keep his shirt on?  Will Earth survive the newest threat to all life on our planet?  Grab your sunglasses, fire up your neuralyzers, straighten your ties and lets get right into the reviews!‬

So here we go!

Mr. Moviie Couple:  I love Hemsworth from his work in the MCU as Thor and absolutely am a huge fan of Thompson from her portrayal of Bianca in both Creed films.  So I had some high hopes coming in.  Both worked together in Thor Ragnarok, which I didn’t like tone wise overall, but I felt they worked well together in that film.  I also, for the most part, liked the MIB series.  So we have two actors I enjoy very much, a series I enjoy mostly, what could go wrong?  A LOT apparently.  This film fails us on so many levels.  Let me start by saying the first 15 minutes or so, our introduction to Molly (Tessa Thompson) and her entering the world of the MIB was very well done.  It explained a lot left out in the trailer and I was on board early, but everything after her introduction fell off a cinematic cliff.  Also this movie doesn’t just foreshadow, it foreshadows with huge NEON glowing signs everywhere!

Early scenes nearly leap at the viewer or point imaginary arrows at certain things (we never spoil) nearly screaming at the audience “THIS WILL BE IMPORTANT LATER!”  It’s embarrassing.  Every “surprise” or “shock” this film hoped to spring on you can be seen coming as early as the first 10-15 minutes in.  This movie seemed to have a road map to its conclusion almost as soon as the opening sequence was finished.  Hemsworth was his charming, bumbling, self.  Part Bond/Part Maxwell Smart and all Hemsworth.  Tessa was the best part of this film, as she made me believe she was Molly and that she was thoroughly enjoying finally being in the world she searched her whole life to find.  But the funny chemistry that led this franchise to its great success, that of Smith and Jones, is absent from this film.  Molly and H never reach that comradery or team work that even the rookie Smith did with Jones.

Even likeable Molly doesn’t quite earn her heroic moments.   Two major moments for her come, not from her skill or brains, but rather from luck or alien pals. Nanjiani is funny as the alien sidekick Pawny, but not as funny as the script thinks he is.   And in there lies the fault of MIB:I, the script or directing let this film down.  The talent is there (although wasted on the great Ms. Ferguson) , the effort is there, but the execution is lacking.  The sum does not equal the parts.  Such a let down for a once great franchise despite great talent.  I give Men In Black: International a solid 2 Bills! Ughh. What a waste of my money.  I should have caught it on TBS in a few months.

Mrs. Moviie Couple:  She summed her feelings up with one word, Predictable.  Utterly predictable!  She found Chris Hemsorth (usually a favourite of hers from the Super hero films she doesn’t care for) typical and even boring and lifeless.  She even mentioned being somewhat insulted, as a female fan, that the film makers felt a few shirtless shots of Mr.Hemsworth would make her ignore a wooden performance.  She thought Tessa Thompson’s performance was the only highlight, but still felt there was a lack of chemistry between the two leads.  She was confused throughout the film as to whether the point was to build a romance between them or not.  Neither performance leaned in either direction.  Liam Neeson did nothing spectacular for her either and she felt he simply collected an easy paycheck.

She found the “Cute” Pawny (Nanjiani) not cute, funny or likeable.  Even the aliens were generic and typical and added no fun as they did in the previous editions of the franchise.  She stated “The best thing about this movie was the free MIB sunglasses they gave us.”  The Mrs. felt this movie never should have been made.  Her final comment was how she wished ‪Will Smith‬ would show up and Neutralise her so she could forget ever seeing this movie.  “You never saw this movie, it never existed.  Go see Aladdin again”  She would beg for that memory instead.   She would have walked out if she were alone.  There must be some better things on HBO right now!  Mrs. Moviie Couple gives ‪Men In Black‬: International 1 Bill!!! Yikes, she said if our system allowed it she would have went lower!!

On the way home, We bemoaned the experience.  I continued to talk of the world of MIB, how this film didn’t even follow the established rules of preventing public knowledge of aliens and how this film could have been better. She just kept saying it was her most painful movie experience so far.  At least we got a pair of cool MIB sunglasses!  I give it 2 Bills, just a badly executed sequel.  The Mrs. gives it 1 Bill!  She wanted to walk out!  Even Hemsworth and Thompson could save this film, she wished the aliens won!  So we’ll go with an average of 1.5 Wow!  Run from this film, nothing to see here and if you do see something, get Neutralise quickly!

Till next time, Ties tight, glasses on and we’ll see you at the movies!  Be sure to check our facebook page for a clue to our next movie up for review!  Mr. & Mrs. Moviie Couple out!

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Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018) Movie Review By John Gray

Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom

Director: J.A. Bayona
Writers: Derek Connolly, Colin Trevorrow
Stars: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rafe Spall

Jurassic Park is the movie that got me into movies. It’s my favourite film, by my favourite director, scored by my favourite film composer. The sequels have been hit and miss, even the Spielberg directed Lost World was lacklustre, and JP3 was little better than a TV movie in my opinion.

Jurassic World, however, brought us something I always wanted to see; a fully functioning park. It wasn’t a patch on the first film, but was fun, exciting, and full of good ideas. Its sequel, Fallen Kingdom, does something else I always wanted the series to do, by delving into the darker implications of genetic technology.

The director, J.A. Bayona, stated in interviews that he wanted a good reason for going back to the park, and he succeeds in giving us one. Isla Nublar is about to be destroyed by a newly active volcano, and the race is on to stop dinosaurs becoming extinct all over again. Enter Claire, Owen, and John Hammond’s old business partner, played by James Cromwell. Of course others have far less altruistic plans for the animals, namely selling them off to all sorts of questionable corporations and private collectors, and here is where the conflict comes in.

To say much else would spoil some of the movie’s surprises, and I’m happy to report there are actually a few. The movie could so easily have been predictable, but Bayona delivers a switch in the second half, effortlessly changing to a darker, more suspenseful tone. It’s the first time a Jurassic Park movie has been scary in a while.

The opening set- piece in particular is fantastic. In fact, Bayona shows a deft hand at creating thrilling set- pieces throughout, bar one mis-judged gag involving Owen and some lava. You’ll know it when you see it. Other nitpicks would be an over- intrusive musical score and an uneven script with some pretty cringe-worthy dialogue and jokes that don’t quite pan out.

When the script fails it’s largely saved by the sheer likability of the two leads. Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard are as solid as ever in their roles. Howard’s Claire gets more to do here, and is less of a buttoned-up cliche than she was in the last movie. She brings warmth and passion to the character, who has some hard truths to face about her role in all that’s happened with the park.

Pratt is charismatic and effective as a leading man, even if his character evolves a little less than Howard’s. He’s more stoic this time around, less of a man-child, but still not very interesting. His connection to the velociraptor, Blue, is well played though, and should have been the heart of the movie. Unfortunately the script downplays this connection during scenes where it would have made more dramatic sense to bring it to the fore.

Fallen Kingdom is a thrilling, fun, tense movie that takes the story in new directions. The ending leaves the Jurassic Park franchise in a fascinating place. What works so well about the main plot of this film and its ending is that both feel like they were always inevitable. From the moment John Hammond cloned that first dinosaur we were always headed in this direction. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next.

The Ritual (2017) Movie Review by Darrin Gauthier

The Ritual Review

Director: David Bruckner
Writers: Joe Barton,  Adam Nevill (novel)
Stars: Rafe SpallArsher Ali,  Robert James-Collier

 

Plot:  A group of college friends reunite for a trip to the forest, but encounter a menacing presence in the woods that’s stalking them.

Run Time: 94 Minutes

IMDB Score: 6.3

Why I Watched it: Trailer looked good and of course it’s horror.

Random Thoughts: One thing you have to give Netflix is they give you content.  One thing I want is variety and you have to like Netflix for dipping head first into genre and we’re getting some interesting titles.

One quick note not so much about this movie but marketing in general, is it me or is poster art dying, we now live in a world where the whole movie is given away in the trailer but we get bland and boring posters, you go to IMDB and see the poster for The Ritual and you see  trees, are we suppose to assume trees and woods mean scary?

What I liked: The set up is decent and the location, Sweden and more importantly the Swedish woods is a place we don’t see that often in brings in something new and foreign.  We know in they were in America they’d have to deal with hillbillies but in Sweden we’re not sure.  The woods are filmed well you get how big it is and the most important part how easy it would be to get lost.  Dread is set up early but I will say the slow build works for the first part and setting up that we really don’t know what’s going on build suspense.

There’s one really good scare sequence when they get to a cabin and weird crap happens to everyone, what I liked about that was it was a set up not the main scare and it unsettles everything and the fact that all four of the men had something weird or disturbing happen really sets things in motion.  You really get the sense of fear, and that’s the thing I like the most about this film, they really set hit the fear of being lost, sure there’s the horror element but there’s something that is very scary about being lost in a strange place and the film nails that.

The acting is solid throughout I really liked Robert James-Collier, he’s the standout for me cause he plays a guy who tries to remain calm and tries not to do the standard bickering, he’s looking for a way out and he knows the longer it takes the more the group will split, also we shows he’s scared as well but feels the best thing to do is not panick  and just get the hell out.

What I didn’t Like: This is pretty much The Blair Witch Project in the Swedish woods minus the shaky cam.  Four guys get lost and the bicker and fight, yup.  Now in the trailer there was a couple of moments where it seemed like the film had a sense of humor but not so much in the film itself, it is so heavy and so bagged down with melodrama that at times it’s really boring.  The film also does something that can be fatal for a horror film, they drag out what or who is after them and the longer it goes on the more you get the sense that once we see the whatever it is it’ll be a huge let down and it was.

Sure the film builds suspense but it often goes nowhere, we get a scary moment and then five minutes of arguing and blaming of who’s fault it is, if there’s one horror cliche besides the group splitting up it’s the bickering and infighting, good golly that is boring to watch.  What it also does is make most of the main character unlikable and here I think is the film’s biggest flaw the main characters left near the end aren’t that likable and really i didn’t care what happened to them.  The also use the cheap heat at the beginning, something terrible happens to a mutual friend, now does that have wait to the rest of the story not so much it’s used as another reason to fight.  The other problem is the characters are not drawn our at all, I can’t even call them cliches cause we don’t know enough about them, I mean I knew two were married and that’s it, so it’s hard to care about their plight.  I mean were watching four people lost in the woods, we care why?

The ending was silly for me, I will say the first sight of the thing after them made me almost laugh it did look better after, we never get a true sense of what this thing is, sure of course we get the cliched scene of two of them getting captured and being told things, but it’s pretty lazy.

Final Thoughts: Not terrible, the atmosphere was good, the woods were scary I just wish they put some effort in fleshing out the characters.

Rating: 4/10