Yes, it’s been a while to say the least since I typed up one of these “What I Watched…” posts but as they say, patience is a virtue… or something like that.
I’m going to confine this post to the films that I watched in April (excluding Avengers because I’ll need a full post in the coming weeks for therapeutic purposes.
If you’d like to travel back in time to the previous 16 installments of this post, you can go to the What I Watched… section. Some of those I might re-watch again.
If you’re more of a live-in-the-now type, then let’s get in to the 17th installment of What I Watched…
Den of Thieves
Honestly I had very low expectations for this film. I went in thinking it was just Gerard Butler beating the crap out of bad guys and exuding machismo for 90 or so minutes. The actual film is all of that but so much more. While it did drag on a bit especially with the family drama subplot, there was a fantastic (especially in the last 30-45 minutes) cat-and-mouse suspense game going on. The final twists had a very Ocean’s Eleven-y vibe to it, although I would have liked just a bit more follow through on it. All in all, an unexpected surprise and at the very least, a solid rental.
Pitch Perfect 3
So much cringe. Talk about taking a franchise that had already been run in to the ground and absolutely smushing every last bit of life out if it. PP3 was hands down the most soul-less and boring installment of the trilogy. Everything about this movie from the acting, the writing, and directing felt like people were just fulfilling their studio contracts and going through the paces. (Kind of like Justice League. *yawn*) Not everything needs a sequel (I’m looking at you A Quiet Place) and at best, this franchise should have ended at PP2. Read the Instagram review.
I feel like this film got miscategorized from the start. The trailers had us thinking this was some gross out Farrelly Brothers type comedy when in fact it played more like a drama with a few comedic moments. If you approach it like that, it’s much more watchable. Mind you pretty much every cameo by a potential father was either really cringey or played too long (ahem, Terry Bradshaw) but it did have a fantastic supporting performance from Katt Williams as a hitchhiker that the fellas can’t quite trust. While Owen Wilson appeared to just be going through the paces, Ed Helms gave decent performance given the material he was working with. Good enough for a rental. Instagram review is here.
Honestly, I don’t understand why this movie was so vilified by critics. I mean, 9 percent Tomato ratings?! Granted there’s a whole lot working against this film from the boring subplot to rather bland characters but I found the actors were decent enough and that’s not taking in to account my bias toward liking pretty much everything Alicia Vikander is in. Zach Galifianakis also gives a admirable supporting performance. Worth a stream/rental. Instagram review here.
The Rock has really hit the jackpot with these CGI-heavy B-movies lately. While the jury is still out on how Skyscraper is going to be, Rampage certainly exceeded expectations. Mind you, it’s a mindless popcorn movie but this movie is very aware of what it is and who its audience is and that’s half the battle. Jeffrey Dean Morgan steals every last scene that he’s in and the CGI work on George looks fantastic. Instagram review is here.
Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay
If you didn’t know by now, WB’s animated DC Comics feature film slate is far away better than the live action garbage the studio has been putting out the past few years. In January we got the excellent Gotham by Gaslight and now we follow it up with the latest offering featuring the Suicide Squad. As mentioned in the Instagram review, this film may feel like it just jumps from one gun fight to the next, but there’s a certain weight to the quiet moments to go along with the dark humor and gore. A solid rental and certainly worth adding to the home video collection.
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back
Was there really a clamoring desire for a Jack Reacher sequel? I mean I get that Tom Cruise is a solid box office draw regardless of what he’s in and I’m almost never going to say no Cobie Smulders being in any movie but this hollow shell of a sequel drags on so long that by the time we get to the climax, even the main villain doesn’t care how it ends. Skip this sequel and hope that the third film has more substance to it. More on Instagram.
The Miracle Season
This movie had the unfortunate fate of being released the same week as A Quiet Place. And while John Krasinski and Emily Blunt shushed their way to the top of the box office, this niche film was banking on the teen girl market and volleyball clubs/teams across the country. As I said in the Instagram review, this film has all the right intentions of getting us to root for the down-but-not-out heroines of the film but it’s so formulaic and filled with cardboard characters that ultimately its a bore to watch.
If you’re looking for an Ed Helms film to watch in this edition of What I Watched… I submit to you Chappaquiddick. Helms gives a fantastic supporting performance to Jason Clarke’s Ted Kennedy (also equally good) and the story slowly unwinds the cover-up of death that they ultimately use for public and political gain. A bit slow in the beginning as it sets everything in place but very much worth a watch. Together now: Instagram review here.