Zootopia: A Review


Runtime: 1 hours 48 minutes
Budget: Actually Classified?! I am getting tired of this crap.

Disney’s latest film, Zootopia is a thinly veiled social and political commentary on race relations. Other than layering an animal kingdom filter over everything, the film doesn’t really try to hide their agenda pushing. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it led to some cringe worthy moments.

Nothing stuck out to me as overtly wrong in the message, but there were some peripherals that I might not agree with. Some parts weren’t consistent either. As long as they didn’t intend it as an allegory, a lot can be forgivable. The topic of race relations can be extremely nuanced and the movie risked oversimplifying at some points.

All in all, the story was well-crafted and they kept it moving along. The characters were believable and their dialogue was especially competent. They even left some room for subtlety in their banter.

CommBro Breaker

The movie attempted to target kids, but how much of it would they really understand? Sure, some of the jokes and slapstick could intrigue them, but so much of the film is dependent on an understanding of the world. And all the implications of the film like:

Did they all become vegetarians/vegans?

Everything involving interspecies couples…

If there is a canine equivalent of UFC, do the dogs all get arrested for dog fighting?

If Pokemon were to evolve and make contact, would they treat the animals like humans treated them?

Etc. Maybe someone with kids can tell me what they thought.

Also, I think almost all of Shakira’s parts could have been removed and it would’ve taken nothing away from the movie.

London Has Fallen: A Review

London Has Fallen

Runtime: 1 hours 39 minutes
Budget: Apparently classified because of how hard it is to find a reliable number. Estimated to be anywhere between $60-105 million.

Nothing about London Has Fallen’s plot is special. In fact, the last time something revolutionary was produced from a combination of Americans, British and lots of shooting was the U.S itself. Not only was the story generic, but there were a lot of cliches and cheesy one-liners.

Unfortunately, the filmmakers also decided to carry over a distracting gimmick from the previous film, Olympus Has Fallen. The superimposed text took away more than it contributed. It draws attention away and torwards minor characters that just plain don’t need it. Meanwhile, Morgan Freeman and Aaron Eckhart aren’t even close to fully utilized.

After that two paragraph hatefest, you’d think the film was a summer action movie cash grab. Well, I’m here to tell you that March doesn’t count as summer—not even in California. Sorry folks (CommBro Breaker)1; this movie actually contributes some cinematic value.

While the setting of its predecessor provided a much better backdrop for the carnage, London Has Fallen provided a more memorable experience. Employing the ‘ole Whiskey Hotel brings an almost cheap sense of national pride. It’s like TurnItIn.com being 5% short of alerting your professor that you cheated. Yes, London Has Fallen overcame near-cheating to be the better film.

You could tell they actually put some thought into the thing. The action was satisfying. Fights had respectable choreography. Soldiers actually made use of cover. The highlight of the film was its continuous shot towards the end.

IF you enjoy action, the film definitely has enough merits to outweigh the drawbacks. That is unless you absolutely hate America.

CommBro Breaker

Refer to 1

By the way, I was pretty much right. Gerard Butler was almost superhuman.

Deadpool: A Review


Runtime: 1 hours 48 minutes
Budget: Estimated to be $58 million


Deadpool would probably read my blog and talk crap about it.

Despite the concensus flop of an apperance in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Ryan Reynolds reprises his role as Wade Wilson in Deadpool. Nobody is safe from this Merc with a Mouth—physically or verbally. Mr. Pool’s jokes are unrelenting from the opening credits until the film reel snaps off the projector. The shots just keep coming.

Many of you may groan and say not “another superhero movie!” The only problem is he’s not even close to being a hero. True to Deadpool’s character, you can expect lots of death, crude humor, antics, and fourth wall breaking—things you probably aren’t accustomed to seeing in the same sentence.

With that being said, Deadpool is a hard film to place. While everything is presented in a format rarely seen, it simultaneously cannot escape the forumlaic nature of popular stories (notice I didn’t say superhero movies, comic book movies, etc.). Given the unique personality, I would dub this film an esteemed “worth a watch.” However, my certification comes with a caveat: if you can’t stand foul language, lewd jokes, and violence in general, you should probably sit this one out because they earned their ‘R’ rating and then some. And don’t even consider bringing your kids.

CommBro Breaker

If you find yourself missing the superhero movies, there’s always:

March 25: Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice
May 6: Captain America: Civil War
May 27: X-Men: Apocalypse
August 5: Suicide Squad
November 4: Dr. Strange

And that’s just the Marvel and DC characters. You could definitely include guys like the Ninja Turtles if you wanted. With the way these bad dudes have been like I’d be inclined to count Jason Bourne or Gerard Butler in London has Fallen. Hell, even the Ouija board in Ouija 2. You know what, I’m not even sure what my agenda is anymore.


I can almost hear his criticism…

The Infamous Escape Pod Plothole

To no one’s surprise, Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens has awoken much discussion regarding original trilogy and prequels. Of course, putting it all under a microscope brought back some nagging issues.

We’re only going to focus on one such issue from Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.

You might remember the scene near the beginning. R2-D2 convinces C-3PO to climb into the escape pod with it, setting off a sequence of events spanning all the way through Episode VII.

The Rebellion would’ve been short-lived had the droids not made it onto the surface of Tatooine. As some have aptly pointed out, if the Imperial Empire had just decided to fire on the escape pod, the movie series could’ve ended quite anti-climatically right then and there. I mean, were they trying to save bullets or something? They use lasers, dawg. Just fire the damn thing.This was a plothole for sure! Plot armor to the highest degree. A convenient story-telling gloss over. A nasty trope.

CommBro Breaker

Nay, I tell ya. An answer so simple robs the essence of an entire argument. Those of such an ilk ought not to sully the reputation of their forefathers by mere mention of a notion given with nary a thought. I beseech you to search harder for the truth. Verily, I declare the answer is but one thing:

Paper work.

When some cops have to fill out paperwork just for unholstering their gun, a large organization like the Imperial Empire would necessitate something like that in a report. How else would they keep strict control over a government spanning hundreds of planets across a galaxy?

Nothing can stop the wheels of bureaucracy from turning.

When you, TK-421, and your homie TK-420blazeit want to chill out after work and some…stuff, do you really want to spend an extra second filling out some forms? The officer on deck made the bro move and saved everyone from all that extra crap. Did we see him getting choked out? Nope. Things worked out for them. Good going officer joe shmoe.


The Revenant: A Review

The Revenant

Runtime: 2 hours 36 minutes
Budget: Estimated to be $135 million

Leonardo DiCaprio, again, finds himself hanging onto a piece of wood to survive the waters—only this time, Kate Winslet isn’t there to hog his spot. DiCaprio takes on the role of Hugh Glass, tackling the wilderness in Castaway: American Frontier Edition.

Enough with the jokes. The Revenant brings quality cinematography to the table. In a sense, it was like poetry as moving pictures. At the very least, it was much better poetry than that junk I put out on the previous movie review CommBro Breaker. But really, it was beautifully shot.

The captivating story portrays how quickly man can fall to a primal state and how relatable that is across cultures. That, however, means that they bring a level of brutality and butchery that may unsettle some viewers. Personally, I didn’t find it to be excessive or gratuitious by any stretch. Each person should decide on their own whether they’d be able/willing to stomach that. I think it would be worth it to experience this film.

CommBro Breaker

Maybe this was actually an alternate ending to Inception. Cobb (DiCaprio) and Eames (Hardy) are just hanging out in a frozen hell after dropping into limbo. They’ll probably wake up at some point.


Creed: A Review


Runtime: 2 hours 13 minutes
Budget: Estimated to be $35 million

First off, I gotta be honest. I haven’t watched any previous Rocky movie from beginning to end. Now that we got that out of the way…

Nothing about Creed’s plot is particularly superb. It’s actually quite predictable. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad movie though. Creed has that great underdog story that America can’t seem to get enough of.

The film features top notch acting, including great performances from Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone. Jordan actually put on a pound or two—or 24, reportedly—to take the role of Adonis.

Everything seemed plausible (except maybe for the number of hits they took), but I don’t claim to be an expert in physiology nor a student of the boxing game. At most, I have a novice to basic understanding of the sport of boxing. Despite that, I found the movie to be compelling enough for me to sit through its 2+ hour length.

 CommBro Breaker

Sadly, I’m not feeling up to snuff on the jokes right now. So here’s a really bad poem for you guys:

This long sequel
ain’t just for sheeple
Some crazy kid
who could’ve hid
might’ve been a bit cocky
but got trained by Rocky

I’ll show myself out.

Star Wars – The Force Awakens: A Review

Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens

Runtime: 2 hours 15 minutes
Budget: Estimated to be $200 million

After 10 years, one of the biggest movie franchises is back. Star Wars Episode VII features some of your favorite returning characters, but just a wee bit more ‘seasoned’—except for Chewbacca. He only used some Just for Wookies – Touch of Gray, but otherwise just as spry as ever.

Overall, I found it to be an outstanding film. I seem to always harp on pacing, but this film did a fine job in keeping its 2 hour, 15 minute runtime from becoming slow and plodding. While the scope of the film tended to focus very personally on a few characters, they never forgot to remind the audience of the scale of the rest of the galaxy.

The movie felt like a sequel yet avoided the pitfalls of the Star Wars prequels and the Hobbit trilogy. There were little to no unnecessary shoehorned references. The dialogue was definitely a cut above either of the aforementioned trilogies.

However, no film is perfect and this one certainly had its flaws. There were some moments that were straight up ridiculous. Since I won’t go into spoilers, I will just say those moments were forced, badly done, and corny. Surely, that is not what they meant by “use the Force.” There were definitely better ways to get the same point across, which might’ve made the movie 30 seconds longer, but that much better.

CommBro Breaker

J.J. Abrams sinks his teeth into another science fiction classic—perhaps seeking only to further confuse those that already had trouble discerning the difference between Star Trek and Star Wars. “Oh, Abrams made other Star Whatzits movie?” Abrams has gone full meta with Lost.

Something like that.

Something like that.

It’s also funny how he stole some minor characters from Lost and a few main characters, wholesale, from movies like Ex Machina and The Raid: Redemption.

Concussion: A Review


Runtime: 2 hours 2 minutes
Budget: Estimated to be $240-250 million

There has been some controversy over the NFL possibly “tampering” with the movie. I don’t know if that took place or not, but either way the film is very condemning. I’ll leave it at that and get onto the review.

Concussion was a well-made, but depressing movie. As you can imagine, the subject matter of the movie was not exactly uplifting.  Despite the serious nature and heavy topic, they managed to squeeze in humorous moments to lighten the mood. It was interspersed enough to prevent a jokes at a funeral sort of feel.

Some scenes about the romance subplot seemed unnecessarily long. The relationship between Dr. Omalu and Prema plays a vital role, but not enough for the background to hog that much screentime. They could have spared some of that time for a more detailed closing.

In the end, the film does a good job of summarizing and delivering information about concussion statistics to the masses. For better or worse, entertainment is a good vehicle for making these topics more palatable. It pushes it into the mainstream and drives conversation and discourse.

If you haven’t noticed, most of what I write about is football. There should be no surprise that I am heavily invested in the game—yet, this film has given me pause about the future and direction of football. Is the game worth keeping in its current iteration? It opens up so many philosophical questions and moral quandries. Safety vs. paternalism is a chief issue among these.

CommBro Breaker

Perhaps all the debate is really a false dichotomy between keeping the game and getting rid of it. Football rules have been drastically altered before. Back before the formation of the NCAA, there had been a similar sentiment. Proponents of the game felt that any change would destroy the purity of the sport. Opponents argued that the commonplace injuries and deaths should be replaced with the death of the sport. Strict reforms did change the game significantly, but it survived over a century to get to this point. Maybe it will take a presidential intervention to spur change again. Hopefully, this time it will be free of ulterior motives and secret agendas.

The Martian: A Review

The Martian

Runtime: 2 hours 21 minutes
Budget: Estimated to be $108 million

We’re all probably aware that the last time Matt Damon went to space, it went badly for him. In an alternate universe, Damon goes to space and—surprise!—it went badly for him. Based on the novel, U.S. astronaut, Mark Watney, goes ends up stranded on Mars.

Mark Watney? More like Mark Wahlberg.

Mark Watney? More like Mark Wahlberg.

The story is compelling, juxtaposing the petty political ploys on Earth with the visceral survival struggle on Mars. There are shortcomings, though, mainly with the Watney character lacking much of a background. However, I don’t think it really hurts the bigger picture of the film too much.The emphasis is on problem-solving aspect of the journey rather than any individual and their motivations (or at least that’s what I got out of it). Personally, I enjoyed Watney’s snarky nature, but that might be “unrealistic” for some folks. Despite the flaws, the film remains solid and deserves a watch.

CommBro Breaker

Mark Wahlberg and Matt Damon are both dudes out of Massachusetts that are roughly the same age, but they don’t look that similar. For some reason people still mix them up. However, once the beards come out, the game changes.

You can hardly tell the difference.

You can hardly tell the difference.

Spectre: A Review


Runtime: 2 hours 28 minutes
Budget: Estimated to be $240-250 million

It took me a while to watch this and even longer to get this review out. The reason for me watching it late was circumstance, but writing the review late was by choice. I’m just going to say: the movie was alright.

They had some typical bond elements. There were witty quips and action. The film’s score was great. Hell, the cast looked to be amazing. They had Christoph Waltz and Dave Bautista working with Daniel Craig! But there’s the fallacy of composition at work.

The film was aptly named Spectre—because it will just be a spectre in my mind. The movie was pretty damn unmemorable, the pacing was subpar, and the plot was below average. They attempted to connect all of Daniel Craig’s Bond movies and it just ended up seeming like contrived and too loosely connected. Might be worth a watch, but don’t pay too much for it. I would rank the recent Bond films like this:

  1. Casino Royale
  2. Skyfall
  3. Spectre
  4. Quantum of Solace

CommBro Breaker

If they follow the current trend of good Bond movie, bad Bond movie, we should have a good one somewhere between 2017 and 2019!!