Passengers: A review


Runtime: 1 hour 56 minutes
Budget: Estimated to be $110 million

Did you ever wonder what happened during that time skip at the beginning of Guardians of the Galaxy? Before he became Starlord and traipsed around space he had to be doing something, right? Wonder no more. Chris Pratt reprises his role as Peter Quill and you get to see the beginning of his womanizing ways. Wait, that’s not right. His character’s name is Jim Preston. Oops.

Speaking of women, the movie would’ve been an even better experience had we not known Jennifer Lawrence was in it. All the marketing materials killed some of the tension and reveals. Not all of them though and it certainly doesn’t make the movie useless to watch. I mean, you’ve probably rewatched movies before so that’d be a weak argument anyway. Sadly, it’d be impossible to not plaster Lawrence’s face everywhere when they paid her so much to be in the movie. That and they want her name to bring in more viewers. Unfortunately, there are few character surprises anymore with casting choices being published on the internet during development and pre-production.

Pay no heed to the way below average ratings if the movie looked interesting. I think tthe film delivered on what was promised and critics are far too eager to throttle numbers at the first sign of trouble.

Like many good sci-fi movies, the characters wrestle with some moral quandries. The philosophical ponderings they explored were comfortable digestable, leaving room for some of the romance genre side to show through. The juxtaposition of the vastness of space against the relationship of two humans (and some robots) make for a compelling story.

But those robots, man. They got a lot right with the way the AI speech recognition was portrayed. Awe-inspiring in what it can do, yet frustrating when it falls short of our desperate expectations.

CommBro Breaker

Maybe they will make a spin-off to Passengers called ROOMBA: THE MOVIE. The roomba guys were the best character in the film! If they greenlighted a Emoji movie, why not this?

If some exec happens to be reading this, no, please don’t actually do it…

X-Men Apocalypse: A review

X-Men: Apocalypse

Runtime: 2 hours 24 minutes
Budget: Estimated to be $178 million

I highly considered doing a full on spoiler-filled review, but ultimately decided to keep the current format. It’s really hard to say a lot of things about this film without it.Yeah, I might be looking for excuses. But this movie’s creators should be too.

Without spoilers, I will mention some cameo moments were handled well, and some were, decidedly, not. Poor Jubilee. Even after the soft reboot, she continues to have inadequate film representation. Will she ever get a fair shake?

The film exuded more of a comic-booky feel, which is a departure from previous Bryan Singer directed X-Men films (X-Men, X2, Days of Future Past). Whether or not that is a good thing would depend on your kind of style. One unfortunate byproduct of that atmosphere were some bad puns and cringe-worthy symbolism. Much like some of the wooden dialouge.

Some of the dialogue felt seemed straight out of a rough draft of a school essay. Jennifer Lawrence certainly didn’t do much to improve those lines. While I generally like her performances in the movies I’ve seen (including First Class and Days of Future Past), her acting came off as lackluster to me in this installment. And it doesn’t stop there.

Bad dialogue can be improved by a good story and compelling characters, right? Yes, you’re right. Unfortunately, the villain was written in a generic fashion and the four horsemen were really just there to look pretty for a majority of the film. I can understand—and even appreciate—deviated from the source material to make historically good characters bad or bad characters good, but were the motivations really there? I didn’t think there was enough evidence for it. Don’t do it just to do it.

When all else fails you, there are still action scenes to keep the exciting going! Yeah, those fell flat too. Some of the fights looked like Dragon Ball Z with X-Men characters pasted over it.

It was a little higher budget than this. A little.

It was a little higher budget than this. A little.

The final fight was especially underwhelming even though that’s what most of the movie was building towards. Even when the choreography was good, it was hampered by the cuts. Their choices for transition points just didn’t help the pacing in the final sequence. It was quite jarring and left a very unsatisfying feeling.

Man, this is getting too long so I’m just going to cut to the CommBro Breaker

CommBro Breaker

The film was a mess overall, but had some extremely good elements and memorable scenes. It started out oh so promising, and then suffered. Before I start prattling on again, I’ll list a few of the big things I found good about the film:

  1. Michael Fassbender’s performance as Magneto (and various Magneto moments in the film)
  2. Evan Peter’s performance as Quicksilver (and various Quicksilver moments in the film)
  3. Various Psylocke action scenes (although far too short)

After everything negative I had to say about the film I would still sum up X-Men: Apocalypse as one word: mediocre. Just like this review…