Currently browsing the "Ryan Reynolds" tag.

Quickie Review: Pokémon Detective Pikachu

Who am I kidding? I don’t know a Pikachu from a Wigglytuff from a Psyduck. If you do, then Pokémon Detective Pikachu is probably a safe bet for 100 minutes of harmless entertainment suitable for family viewing. Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool) lends his voice to what is apparently the iconic face of the Pokémon phenomenon, Pikachu, in the first-ever live action Pokémon adventure. It features human and Pokémon characters working together to solve the mysterious disappearance of ace detective Harry Goodman and foil an evil plot to destroy the peaceful co-existence of humans and Pokémon (Pokémons?) in the sprawling metropolis known as Ryme City.

Quickie Review: Once Upon A Deadpool

There are multiple jokes in Once Upon A Deadpool about lazy writing. So I’m going to rip a page out of Deadpool’s book and compose a review befitting this feeble yet entertaining excuse for a limited (re)release. Once Upon a Deadpool is exactly what it claims to be: a comical retread that downplays the raunch of the R-rated Deadpool 2 just enough to transform it into a PG-13 flick that is, well, family-friendlier. There’s a ban on the use of the “F-word” word; judicious bleeping; strategic pixelating; and a few new zingers that simultaneously mock and celebrate an array of mutant and superhero movies.

Review: Deadpool 2

Deadpool 2 has a lot in common with Deadpool 1: it’s irreverent, self-deprecating, cynical and sarcastic; incessantly mocking the superhero genre, while leveraging the very plot devices and character quirks that have come to define superhero movies in general and Marvel movies in particular; and, it’s weird, gross, and generally entertaining. But yes – there’s a ‘but’ coming… the R-rating could easily stand for ‘Redundant’ (in addition to, um, other stuff that makes Deadpool 2, like its predecessor, an anti-superhero flick for older teens and adults only). The shock value humor that made Deadpool such a ‘WTF’ hit in 2016 simply can’t be replicated in a sequel. Instead, we get more of the same. More of Ryan Reynolds breaking the fourth wall as Wade Wilson aka Deadpool whose superpower is, as he describes it, “unbridled cancer”; More overt and covert pop culture references; More melodramatic 80s music; More opening credit gags and CGI extravaganzas.

Even the storyline provided by the studio is, intentionally, a load of bull:

Quickie Reviews: The Hitman’s Bodyguard; Logan Lucky; Patti Cake$

The Hitman’s Bodyguard falls into the bucket of mindless summer entertainment that offers a decent-enough cinematic escape for anyone willing to accept the movie for what it is and not over-analyze its foibles. Ryan Reynolds channels his Deadpool sarcasm to play Michael Bryce, a down-on-his-luck “protection agent” (i.e. bodyguard) who is called upon to safely transport his nemesis, notorious hitman Darius Kincaid (Samuel “Snakes on a Plane” L. Jackson) to the Hague so he can testify against brutal East European dictator Vladislav Dukhovich (Gary Oldman). It’s a familiar formula: The clock is ticking. If the witness doesn’t get to the Hague before a 24-hour deadline, the evil dictator will surely walk free. Cue the overlong gun battles, myriad car and motorcycle chases, and outlandish boat escapes as Dukhovich’s cronies take aim at Bryce and Kincaid.

Life

Life begins as a space drama reminiscent of The Martian or Gravity and morphs into a horror movie that’s more like Alien. It’s a mash-up that didn’t really work for me, so I left the theater disappointed, grossed out, and less than enthusiastic about the prospect of a sequel. Yes, Life leaves the capsule door open for a Life 2, just in case the sci-fi thriller finds itself an audience. I put Life on par with recent (weak) space fare, including The Space Between Us and Passengers, and a few notches below Arrival, which features a similar alien blob that is more visceral than literal in its threat to humanity. The alien creature that co-stars in Life is a flesh-hungry critter that picks off its cast-mates one by one. So don’t get too invested.

Deadpool

Deadpool is a dark, funny, twisted, wince-inducing, sarcastic, anti-superhero movie that breaks all sorts of rules – including an invitation/permission for critics to review it several days in advance of its wide release. From the hysterical opening credits, all the way through to the so-so post-credit bonus clip, the movie celebrates, embraces, rejects and mocks the very genre it is part of… the Marvel comic universe. It’s entertaining in a ‘what-did-I-just-see and why-am-I-reluctant-to-dismiss-it-even though-it-was-such-a-strange-ride?’ sort of way. It truly defies description. But here’s the gist:

Woman In Gold

As the year comes to a close, I’m catching up on some of the films that slipped through the cracks. Woman in Gold tells the true story of Maria Altmann who escaped the Nazis in Vienna and settled in California and her attempts many decades later to reclaim a painting that belonged to her family. It was not just any painting but the extremely famous Gustav Klimt portrait of her Aunt Adele Bloch-Bauer, which the Austrian government claimed to have a legal claim to. Maria, played by the always watchable Helen Mirren, is aided in her quest by a friend’s lawyer son, Randol Schoenberg (grandson of the famous Austrian composer) played by Ryan Reynolds. The film is part legal drama and part lost family mémoire with a bit of odd couple road flick thrown in. Sadly, it is a fascinating story that doesn’t ever quite click.

Turbo

Gotta love a good underdog movie, especially when the underdog is a snail. Sure, Turbo is predictable and formulaic, but it’s also cute and sweet and fun, with a winning message: No dream is too big. No dreamer, too small. Aw shucks. What can I say? Turbo is a solid entry in the animated field of kid-friendly flicks for summer. Just ask our Special Guest Chicklet, 10-year-old Raquel Sklar. Here’s her two cents:

The Proposal

The Proposal is the kind of movie you can take your mother to. In fact, I did, and we both enjoyed it. A pretty standard romantic comedy, it was a fun diversion on a rainy day.