“Tyler Perry’s Boo 2! A Madea Halloween” stars Tyler Perry, Cassi Davis, Patrice Lovely, and Chandra Currelley. Released on October 20, 2017, the film has Madea and her friends going on another Halloween adventure when a mysterious entity starts terrorizing people.
The film is directed by Tyler Perry. It is a sequel to the 2016 film, Boo! A Madea Halloween, and the tenth film in the Madea film series. It’s unsurprising that they made another Madea movie due to the film series’ fanbase, but a sequel to last year’s Madea Halloween movie? That’s something that should be reconsidered. Despite its poor reception, A Madea Halloween became a modest success at the box office and thus, a sequel was born a year later. While I wasn’t extremely fond of the last Madea film, it did offer some pretty decent moments for me to recommend it to those who are familiar with some of Tyler Perry’s other works, especially the ones that involve his fictional character. So now we have what is possibly one of the most unnecessary sequels that Hollywood has created, and what better way to release it other than around Halloween? From the looks of the marketing, I already knew that it’s only targeting people who enjoyed Madea, but who knows? Maybe it might have something for others outside of that group as well?
If you guys are familiar with my review for Boo! A Madea Halloween, you should probably know that I stated that the film is for those who enjoy the other Madea films. The sequel is no different. It’s got its usual share of bantering, harsh language, and a whole lot of Madea moments that people are familiar with. But once again, it didn’t offer a whole lot more to impress those outside of its target audience. The story in the sequel follows the same routine as the first film (with some differences), with Brian’s (Perry) daughter, Tiffany (Diamond White), going to a Halloween party with the frat boys, which left him concerned for her safety, and Madea (Perry) and her friends setting off on a mission to find her. While it does serve as a continuation, it almost felt like that some of the characters haven’t learned a gosh darn thing from the first movie, especially Brian and Tiffany. Not only that, but the overall story lacks a certain purpose as to why it is being told unlike its predecessor. The important ingredient that made the other Madea films what they are is always the deliverance of the main messages. In here, however, Tyler Perry surprisingly threw that ingredient in the garbage can in favor of the characters’ never-ending bantering and its generic and predictable plot. In other words, the film is only made just for laughs and nothing else. While there were a few moments that made me laugh, I do feel that the rest of the humor was either forced or a bit too over-the-top, mostly from Uncle Joe. The only thing that I can give this film credit for, besides its effort in impressing the fan base, is Perry’s entertaining performance as Madea.
Overall, “Boo 2! A Madea Halloween” plays off like an uninspired horror-comedy skit from Saturday Night Live rather than a Madea film. With its familiar and generic story, some forced humor, and its inability to develop some sort of message, this is, without a doubt, a major step backwards from its predecessor as well as the most disappointing film that Tyler Perry has ever created. My mom and I managed to have a good laugh over this, but sadly, it’s not enough for me to recommend it to everyone except the people who like the other Madea films.
“Geostorm” stars Gerard Butler, Jim Sturgess, Abbie Cornish, Alexandra Maria Lara, Ed Harris, and Andy Garcia. Released on October 20, 2017, the film is about a satellite designer who must prevent a group of climate-controlling satellites from destroying Earth.
The film features the directorial debut of Dean Devlin, who is known for working with Roland Emmerich as a producer. You guys ever notice that a big-budget sci-fi blockbuster like this is releasing in the middle of this year’s Oscar season when it should be released during the summer? I’m betting that they didn’t find a release date that has less competition. This latest disaster film has Dean Devlin attempting to copy off the same success as Roland Emmerich’s other disaster films like Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow, and 2012. While I have my experiences with these types of films, I can easily admit that they’re not exactly perfect since all they do was show off some visual destruction. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t enjoy watching things get pummeled into piles and piles of dust, right?
The story takes place in the not too distant future, where an entire collection of nations band together to create a system of satellites to control the weather on a global scale. Remember when they tried to create life? Now we’re watching people take control of the climate changes. God is not going to be happy about this. When the system starts to malfunction like crazy, it’s up to two disconnected brothers (played by Butler and Sturgess, respectively) to band together, find the person responsible for the malfunction, and save the entire planet from a Geostorm. For a plot like this, you can’t get any crazier and simplistic than this…unless you’re Dean Devlin. Now, don’t assume that I’m blaming him for the final result since this is his first effort at directing. I’m only assuming that there were a couple of things that he could’ve explored more in the midst of its ridiculousness and its CGI destruction. It does well to entertain those who wanted a straightforward action disaster flick, but for those who are in a “thinking” mood, they’re better off getting wiped out by a giant flood. One of the things that should’ve been developed better is the film’s central theme. I was hoping that the film will showcase the consequences of playing God in terms of controlling the climate as well as the importance of brotherhood between Butler and Sturgess. While it did express the brotherhood theme, it wasn’t enough to cover up its usual action/disaster film cliches and its underwhelming character depth. Aside from its easy-to-spot flaws, the main cast did a nice job with their performances, especially Butler and Sturgess as the two brothers, and the visual effects on the destruction sequences were pretty impressive. Although, compared to Emmerich’s other disaster films, the awe-inspiring quality of the destruction was severely lacking.
Overall, “Geostorm” was an unfortunate missed opportunity to be a part of the ridiculous, yet fun, disaster genre. The cast and the visuals managed to do their part in entertaining some of its target audience, but in terms of its execution, it’s probably for the best if they leave the climate controlling stuff to God. If Dean Devlin is attempting to move forward with his directing business, this is something that he needs to improve on in order to avoid another critical disaster like this. If you like Gerard Butler or if you’re suddenly in a mood for a “think-free” disaster flick, I would say wait until it’s on Redbox or on television. Less risky that way.
“Only the Brave” stars Josh Brolin, Miles Teller, Jeff Bridges, James Badge Dale, Taylor Kitsch, and Jennifer Connelly. Released on October 20, 2017, the film has an elite crew of firefighters battling wildfires in Arizona.
The film is directed by Joseph Kosinski, who also directed Tron: Legacy and Oblivion. Out of all of the new releases that are out this weekend, I barely managed to find the right time to see this one. With the amount of superhero movies dominating the box office this year, it didn’t take us very long to have a film that involves actual real-life heroes. Kosinski’s last two films as a director were science-fiction projects that had some healthy amounts of CGI, but having him direct a fact-based drama without any sci-fi elements is something that really caught my interest. Not to mention pretty challenging considering the fact that he’s known for working on computer graphics and CGI. While this type of transition seems pleasing, it’s actually about the execution that I will be noticing in this review.
The story is based on actual events that revolve around a group of firefighters from the Prescott Fire Department and their transition from being a hand crew to a hotshot crew. Those events lead up to the devastating Yarnell Hill Fire in June 2013 that killed 19 members of the group. One of the things that you should know about the story is that if you experience or heard about the event yourself, you’ll know exactly how it’s going to turn out in the film. Not only does the film focus on these firefighters, but also the two main characters that are a part of the group: Eric Marsh (Brolin) and new recruit Brendan McDonough (Teller). These two characters somehow have something in common that involve their families, and that’s one of the main subjects this film tackles. While it would be nice if they include some more moments involving the supporting characters and their families, I still find it to be a great example of showcasing people’s struggle between the responsibilities of their career and the responsibilities of being with their loved ones. As for the rest of the film, it did have a couple of underwhelming scenes, but everything else was simply moving, inspirational, and above all, well-executed. The cast did a great job at displaying some enjoyable characters, such as Brolin and Teller, who still manages to keep his streak going by putting out some really impressive performances in his career. It’s like he really wants you to forget about his Fantastic Four reboot fiasco. Like I said before, Kosinski has been known for creating magic with his CGI work on Tron and his futuristic visual background in Oblivion. For “Only the Brave”, he had the task of creating a different kind of magic by showcasing the heroism that the firefighters provided as well as the sacrifices they made to prevent a deadly wildfire from killing thousands of people. With his smart direction and a captivating screenplay by Ken Nolan and Eric Warren Singer, not only were the results remarkable, but the actual responsibilities of both the hand crew and the hotshot crew were handled with complete respect. Yes, it did have a few CGI elements, mostly for the wildfire sequences, but they help enhance the storytelling rather than being some sort of a distraction.
Overall, “Only the Brave” finds Joseph Kosinski in a different kind of territory in terms of his filmography, but luckily, the risk paid off due to its strong cast, its inspirational themes, and Kosinski’s impressive direction. The film can a be a tad overlong for some people and there were a couple of scenes that could’ve been portrayed better, but those were only minor issues. A very satisfying start to another weekend filled with new movies if I do say so myself. If you love inspirational fact-based films, I would say that you will love this one as well. It can get a bit emotional during the third act, but aside from that, I’m sure that you are going to enjoy this film.
“Professor Marston and the Wonder Women” stars Luke Evans, Rebecca Hall, Bella Heathcote, JJ Feild, Oliver Platt, and Connie Britton. Released on October 13, 2017, the film is about a psychologist who sets out to create a superhero that young girls can look up to.
The film is directed by Angela Robinson, who also directed D.E.B.S. and Herbie: Fully Loaded. Wonder Woman is still enjoying her big-screen success since the film’s release in June, and she’s expected to return in the upcoming Justice League film. But do you ever wonder where she came from? That’s the main concept of this latest biographical drama that I’ll be looking at today.
While the film focuses on the creation of Wonder Woman, it also focuses on a secret relationship between William Marston (Evans), his wife Elizabeth (Hall), and their partner Olive Byrne (Heathcote). What’s very interesting about this tale is the idea behind the famous super heroine and how it affects other people. Wonder Woman is known for inspiring female empowerment, but during her beginnings, she was often criticized by the censors for her “sexual perversity”, which is reflected by the main characters’ relationship with one another. That’s pretty much what the film is, basically. Its portrayal of sex, plus the four behavioral traits of the DISC Theory. The story itself was very well crafted and the performances from the main cast were simply astounding, but I’m not too sure how other people will feel about it. Like I said before, the film is known for showcasing its sexual practices like bondage. Most of these scenes were nicely shot, not to mention arousing, but people who are not into this kind of stuff might find those scenes…uncomfortable. Aside from all that, Angela Robinson offers the ability to fully understand why Wonder Woman was created in the first place as well as offer an intriguing, yet slow and unusual, love story between the three partners in terms of her direction and screenplay.
Overall, “Professor Marston” may not be for everyone due to its sexual concept and slow pacing, but for those who are curious about how Wonder Woman came to be, it’s a well-acted and respectable treat. In case you guys were wondering, the part where I said the sexual scenes were arousing was 100% true. I’m not kidding, I immediately felt aroused when I saw those scenes. I know it’s awkward for me to say that, but I’m pretty sure it happens to anyone sometimes.
“Happy Death Day” stars Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard, Ruby Modine, Rachel Matthews, Charles Aitken, and Rob Mello. Released on October 13, 2017, the film is about a teenager who relives her day over and over again every time she gets killed. The only way to escape the time loop is to figure out her killer’s identity.
The film is directed by Christopher B. Landon, who also directed Burning Palms, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, and Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse. OK, now we’re starting to get into the spirit of Halloween in terms of horror films, and what better time to release one other than Friday the 13th? The plot element that is used in this film, which is the “time loop effect”, isn’t anything new. It’s been introduced in certain other films, most notably Groundhog Day and Edge of Tomorrow. But what if the time loop effect happens in a Jason Blum horror film? Clearly it equals to a surprisingly entertaining ride.
One of the things that I enjoyed out of the film was its execution. Yes, it does have its familiar slasher genre tropes, but the way they used the time loop effect kept it from being tedious. It’s like Edge of Tomorrow, where someone lives the same day over and over again, but they don’t go through the same routines. Every same day has a different scenario than the last, kind of like a video game where you’re stuck on the same level because you keep getting killed by the same boss every time. But what makes it even better is that it shows off more than just a time loop horror film. It’s basically about the main character’s journey to become a better person, which makes effective use of the plot element. From what I saw, the film is supposed to be a horror comedy with college students. So if you’re expecting me to get scared by it, I’m afraid I’m going to have to cut your expectations short, because this film, to me, is absolutely scare-free. On the plus side, the comedy aspect works pretty well, mostly due to Jessica Rothe’s energetic and entertaining performance as Tree Gelbman, but that doesn’t change the fact that both of these aspects were having difficulties finding the right balance between one another. There’s also this one moment (without spoilers, of course) during the third act that actually caught me by surprise. However, the motives behind that moment were just simply idiotic. Understandable, but idiotic.
Overall, it doesn’t compete with the likes of Get Out and Split, but “Happy Death Day”, as a whole, is a pleasant surprise from start to finish, even though the horror aspect was very weak. I honestly was expecting this to be just another Halloween scare-fest, but thankfully it offered a story that’s actually worth caring about. If you’re in a mood for a fun slasher treat this Halloween season, this one’s worth checking out.