Despicable Me 3 – Review

So far I’ve liked the Despicable Me movies, I remember being unsure if they really needed to make a sequel after the first film told a pretty complete story and Gru wasn’t exactly despicable anymore but ended up liking the romance. The Minions movie was… unneeded and it’s really clear than the Minions to not work as main characters but it wasn’t terrible and had some funny moments. So while I wasn’t sure what I’d think of this film I knew I was going to at least find it enjoyable.

It’s fine. It’s not as good as the first two but is better than the Minions movie and Secret Life of Pets (haven’t seen Sing). If you liked the other movies you’ll probably like this one, the humour is just as funny as usual but while the film does still have emotional moments they just don’t have the same charm that the first two films had.

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One of the best parts of the film is Trey Parker as Balthazar Bratt. He’s clearly having a blast with this character in all his 80s glory and there’s just something amusing hearing him do a voice pretty similar to some of his South Park roles in a Despicable Me movie.

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Something that is both a pro and a con for this film is how many story arcs it has. On the positive side every character has something to do and they keep most of the Minion stuff to their own subplot. Unfortunately this makes the film a bit of a mess and each story feels a little too short. Gru meeting his brother and Lucy learning to be a mother are nice stories to tell but everything happens so fast you don’t really get to appreciate the bonds that are formed the way you do in the other films.

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If you don’t have Limitless (or children that really want to see it) you’re probably better off waiting for it to pop up on TV or Netflix. I don’t know if they’re going to make a 4th one, I actually think it might be a better idea to make a TV series instead. They are making another Minions movie though…

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Baby Driver – Review

This film just needed one phrase to get me interested; “written and directed by Edgar Wright”. If you’ve seen his films you don’t need me to explain why, the guy is one of the best directors working today (which makes it insulting that he hasn’t even been nominated for an Oscar for Best Director).

As with most Edgar Wright movies as fun as the trailers look they don’t even come close to covering it. This film is a blast and has the best car action scenes I’ve seen this year (and as a reminder I watched all the Fast and the Furious movies this year) including some of the best chase scenes I’ve seen in general (though my favourite is still this scene from Lupin III vs Detective Conan).

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Of course a big part of what makes these scenes so great is the use of music. Even if, like me, you’re not familiar with most of the songs ahead of time the way the film times them with the footage is perfect. One of the best examples of this isn’t even a chase scene but early in the film when Baby times his walk to match the song he’s listening to.

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And of course a great filmmaker needs a great cast to match and this film has it. I said in my Kingsman review how a performance you’d expect from an Oscar nominated film works really well for comedy, this film is another example of that. I want to give examples but I also don’t want to spoil it for you.

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I expect like most Edgar Wright movies this is only going to get better the more I think about it and the more I hear from other people. I look forward to seeing what those extra details to enjoy are.

Sahara – Review

I wasn’t sure what I was going to expect from this film. This hasn’t exactly been the best year for Netflix Original films but after being pretty underwhelmed by The Mummy I figured it was time to see if they’ve gotten any better, plus this one is animated.

Despite some decent visuals the film is mediocre. It’s a cliche “rescue the kidnapped love interest” movie and most of the movie is just the main snake being annoyed with the brother of the girl he likes constantly talking about his obsession with pollen.

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Most of the characters aren’t bad but they’re not paired off very well. I’d be fine with a movie about snake romance but they separate the main couple within a few minutes of having them meet each other and we’re instead stuck with the stoner snake for most of the movie. He is an annoying one joke character and that joke got old the first time it was made.

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I did watch this in English but I don’t think watching the original French audio would change much outside of some jokes being different. It’s a shame because if the film had focused on the romance it actually had the potential to be a cute movie.

The Mummy (2017) – Review

And so we get to the film I did this marathon to prepare for. Did the marathon bring something to this viewing I might not have had otherwise? Sure, I noticed the “buried alive” origin for the Mummy was the same as Imhotep’s and at one point the book from the first two Brendan Fraser films is used as a prop… that’s about it. As for my opinion on this film…

Eh, it’s not bad and is at least better than Tomb of the Dragon Emperor but it’s mediocre and one of the weaker films to come out this year. Most of the action scenes take place in the dark making them harder to see, the characters aren’t interesting and Universal’s attempts to cash in on the success of extended universe movies is painfully obvious from the moment they already have a name and logo for it before the movie even starts and force some S.H.I.E.L.D style organisation led by Dr. Jekyll into the story taking attention away from THE MUMMY.

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The funny thing is Tom Cruise was apparently one of the actors approached to play Rick O’Connell in the 1999 film and maybe if his character had been more like Rick the film could have been more enjoyable but his character mostly just reacts to things. Then you have Annabelle Wallis’ character who is just there to be a damsel in distress, except unlike in the 1932 and 1999 films there’s no actual reason for her to be one since it’s Tom Cruise’s character that is the sacrifice. Somehow a 2017 film has a worse damsel in distress than a 1932 film.

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I wasn’t expecting much from this but weirdly the biggest problem with this film isn’t how it compares to the older films or even other films from this year but the possibility of what it could have been with several of the same elements just presented better. That’s it for my Mummy marathon, maybe someday I’ll watch some of the other older movies like The Mummy’s Hand and its sequels as well as the Scorpion King spin-off series but for now I’ve seen enough Mummy movies.

The Mummy Returns > The Mummy (1999) > The Mummy (1932) > The Mummy (2017) > The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor – Review

So far I have been enjoying these movies. They’re not great and all of them are extremely dated but there’s something to enjoy in each of them. As underwhelmed by the 1932 film as I was I at least was able to appreciate the effects they were able to pull of at the time and Boris Karloff’s performance and the last two films were fun to watch.

This movie though, it was boring. None of the charm of the last two films is there and it doesn’t even have any mummies. Sure they keep referring to the undead in this film as mummies but that was clearly so that they can justify calling this The Mummy.

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A big part of why this film doesn’t work is that only two of the original actors return and the new cast just doesn’t feel like a family the way the old cast did in The Mummy Returns, which is bad when you consider a father and son bond is an important part of the plot. I get why Rachel Weisz didn’t return and appreciate the fact they didn’t just break Rick and Evy up but the new Evy is so dull. I don’t blame Maria Bello though, reading the Wikipedia page it’s mentioned that they intentionally made Evy “quite a different character”.

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This film came out the same year as Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and as critical as people like to be of that movie it was a lot better at capturing the fun of this genre than this film and had a much better father and son story. I’m going to see the new reboot film later today, no idea what it will be like but hopefully it’ll at least be better than this.

The Mummy Returns – Review

The previous film was a fun movie that didn’t take itself very seriously. This movie is even more silly with CGI that has aged horribly and honestly those things make it even better.

This film takes everything that I enjoyed about the first film and pushes it to the extreme.  The comedy is funnier with two stand outs being someone calling a bunch of ancient Egyptian pottery rubbish because they were chipped and this scene. Yes the CGI looks terrible watching it now but in a way that is honestly nostalgic.

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The main cast all return only now the group have a stronger bond from the connections formed in the first movie. I like when sequels do this instead of the “these actors didn’t want to do it so the main couple broke up and no one keeps in touch anymore” type of sequel.

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So far this is the best Mummy movie and it’ll be hard for the next two to beat it, especially knowing most of the main cast aren’t back for the next one.

The Mummy (1999) – Review

I remember when this film and The Mummy Returns were new that they were pretty popular so even without the new film I’d probably have wound up watching this series at some point anyway.

This was a fun movie. I was concerned with some of the stereotypes at the start but was amused when it turned out that also applied to the American characters when a rival team of explorers is introduced and they’re all cowboys.

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I actually enjoyed this more than the original, mostly due to the living characters who have more personality here. I’m actually looking forward to seeing more from these characters in the next two films.

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More than the original Mummy the film series that you can clearly see was a big influence on this movie was Indiana Jones. If you like those movies you’ll probably enjoy this, it’s not as good as them but still a fun adventure film.