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2017 Best Hollywood Movies "RAPID FIRE REVIEWS " - Boomspk

August was a bit of an up-down month when it came to my reviews. It started becoming apparent to me that I just needed a clean slate, but didn’t want to completely abandon the movies I had lined up just the same. For today, I bring you Rapid Fire Reviews.

And GO!

“Resident Evil: The Final Chapter” (2017):

“Resident Evil: The Final Chapter” (2017):

So, guess what? “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter” is not very good. For anyone that has seen any one of the six films, that’s not going to come as a surprise whatsoever. Personally, I have found the “Resident Evil” adaptions to be both bad and endearing, and it probably doesn’t hurt that the video games were some of my favorites growing up and the film series got started early enough to engage me. In fact, I’d even argue that these films are some of the better ones in the video game adaptation category; though, metaphorically-speaking, if “Resident Evil” had to run and jump over hurdles to get in a lead position, said hurdles were buried about six feet below ground because that’s just how high the genre has set the bar as of 2017.

One also must admit that while the story quality of series has been mundane at best with the cast outside Jovovich becoming increasingly nameless as it went along, the special effects significantly improved, and that is a bigger deal than it sounds for a series of both games and films that have taken pride in that. That being said, unfortunately, whether it was because Paul W.S. Anderson couldn’t get the funds or whatever the case may be, “Final Chapter” was sort of doomed from the get-go after word go out that the man vs. undead colossal smack down promised at the end of “Retribution” turned out not to happen and was instead written in the timeline between the two movies, and all the fans are left is the aftermath of said brawl and, for a lack of a better way to describe it,
 a remastered Greatest Hits of the first film and an ending that could have easily come to pass in “Apocalypse”. Yeah. I guess the ending for “The Final Chapter” as its own entity was okay as it tried to implement some misdirection, but as a cap to a series spanning almost fifteen years, it’s a letdown.

Oh, and I do have to mention the editing on this thing. Maybe I was a little tired at the time, but the editing and pacing in this film, particularly towards the middle, was so frantic that it was an all-out assault on my eyeballs. What the hell, Paul?

“Resident Evil: The Final Chapter”: 5/10

“Going in Style” (2017):

“Going in Style” (2017):

With an awesome trio cast of veterans and an original film (that I have yet to see) to borrow from, “Going in Style” offers a nice amount of laughs, sweetness, heart, and a few minor twist and turns to create a breezy comedy about a group of elderly gentlemen pals that get screwed and decide to take justice in their hands via robbing a bank. Caine, Freeman, and Arkin are as great together as they should be, and while this is fairly easy material to tackle, Zach Braff doesn’t screw it up. The jokes land more often than they miss, and the story was more engaging than I expected it to be.

There’s nothing much more that needs to be said. Check it out.

“Going in Style”: 8/10

“Testament of Youth” (2015):

“Testament of Youth” (2015):

When it comes to biographies, especially war biographies, while a well-funded mini-series might have the capacity to truly flesh out the gritty details, films on the other hand seem to have an automatic disadvantage due to time constraints. This isn’t to say films that try to cover this material are bad, or that I have yet to see one that truly was, but as the narrative goes along, it does become painfully obvious that only the best cuts were taken from the source material and are only given enough buffer in-between to smooth the transitions as much as possible. “Testament of Youth” is another such circumstance where one can tell that there is a poignant and relevant story to be told, and while the filmmakers do their best, some of the meatier details fall through the cracks.

See, “Youth” may be taking place during World War I, but that is more of the backdrop. The deeper context of the story is about Vera Brittain’s independence as a woman, during a time where that wasn’t much of a thing, and her relationships both romantic and with family and how a war of violently epic proportions impacts each one of them. The latter half is covered fairly well in the film, though the relationships and their emotional significance to Brittain are cut down a bit by a lack of screen time. Alicia Vikander does a terrific job putting that weight on display as best as possible, yet the sorrowful punch the feature wants to hit the audience with doesn’t quite land at full force.

All-in-all, the performances and Max Richter score are great, and “Youth” should be watched once at minimum.

“Testament of Youth”: 7.5/10

   “Everything, Everything” (2017):

“Everything, Everything” (2017):

If you go into this movie thinking you are going to know exactly what’s going to happen before it happens, well, you’re probably right. “Everything, Everything” does not offer much of anything new to the teen romance department, although it’s not all that bad either. The big “twist” is so heavily telegraphed that you will see it coming a mile away, and even then it is kind of f*cked up when you think through on a basic level, but the film is saved by some rather decent performances by the two leads. Amandla Stenberg as Maddy Whittier is a treat to watch. She has this certain youthful, glowing charisma that I personally found infectious, and she had surprisingly good chemistry with Nick “Creepy Kid from ‘Jurassic World’” Robinson (no, I will not ever let that go). Even if the story is cheesy in places, their affections were ultimately believable and I found myself wanting to cheer for them.

I suppose my only major gripe comes from the fact that the film does not really show any balls in an effort to keep an inoffensive PG-13 environment. I’m not saying it needed to go overboard, but there was a particularly dark backstory to Robinson’s character that could have stood to be explored more to bring a more realistic balance between his plight and Maddy’s health issues.

Still, being light and inoffensive isn’t always a terrible thing, and there are worse films you could spend a rainy day watching than this.

“Everything, Everything”: 7.5/10

“Baywatch” (2017):

“Baywatch” (2017):

As stupid of a concept it was to bring the admittedly awful 90s series to the big screen, there is so much tongue-in-cheek humor to cash in on that “Baywatch” somehow had potential to be a damn good comedy – except that did not happen. I will say that it gets off on a good foot, and as all the main characters get introduced to the audience and one another, the results were often consistent laughs; it’s the latter two-thirds of the movie that more or less sucked. I’ll give you three guesses as to why, but you won’t need them. 
I’ll give the filmmakers credit for trying to weave in some action and drama like the TV show once tried to do regularly, and to be honest, it would have been better served if it had stayed on that path instead of trying to keep the comedy going. Instead, we get the, and repeat after me, “F-bomb, f-bomb, dick joke, dick joke, slow motion self-realization joke done three times too many, f-bomb, dick joke, f-dick joke-bomb.”

Another troublesome issue is the Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron do not quite have the chemistry you would expect. Their characters’ relationship is supposed to be awkward, and maybe this is more of the directing side to blame, but the two did not riff off each other all that well, in my opinion. At the end of the day, all that really needs to be said is that “Baywatch” could have been something decent and instead was a big misfire.

“Baywatch”: 4/10
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