Movie Diary

a) The Lego Batman Movie
I was kinda underwhelmed by The Lego Movie after all the praise for it. But my son and I laughed so hard at the trailer for this when we went to a movie a few months ago that we were counting down the days, and went to see it on opening day since his school was closed. We both enjoyed the hell out of it, although I laughed at a lot of the pretty specific Batman references and he just appreciated the general silliness of it.

b) Ghostbusters
It's weird to watch this movie after all the weird ridiculous polarized reactions to its existence. It's not a referendum on the right of women to reboot a beloved comedy franchise, it's just a fucking movie, and it's neither great nor terrible, although I suspect it's a lot better than a 3rd movie from the original cast would've been. Kate McKinnon was definitely, as I expected, the funniest part of the cast, but I thought where this really fell apart was when the action sequences ramped up but they didn't balance that stuff with the comedy as easily as the original movies did.

c) Now You See Me 2
Now You See Me was a frustrating movie that I thought kind of squandered a pretty impressive cast and a fun premise on a lazy, borderline nonsensical script. So I didn't have any real expectations for the sequel, and thought it at least held together a little better. Lizzy Caplan stepping into the cast in Isla Fisher's absence worked out pretty well, she has a couple hilarious scenes.

d) The Angry Birds Movie
My son has watched this movie a lot, it's pretty silly but it's grown on me. It's no Lego Batman Movie, though.

e) Pride And Prejudice And Zombies
The fact that this was an actual hit book somebody 'wrote' that spawned a whole cottage industry of horror versions of literary classics is kind of ridiculous and depressing. But as a movie, it's a perfectly fine mindless popcorn flick. I took a Jane Austen course in college, so I'm very familiar with the original novel and the BBC adaptation, so it was fun to see some of the scenes thrown into the zombie story, but it felt like after a while they just abandoned the comedy of those contrasts and turned it into a straight up zombie movie and it got kinda boring.

f) Love The Coopers
Exactly a decade after The Family Stone, Diane Keaton once again starred in a Christmas movie as the matriarch of a squabbling dysfunctional family. And The Family Stone is not exactly a classic, but I have a soft spot for it, and this pales in comparison.

g) The Lobster
I'd heard a lot of very different opinions about this movie, but I was intrigued, and my wife was really interested to see it. But the first hour was such a total letdown that she ended up going to bed before it was over, and I can't really blame her. I kind of respected The Lobster's dedication to its own unusual tone and premise, but it felt like it fell way short of being as funny or as thought provoking as it wanted to be.

h) The Visit
I enjoy enough M. Night Shyamalan movies that I kind of root for him still, but this was pretty worthless, maybe the most unremarkably mediocre movie in his career of dramatic successes and failures. The worst part is that it probably would've played completely different with better actors playing the grandparents, but the performances just weren't right at all, almost clashed with the tone the direction seemed to be going for. And the ending was just stupid.

i) Fantastic Four
I'm kind of fascinated by how they keep trying to make this franchise happen and keep making a bigger and bigger waste of talent and money. Even the ones from 10 years ago were way better than this, and they were nothing special. It was fun to see Reg E. Cathey, though, I always enjoy seeing a not particularly famous middle aged character actor get a chance to shine in a comic book movie.

My wife and I got snowed in during our first Valentine's Day together and watched horror movies and ordered Chinese food, so that's been our ritual every V Day for the past decade and a half (well, this year she made Pad Thai). This year we looked at the OnDemand menu and decided this movie sounded interesting, and we ended up pretty happy with the choice. It's basically a 'found footage' movie in the Blair Witch mold, nothing amazing but executed pretty well with a little bit of a twist on the formula. I'm surprised I never heard of it, it went straight to DVD/VOD, really probably deserved a run in theaters. 
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