Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Releases July 29th, 2015
1 hr 39 mins
Rated R
Action/Adventure, Comedy


Director: John Francis Daley, Jonathan Goldstein
Writer: John Francis Daley, Jonathan Goldstein

Ed Helms as Russell "Rusty" Griswold
Christina Applegate as Debbie Griswold
Leslie Mann as Audrey Griswold-Crandall
Chris Hemsworth as Stone Crandall
Beverly D'Angelo as Ellen Griswold
Chevy Chase as Clark Griswold
Skyler Gisondo as James Griswold
Steele Stebbins as Kevin Griswold
Charlie Day as Chad
Keegan-Michael Key as Griswold family friend
Regina Hall as Griswold family friend
Catherine Missal as Adena
Elizabeth Gillies as Heather

Review by Stephen M.

Vacation, which as the film itself points out is a sequel and not a remake of National Lampoon's Vacation released in 1983.  In this film, Ed Helm plays the now grown up Rusty Griswold with his own family which he decides to take on a trip to Wally World.  Something his dad Clark (Chevy Chase) did so many years ago in the original film.  This in an attempt to beat back the funk in his stalling marriage and bring together a family that includes an easy going touchy feely older son James (Skyler Gisondo) and a younger son Kevin (Steele Stebbins) hell bent on torturing his old brother.

The film has a lot of laugh out loud moments though its frequency and quality is lacking.  As far as enjoyable moments in the movie, I particularly like the one sided brother rivalry in which James is often at the receiving end.  The dialogue is sometimes witty, while at other times so absurd that even the characters in the film seem confused to each other's dialogue.  While I am not a fan of Chris Hemsworth's character overall as the brother-in-law to Rusty, he does have one shining moment as Rusty and Debbie prepares for bed.

The film pays homage to the original film in a number of ways such as the beautiful lady in the red sports car.  But despite the various homage, it fails to properly utilize Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo, making their cameo mostly forgettable.  The biggest problem with the film is the pointlessness and what seems like on the fly improvisation with no real plot to keep you laughing.  I enjoy Ed Helms as an actor and the majority of his movies like Hangover, Horrible Bosses and We're the Millers.  And while his performance is decent here, there really is nothing to really write home about in his or Christina Applegate's performance.  The constant breaking into song seems like the filmmakers were trying to fill in time instead of actually being funny and entertaining like Will Poulter's rap in We're the Millers.

Despite the absurdity of the film, with dialogue and acting that will sometimes have you cringing, I actually had some good laughs from this film.  Granted I wouldn't want to pay money for this film.  But if you have a chance to catch it on Netflix in the future, do so.  This movie for many reasons is not suitable for children.  For a better road trip film, catch We're the Millers which also stars Ed Helms or the original National Lampoon's Vacation.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation
Releases July 31st, 2015
2 hrs 11 mins
Rated PG-13
Action/Adventure, Family


Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Writers: Christopher McQuarrie, Drew Pearce

Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt
Jeremy Renner as William Brandt
Simon Pegg as Benji Dunn
Rebecca Ferguson as Ilsa Faust
Ving Rhames as Luther Stickell
Sean Harris as Solomon Lane
Alec Baldwin as Alan Hunley

Review by Stephen M.

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation, the fifth movie in the franchise with Tom Cruise as IMF agent Ethan Hunt lacks the excitement and suspense of the last installment but still delivers an action packed film worthy of the franchise.  In Rogue Nation, the IMF team is disbanded by the United States due to their trail of carnage and destruction they often leave behind with good results often due merely to "luck."  While this is happening, Ethan is attacked by a mysterious counter IMF agency known as The Syndicate.  The entire movie is a cat and mouse game between the two groups as The Syndicate's mysterious leader, and motives are slowly unraveled.

One of the things you will be most impressed with the film as with the previous films is the action scenes.  From the motorcycle chase scenes to the underwater scene in which Ethan has to swap a profile disk, it is even more impressive than a lot of stunts were performed by Tom himself.  As far as the plot and acting, while they are both good across the line, I failed to be blown away in any aspect as far as the story line or performances.  If I had to pick a standout in the movie it would have to be Rebecca Ferguson as Ilsa Faust.  The other newcomer, Alec Baldwin as CIA Director Alan Hunley like most of the rest of the cast had a good but not too memorable performance.

The performance or character that I liked the least would be the main antagonist Sean Harris as Solomon Lane.  His elusiveness to the IMF seems like a farce considering that his Syndicate was easily infiltrated and subsequently revealed much too early to viewers.  By doing so it takes the bite of out the character especially when you consider his lack of on screen brutishness aside from hearsay.  Despite his early dismissal of Ethan's assistant and a lackey you don't care about, you cannot helped but feel more sorry than intimidated by his soft spoken character.  In addition, despite the various good action scenes scattered throughout the film, you will always feel a somewhat emptiness of that there could be more.  For example the opening sequence of retrieving the nerve agent bombs seemed a bit anticlimactic in his retrieval after the amount of effort to get on the plane.

Overall, I would recommend the film, despite hoping for something grander.  Fans of Mission Impossible movies will enjoy the film with its action and humor (thank you Simon Pegg).  The concept and execution of the Syndicate as the villain falls short.  You can see why the film because of this did not want to go head to head with James Bond's similarly constructed 007: Spectre.  Tom at times looked tired and worn, such as the motorcycle scene and airplane scene.  Perhaps it is time for a reboot to the franchise, with Rogue Nation, having Tom leave on a somewhat of a high note.  Who would make a good replacement though considering how well Tom has embodied Ethan?


Thursday, July 23, 2015

King Tiger #1
Publisher: Dark Horse
Writer: Randy Stradley
Artist: Doug Wheatley
Colorist: Rain Beredo
Cover Artist: Doug Wheatley
Genre: Action/Adventure, Superhero
Publication Date: August 12, 2015
Format: FC, 32 pages; Miniseries
Price: $3.99

Review by Stephen M.

Comic books with a martial arts element usually catch my attention, so I was immediately drawn to the book given its title and cover.  While I didn't grow up on Marvel's Masters of Kung Fu, I did grow up on Hong Kong's many stable of martial arts comic books or manhua like Oriental Heroes and the Force of Buddha's Palm.  King Tiger at least in the very first issue has more of a Big Trouble in Little China feel to it than a Bruce Lee film.  The reason is that King Tiger, the lead character is both a sorcerer as well as a martial artist.  With the way the first issue plays out, there may be more of an emphasis on the sorcery than the fist of fury.

When you first flip through the book what will catch your eye is the wonderful detailed artwork of Doug Wheatley.  Combined that with the coloring of Rain Beredo, and you have one great looking book.  The story as a first issue is more of a set up issue reintroducing us to King Tiger, his girlfriend Rikki and "caddy" Milo.  The lack of action in the first issue is pretty surprising given the genre of the book.  However it does enough to setup for the next issue with intrigue and villain cameos that hopefully the follow up takes it up several notches.

Overall, I would recommend the book with reservations.  I did not like the slow pacing of the issue though I give that a pass since it is the first issue.  However, given that the series is only a four issue limited series if it is not extended to a monthly book; they have little room to entertain the readers looking for an action packed book.  As I have said if you are a fan of films like Big Trouble in Little China or comic books like Iron Fist then you may want to give this a try.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Releases July 24th 2015
1 hr 46 mins
Rated PG-13
Comedy, Family


Director: Chris Columbus
Writers: Tim Herlihy, Timothy Dowling

Adam Sandler as Sam Brenner
Anthony Ippolito as 13 year old Sam
Kevin James as President Will Cooper,
Jared Riley as 13 year old Will
Josh Gad as Ludlow Lamonsoff
Jacob Shinder as 8 year Ludlow
Peter Dinklage as Eddie Plant
Andrew Bambridge as 13 year Eddie
Michelle Monaghan as Lieutenant Colonel Violet van Patten
Matt Lintz as Matty, a son of Violet
Brian Cox as Admiral Porter
Ashley Benson as Lady Lisa
Jane Krakowski as Carolyn Cooper]
Denis Akiyama as Toru Iwatani
Sean Bean as Corporal Hill
Affion Crockett as Sergeant Dylan Cohan
Dan Aykroyd as 1982 Championship MC
Lainie Kazan as Mickey Lamonsoff

Review by Stephen M.

If you're nostalgic about arcade games in 1982 specifically, then there's a chance you would like Pixels.  And that is a rare feat considering Adam Sandler's recent track record of comedic films that just plain stunk.  Pixels won't be winning any Oscars for 2015, but you probably already realized that and with low expectations, Pixels is actually a fun film to watch.

The premise is fairly outlandish but yet intriguing enough due to the nostalgic factor.  Adam Sandler plays Sam Brenner who as a kid was amazingly gifted at arcade games due to his ability to easily recognize patterns in the games.  He goes on to compete at an arcade championship only to finish second that would haunt him.  Fast forward to adulthood and he and his friends have gone starkly different paths.  Sam is a Nerd worker that helps put together video/sound systems at people's homes.  His friend William Cooper played by Kevin James is now the President of the United States, and his friend Ludlow Lamonsoff played by Josh Gad is still... odd.  They are thrown back together along with others due to an alien attack that greatly resembles the 1980s arcade games they grew up with.

Of the three friends, I really enjoyed Josh Gad's performance the most.  He has the best dialogues and best moments in the movie that will actually have you laughing.  Peter Dinklage, who plays Sam's childhood arcade rival is a sad example of how to misuse a good actor and have you longing for a new season of Game of Thrones.

The poor performance or lack of an interesting character doesn't stop with Peter's.  Adam and Kevin's characters are all too predictable, playing characters that we have been accustomed to seeing.  The plot at times challenges your intelligence and even admits to it when they can't even explain certain things (Q-Bert's transformation).

Overall, I would recommend this as a matinee if you have the chance.  The film is a mediocre comedy that has some good laughs but not enough to pay full price for.  I was able to watch the film on IMAX 3D and the film with its action especially the battle scenes are great on the bigger screen.  Despite its flaws, and its PG-13 rating, older kids and adults who grew up on these games will enjoy the film.


Monday, July 20, 2015

Justice League: Gods and Monsters
Releases July 28th, 2015 (Blu-Ray, DVD, Digital Download)
1 hr 16 mins
Rated PG-13


Director: Sam Liu
Writers: Alan Burnett

Benjamin Bratt as Hernan Guerra / Superman
Michael C. Hall as Kirk Langstrom / Batman
Tamara Taylor as Bekka / Wonder Woman
Paget Brewster as Lois Lane
C. Thomas Howell as Dr. Will Magnus
Jason Isaacs as Lex Luthor / Metron
Dee Bradley Baker as Ray Palmer
Eric Bauza as Ryan Choi
Larry Cedar as Pete Ross
Richard Chamberlain as Highfather
Trevor Devall as Emil Hamilton
Dan Gilvezan as Pat Dugan
Grey Griffin as Tina/Platinum
Daniel Hagen as Doctor Sivana
Penny Johnson Jerald as President Amanda Waller
Josh Keaton as Orion
Arif S. Kinchen as Michael Holt
Yuri Lowenthal as Jor-El
Carl Lumbly as Silas Stone
Jim Meskimen as Victor Fries
Taylor Parks as Victor Stone
Khary Payton as John Henry Irons
Tahmoh Penikett as Steve Trevor
Andrea Romano as Jean Palmer
André Sogliuzzo as Cop
Bruce Thomas as General Zod
Lauren Tom as Lara
Marcelo Tubert as Tough Guy
Kari Wahlgren as Karen Beecher

Review by Stephen M.

Not your typical Justice League story, and that's actually great.  DC's trinity in Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman gets twisted up in this Elseworld type story.  Superman's father being General Zod instead of Jor-El, Batman replaced instead with Man-Bat who's a crime fighting vampire and Wonder Woman is replaced with Bekka, not an Amazonian but a New Genesis's warrior princess.  The story of the DC's big three has been told again and again so it is nice to get this different interpretation full of action and twists to keep you on your feet.

While some parts in the beginning reminds me a bit of the new 52 with the "aliens" being feared more than loved as with the old DC universe, this film has a clearly darker overtone than that.  I was a bit confused first with Batman being called Kirk and Wonder Woman, Bekka. It's not until later that I realize who they actually are in the known DC universe that the brilliance of the story telling takes a hold.  And it is because of this new tale with new twists that I actually love the characters and the story unfolding with mysteries and a whodunit thrown in.

As with Justice League War and Son of Batman, Gods and Monsters continues DC's dark themes in their animation roster.  Mass murders in Gods and Monster that include ripping people apart and stabbing swords through their hearts makes this not so family friendly.  The only other gripe I have with this and understandably this is not our Lex Luthor is that, that is not our Lex Luthor!  Of all the familiar characters that is completely off base as far as what we would expect, it would probably be Gods and Monsters's Lex and in this case it's not necessarily a good thing.

Overall, I would highly recommend watching it especially if you are a DC Animations fan.  The film is well acted with good animation that you would come to expect from DC Animations.  Keep this away from young kids with the gruesome violence.  DC's die-hard fans will love to see some of their favorite characters in different suits, and would have loved to see more heroes and villains.  While the villain was an interesting twist I would have loved to see more grand scale fights from this universe's big three.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Welcome to our Scooby-Doo! and KISS: Rock and Roll Mystery Blu-ray Giveaway!

Everyone’s favorite crime fighting kids are back with their biggest mystery ever in Scooby-Doo! and KISS: Rock and Roll Mystery! To help them solve the case the Scooby gang teams up with Rock and Roll legends KISS for an all new Mystery Inc. adventure!  The DVD/Blu-Ray releases July 21st.  Win your copy below!


Prize:  Blu-ray+DVD+Digital HD with UltraViolet copy of Scooby-Doo! and KISS: Rock and Roll Mystery

About Scooby-Doo! and KISS: Rock and Roll Mystery

Get ready to Rock! Scooby-Doo and the Mystery Inc. Gang team up with the one and only KISS in this all-new, out-of-this-world adventure! We join the Gang at Kiss World – the all-things-Kiss theme park, as they investigate a series of strange hauntings. With help from Kiss, they discover that the Crimson Witch has returned to summon The Destroyer from the alternate dimension of Kissteria! The evil duos ghastly plan, to destroy the earth! Can the Gang's cunning and Kiss's power of rock save the day?! Tune in to this Rock and Roll Mystery for some thunderous, heavy FUN!

To enter:
1. Please like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter if you don't already.
2. Click around on the soundboard and comment with your favorite sound below (please include your full name).
3. Tweet your answer @Geekwithmak using hashtags #ScoobyDoo and include a link to our contest.

Contest ends July 28th, 2015 11:00pm ET.

Fine Print: 

Each household is only eligible to win One (1) Scooby Doo and KISS Rock & Roll Mystery Blu-ray Combo Pack via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.  Giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents.

Additional fun stuff for the kids:

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Released on VOD June 5, 2015, DVD on July 14th 2015
1 hr 38 mins
Rated R


Director: Peter Cousens
Writer: Peter Cousens

Cuba Gooding Jr. as Samuel Woodward
William Sadler as Plimpton
Sharon Leal as Vanessa
David Rasche as Jefferson Monroe
Terrence Mann as Barney Fagan
Michael Goodwin as Garrett
Phyllis Bash as Adira (rumored)
Phillip Boykin as Big Hand
Diane Salinger as Fanny
Bart Shatto as McGee
Anna Sims as Mary
Tony Sheldon as Drew
Jubilant Sykes as Ozias
Ben Thompson as Willie
Peter Cousens as Seaton Cervisse
Bernhard Forcher as John Newton

Review by Stephen M.

Freedom tells the tale of two men whose lives are linked by their struggle to be free from slavery, one a slave and the other a captain of a slave ship.  Despite their different statuses and a difference of about 100 years, their stories are an inspirational and educational one.  Cuba Gooding Jr. plays Samuel Woodward the slave who along with his family is escaping via the underground railroad helped by Quakers.  Bernhard Forcher plays songwriter, relunctant Captain of a slave ship John Newton who would go on to write the hymn "Amazing Grace."

The story starts off at the plantation, where Samuel and his family attempts to escape.  On their journey, Samuel's mother tells a story of their relative many years ago who came across the seas on a slave ship captained by John Newton.  The parallels the storytellers are trying to make are a bit of a stretch.  As well, with this particular format of switching between stories, it kills any momentum either side develops creating some awkward unevenness.  With Samuel's story, the lead of the story seems to be more driven by the man tasked to hunt him down in retired slave hunter Plimpton (William Sadler).

While I normally enjoy period pieces like this movie, something always felt off.  The detail to explaining how the underground railroad may have operated and seeing it action is great.  But the lack of violence you would imagine from the film takes away some of the credibility.  Yes we do see some beatings, and not all slave films can go the route of a Django Unchained.  But you can tell that the film has been cleaned up quite a bit for perhaps their targeted Christian audience.  Of the actors I enjoyed Bernhard Forcher's performance the most.

Freedom, with a stellar cast and a rich history and story to be based off of ultimately fails in its execution of providing an entertaining film.  I would recommend watching this at least once on Netflix or cable television if it ever shows up there.  It's a poor outing for Cuba Gooding Jr. though his role is limited due to shared screen time.  The various musical numbers which while good is a bit uneven.  The film would have been better served to focus on John Newton than to split its attention to John and Samuel.


Saturday, July 11, 2015

Releases July 17th, 2015
1 hr 57 mins
Rated PG-13
Action/Adventure, Family


Director: Peyton Reed
Writer: Edgar Wright, Joe Cornish

Paul Rudd as Scott Lang / Ant-Man
Evangeline Lilly as Hope van Dyne
Corey Stoll as Darren Cross / Yellowjacket
Bobby Cannavale as Paxton
Michael Peña as Luis
Tip "T.I." Harris as Dave
Wood Harris as Gale
Judy Greer as Maggie
David Dastmalchian as Kurt
Michael Douglas as Hank Pym / Ant-Man

Review by Stephen M.

Marvel continues to show they can have movie success even with characters not known to mainstream audiences.  Not as good as the other Marvel's obscure character driven movie Guardians of the Galaxy, it however easily beats out Avengers 2: Age of Ultron as the best Marvel movie thus far for 2015.  Ant-Man's full of humor and intense action, Paul Rudd shines as the lead character Scott Lang, thrown into the world of corporate espionage and super hero tights unwillingly.

I am a fan of Paul Rudd's movies especially his last comedy, They Came Together.  I thought it was an odd choice that they chose to go with Scott Lang as the primary Ant-Man character and Hank Pym as his mentor.  If you follow the comic books you know that Hank Pym was more of Tony Stark and Steve Roger's peer than Scott Lang.  Instead we get an aged Hank Pym played nicely by Michael Douglas who along with Paul Rudd has a nice dynamic mentor and super hero in training relationship lacking in the other Marvel films.  Evangeline Lilly mean while continues to show that Marvel is full of strong woman characters in playing Hope.  

The only character I felt lacking was the antagonist Darren Cross played by Corey Stoll.  While he played the often at edge borderline villain well, I thought it would have actually benefited his character to be more off the edge.  As far as villains go, he paled sharply in comparisons to the likes of Tom Hiddleston's Loki or even Mickey Rourke's Ivan Vanko as examples.  As well the film at times felt a little long even for a Marvel film especially early on as the filmmakers are developing Scott's character as well as when he is training.  While Michael Peña's character contributed to the film, T.I.'s contribution is questionable to the story.

Overall, I would highly recommend the film.  I came in to the film with low expectations and was pleasantly surprised.  The humorous dialogue mostly from Paul and Michael with amazing fight scenes between Ant-Man and his nemesis as well a certain flying Avengers makes this a must see.  The film makes certain references to the other Marvel superheroes including ones that have yet to show up will have you whetting your appetite.  As usual stick around as the credits roll and after for two bonus scenes.  The first one (spoilers, highlight the text to read) is Janet Van Dyne getting a Wasp suit for Hank, and the second a lead in, into Captain America: Civil War.

Book of Death #1
Released July 15, 2015
Written by Robert Venditti
Art by Robert Gill with Doug Braithwaite
Color Art by David Baron with Brian Reber
Lettered by Dave Lanphear
Design by Dylan Todd
Associate Editor Kyle Andrews
Edited by Warren Simons
Covers by Robert Gill (Standard cover A), Cary Nord (Variant Cover B), Clayton Crain (Variant Cover C), Jelena Kevic-Djurdjevic (Variant Cover D), Blank Sketch Cover (Variant Cover E), Paolo Rivera (Incentive Character Design Variant Cover F), Pere Perez (Incentive Valiant Icons Variant Cover G), Paolo Rivera (Incentive Artist Variant Cover H), And (there are retailer shared exclusive covers also by Scot Eaton with Ulises Passalaqua, Robert Gill with David Baron, Rafa Sandoval, Juan Jose Ryp with Peter Pantazis,Ryan Lee with Allen Passalaqua, Cafu, Jason Strutz, Zach Dolan with Laurie Foster,Stephen Secovia with Ulises Passalaqua, Meghan Hetrick) (18 covers total)

Reviewed by The Secret Screener

(Disclaimer the views and opinions posted in this review are that or "The Secret Screener's" and not of anyone affiliated with Geekwithmak)

The basic story if you have been following other valiant books is Tama, an eleven year old Geomancer (A being that control all life and the earth itself) from the future has come to present time and Gilead, The Eternal Warrior (a being thousands of years old and skilled in all forms of combat, his mission is to protect every Geomancer that comes in to existence) has taken her from a government installation and is trying to keep her safe from an unknown threat, while the rest of the world thinks she's the threat. Meanwhile she has "The Book Of Death" (that only geomancers can read and foretells the future) and while they are on the run and in hiding they are trying to find clues and answers as to what they are up against.

Its a run for your lives while trying to save the world story. It shows you glimpses of a future that may or may not happen according to my sources at Valiant. If you aren't familiar with the universe or the cast of characters they have a little synopsis inside the front cover to get you up to speed and character description when each character shows up in the story. 

It's a good beginner chapter if you have never read anything from Valiant prior. It just left me going "huh?" a lot of times. I am really familiar with the 90's Valiant books and the characters due to my experiences. I being a long time reader haven't found that one character or concept in the current Valiant Universe that has made me run to a comic book store to pick up an issue of any of their books. Not that there aren't good creators working on them but due to me feeling "been there, done that." as a collector of the books in the 90's. Also the constant Multiple covers for every book leave me with a bad taste in my mouth.  18 covers for a book? That is just overkill.

  If you enjoy event comics, like Civil War, Convergence, Secret Wars, and have the time and money, pick up "Book of Death" you might see that you love the universe and will stick with it. As far as event books go this is decent i'd give it one and a half stars out of 5. It's just not my personal liking. 


The Secret Screener

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Releases July 10th, 2015
1 hr 31 mins
Rated PG
Animated, Comedy


Director: Pierre Coffin, Kyle Balda
Writer: Brian Lynch

Pierre Coffin as Kevin, Stuart, Bob and the Minions
Sandra Bullock as Scarlet Overkill
Jon Hamm as Herb Overkill, an inventor and Scarlet's husband
Michael Keaton as Walter Nelson
Allison Janney as Madge Nelson
Steve Coogan as Professor Flux and Tower Guard
Geoffrey Rush as the Narrator
Jennifer Saunders as Queen Elizabeth II
Hiroyuki Sanada as a sumo wrestler

Steve Carell as Felonious Gru

Review by Stephen M.

One would imagine that a movie centering on just the Minions would be amazingly funny and a great success given the popularity of their characters in Despicable Me.  While there's no doubt the film will be a financial success, I am on the fence on it being amazingly funny.  There are certain elements that Minions try to borrow from Despicable Me that just doesn't work as well in this origin story.  While a good film that's great for kids, adults might find it just a little bananas.

The inherent silliness of the Minions is what makes them so lovable and they are in no short change of silly childlike antics in the film.  Some may question the filmmaker's choice of a particular scene showing the Minions horsing around with a noose; will kids being such naive imitators of what they see.  For adults though the humor is good but wanes especially when the dialogue by Minions is a mixture of European languages and nonsense.  In short supply as in the Despicable Me movies that is fine, but a whole film of their gibberish is quite intolerable.

As with the characters, we have three distinct Minions in Kevin, the brains or leader, Stuart, the banana/hydrant lover and musician, and Bob the childlike Minion.  Each of them while unique, most audience members especially children will be drawn to Bob.  Despite his innocence and cuteness, he doesn't quite match the appeal of Agnes from the original film.   As far as the villains of the film, Scarlet Overkill (Sandra Bullock) and Herb Overkill (Jon Hamm), like Bob and the others just cannot compare to the original film.  Scarlet is about as an unoriginal and boring character you can get.  A villain's only moniker is being overly ambitious?  Herb at the very least has some flair to his character.

Overall, I would recommend the film especially if you have young kids.  I obviously do not like the film as much as I did the original Despicable Me film which was incredible in its originality, humor and design.  Minions is not necessarily a bad animation, but could have been better in its character designs and jokes.  It is an interesting prequel to Despicable Me that is enjoyable if you go in with low expectations.


Friday, July 3, 2015

Trainwreck Review
Released Date: July 17, 2015
Running Time: 2 hours 2 minutes
Rated R


Director: Judd Apatow
Writer: Amy Schumer

Colin Quinn as Gordon
Devin Fabry as Nine Year Old Amy
Carla Oudin as Five Year Old Kim
Amy Schumer as Amy
John Cena as Steven
Dave Attell as Noam
Vanessa Bayer as Nikki
Tilda Swinton as Dianna
Randall Park as Bryson
Jon Glaser as Schultz
Ezra Miller as Donald
Brie Larson as Kim
Evan Brinkman as Allister
Mike Birbiglia as Tom
Norman Lloyd as Norman
Bill Hader as Aaron
LeBron James as LeBron James
Marisa Tomei as Marisa Tomei
Method Man as Temembe
Victoria Dicce as Donald's Mother

Review by The Secret Screener

Trainwreck is a comedy with aspects of spoofing a film, love story, and drama with tons of ridiculousness thrown in too. The story revolves around Amy (Amy Schumer) who is taught by her dad (Colin Quinn) that monogamy is a waste of time, and that she should go out and do what she wants with who she wants whenever she wants, without having to answer to anybody. And due to that some of Amy's actions in the film were straight out a "How to be a Player" handbook. If you love Amy Schumer's type of comedy you'll love it. Sadly I'm not a big fan of her's.

It was an okay film, not amazing, but nothing to write home about. It bounced around genres a lot and at times felt like it was all over the place instead of focusing on the main plot. I walked in to the film not expecting much, due to that I laughed a few times and was amused. One important thing that stood out to me was that it's directed by Judd Apatow. I was a huge fan of his earlier films, but this one felt like he phoned it in at times. It was the least like a Judd Apatow film of his I've ever seen. One thing (if you do choose to go see it) to keep your eyes peeled for is the cameos by comedians and actors you normally wouldn't associate with comedies. Mark my words, WWE's John Cena steals the show in his scenes. I hope the guy does more comedic roles in the future. 

All in all, I have to rate this 1 and a 1/2 stars out of 5. It was ok to spend the 2 hours 
and 2 minutes watching it, but not something I would suggest for people to run to the 
theater to watch. It'd be a good rental or cable watch. Not worth the price of the ticket in my opinion. 


The Secret Screener