The Predator Hunts Laughs!

The Predator is back in its first solo outing since 2010.  What is different this time?  It is very silly.  I am not sure that is what Shane Black and co. were going for, but that is what we got.  Imagine a competently directed big budget SyFy Original film.  I am not saying it is as over the top as Sharktopus, but there are some tonal similarities.  For someone like me who enjoys that kind of thing, I had fun, but I can see fans of the franchise being let down.

As far as plot goes there isn’t a lot to talk about with The Predator.  A Predator lands and the government lead by Will Traeger (Sterling K. Brown) wants his stuff.  Complicating that is Quinn McKenna (Boyd Holbrook) and his elite Ranger squad are the first people to come in contact with this new Predator.  A bunch of stuff happens, McKenna gets a newer funnier squad, and the government chases him while he chases the Predator.  Meanwhile Dr. Casey Bracket (Olivia Munn) is there to do science on all of it (and by science I mean shoot guns).

The Predator only has one gear, and it is high.  This movie never really slows down, and if it does, it is usually for Brown and Munn to give us some exposition.  Speaking of Brown, if there is an MTV Movie award for chewing scenery, he is a shoe in.  I mean he is literally chewing all the time, and if he had a mustache, you had better believe he would be twirling it, even though they never give him a motivation for being evil.  I mean all the people he is hunting down would be on his side if he wasn’t trying to kill them, but hey, you can tell he is having the time of his life, and his fun is infectious.

It is obvious that Shane Black wanted to make a riff on the old 80s/90s action movies, like the ones he got his start in, and there is no greater action movie from that era than Predator, but somewhere along the line ‘a riff’ got turned in to a kind of self parody.  Whether that was on purpose or not, it is hard to say, but I am leaning towards ‘not’.  I am also guessing he got a few studio notes that he had to work in to The Predator, which is probably why it feels so overstuffed.

It may sound like I didn’t like The Predator, and to be fair, I am not sure I could call it a ‘good’ film, but I did enjoy myself.  I laughed nonstop, and the movie never slowed down enough for its flaws to really bug me while watching it.  However, if you were looking for it to return to its scary mostly serious roots, you will be disappointed.  In other words, I think in order to have fun watching The Predator you will need to adjust your expectations:  Just go in expecting to watch a glorious SyFy Original.

Shmee Enjoys Mission Impossible’s Fallout!

Mission Impossible: Fallout is the sixth movie in the franchise, and despite that fact the series shows no signs of slowing down.  There are some nukes, and Tom Cruise is going to have to run them down, literarily.  While that may sound like the plot of at least half of the Mission Impossible flicks, it still works, and the movie is impossibly fun.

The past Mission Impossible plots for the most part have been separate from the films that preceded them, with the exception of some comments about Ethan Hunt’s (Tom Cruise) relationship status, but Fallout is a direct continuation of the story started in Rogue Nation.  Ethan took out the leader of the Syndicate (Sean Harris), but the Syndicate’s agents are still causing issues, and they want to nuke the world, so the IMF will have to find out who they are and stop them.  If they choose to accept the mission that is.

Listen, people don’t go to the Mission Impossible movies for plot.  They are always convoluted, you can never trust anyone, and there will always be a ticking clock.  However, in between all that they will throw in some of the best action set pieces around.  The stories all deflate with any sort of second look.  Fallout tries to get introspective about why Hunt is doing what he is doing, but we know why.  It is so we can watch him do cool stuff while he saves the day, and all with his signature smile.

What makes this all palatable is his crew.  Simon Pegg and Ving Rhames can be relied upon to narrate the action and deliver quips, and Rebecca Ferguson’s Ilsa Faust continues be a, ‘can you trust her?’, love interest that can keep up with Hunt’s antics.  She is no damsel.  Which I suppose can be said for all three, yes I said three, of the women who have fallen for Ethan in this movie.

Mission Impossible: Fallout doesn’t stray from the formula that has been working since J.J. Abrams took over the series starting with Mission Impossible III, but it doesn’t need to.  Tom Cruise doing crazy stunts while Simon Pegg makes jokes is immensely watchable.  So much so that I am sure Ethan Hunt will accept his seventh mission.

Shmee Casts Supergirl!

It has been a long time since I have cast something, mostly because they announce the casts for movies so quickly now, but with DC’s latest flick Supergirl no lead was attached, so the time was right for me to pick the first girl of Krypton.  I know a lot of you are pulling for the CW’s Melissa Benoist, but pulling from DC TV has not been DC Film’s MO thus far, so I am leaving her off the table.  Here are my top five actors in reverse order!

5: Chloë Grace Moretz

Chloë is a talented actor with great comedic timing, and if Marvel has taught us anything, it is that comedians make great superheroes.  Not to mention at 21 she could play this character for a long time.  The only downside is that she might be a little short at 5’4″.

4: Lily James

Lily James just looks like Supergirl: the smile, the hair, and the figure.  Her biggest downside is her age.  At 29, she would be 30 by the time Supergirl started filming, not to mention any sequels.  So she wouldn’t really be a ‘girl’.  However, thanks to ‘Pride and Prejudice and Zombies’ we know she can do action, and I think she would be great for the role.

3: Zendaya 

I know Zendaya is locked in to a contract over at Sony playing ‘Not Mary Jane’, but she could bring a lot to Supergirl.  She can act, she can fight, and at 5’10” she can stand tall with the boys.  Zendaya would be a fun casting, and one with her notoriety that could really bring some interest to the picture.

2: Kiernan Shipka

Kiernan my be busy bringing Sabrina Spellman back to the small screen, but it might be time to bring all her talent to the big screen with Supergirl.  The teenage Mad Men alum as been great in everything she has been in.  There is no reason to think she wouldn’t soar as Kara.

1: Saoirse Ronan

The biggest reason not to cast Ronan is that no one can pronounce her name, but other than that she has everything that Supergirl needs.  A background in action with Hanna, she can probably out act the rest of the DCU, and at 24 she can act younger or older depending on what is needed for the script.  She would be great as last Kyptonian woman.  I would watch her anyway.

So that is my list.  I think it is pretty good, but I know you think I am wrong, so I would love to hear your list.  Let me know in the comments or on Twitter.  Until next time!

Shmee Goes To The Movies With The Teen Titans!

‘Teens Titans Go!’ has always had strained relationship with nerds.  On one hand their jokes at the expense of the DC Universe have always been brilliant.  They somehow know how to point and laugh at everything wrong with DC’s properties, while also celebrating what makes them great.  On the other hand there are a lot of poop jokes.  Not to mention the cartoon that came before it ‘Teen Titans’ was a pretty great take on the source material, so it being replaced by a bunch of goofs making fart jokes was a tough pill to swallow, and ‘Teen Titans Go!’ revels rubbing it in those fans faces.  I enjoy the show immensely, and I thought ‘Teen Titans Go! To the Movies’ did a great job of taking something built for a fifteen minute format and turning it in to an hour and half movie.

In the movie, the Teen Titans are upset that no one takes them seriously.  Even though they rarely fight crime and spend more time practicing their songs than their combat.  The only way to be taken seriously, much like the real world, is to get a movie made about you, so the Titans are off to Hollywood to get a picture made about them.

Just like the TV show, ‘Teen Titans Go! To the Movies’ is meta joke layered on top of meta joke with a poop punch line, so the more you know about the greater DC Universe, the more you will like, or hate, the movie.  However, my daughter who is four and who knows nothing about the Challengers of the Unknown loved the movie.  She sang along to their catchy tunes, and laughed at their toilet humor.  In other words, you don’t need to know everything DC to enjoy this movie, it just helps.

Considering DC already has a cartoon movie franchise that satirizes themselves, a ‘Teen Titans Go!’ movie was always odd proposition.  However, I am glad they made it, and it justifies its length by telling a fun story and never feeling like Star Trek: Insurrection.  I think you should do yourself a favor and check out ‘Teen Titans Go! To the Movies’!  Even if it is just for the songs and the Challengers of the Unknown.

Shmee Is Happy To Be Mister Rogers’ Neighbor!

‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor?’ is just the kind of movie we need today.  It follows the life of a man who believed that if we just treat each other with kindness and learned to properly deal with our feelings that the world will be a better place.  This man of course was Fred Rogers, and he delivered his message to children through his prolific show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.

If you are looking for an in depth portrayal of Fred Rogers life, you may be a little disappointed with ‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor?’.  It mainly deals with his career, and it primarily gets its information from the people who loved him most.  However, I am not sure how many people there could be that didn’t love him, so to get an opposing viewpoint would probably be difficult.

The main question this film is asking is: “Was Fred Rogers the same loving man in real life that he was on TV for several generations of kids?”  And the answer is unequivocally, yes.  Which is reassuring.  It is nice to watch a movie that is simply about a good man, who set out to do good, and did it.  It makes me wish he was around today.

There is not a lot to review with ‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor?’.  If you want to know more about the man who wore zip-up sweaters and sang songs about emotions, it is the film for you.  Even if you didn’t like or watch Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, it is still worth learning about a man wanted share love and help children grow, without an ulterior motive.  To let us all know that we are special, and worthy of love and respect, just the way we are, and that so is every one else.  We are all neighbors.