Juvenile humor, gratuitous nudity and a beheading…. I’m giving Chips a C.
A FBI Agent goes undercover in the California Highway Patrol as a motorcycle cop with a newbie partner. Dirty cops are holding up armored cars and it’s up to Francis 'Ponch' Poncherello and Jon Baker as well as the rest of the highway patrol to stop the bad guys.
Based loosely on the late 70’s TV show and written, directed and starring Dax Shephard as Jon Baker, this movie only uses the names and location from the original series. Although, there is a cameo of Erik Estrada. Jon Baker is a former X-Games star who must pop pain meds in order to get through a day after over twenty surgeries. He is sworn in as a patrol officer even though he didn’t really pass the assessments and his motivation for becoming a cop is to win his wife back.
Michael Peña plays Ponch, a risky agent who has a sex addiction. He doesn’t follow the rules and has been known to shoot his partners in order to get the bad guys. The undercover duty is his last chance to show his boss that he can “do it right”.
Filled with slapstick humor and potty jokes, Chips appeals to a younger audience. Many of the old fan base including Erik Estrada complained that this new version made a mockery of the original show. The police in the movie are obviously incompetent such as when Ponch who is undercover begins interviewing other police officers and the widow of the fallen officer, when he’s only a recent transfer. There were so many of those blatant inconsistencies to the way real police officers do their jobs.
If you go into dispelling reality and just enjoy the jokes, this movie will entertain. However, I would wait to catch it on rental or on Demand. Save the money.
Be Disney’s Guest and enjoy the spectacular cinematography of Beauty and the Beast- I’m giving it an A.
A live-action retelling of the classic Disney fairy-tale about a girl with brains who takes her father’s place as a prisoner in a cursed castle. Belle (played by Emma Watson) and her father (played by Kevin Kline) have moved to a small town in France. Belle’s education makes her an outcast among the “provincial” town and she longs to learn more about her mother’s death and the family’s flight from Paris.
When her father gets lost in the woods on a sales trip, he finds a cursed castle and picks a rose for his daughter, sending him to the dungeon. The castle has been forgotten by the town around and hidden from sight for many years because the prince only looked for wealth and physical beauty instead of the real value inside. He was turned into a beast while his staff became a part of the castle. Belle trades places with her father and charms the beast. In turn, he learns the importance of looking deeper. After all, good-looking men like Gaston, often hide a cruel heart.
The Disney remake retains much of the original cartoon’s songs and storyline but adds some depth to the characters. We learn about both Belle and Beast’s families, and what made them who they are. The townspeople and castle servants are intertwined in a unique way and we see how the loss of love has affected them all.
Josh Gad as LeFou steals the scenes as Gaston’s right hand man. He idolizes him, cares for him, and keeps him on the right track. But it’s his own awakening to what is “morally correct” that changes things for everyone. Luke Evan’s plays Gaston as a man on a mission, albeit one who has suffered as well. If only he’d have had someone to change him from a monster.
The CGI graphics of the beast are awkward at first but when you let the movie pull you in, they seem to fit. New songs and beautiful landscapes are sure to make this a movie you will want to see again and again.
I went to see Tom Hiddleston but the giant ape steals the show… I give Kong: Skull Island an A.
The war in Vietnam is ending as the Cold War is heating up. A hidden island is found by a group of scientists with a hidden agenda. Convincing the military to support their expedition, they also enlist a former British agent and war photographer to go along. But the mission is doomed when they find giant monsters on the island.
John Goodman is the head of Monarch, a research company but he’s hiding a secret and willing to do anything to find the answers and prove he was right. Samuel L. Jackson plays the head of the military unit. He’s not ready to go back to civilian life and holds Kong responsible for the death of his men. The mission breaks something inside him. Tom Hiddleston’s role as the former MI Agent is a departure from his previous roles. There’s no snarky comments like with Loki and none of the smoldering sexiness of The Night Manager. He’s all-military.
John C. Reilly is a wonderful surprise as a World War II pilot who crashed on Skull Island during the war and has found a home among the indigenous people. Being alone among people who hardly speak, he’s a few marbles short and says exactly what he thinks. Each scene with him is a delight.
Filled with action and some amazing giant animals, Kong commands the screen. With a nod to the original Kong movie as Kong saves the girl after connecting with her. The expressive face portrays him as more human than ape. As a total reboot of the franchise, the after credit, sneak peek shows how Kong fits into Godzilla and hints at future movies in this series. Of course, having Tom speak out in the dark got me grinning. As a fan of the old Japanese Godzilla movies, the future hint speaks to some of my favorite creatures.
With non-stop action and amazing special effects, Kong kept me on the edge of my seat. It’s a movie, I would watch again, just to catch all the nuances I missed. And then there’s Tom Hiddleston… can’t go wrong there.
Not your typical superhero movie, Logan pulls at the heartstrings. I’m giving it an A-.
Set in the future, Logan (played by Hugh Jackman) is slowly being poisoned by the metal skeleton as his healing properties are failing. Plagued by chronic pain, Logan works as a chauffeur in order to earn money to purchase medication for Professor X who he is caring for in Mexico. When a woman asks Logan to drive her and her “daughter” to North Dakota, Logan becomes the target of a deranged doctor who wants to create the perfect killing machine.
Laura (X-23) was created using Logan’s DNA in a lab, along with other children. When the children are unable to become the killers they were bred to become, they are killed. Gabrielle, a nurse, along with others, sets out to save the children and enlists Logan’s help. Unable to walk away from the money and with the Reavers on his tail, Logan, Professor X, and Laura set out on an epic road trip to stay alive.
Logan is a dark and violent movie. With the R rating, the violence jumps on the screen both from Hugh Jackman’s character and Laura. Her moves mimic a ballet as she jumps, spins and tumbles through her action sequences. It’s a little off-putting to see such a young child, so violent. Dafne Keen is amazing in her first movie role. Her expressive gaze shows way too much of her soul.
Patrick Stewart reprises his role as Professor X, now an old man with a brain disorder. Only medication keeps him from having a seizure and killing others. Patrick does an outstanding job as the broken former leader of the X-Men, now coming to grips with his own mortality. His mind is still a powerful weapon but like many elderly, his focus drifts between the past and the present.
Hugh Jackman’s Logan harkens back to the earlier “I don’t care” Wolverine, a badass with an attitude. His body is failing and his world has changed. His relationship with Professor X is touching. He cares for him and yet resents him at the same time. It feels like a parent/child relationship where now the child is caring for the parent. Some of the best moments come from the two men’s interactions.
While the movie was outstanding, it had some inconsistencies which left you sort of lost. We know that the mutants are gone, but it’s never addressed as to how and why. It also alludes to something that Charles did one year ago which he is blocking from his memory, but is never really explained. It’s also poignantly sad that when the characters finally get a glimpse of happiness, the rug is pulled out from under them, leaving them angry and lost again.
Logan will be remembered as a turning point in the X-Men franchise and a wonderful send off for Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart who both have said that they won’t be portraying these characters again. It also sets up a new series with new mutants. Just remember this isn’t a happy movie and the R-rating is there for a reason. Don’t bring young children to it.
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