Category Archives: Movies

Movie Review: Everything Everything

Reviewed by Ken Carman

EONMovieEverything, Everything isn’t a movie that has to have the big screen, though the beauty seen through the eyes of an 18 year old who has never been out of the house might be worth the big screen. Not necessary. The magic here is between the two stars (Amandla Stenberg as Maddy and Nick Robinson as Olly) who capture the sweetness of innocent love between two young, just barely, adults perfectly.

She finally escapes the house with her love beside her and that’s when the movie turns even more magical, a bit dark, then a secret is uncovered that shows how, even out of love, selfishness and those focused on controlling people can damage others. I won’t spoil that by being more specific.

There’s a metaphor, part simile, which is bothersome. A spacemen in a suit keeps appearing and, yes, the fact she feels trapped like a spaceman who can’t climb out of his spacesuit makes sense… sort of. But consecutive over usage not only wears it thin, but distracts from the story. At times the usage was so vague, was out of context, and was disturbing to the flow of an otherwise beautiful story I just wish they had kept it down to a time or two.

But this is a minor point for sure. A definite recommend for more of a B movie. Not a life changing one, but a good one for sure.

4.1

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Welcome to Our End of the New movie reviews. One poster: don’t bother. Two posters: eh, OK, but a lot of problems here. Three: Good movie, just at least one problem. Four: very good. Five: if you don’t go you’re missing out. Added comments at the end: “you could wait for it to come on TV,” “best seen on the big screen” and “good for all screens,” unless other comments are added, refer mainly to the nature of the movie such as special effects, incredible sound or scenery that might make it best seen in a movie theater depending on your set up at home.

Movie Review: Passengers

Courtesy youtube.com

Reviewed by Ken Carman

EONMoviePassengers is the best movie of 2016, and maybe 2017. I’m not kidding. Passengers has everything: romance, betrayal, an impossible situation, SciFi mystique, great storytelling and a few slight twists. Oh, and I absolutely recommend 3D, unlike the other, higher attended, movie that screened at the same time: Rogue. The big screen may not be mandatory: if Passengers shows up on TV I will see it again and again. But you lose quite a bit without it.

Rogue is a good movie too, but offers nothing worth paying the price for 3D. You would think that the stars, the spaceships; something would have stood out, been impressive in a 3D way, come right at you. Nothing.

Not so with Passengers. As the two lonely, stranded, stars spacewalk the stars jump right out at you with incredible beauty, and the curvature of the spaceship gives you a sense you’re there.
That alone would be just interesting, but the script has some mildly unpredictable moments: a great feat considering the subject matter lends itself to predictability. There’s a moment in the movie I do take issue with. Something happens that Jennifer Lawrence likens to “murder.” I won’t spoil the moment by saying what, but it’s more akin to rape, in my opinion: rape beyond just body violation; something damn near impossible to forgive. How they handle that, while leaving the integrity of both characters, could have so easily turned cheesy, even offensive. The transition to the grand finale was perfect, touching.

Kudos, script writers, you navigated that as deftly as the stars worked the problem of a ship that had serious glitches.

This is the highest score I’ve given a movie so far…

4.7

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Welcome to Our End of the New movie reviews. One poster: don’t bother. Two posters: eh, OK, but a lot of problems here. Three: Good movie, just at least one problem. Four: very good. Five: if you don’t go you’re missing out. Added comments at the end: “you could wait for it to come on TV,” “best seen on the big screen” and “good for all screens,” unless other comments are added, refer mainly to the nature of the movie such as special effects, incredible sound or scenery that might make it best seen in a movie theater depending on your set up at home.

Movie Review: Rogue One


Image courtesy lrmonline.com

Reviewed for PGA by Ken Carman

EONMovieRight from the start, obviously this was a story that needed to be told: the stealing of the plans for the Death Star. The character development is excellent, although some things that need explaining are left unmentioned or barely skimmed over. It is told quite well, otherwise. The Empire’s droid who has been reprogrammed even provides grand comic relief, the blind ninja a Jedi tinge to it all and a Genghis Kahn-like character is somewhat Han Solo-ish. The father and daughter tie the movie is somewhat based on brings her around to being a hero from just being out to save herself,

We went to Regal’s 3D RPX theater. The “RPX” was interesting: bigger screen, more powerful speakers and plenty of them. But 3D? The movie, not for one moment, gave any indication 3D was needed, nor the extra cost for it. What a waste.

Apparently Disney has decide to do side stories every other year, then continue from Episode 7 to 8 the the next in alternate years. Lucas Films wasa wise purchase, for sure.

You do get to care about the characters and the end had a Pompeii feel to it. I won’t spoil it for you by going deeper into that comment, and pretty much anything else might spoil it.

See it on the big screen. Skip the 3D unless it doesn’t cost extra.

4

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Welcome to Our End of the New movie reviews. One poster: don’t bother. Two posters: eh, OK, but a lot of problems here. Three: Good movie, just at least one problem. Four: very good. Five: if you don’t go you’re missing out. Added comments at the end: “you could wait for it to come on TV,” “best seen on the big screen” and “good for all screens,” unless other comments are added, refer mainly to the nature of the movie such as special effects, incredible sound or scenery that might make it best seen in a movie theater depending on your set up at home.

Movie Review: Star Trek Beyond

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Review written by Ken Carman

EONMovieSimon Pegg and Doug Jung have gone where no Star Trek reboot has gone before: decent: actual Trek-like, writing. Yes, it could be better. But after two versions of wham, BIG BAM, thank you ma’am and man, they deliver. I am unfamiliar with Mr. Jung, but Simon Pegg not only knows how to act, but knows how to put character, personality and personal interactions into his scripts. If you’ve seen Shaun of the Dead and Paul you have an idea what I mean about great character development.

Instead of starting with yet more big booms and bangs, Beyond starts with the Kirk of this timeline trying to do diplomacy, with predictable results. The Kirk character’s strongest suit was never diplomacy. The third offering in this reboot of Trek also starts with his monologue about the drollness, the monotony, of space travel: even on a ship with so many on board. We are a few years into the mission now.

There are many twists, turns and changes, and I won’t play spoiler. Let’s just say: nothing unexpected that might not have happened with this set of Trek characters, this timeline. The new Kirk has learned to dampen down his libido for obvious reasons: much like how he had to quell his rebellious spirit, or how he had to soften his impulsive nature, this Kirk went where the other Kirk didn’t go: a lonely, almost sad, isolated leader… as some have to be in real life. He had to balance duty with his wild nature, whereas the original had a less contested, challenged, rise to the top. Both have the talent, obviously, just one more difficulties due to a murdered father and a strict stepfather. I suspect, due to his father’s influence, Kirk 1 didn’t have as many problems with “management” when he cheated on this no win scenario: The Kobayashi Maru. Kirk 2 had to find his way to the captain’s chair due to not having a father to back him up. I’m sure that toughened him up in ways Kirk 1 didn’t benefit from.

Mild criticism: the villain’s motives seem unclear until the end. Then you wonder how he physically transformed into what he became. A mild annoyance, at best, though a tad bothersome for sure.

OK, one spoiler. The deep space station: Yorktown, makes Deep Space 9 tiny and insignificant in comparison. This is a city in space. Let your eyes feast on the overwhelming vision. I promise you won’t be disappointed. No knock intended: I loved DS9 and I wish they’d do something with that property more than any of the other untouched Trek TV shows.

Three last notes…
See it in 3D.
See it in 3D.
SEE IT IN 3D.

Best on the big screen, obviously. The vision Yorktown offers is worth the stupid, sometimes awkward, glasses. It’s well worth the higher ticket price.

5

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Welcome to Our End of the New movie reviews. One poster: don’t bother. Two posters: eh, OK, but a lot of problems here. Three: Good movie, just at least one problem. Four: very good. Five: if you don’t go you’re missing out. Added comments at the end: “you could wait for it to come on TV,” “best seen on the big screen” and “good for all screens,” unless other comments are added, refer mainly to the nature of the movie such as special effects, incredible sound or scenery that might make it best seen in a movie theater depending on your set up at home.

Movie Review: The Force Awakens

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Reviewed by Ken Carman

EONMovie Let’s be clear: I’m not much of a Disney fan and I’m more of a Star Trek guy. The reason as to the last: I prefer more intellectual, less pure evil v. good, traditional, thoughtful, SciFi. And recent J. J. Abrams Star Treks, while entertaining, seem to have been a tad intellectually light compared to some of the best Trek scripts from the series: original, Next Gen, DS9… So I had every reason not to like this.

But I did like it.

It’s not the kind of SciFi I prefer, but there seems to be little of that these days. In some ways Lukas did the best of SciFi: the Asimov/Heinlein/Bradbury/Arthur C. Clarke kind, a disservice for many years. For a while special effects meant far more than script, and so many people seemed to rate SciFi movies according to their special effects. Then we had a run on fantasy posing as SciFi. No thanks. Mostly not to my taste. The next venture was an almost soap opera approach to SciFi. I really did like the new Battlestar, but it took a while to get to the core of the premise, SciFi-wise. Thank the Ceylon God it wasn’t anywhere near as shallow as the original.

The Force Awakens does have one major glitch, script-wise. What’s never made clear is why, if what’s left of the Empire is some mystical order, this mystical order seems to still be in control of all the stormtroopers, all the ships. Meanwhile, after winning big, the rebellion is still just a rebellion and, seemingly, even more marginalized. It seems not unlike one of Hitchcock’s MacGuffians: a plot device intended to keep a story going. It may not make sense, but it keeps things moving along.

No surprise with J.J. Abrams. He used a MacGuffian with the red matter in the first revamp of Trek, and a previous movie.

I know some might say that’s explained by the split between a possible Jedi (Kylo Ren) and Luke, but as bad as that was I feel they marginalize this event too much by turning it all into some “order:” painted as if their some small band of fanatics. It’s as if al Qaeda manages to control almost all of the world’s weaponry only because “Osama’s really, really an evil bastard.” Hell, that struggle alone might have make a damn good movie. Might explain a lot more than a simple rebellious Jedi student.

Otherwise they kept close to the story, though there were a few surprises I won’t reveal. OK, one hint: a major cast member stated in an interview it was going to be great to have work for the rest of his life in the next movies. Let’s just say, for what happened in the movie I almost fear that might be true. That too would be a MacGuffin and deus ex machina and very contrived. If what he said is true I see no way out of what he said being true not being “contrived.”

Again: was that quote a possible diversion just to keep people from guessing a peak point in the plot? That’s the most obvious explanation. See the movie if you want to know more. My digital lips are lightsabered shut.

Ouch. That would hurt.

The relationship between the two main characters: Rey and Finn, is interesting. It’s contentious, and while both are very independent, they also rely on each other. There’s also a subtle comic edge to it, like when he keeps grabbing her hand, saving her buttski, when she’s in danger’s way; but she keeps complaining bout it. A rebel stormtrooper joining with a somewhat Luke-like female lead adds a slight twist that certainly will be explored. The biggest plus here: we knew so little about stormtroopers before this, now we know we will discover more… or I hope so. Before this they might as well have used androids, or robots. He’s also a tad Hans Solo-ish, where he wants to run away from it all, save himself… only without the greed motive.

The story isn’t as stirring as, say, the first two episodes, (IV and V) were when released, but it’s pretty far from Jar Jar-bad. It wasn’t super original: shadowing several portions of previous Star Wars movies. But you’re reestablishing a franchise. Keeping the story somewhat linear, and familiar, are both important. A little polishing might have helped, as I previously suggested, but I understand not getting bogged down in what happened between the previous heroes’ time and the new heroes’ story is important. I just felt a tad more explanation would not have hurt and would have tied the audience into the story more.Nothing like a heroes almost win it all then some major setback makes the bad guys rally, instead of some mystical order that, at first, seems marginal, small, but very scary. Kind of like some dark side-based offshoot of ISIS in space?

The 3D was nice, though not all that crucial or effective, except when one of the old Empire’s ships is pointed right at you. Though an interesting touch, I don’t think it a necessity, if you want to save a few bucks. Because of special effects, best seen on the big screen.

4

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Welcome to Our End of the New movie reviews. One poster: don’t bother. Two posters: eh, OK, but a lot of problems here. Three: Good movie, just at least one problem. Four: very good. Five: if you don’t go you’re missing out. Added comments at the end: “you could wait for it to come on TV,” “best seen on the big screen” and “good for all screens,” unless other comments are added, refer mainly to the nature of the movie such as special effects, incredible sound or scenery that might make it best seen in a movie theater depending on your set up at home.

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