MOVIE REPORT CARD: CHILD'S PLAY
Title: Child's Play
Director: Lars Klevberg
Starring: Aubrey Plaza, Gabriel Bateman, Brian Tyree Henry, Mark Hamill, Beatrice Kitsos
Child's Play is good. There, I said it. And by Child's Play, I of course mean both. Look, yes, they remade it. However, that doesn't take away from the fact that the original, will always exist. That film is good for what it is. I love the Child's Play series. Yes, even at its low point, I enjoy the series quite a bit. What kept that series going, and still keeps the series going, is Brad Douriff. He's iconic as the character; as THAT version of Chucky. This is a different interpretation of Chucky. And while I'm shocked that 2019's Child's Play is as good as it is, I'm not entirely shocked as some people may be after seeing it. I was actually on board with this after the first teaser. And once Mark Hamill was added as the voice, I was buying a ticket. Child's Play 2019, is a lot of fun. It's creepy, bloody, funny, and a solid horror remake. It takes elements from the original formula and both updates, and turns it on its head. Everyone in this film is solid. From Aubrey Plaza, to Bryan Tyree Henry, to Gabriel Bateman- they are all fun to watch. Mark Hamill, is PERFECT as THIS version of Chucky. It works so well that after you see it, you will instantly know why they got him to do the voice. The film has a few flaws. Particularly in some misplaced line readings, and a little bit of a weird middle act. However, the magic here, is in the character of Chucky himself. What they do to the character is smart. It's a great balance of heart, emotion, and creepiness, all thrown into the mix. Child's Play, is a genuine surprise. It's a crowd pleaser of a film, and fun time at the movies.
Title: Men In Black: International
Director: F. Gary Gray
Starring: Tessa Thompson, Chris Hemsworth, Liam Neeson, Kumail Nanjiani, Rebecca Ferguson, Rafe Spall, Emma Thompson
Dull. If Men In Black: International could be summed up in one word, it would be dull. It's not particularly funny, the story isn't particularly interesting, it's painfully predictable, and I'm afraid this entry will kill the franchise for a long time. It's actually kind of a shame. The premise here, feels like a natural progression for the franchise. Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth, try their best to do what they can. They have really good chemistry together. However, we already know that, as they also had good chemistry in Thor: Ragnarok. Both have a few chuckles here and there, but the screenplay doesn't exactly give them great material to work with. The bulk of the laughs, come from Kumail Nanjiani's Pawny. Liam Neeson, is sleeping through most of this. A lot of the film, feels like it's coasting by on the bare minimum in fact. I found myself struggling to stay interested during most of this. There's a lot of wasted talent and money on screen here. Men In Black: International, is almost as bad as Men In Black II. I love this franchise. Both good and bad. However, this one is rough. There's very little to even get excited about in this. At least MIB II had Frank The Pug, and Will Smith. This has... ah, hell. It's just really damn dull. I was rooting for you MIB: International. I really was.
Title: Dark Phoenix
Director: Simon Kinberg
Starring: Sophie Turner, James McAvoy, Nicholas Hoult, Jennifer Lawrence, Tye Sheridan, Michael Fassbender, Alexandra Shipp, Jessica Chastain
Well, the X-Men proper series of films under the Fox banner, limps to the finish line. The main issue with Dark Phoenix, is that nothing particularly exciting, or important happens. There are glimpses of what first time director, Simon Kinberg, wanted to do. The problem is, I don't think he should have been doing this all on his own. He never gets to where he wants to go, fully. Credit to him though; for a first outing, this could have been a lot worse. Working in his favor here, are three solid performances by McAvoy, Fassbender, and Sophie Turner. They manage to keep this excruciatingly dull story, interesting enough for us, as we drag to the credits. I believe it was something like and hour after the open, before an X-Man, or Woman, uses any power to, well, do anything. Aside from that, the only reason why this version of the Phoenix Saga is even watchable is because of Sophie Turner. The story itself, just isn't interesting enough. It's a repetitive slog of either talking about, Jean and how powerful she is, or, Jean pouting about what is happening to her. Kinberg, tries to sell us of this great threat, but it always falls into flat, cliche' territory. A lot of people just talk to each other about the threat. In between all of this, Jessica Chastain shows up, in a borderline embarrassing performance. Her character has virtually nothing to do here. And when she does, it's all just silly nonsense. That being said, there are a few moments throughout that are worth a look. The ending sequence is quite nice, and it shows that it was a re-shoot. The whole thing feels like a different movie. Dark Phoenix skirts by on very little. It's not overly terrible. It's watchable. I guess it could have been far worse. It's a dull, ending chapter for the Fox era of X-Men proper.