You know it’s hard to reboot a videogame into a movie with the right formula. Many have tried and failed (anybody ever see Super Mario Bros?), but hats off here because this Sonic works and borrows just enough visible cues from the game to make this a delight for the 6, 16 and even 60yr olds of the world – and that’s no small feat. The story centers on our blue hero who is chased from his home world and into ours only to be comically and relentlessly hunted by the evil Dr. Robotnik (of course it’s Jim Carrey, who else could portray a methodical genius and a haphazard buffoon at the same time!). Aiding Sonic on Earth is an upstart Montana town Sheriff James Marsden (Cyclops of X-Men fame) who struggles with his place within a small Montana town and yearns for some action. When Sonic and Robotnik hit the scene, we’re all treated to a videogame style melee that hits all the marks. I was truly surprised at how enjoyable and just plain fun this was to watch. I’m even going all-out on my fearless box office forecast: It will be #1, it will beat Fantasy island & The Photograph on its way to a $40M+ box office weekend. A- (why a minus? Just something about the demographic makeup of the fictional town of Green Springs, Montana – but it’s a movie, so I’ll let it slide)
TwiView: Bad Boys For Life (in theaters now!) They’re back! Will Smith (Mike Lowery) and Martin Lawrence (Marcus Burnett) return after a 17yr hiatus and the two haven’t skipped a beat. Still just as funny, and despite their ages, just as action-packed. BB4L centers on a revenge plot being taken against Mike Lowery that inevitably pulls everyone from his past into focus. The ‘boys’ reluctantly team up in attempt to thwart the plot but also to help Mike get his mojo back (we know, how did he lose it right? And why would the boys be reluctant to join up?) Oddly, after 17yrs the series is not stale, and Miami looks as stylish and as hot as ever. What separates this 3rd chapter of the BB series from other buddy-cop stories and their third chapters (we’re thinking Lethal Weapon series) is…nothing, ok maybe a little something. Of course it has the same formulaic lost love that needs to be rekindled, the same tragedy scenario that befalls one of our heroes, and the obligatory death of a major character. Where BB4L separates, is a really unexpected plot twist that you don’t see coming, but you’ll get a small kick out of it all the same (can someone say the ‘Bad Boy Universe?’). BB4L has the laughs, the explosions, and the hot cars to take its place in the pantheon of action-comedy hits and our only complaint is that even though the characters got older (like Grandpop, gray haired and hittin’ the Grecian formula!), their action-moves did not. These characters are 50yo+ and still jumping, flying and kicking a lot of ‘arse’ – hey maybe they’re just in great shape and we’re jealous! You won’t mind though it though as you’re being treated to a barrage of bullets, one-liners and oh yeah, Reggie (memba him?). BB4L is rated R with a 2hr and 4min running time. We give this solid little threequel 4 out of 5 stars. Fearless Box Office forecast: $51M opening weekend). Oh yeah, BB4L is taking a page from Marvel, so stick around for the credits!
After losing the love of his life Dr. Dolittle (Robert Downey Jr.) shuts himself and the doors of his animal sanctuary off from the world. That is until Queen Victoria (Jessie Buckley) is taken ill, and Dr. Dolittle is summoned to help her. With the help of a young boy Tommy Stubbins (Harry Collett) and Dr. Dolittle’s animal friends, Poly (Emma Thompson), Chee-Chee (Rami Malek), Yoshi (John Cena), Plimpton (Kumail Nanjiani), and Dab-Dab (Octavia Spencer), they all set sail to find the one thing that will cure the Queen.
Dolittle will have you laughing out loud from start to finish. It is also a movie that helps to remind us there is nothing we can’t overcome. Especially when we have great friends by our side. Dolittle has an amazing all-star cast that also contains Antonio Banderas as King Rassouli, Michael Sheen as Dr. Blair Müdfly, Jim Broadbent as Lord Thomas Badgley, Tom Holland as Jip, Craig Robinson as Kevin, Ralph Fiennes as Barry, Selena Gomez as Betsy, and Marion Cotillard as Tutu.
While it was refreshing to see Robert Downey Jr. in a role outside of Iron Man it was really the animated animals who stole the movie. Chee-Chee (Rami Malek), Yoshi (John Cena), and Plimpton (Kumail Nanjiani) have some of the funniest lines in the movie and will have you rolling with laughter. Dolittle is rated PG, and is a movie all ages can see and enjoy. I give Dolittle a B+. You can find Dolittle in theaters Friday, January 17, 2020. (R. Barry)
What do glitter kitten gadgets, spies, and pigeons all have in common? You will find them all in the new movie Spies in Disguise. Lance Sterling (Will Smith) is a top spy who works alone. Walter Beckett (Tom Holland) is a scientist trying to make the world a better place with his gadgets. When things for Lance go awry, he seeks out Walter, and one of his gadgets, to help him disappear. But Walter’s definition of disappearing is slightly different from Lance’s, and Lance finds himself turned into a Pigeon. Finding that he can no longer do things on his own Lance must team up with Walter to save the world.
Spies in Disguise offers up an all-star cast, beautiful animation, and laughs. Tom Holland, Will Smith, and their pigeon sidekicks have the standout performances of the movie. Rated PG Spies in Disguise does contain animated action and violence, rude humor, and does contain some animated nudity (butts) that might make it a little too intense for really young kids. I give Spies in Disguise a B-. Spies in Disguise is in theaters now. (R. Barry)
In Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker the battle between the Resistance and the First Order rages on while Rey (Daisey Ridley) and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) continue their journey to find out who they truly are. In the conclusion of the Star Wars saga, fans will find themselves torn between the good and the bad. During parts, The Rise of Skywalker is fantastic, such as the visuals, but it has many parts that will leave you shaking your head. The Rise of Skywalker also brings back stars John Boyega (Finn), Oscar Issac (Poe), and Kelly Marie Tran (Rose), but some of the stand out characters in The Rise of Skywalker are the Droid C-3PO (Anthony Daniels) and newcomer Babu Frik. Director J.J. Abrams was given a huge task to not only finish the Star Wars saga but also try to tie up every loose end left by The Last Jedi, and I feel he did the best he could with what he had.
So, how do I rate the movie? As a Star Wars fan, I rate the movie a B. It is rated PG-13 for sci-fi violence and action. There is death, a little bit of blood, some curse words, and of course scary Sith. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is in theaters December 20th. (R.Barry)
Jumanji, The Next Level (in theaters FRI 12.13.19). Is this sequel beating the concept like a dead horse? That answer, would be no. This is hands down the funniest and most adventurous of the series! JTNL picks up roughly a year after the last film, and the crew has grown older, a bit wiser, and for young Spencer (Alex Wolff), a bit more depressed. Desperate to relive the glory of Jumanji, he re-enters the game on his own leaving his old crew to figure out what’s happened to him. Determined to save their friend, they re-enter the game, but with a complication this time. Spence’s grandfather Eddie (Danny Devito) and Eddie’s elder best friend Milo (Danny Glover) who are unwittingly pulled into the video game action. In the best and funniest twist possible, the game avatar ownership gets changed as the crew gets pulled into the action – this time, old grandpa Eddie becomes Dr. Smolder Bravestone (Dwayne Johnson) and Milo becomes the impish zoologist, Franklin Finbar (Kevin Hart). And to keep you completely rolling on the floor, the rest of the crews avatars are swapped which introduces new characters including the wily, Ming (Awkwafina). A new evil threatens Jumanji and his name is Gregor The Hound…sorry, I mean ‘Jurgen The Brutal.’ portrayed by Rory McCann of GOT fame. Couldn’t resist. Our intrepid crew must battle ostriches, humid deserts, and crazed baboons on their way to thwarting Jurgen’s evil plot to use a stolen precious gem and an arranged marriage to become King of the land. This is by far the best of the series and what makes this version special is how well Hart & Johnson are able to personify the elderly characters their avatars inhabit. I was really looking for ‘cracks’ between the two of them and the others as they haphazardly swap identities throughout the film. The entire cast did a fantastic job of staying in their original characters voice and personalities, just a phenomenal job. If I had one complaint for this version, it would be the ‘bad guy Jurgen’ motivation. Oddly, once you get to know him, he’s not really evil and his plan, outside of stealing the precious gem isn’t as dastardly as his predecessors, it’s actually a bit benevolent. Put that aside and you’ve got a raucous and wild ride and what is sure to be a box office success. A- (Fearless box office weekend forecast: $71 million)
Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) is a popular crime novelist with an entitled and eccentric family. When Harlan is found dead after his 85th birthday party the police and Detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) come in to investigate. Even though the police believe Harlan’s death to be an open and shut case Detective Blanc has the feeling nothing is as it seems. Soon Detective Blanc learns almost every one of Harlan’s family members is hiding something and has a possible motive. Who killed Harlan, and why?
Hands down the best whodunnit movie of the year. With an all-star cast that includes Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, and Toni Collette it is Daniel Craig and Chris Evans who give the standout performances and provide some of the best quotable movie lines that will have you rolling with laughter. Even those who are not murder/mystery movie fans will be entertained by Knives Out. I give Knives Out an A. Even though Knives Out is rated PG-13 it does contain a lot of strong language and violence. Opens in U.S. theaters on Nov. 27, 2019. (R. Barry)
On November 7, 2019, one of Geek for E’s contributors, Rachel Barry, had the opportunity to attend the World Premiere of Frozen 2 on behalf of her blog. She walked the red carpet, saw the world premiere of Frozen 2, and attended the after-party. So, what happens during a movie premiere after-party? Here’s a quick sneak peek!
Location and Photo Ops
The Frozen 2 World Premiere was held at the Dolby Theater in LA. (It’s where they hold the Oscars!) After the premiere, we took the elevator up to the after-party where it was all Frozen themed. There were photo ops galore! You had the chance to take pictures with Olaf, Anna, and Elsa. This helped to spread the after-party crowd out since they had photo ops outside the party and inside the party perimeter.
The main food was done by Wolfgang Puck catering, McDonald’s chicken nuggets were available, and there was an open bar. The food consisted of many kid’s favorites such as vegetables, mac & cheese and hotdogs. Which was genius since there were a lot of children in attendance for the after-party. There aren’t many places to sit unless you are a celebrity or part of their party so you eat real quick and then you go mingle and participate in the activities.
Of course, the cast and crew of Frozen 2 were also in attendance at the after-party. Many attended the premiere and after-party with their families. I had the honor of being able to meet Josh Gad, Sterling K. Brown, and Jason Ritter. All three gentlemen are so nice!
One of my favorite things about the Frozen 2 after-party was the activities. They had different activity stations sponsored by different companies. Build-A-Bear sponsored a Charades booth where you could win prizes. Lego had a build your own snowman booth. Colorpop sponsored a Royal Treatment booth where you could get some Frozen 2 lip gloss. And much more! It was an amazing experience and I am so honored to have had the chance to go!
When R. Barry isn’t contributing to Geek For E you can find her writing over on her own blog Pretty in Baby Food where she covers lifestyle, entertainment, and travel.
All is well in Arendelle since we last saw Elsa (Idina Menzel). That is until Elsa starts hearing a voice. She tries to go about but her day, but she feels the voice is calling out to her. For what? She doesn’t know, but she feels the voice is calling her to the Enchanted Forest. When Elsa decides to answer the call, she sets off on an epic adventure into the unknown with Anna (Kristen Bell), Olaf (Josh Gad), Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), and Sven to find out why she is being called and how she can help.
Frozen 2 is a stunning animated movie that will make you laugh but is much darker than the first movie. (Due to how much darker Frozen 2 is from the first some kids may find it a little scary.) The Characters of Kristoff and Olaf are standouts and are given some of the best songs and lines in the movie. Is Frozen 2 better than the first movie? Unfortunately, no. It’s hard to make sequels that are better than the original, and Frozen 2 falls short of the first in both the story and songs. Is it still a good movie? Yes, and still worth seeing on the big screen. I give Frozen 2 an A-. Frozen 2 opens in U.S. theaters on Nov. 22, 2019 (R.Barry)
Judgment day came for all of the Terminator movies after Terminator 2, and they have been Terminated. Terminator: Dark Fate occurs over twenty years after the end of Judgement Day, and it delivers the original Terminator feel. Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) saved humanity and stopped Judgement Day, but still ended up losing the most important thing in her life, her son John who is killed by a T-800 (Arnold Schwarzenegger). It seems though humanity never learns from its mistakes, and one A.I. (Skynet) is replaced by another A.I. (Legion). Hell-bent on wiping out the human race Legion sends its own Terminator, Rev-9 (Gabriel Luna), back in time to kill Dani Ramos (Natalia Reyes). To help Dani survive in the past the human resistance sends back an augmented human, Grace (Mackenzie Davis), to protect her.
But Grace isn’t the only help Dani has. No longer running from Terminators Sarah Connor has a new purpose in life, to hunt them. Receiving information from an unknown ally Sarah arrives just in time to help Grace and Dani escape Rev-9, and she decides to continue to help protect Dani in the hopes of preventing another apocalyptic future.
Terminator: Dark fate brings back the nostalgia of the first 2 movies thanks to the return of Linda Hamilton and James Cameron. If you are a Terminator fan you will enjoy and be entertained by Dark Fate. Linda Hamilton and Mackenzie Davis are the stand out actors and provide some of the best action and lines in the movie. I give Terminator: Dark Fate a B-. It’s entertaining, leaves you with questions, but is unfortunately predictable. The movie is rated R due to violence, language, and nudity. Out in theaters 11/1/19. (R. Barry)