Tag Archives: Movie Review

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: THE LOST CITY OF Z

I know Charlie Hunnam mostly from Undeclared, when he first entered the Hollywood scene and I saw him in Pacific Rim. I have never watched one episode of Sons of Anarchy, and basically just know that he’s the guy that left 50 Shades of Grey and is going to be King Arthur. So when I say his performance was magnificent and his best, you probably can’t really take my word for it , so you need to see for yourself. But I promise you, in THE LOST CITY OF Z, Charlie Hunnam, is so great, that in the 90s or early millennium he probably would’ve gotten nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor and could’ve won.

He is utterly fantastic in this. And Robert Pattinson brings us his best performance to date, but considering he was Edward in Twilight, isn’t really saying much either, but trust me, he’s good too. And the movie is good as well. Maybe not utterly fantastic as some critics are saying (they are saying that it “hearkens back to classic exploration epics),  but much, much better and more entertaining than some other adventure/exploration movies in the past such as Australia and Hidalgo. You probably haven’t heard of this film either, but it’s about a man, who family name was tarnished by his father, goes to map unknown regions in South America only to become obsessed with the Amazon and goes back and back again to try and find an unknown advanced civilization that may have inhabited the region.

When the film focuses on Hunnam, Pattinson, and the Amazon, the film is utterly brilliant. The main problem I had with the film is that when the film goes back to his life with his wife and kids, it loses some of it’s focus and basically becomes a “you are a brave man but you are abandoning your family” cautionary tale. Which is fine too of course, however, it spends WAY too much time with his wife and kids and I just wanted more Amazon.  Director James Gray and the cinematorphy from Darius  Khondji make the entire beauty of the jungle completely stand out with awe inspiring shots. And while it does have some harshness of what happens on an expedition and the mind set it could take on a human being, there isn’t enough of it, and this film is 2 hours and 20 minutes long.

I really really liked this film a lot, and it is a must watch, but I don’t think it is a full on masterpiece like it could’ve been. The movie is at it’s best with Charlie Hunnam, he’s so amazing here that it gives me hope for King Arthur which kind of looks like rubbish. I don’t know how this film would’ve fared without him and I don’t want to think about it. Thankfully the film nails the landing with the end and doesn’t have multiple ending like I have seen in the last couple of films that were supposed to be ‘epics’ as well. Sienna Miller and Tom Holland (who only shows up when there is 45 minutes left and not enough time to care for his character) are good here as well, especially Miller, who I think is still an underappreciated actress.

But do go see it if you like exploration films and such. Don’t expect a lot of action, because there is hardly any, but do expect a lot of awe with filmmaking and the Amazon in general. It’s a tale of bravery, boldness, hope, and confidence. And while it isn’t a masterpiece, it is a very good film that is at least memorable than the other stuff earlier in the year. And if you are a girl and are in love with Charlie Hunnam, yeah, you’re gonna want to see this.

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: TOMMY’S HONOUR

Well, unless you somehow read this review, decide you want to see this movie in the next hour and a half (both Legacy and West Plano have 4:30 showings) then you probably won’t get to see it until it hits Netflix, On Demand, etc. Why is it that I’m seeing this so late? I’m really not, considering it just came out last Friday. But like all rarely seen, “I’ve never fucking even heard of that,” independent films, they usually only last one week in the theater, unless it gets a surge of Academy Award attention or box office receipts. Since you don’t know what TOMMY’S HONOUR is, it’s essentially a dramatic golf movie about an older man, who didn’t invent golf but is considered a founding father who invented a shit ton of the courses that still exist today, and his son. His son wants to make his own way in the golf world, even though he is not a gentlemen and just mainly a caddy like his father. The gentlemen place bets on these two and several other people on who will win golf games, and Tom’s younger son, Tommy Jr., wants to be more than that, earn more, find love, literally make life his hole-in-one bitch.

And he does…to a degree. See if I say anything else the film is completely ruined. The movie is around 2 hours long and switches tones very drastically the last 30 minutes. If you look up on who this film is based on, and see their history, you can probably guess what the last 30 minutes are. And it’s a hard last 30 minutes to watch. Any kind of heart broken self destructive behavior usually is, but the acting in this is so superb that it could easily break that of an audience member’s heart as well.

You probably don’t know anyone in this other than Jurassic Park’s Sam Neill (who’s role is more of a cameo), and maybe Tommy’s love interest Olphelia Lovibond (she was Benecio Del Toro’s pink alien assistant in Guardians of the Galaxy and she had a major arc on the last season of CBS’s Elementary). But it’s okay if you don’t know anyone, usually it is better relating to the characters.

So is the film good? I say yes. It barely side steps the typical sports film by conveying a very depressing last 30 minutes. And the rest of it is entertaining, there are some laughs, but it goes from point A to point B like most sport movies go. But this is probably the best golf film since Tin Cup, so there is that going for it. It is a very enjoyable rental if you want to get the family together to watch it. Not really a go out and buy it now kind of thing.

I’m not a golf person so I don’t know if golf people will like it or not. It showed how they make golf balls, the key to some putters and the tricks of some of the trade, but some of the golfing you can tell used a CGI ball to get the point across. Golf history enthusiast might have a ‘ball’ with this film despite some of the fake golf ball scenes.

But I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would. The trailer doesn’t really market the film well at all, and in fact really only shows the first 30 minutes of the film, making it seem like one of those “I’m going to show every mother fucker in this room” kind of movie. It has that moment, but it’s fleeting, and has substance like family, love, bondage, and well…honour, to keep it from being mundane.

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS

In a quick quarter mile of a sentence: if you’ve loved Fast Five and forward, you are going to love THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS (should’ve been title THE F8 OF THE FURIOUS, but whatever). The movie has incredible non-realistic yet kind of realistic action, funny comic-relief, a decent story, a much more utilized Jason Statham, a great villain in Charlize Theron, and plenty of  the word”family” to go around.

To be a little controversial, I even thought it was better than Furious 7. Yes, even with that Paul Walker tribute at the end. Out of all the fresh new ones (Fast Five forward), I always thought Furious 7 was good but a little incomplete and probably my least favorite of the revamped installment of the series. Not to diss on Paul Walker, because he is definitely missed in this installment, but with the last film, it bothered me when I could completely tell that he hardly filmed any scenes for the movie, and more than 50% of it was CGI or body doubles and edited in an awkward way to try and get people not to be able to tell it wasn’t him. Just felt like it was scrapped together really quickly when they probably should’ve taken a little bit more time to figure out how to write around his death.

The only weird edited thing this has is trying to keep Vin and Dwayne away from each other off set because of their ‘beef.’ Anyway, back to the movie. The only way you are going to love this film like I did is if you completely turn off your brain and just let whatever happen happen. Previous bad guy’s turning good even though they killed someone. Okay, I’ll bite (I completely still think that Han isn’t really dead). A sub missile skimming the ice and then Dwayne Johnson being able to steer it with his foot into a bad guy’s vehicle? Sure, why the hell not? A bunch of cars being hacked into all at once, falling out of buildings and also being able to drive side by side with computerized guidance systems? It wasn’t realistic but it sure was fucking awesome! This movie is completely Jeremy and outside vents in Divergent if he’s reading this. Jeremy, this movie would drive you nuts.

And why Dom is helping Cipher (Charlize Theron) and turns bad? I won’t ruin it here but it was not what I thought it would be. I just assumed she had Brian O’Connor held hostage off screen, but what they ended up doing surprised even me and wants to give screenwriter Chris Morgan a little more credit than I’ve given him.

I won’t ruin anymore of the actions scenes, but every single one of them is ingenious and very exciting. The film, even though they show a lot in the trailer, still has many twists, turns, cameos, and cool surprises. While new characters played by Scott Eastwood are okay but maybe will be fleshed out more later, returning characters like Kurt Russell make the movie cooler and more refreshing. The real two stars of the film are Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham. Their chemistry in this film is incredible, with Johnson getting the most screentime he has gotten in a Furious film, and Jason Statham getting to shine in this film when he should’ve shined in the last one as well but was very underused. A sequence with him on a plane is one of the highlights of the film.

There are some awkward unneeded parts, like Dwayne Johnson at his girls’ soccer game, they probably could’ve bene cut out, but all in all I really loved and enjoyed this film. Basically, if you can’t stand these films, this one won’t change your mind, but if you love them like I have, this one just keeps the franchise engine running full throttle without braking.

Ranking of Films:

Fast Five

Fast & Furious 6

The Fate of the Furious

Furious 7

The Fast and The Furious

Fast & Furious

The Fast & Furious: Tokyo Drift

2 Fast 2 Furious