Win Advance Screening Passes in Boston for “The Equalizer 2”

Media Mikes is proud to be hosting advance screenings of the new upcoming release of EQUALIZER 2 starring Denzel Washington! There is an advance screening of the film on Monday, July 16th @ 7PM at AMC Boston Common.

Click below to get tickets, first come first serve! Good luck and like always leave a comment here after you’ve seen the film!
http://www.sonyscreenings.com/MediaMikesEqualizer2

Website: http://www.equalizer.movie/site/
GENRE Action thriller
SYNOPSIS: Denzel Washington returns to one of his signature roles in the first sequel of his career. Robert McCall serves an unflinching justice for the exploited and oppressed – but how far will he go when that is someone he loves?

Blu-ray Review “Escape Plan 2: Hades”

Actors: Sylvester Stallone;Dave Bautista;Curtis Jackson
Directors: Steven C. Miller
Rated: R
Studio: LIONSGATE
Release Date: June 29, 2018
Run Time: 94 minutes

Film: 2 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

The first “Escape Plan” back in 2013 was an “ok” movie, not great and definitely didn’t warrant a franchise. Iam not sure what Sylvester Stallone was thinking about when he agreed to do not one sequel but TWO for “Escape Plan”. Oh wait I know…$$$$$. What’s sad about this film is that it is the truly first low budget direct-to-video release for Stallone since “Eye See You” in 2002. Anyone remember that bomb? I didn’t think so. Stallone just got nominated for an Oscar back in 2015 and then this…so I am honestly sad because this film is such a mess that it is nearly hard to watch…and I seen it twice now. I was hoping that I missed something the first time but it is a true bomb and the whole film just wastes time to setup the third film! WHY?!

Arnold Schwarzenegger smartly stays away from this sequel but Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson returns for what feels like a useless role. Same goes to Dave Bautista! This dude is on the top of his game with the “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise etc and yet he is in a film like this. I don’t understand. I don’t even think any of these people of in the same scene together. “Escape Plan 2: Hades” is directed by Steven C. Miller. He has become the go-to low budget action direct-to-video guy with recent forgettable films like “Extraction (2015)”, “Marauders (2016)” and “First Kill (2017)”, which all happen to star Bruce Willis (another actor that has gone to the straight home video market). Let’s hope the third movie makes up for this one.

Official Premise: Years after Ray Breslin [Academy Award nominee Sylvester Stallone (Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture, Creed, 2016)] fought his way out of the escape-proof prison called “The Tomb,” he’s organized a new top-notch, for-hire security force. But when one of his team members goes missing inside a computerized techno-terror battle-maze known as HADES, Breslin together with Trent DeRosa (Dave Bautista, Guardians of the Galaxy) must now decipher a way to break into the world’s best hidden prison, release their kidnapped team, and make it out alive.

Even though the film is what it is, the Blu-ray is solid and comes stacked as a combo back with a Blu-ray + DVD (anyone still use these) and a digital copy. The film feels low budget and doesn’t carry the same scale as the first film (which had a $70 million budget). The look of the film is cheap but the sound is solid. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 works well with the action, when there is any. I was honestly shocked to see there was extras included. There are three features including: “Making Escape Plan 2: Hades”, “Creating the Look of Escape Plan 2: Hades” and “Building the Robot of Escape Plan 2: Hades”. Lastly there are a few more Extended Cast / Crew Interviews, worth taking a look if your really bored.

 

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Film Review “Incredibles 2”

Directed by: Brad Bird
Starring: Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Sarah Vowell, Huck Milner, Samuel L. Jackson
Distributed by: Walt Disney Studios
MPAA Rating: PG
Running time: 118 minutes

Film Score: 3 out of 5 stars

When I saw the first “Incredibles” movie, I really wasn’t blown away. I know there are some extreme people that saw that it is one of Pixar’s best but I never and still don’t see it even after 14 years. It’s obvious a sequel is here but even though “Incredibles 2” is a smart movie that not only has a message but improves from the first film…yet I was left unsatisfied luckily my expectation were low. I will say that “Incredibles 2” is definitely an action packed movie. I just wish it was more fun. I wanted to laugh more for sure. I just didn’t feel like the cast was having fun. “Incredibles 2” runs nearly two hours, which is a lot for kids to stick with. My little one left the theater yawning (as did I). Second act definitely picks up some steam but too late I felt.

Official Premise: “In “Incredibles 2,” Helen (voice of Holly Hunter) is called on to lead a campaign to bring Supers back, while Bob (voice of Craig T. Nelson) navigates the day-to-day heroics of “normal” life at home with Violet (voice of Sarah Vowell), Dash (voice of Huck Milner) and baby Jack-Jack—whose super powers are about to be discovered. Their mission is derailed, however, when a new villain emerges with a brilliant and dangerous plot that threatens everything. But the Parrs don’t shy away from a challenge, especially with Frozone (voice of Samuel L. Jackson) by their side. That’s what makes this family so Incredible.”

I just don’t see the fascination with these characters. I don’t like them, especially not in this movie. Mr. Incredible is a major egomaniac. I really didn’t like him in this movie, I know he is trying to be funny having “a men” taking care of his children while mommy is out working. I get it, the roles are reversed for the time that this film is timed in. It doesn’t make it any better that he is jealous of his wife’s success and honestly gives me a real bad taste throughout most of his scenes. I am glad that Elastic Girl gets a chance to shine this movie, even if it has a social commentary within it and it ended up being my favorite part of the film. I felt like it added an extra level to the typical superhero male driven story.

Frozone was used a little more this time but at the same time even less it felt like. I didn’t enjoy looking at (the Acid reflux guy was disgusting) or listening to any of the new characters that were introduced outside of Winston Deavor (voiced by Bob Odenkirk) and his sister Evelyn Deavor (Catherine Keener). These two nailed their roles for sure. I liked them but the other “supers” weren’t super at all. Jack-Jack definitely steals the show, no question. He is funny and super cute. Loved his powers for sure. There is a great bit with Edna and Jack-Jack that was a riot. So in closing, I am not a huge fan of “The Incredibles”, I enjoyed the sequel but it is not a favorite of mine. It is probably not something I can watch over and over again like we have with “Inside Out” or “Wreck-it Ralph”. But if you are a huge fan of the first movie, this will definitely leave you satisfied and wanting more.

Film Review: “Deadpool 2”

DEADPOOL 2
Starring:  Ryan Reynolds, Morena Bacarin and Josh Brolin
Directed by:  David Leitch
Rated:  R
Running time:  1 hrs 59 mins
20th Century Fox

Every once in a while a film comes along that not only bends the rules, but breaks them.  Such a film was “Deadpool.”  Is there any way the sequel can live up to that introduction?  Yes indeedy.

Ryan Reynolds continues his journey as the foul-mouthed, yet sensitive, Wade Wilson, better known to us moviegoers as Deadpool.  In this chapter he firmly puts tongue in cheek as he tries his best to learn the meaning of the word family.

Along the way he pokes fun at so many pop culture references that I literally lost count.  The Justice League.  “The Goonies.”  A still simmering anger with anything to do with Wolverine.  His sarcasm is razor fine and cuts just as easily.  A running gag where a line from the film “Frozen” sounds suspiciously like “Papa Can You Hear Me” from the film, “Yentl” is reigned in enough so it actually makes you laugh no matter how many times you hear it.  And the added humor that Josh Brolin is Barbra Streisands’s step-son only makes the gag even funnier.

Brolin, fresh off his gig in “The Avengers: Infiniti Wars,” plays Cable, a time-traveling mutant that’s as buff as his “Avengers” alter ego Thanos.  Brolin gives the role a sense of drama but isn’t above having a little fun himself.  If I’m sounding a little evasive here, it’s because the film company has asked reviewers not to give away too much of the film.  Just sit back and enjoy the ride.  Like its predecessor, “Deadpool 2” is one of the best comic book films ever.

Win Advance Screening Passes in Florida for “Super Troopers 2”

Media Mikes is proud to be hosting advance screenings of the new film “Super Troopers 2″ staring Broken Lizard in all Florida markets! Click below to get tickets, first come first serve! Good luck and like always leave a comment here after you’ve seen the film!

MONDAY, APRIL 16th @7:30PM
.
AMC AVENTURA (MIAMI)
CINEMARK BOYNTON BEACH 14 (WEST PALM BEACH)
AMC THE REGENCY 20 (TAMPA)
AMC DISNEY SPRINGS 24 (ORLANDO)

Cast: Kevin Heffernan, Tyler Labine, Hayes Macarthur, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Rob Lowe, Lynda Carter, Marisa Coughlan, Brian Cox, Jay Chandrasekhar, Fred Savage, Will Sasso
Writers: Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter, Erik Stolhanske
Director: Jay Chandrasekhar
Producer: Richard Perello

Everyone’s favorite law enforcement team is back by popular demand with the long anticipated follow up to the cult comedy classic…SUPER TROOPERS. When an international border dispute arises between the U.S. and Canada, the Super Troopers- Mac, Thorny, Foster, Rabbit and Farva, are called in to set up a new Highway Patrol station in the disputed area. Unconventional police work follows, and the result is…SUPER TROOPERS 2.

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Win Passes to the Kansas City Premiere of “Super Troopers 2”

Media Mikes has teamed with their friends at Fox Searchlight Films to give (50) readers and a guest the chance to be among the first to see the new comedy from the gang at Broken Lizard, “Super Troopers 2.”

The screening will be held on Monday, April 16, 2018 at the AMC Studio 28 Theatre in Olathe, Kansas and will start at 7:00 p.m.

All you have to do is click HERE.  The first (50) readers to do so will receive a pass for two to attend the screening.  This is a first come/first serve giveaway.  Once all (50) passes have been claimed, the contest is over.  GOOD LUCK!

 

SUPER TROOPERS 2

Monday, April 16, 2018  –  7:00 p.m.

AMC Studio 28 Theatre – Olathe, Kansas

 

 

Film Review “Baaghi 2”

          

Baaghi 2 is the sequel to the movie Baaghi with the same male lead Tiger Shroff but the female lead being replaced by Disha Patani for Shraddha Kapoor. It is an action thriller film and it is the remake of the film Kshanam, a Telugu movie. The movie revolves around the soldier Ronnie and fights against drug tycoons and gofers to save the daughter of his former girlfriend.

As the movie is worth a watch, so you can check out PVR movie offers on online ticket bookings and enjoy your tickets at very affordable prices.

Star Cast of Baaghi 2

Tiger Shroff: Handsome Hunk Tiger Shroff is a Hindi film actor but he is also very famous for his dance and stunts. He made his debut in the film Heropanti for which he was nominated for Filmfare best debut Actor-Male and won 5 awards including the IIFA and Big Star Entertainment award. He also appeared in 3 music videos in which he was admired for his dance moves.

Disha Patani- Disha Patani grabbed the hearts of all young boys after she appeared in the film M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story. Being the heartthrob of teenagers, she won several awards for her role in the film M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story. She appeared in a music video along with Tiger Shroff.

Prateik Babbar: Prateik Babbar is an actor who has appeared in films like Dum Maro Dum, Ekk Deewana Tha, Aarakshan and more. He is playing the role of an antagonist in the film.

Manoj Bajpayee: Manoj Bajpayee works predominantly in the Hindi film industry but has also appeared in Tamil and Telugu. He is also playing the antagonist role in the film.

The film is directed by Ahmed Khan and Sajid Nadiadwala produced the film under the production title Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment. Ahamed Khan is also a producer, choreographer, writer, and actor.

Critic Review of Baaghi 2

Baaghi 2 received mixed reviews from the audience. While some claim the movie to be one of the best action movies, some feel that the action is slightly slower paced. The first half is completely different from the second half. The movie and Tiger Shroff tops in jumping, kicking, punching, wielding knives, bombs, and guns but falls when it comes to emotion.

The Times of India states that the movie is little long and they could have improved the taut screenplay and editing.  Bollywood Hungama claims that Tiger’s performance is spectacular and extraordinary but the screenplay is not engaging and convincing. The cinematography of the movie is eye-catching and the songs are just okayish.

The Indian Express reviews the movie as a trouble with full-on masala film in search of a plot is clear in the way the film unfolds. Though the film is a remake of the Telugu film, the fillings are all strictly Bollywood: the attempt to create difference gets diluted. The NDTV states that Tiger Shroff roars and Disha Patani is pretty but the movie is like 2.5 hours of stunt sequence.

The story of Baaghi 2

The film starts with two masked men brutally attacking Disha Patani ( Neha) and at the same time, we have the introduction of Tiger Shroff who is an Army officer (Ronnie aka Ranveer Pratap Singh) in Kashmir.  Then the hero is established as brave and fit army officer along with his love for the nation. The story of the film begins when Neha calls Ronnie and explains her attack and also asks him to help her out as her daughter would be kidnapped.

Then comes the flashback of Ronnie and Neha who meet each other in college. This is the part which has cute songs and cliche dialogues and we come to know the backstory of the two leads. Once the action sequence begins, we are taken to another level. The action scenes are the ones which set the mood of the film. Whatever may be the fight, Ronnie always saves the Indian Flag and proves that he is a true patriot. We are then introduced to the two antagonists of the movie, Manoj Bajpayee (Shergill) who plays the DIG and also Prateik Babbar (Sunny), who is a drug addict and Neha’s husband’s brother. Randeep Hooda plays the roles of a humorous cop. The plot starts to reveal around midway of the film where we come to know that Ronnie isn’t dealing with a simple kidnapping. There’s a series of crime that unties, one action sequence after another. Deepak Dobriyal as always stands out with his performance and he plays Ronnie’s assistant.

The film ends with Ronnie solving all the mysteries behind the kidnapping and finally saves Neha’s daughter.

Star Performance in Baaghi 2

Tiger is given more than enough to work with. The action scenes he performs are so real and there are high-voltage stunts galore and shows us how the action was meant to be. The story only highlighted the performance of Tiger Shroff and they did not utilize the Randeep Hooda and Manoj Bajpayee. However, Deepak Dobriyal gave the best performance in the movie as always.

Direction and Music Review of Baaghi 2

Baaghi 2 is loaded with action and drama but the script is badly written and crummy direction by Ahmed Khan makes it a dreary matter. The lack of strong direction from has caused in both the antagonists feint a bit.

The movie has 6 soundtracks. The background score is composed by Julius Packiam and the music is composed by Arko Pravo Mukherjee, Mithoon, Gourov-Roshin, Sandeep Shirodkar and Pranaay Rijay. The album was released on T-series on March 20, 2018. The songs and music are good but they disturb the flow of the film. For a detailed review of music read the link below.

http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/movie/baaghi-2-2/songs/music-critic-review/

Box Office Collection of the movie

The box office collection of the film is higher than expected. The movie earned Rs 25.1 crore making it the biggest single day and opening day of 2018 beating Padmaavat. After the first day, the collection slowly went down by 20%. Then gradually the collection decreased. The movie became the 2nd highest Opening Weekend grosser on Box Office to collect 73.10 crores. On an opening day, Baaghi 2 made 2.11 crore in UAE.

Trivia and Rating of the film

Here are some interesting trivia about the film

  • Tiger Shroff went to Hong Kong to train martial arts under Tonny Ching to be perfect for his character Ronnie.
  • Tiger Shroff and Disha Patani made an eccentric entry in a helicopter at the trailer launch of the film in Mumbai.
  • This is the first film for the rumored lovebirds Tiger Shroff and Disha Patani.

The film was rated 2.5/5 stars by The Times of India and 1 out of 5 stars by Hindustan Times. IMDB gave a 3-star rating on 5 and Rotten Tomatoes a 2 star on 5.

How to book tickets

You can go to the theatre and book or you can just book it through pvrcinemas.com. It is always better to book your tickets and get your seats reserved beforehand. The following are the steps to book tickets for Baaghi 2.

  1. Go to pvrcinemas.com
  2. Enter your login details and choose your city.
  3. Then search Baaghi 2.
  4. Then select the number of seats and choose the seats you want.
  5. Then proceed to pay or enter the promo code if you have any.
  6. Then select your mode of payment.
  7. Once the payment is done, you will receive the message with the booking details.

Conclusion

Baaghi 2 amazes you but it is not well-structured.  The story has many loopholes. But the film stuck to its genre. If you are someone who loves action films, then you would not be bored of the film. This film is for action lovers and you can surely kill time watching the movie.

 

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Behold the Second Coming, as the Merc with a Mouth delivers New Trailer For The Highly Anticipated “DeadPool 2”

Behold the Second Coming, as the Merc with a Mouth delivers unto you a new trailer for the highly anticipated DEADPOOL 2 from 20th Century Fox!

Watch The Trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D86RtevtfrA 

After surviving a near fatal bovine attack, a disfigured cafeteria chef (Wade Wilson) struggles to fulfill his dream of becoming Mayberry’s hottest bartender while also learning to cope with his lost sense of taste. Searching to regain his spice for life, as well as a flux capacitor, Wade must battle ninjas, the yakuza, and a pack of sexually aggressive canines, as he journeys around the world to discover the importance of family, friendship, and flavor – finding a new taste for adventure and earning the coveted coffee mug title of World’s Best Lover.

DEADPOOL 2 Official Channels
Website: Deadpool.com
Facebook: facebook.com/DeadpoolMovie/
Twitter: twitter.com/DeadpoolMovie/
Instagram: instagram.com/DeadpoolMovie/
#Deadpool

Orlando Boat Show arrives on March 2, 3 & 4, 2018 at the Orange County Convention Center

Central Florida’s Premier Boat Show!
With 2
0 of Central Florida’s Best Boat Dealers
Representing Over 60 Manufacturers
Bowriders, Pontoon Boats, Ski Boats, Cruisers,
Fishing Boats, Bass Boats and Deck Boats
Marine Electronics, Accessories & Much More!
If You Are Interested In Being A Vendor At The
Show Please Call 386/943-8383 Or Email
contact@orlandoboatshow.com
See Over 60 Great
Booth Vendors!
The boat show in March will be
the best Orlando Boat Show Ever!
Don’t miss this spectacular show!
March 2, 3 & 4, 2018
at the Orange County
Convention Center
South Hall B
Fun for the whole family!
Kids 12 & Under Are Free
Show Hours
Friday – 10am to 8pm
Saturday – 10am to 8pm
Sunday – 10am to 5pm

 

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2017 New York Comic Con Review: Day 2

2017 New York Comic Con

Friday, October 6th 2017
Jacob K. Javits Center, New York, NY

Our Score: 3 out of 5 Stars

All things pop culture descended on New York City specifically The Jacob K. Javits Center as the sprawling complex once again played host to the annual New York Comic Con held on October 5th-8th. The event now in its 11th year was once again put on by the Connecticut based company Reed Pop a company who organizes some of the largest pop culture events around the country. 2017 proved to be no exception and despite having to deal with a smaller venue space due to construction the event still boasted an over whelming number of vendors and appearances by some of the biggest names in comics, film and television.

Day two of the four day convention this year seemed a bit lacking in the way of panels and events as compared to previous however that did not thwart our attempt to take in the massive show floors and numerous cos-players as the con is always one we look forward to attending each year. Right off the bat we noticed that the entry to the event was much easier than in previous years as there was now two different entries for single/multiple day pass holders. This dramatically cut down the once endless serpent like line which in previous years engulfed the outside areas of the center. Despite a quicker entry once inside you could instantly see that the construction taking place in several key areas of the center such as the section which normally houses artist alley was causing large bottle necks of immovable lines. For those wanting to meet their favorite artist or creator gone was the spacious, well lit corridor which was always a nice break from the hustle and bustle of the main show floors but instead this year creators and artist were relegated to one of the structures basement levels which caused for a less than pleasurable viewing experience complete with cramped/impassible walk ways and a heightened room temperature that at times almost took your breath away.

After a couple escalator rides we made our way on to the main show floors. This area also seemed to take on the brunt of less floor space in other areas as walk ways and vendor spaces seemed much smaller than in previous years. As always the Funko booth commanded a lot of attention as those fortunate enough to be selected in the lottery process waited in endless lines in hopes to purchase one of the sought after convention exclusives. During our time at the booth we had the chance to grab a quick autograph from WWE Superstar and Funko Enthusiast Zach Ryder who had stopped by to check out his NYCC exclusive Pop! figure. Other notable vendors were the Middle Earth “Shadow of War”  booth which featured a life size dragon which convention goers could have their pictures on and Marvel vs. Capcom’s replica Ultron and throne display both of which garnered long wait times just to get a glimpse of.

Before leaving for the day we made quick stop in the autographing area which as always is a popular stop for most attendees. Some of the big names this year included Michael Rooker, Peter Capaldi and Mark Hamill among a long list of others. With prices ranging from $40 to $300 per signature we did not spend a lot of time in this area but there were plenty of others anxiously awaiting to spend their hard earned cash to meet their favorite actors and actresses.

With more and more events/panels being held off site it makes me question just how much longer the Javits center will remain a viable location for the Con. With early attendance figures coming in at around 200,000 for the four days the event shows no signs slowing down. Hopefully the center will be back to full functionality for next year’s event as the lack of space definitely impacted all aspects of the event. Either way, we can not wait for next year.

Film Review #2 “Despicable Me 3”

Directed by: Pierre Coffin, Kyle Balda
Starring: Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Trey Parker
Distributed by Universal Pictures[2]
MPAA Rating: PG
Running time: 90 minutes

Mike G’s Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Illumination Entertainment really has a gold mine here with the “Despicable Me” franchise. It literally just prints its own money…but so far after three films and an even better spin-off, they are still great. Pixar’s movies cost near or above $200 million per film and don’t get me wrong they are good, at least they used to be, while Illumination knocks out films like this and “The Secret Lives of Pets” for just $80 million. These are quality films that are very entertaining, pack great voice casts and overall great movies. “Despicable Me 3” is a great addition to the series and is a step up from the second film.

Official Premise: The mischievous Minions hope that Gru will return to a life of crime after the new boss of the Anti-Villain League fires him. Instead, Gru decides to remain retired and travel to Freedonia to meet his long-lost twin brother for the first time. The reunited siblings soon find themselves in an uneasy alliance to take down the elusive Balthazar Bratt, a former 1980s child star who seeks revenge against the world.

Pharrell Williams steps up again and some great new songs for this film. I don’t think he replicated another “Happy” on this soundtrack but very fun music. In addition the film has a flood of 80’s theme of music that is very fun in this film ranging from a-ha to Madonna to Michael Jackson. Trey Parker, co-creator of “South Park” is a new addition to this cast and voices the role of villain Balthazar Bratt, a former child star who’s grown up to become obsessed with the character he played in the 80’s, Evil Bratt. Trey knocks it out of the park and steals the movie, no question. Also we get to meet Gru’s twin brother, Dru and he is another great addition to this sequel.

What I love most about this film is that it is has a nice balance. A nice balance of Gru, Lucy and the girls as well as the a fun backstory for Bratt and of course we get a good amount of those lovable Minions. If Illumination is reading, I am ready for a “Minions 2” BTW for sure next. Just love those guys (or whatever they are). I saw this with my five year old daughter and she simply had a blast. She was laughing throughout and even though some of the 80’s theme was obviously lost on her she enjoyed the balance of the characters and just had a great time watching this film. I really hope that Illumination continues down this trend and continues to deliver great animated films for the whole family!

Film Review “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”

Directed by: James Gunn
Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan,
Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan, Sean Gunn, Sylvester Stallone, Kurt Russell
Distributed by Walt Disney Studios
Release Date: May 5, 2017
Running time: 136 minutes

Mike G’s Score: 4 out of 5 stars

When I left the advance screening back in 2014 for Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy”, I said to my wife that this movie is the “Star Wars” for our new generation and it will be HUGE! Fast forward to 2017 and here we are with Vol.2 being released and looking back at how much the first film affected Hollywood. The magic of the first film has tried to be copied since and the only film to get close was “Deadpool”. It is hard for me to scream that “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” is better than the first. I really really liked it but I also watch the first film almost weekly or at least monthly, so to say I’m a big fan is an understatement. I even got my 5 year old daughter into the first film (I know I’m a terrible dad, but she LOVES IT!). Vol.2 is easily one of the best films I have seen this year and an amazing follow-up to the first film. I have a feeling as I see it a few times more my love will only grow.

Personally, I am bored with “The Avengers” in general, i.e. Iron Man, Captain America and their movies. I am more into Marvel’s releases like “Guardians”, “Doctor Strange” and even the new “Thor” looks fantastic! These are great superhero movies and I can easily add Vol.2 to that list! The sequel not only is action packed entertaining movie but also packs some mega emotional character driven dramatic moments. I love those moments. This movie has so much heart, literally so much. The jokes are funnier. I swear everything that Drax says is pure gold. Baby Groot was cute and really wasn’t overused like I assumed he would be to steal the show.

Everyone was talking about Kurt Russell’s role of Ego and Peter Quill’s father..and he was everything I wanted and more! Russell is just tearing it up with this and the “Fast and Furious” franchise. He is on fire. The star of this film is no question, Michael Rooker. His role of Yondu was expanded greatly from the first film and really gets some amazing screen time (cue Cat Stevens’ song “Father and Son”). Even Sean Gunn (James’ brother) got an expanded role and delivered some really great scenes. I really enjoyed Kraglin in this film! Sylvester Stallone popped up for a bit, cool to see him but didn’t do much. He was mostly just setup for future films playing the important character aka Starhawk. And if you are a Toby fan like me from the TV series “This Is Us” keep an eye out for Taserface! Love him! The girl power in “Guardians” was very strong, which makes me happy due to having an eager to see this 5 year old. Karen Gillan got a chance to expand Nebula more in this sequel and she was just brilliant. Zoe Saldan and her got some nice screen time together. Pom Klementieff joined on playing a very important character named Mantis and easily stole our hearts…even though she is really ugly…(according to Drax).

The songs from the first “Guardians” really made the film so special and unique. The second film doesn’t disappoint in terms of great picks and don’t feel forced like when “Suicide Squad” tried to copy. ELO’s “Mr. Blue Sky” is a great track. Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain” has great placement in the film. Sam Cooke’s “Bring it on Home to Me” was a great and very sweet moment. George Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord” is one of my favorite songs ever. I mentioned above Cat Stevens’ song “Father and Son,m which was just a perfect choice for this film. James Gunn’s band along with David Hasselhoff, yes David Hasslehoff even have a fun song in the end credits. The score is beautiful again from Tyler Bates. I’ve been listening to it for about a week now before seeing the film and I had a really great appreciation for the music when I saw it. Honestly this is the first Marvel film that really interested me with their score.

The visual effects are just beautiful. Ego’s planet is breathtaking for sure. This is a film that needs to be seen in the theater. Preferable the biggest IMAX screen possible. Please do not see this film at little theater. 3D was good didn’t really jump out too much. I could have gone either way on that. This franchise has a BIG future ahead of it and as long as it has James Gunn’s vision leading it down this path I am on board and very excited to see what is coming next! Hopefully Gunn will actually give Nathan Fillion a decent role in next film that won’t be cut 😉 I am just happy that Vol.2 doesn’t disappoint and I believe that it is because they didn’t just try and copy the first film. They took what worked from the first film, expanded it perfectly and ended up with one of the year’s best film.

Blu-ray Review “Bad Santa 2”

Actors: Billy Bob Thornton, Brett Kelly, Tony Cox, Kathy Bates, Christina Hendricks
Directors: Mark Waters
Rated: Unrated
Studio: Broad Green Pictures
Release Date: February 21, 2017
Run Time: 94 minutes

Film: 3 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2 out of 5 stars

Billy Bob Thornton, Brett Kelly, Tony Cox all return for the completely unnecessary sequel. The 2003 film was a great film and that’s it. We never needed a sequel to this…did they see what happened to “Anchorman 2” or “Zoolander 2″…they didn’t learn. Kathy Bates and Christina Hendricks are to the cast but add no value, in fact I usually love Bates but she was flat out terrible in this. A few funny jokes but overall this just shouldn’t have happened.

Official Premise: Fueled by cheap whiskey and greed, Willie Soke (Academy Award-winner Billy Bob Thornton), teams up once again with his angry sidekick, Marcus (Tony Cox), to knock off a Chicago charity run by curvaceous Diane (Christina Hendricks). But the arrival of Willie’s horror story of a mother, Sunny (Academy Award-winner Kathy Bates), and “the kid” – Thurman Merman – may upset their plan. You better watch out, Bad Santa 2 is coming to town!

The Blu-ray presentation is nothing special but works for what it is. No complaints. If you want a Digital HD copy of this film included, you would need to shell out for the 4K Ultra HD release…but I wouldn’t waste your money. The special features aren’t anything special either. There are two versions of the film included. The Theatrical Version runs 1:32:16 and the Unrated Version runs 1:34:50. So it is really nothing extra included here making this worth it.

The special features included are “Thurman Then & Now” is as look into the actor between the two films. Next is “Just Your Average Red Band”, which looks at how raunchy the film is.  “That’s My Willie” Original Animated Series is a collection of animated shorts. “Jingle Balls” is (not a shocker her) the song “Jingle Bells” giving a dirty twist. Lastly there are a few deleted scenes, an alternate opening/ending and gag reel included.

Film Review: “John Wick: Chapter 2”

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Common and Laurence Fishburne
Directed By: Chad Stahleski
Rated: R
Running Time: 122 minutes
Summit Entertainment

Our Score: 4 out of 5 Stars

Did the first “John Wick” need a sequel? No. Does “John Wick: Chapter 2” need a sequel? Yes. I didn’t know I needed “Chapter 2” in my life, but I’m glad I got it and now I want more. “Chapter 2” is more of the same from the first installment and that’s not a bad thing. It’s a great thing.

Picking right up where the previous movie ended, John Wick (Reeves), also known as “The Boogeyman,” is finishing off the lingering threats and hitmen who did him wrong from the first installment. But instead of easing back into a low-key and somber retirement, with a new dog in tow, he’s greeted by an old acquaintance, Santino D’Antonio (Riccardo Scamarcio). D’Antonio recruits Wick to help him take over a seat of power in the criminal underworld. Wick isn’t so sure, but Santino uses an old blood oath and three missiles to Wick’s home to sway him.

All the potential consequences and paths of this blood oath, as pointed out to Wick multiple times throughout, are Wick’s death. Luckily for Wick, and the audience, he’s the one who spends entire runtime dishing out death. Before the story even contemplates getting too muddled in specifics and new characters, “Chapter 2” takes a deep breath and once again stops itself from becoming too literal. Just like the original, character introductions are more about the person’s individual quirks, skills and ticks, than their actual name or purpose. And “Chapter 2” keeps the video games tropes around as everything is still paid through magical golden tokens and Wick’s gun is stuck on auto-aim.

This helps keep everything flowing as this sequel is about 30 minutes longer, but rarely dull. While “John Wick” was more about the man behind the blood hungry myth, the sequel appears to be more about Wick diving deeper into the world around him, including the Continental, the criminal safe haven, hangout and safe zone from the first film. The Continental is still shrouded in mystery, but the little depth that is revealed implies it’s a lot more than just a U.N. for gangbangers. It may be the actual cogs of society and government.

What made the original so good is that it never bogged itself down in realism despite the backdrop being New York City. Instead it collects visual actualities to prop up this notion that this alternative reality is percolating beneath the surface. “Chapter 2” expands this alternate reality by dropping visual indications on how all these backstabbing swindlers and emotionless assassins have managed to govern themselves. Murder is their business and they’re serious about it. The rules in this violent fantasy world are simple, habitual, rehashed for clarity, and never biased towards any of the heroes and villain.

“Chapter 2” also further establishes previous canon while building on fresh canon without having any of the new nuances become superficial. The violence is a lot more over-the-top, but played straight-faced for laughs. The killings are more gruesome, but never repugnant. Like much of the visually stunning set-pieces, like a room of rotating mirrors bathed in laser light, the violence is aesthetically pleasing. That’s because it’s visually relayed that Wick doesn’t love or sink his teeth into this line of work anymore, but does it as a necessity for survival.

The same crew from the first is back for more, providing an enjoyable and realistic continuation of a seemingly one-off story about a retired assassin out for revenge. He’s no longer out for revenge, but struggling with the underworld that wants him to be addicted to the rush and thrill of being a hired gun. Wick’s world is noir, retro, and techno all in one cohesive ball. The John Wick franchise is not only a great addition to the action-film catalogue, but a much needed renaissance for the CGI-heavy genre.

DVD Review “Surf’s Up 2: Wavemania”

Directors: Henry Yu
Actors: WWE Superstars John Cena, Undertaker, Triple H, Paige and Mr. McMahon
Rated: PG
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Film: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

I don’t know when this became a thing but WWE is taking over animation as well. They have mixed there brand with Scooby Doo, The Flintstones, The Jetsons (coming soon) and now they made their way into a sequel to the 2007 film “Surf’s Up”. This films features the voices of WWE Superstars John Cena, Undertaker, Triple H, Paige and Mr. McMahon. The movie itself is nothing special honestly unless you are a hardcore “Surf’s Up” or WWE fan. Cute and fun but not really necessary or memorable.

Official Premise: Cody Maverick, hungry for a new challenge, convinces an infamous big wave riding crew known as The Hang 5, voiced by WWE Superstars John Cena®, Undertaker®, Triple H®, Paige™ and Mr. McMahon® to let him join them on their journey to a mysterious surf spot known as The Trenches, where legend has it, they’ll find the biggest waves in the world. Cody soon discovers that the life he left behind might be more heroic than what any death-defying wave has to offer.

Sony only released this film on DVD but at least they included a Digital HD copy with the release. The special features are decent as well. There is “Behind the Mic: Hanging with the Dream Team”, which looks into the voice cast. “Chicken Joe’s Extreme Slaughter Island Tour” is a fun animated featurette with the character. “How to Draw Your Favorite Characters with Director Henry Yu” shows the processing of drawing the characters. “Inside the Music” is featurette with the Composer Toby Chu. Lastly there are bloopers included. So not to bad for a direct-to-DVD sequel.