HomeMoviesMonthly Movie Roundup for February 2017

Monthly Movie Roundup for February 2017

The Cinema Geeks podcast brings you a new blog series in which various Cinema Geeks will give you their quick takes on recent releases to help you decide if certain films are worth your time or money or just to simply provide another avenue for all of us to engage in movie discussions. We call this the Cinema Geeks Monthly Movie Roundup! In order to help supplement the lack of new movie reviews we do in the actual podcast, each month we will give you our quick takes on the previous months new releases. Each release will receive a quick take from at least ONE of our resident geeks, and at times may receive a take from all four of us. In the comments section be sure to let us know if you agree or disagree with our takes. You can also tweet your thoughts to us directly. The show handle is @CinemaGeekCast or you could reach us each individually by tweeting to Kevin @OptimusSolo, Dan @MovieRevolt, Amanda @HardCandiMandi or Matt @FridleyCent. If you need a refresher on the GCRN Universal Rating Scale you can check that out by clicking here!

(For this first edition we are cheating and combining releases from January AND February)

 

xXx 3: The Return of Xander Cage

Release Date: 1-20-2017
Director: D.J. Caruso
Genre: Action

Quick Take:
(By OptimusSolo)

What can I say, this type of action film is simply not for me. Granted I had not seen any of the xXx films prior to this so perhaps my enjoyment would have been elevated had I come in with those experiences. In the end though, this comes across as just a minor league version of the Fast and the Furious franchise. The dialogue is laughable, the action is at some points incredible and in other points incredibly unbelievable. The acting is also all over the place. If you like dumb action, the Fast and the Furious or grew up a die hard x-games fan, than I am sure this will be one of the best films of the year for you. For me, it cemented the fact that I don’t need to ever visit the other films in this franchise from here on out.

Quick Take:
(By HardCandiMandi)

Xander Cage is back in action in this heart pumping, high stakes thrill ride. Loved the feel of the action, loved how true it stayed to the feel of the original. Vin Diesel is truly in his element here and meshed well with the xXx newcomers. I also loved the cameos and the comradery. Over all a solid film that knew what it was.


 

Patriots Day

Release Date: 1-13-2017 (Wide Release)
Director: Peter Berg
Genre: Drama/Thriller

Quick Take:
(By OptimusSolo)

Patriots Day had a few things going for it right off the bat and biggest amongst those was the inherent emotional cord that it would strike for any American. A lot of people may have been aware of the event depicted surrounding the Boston Marathon bombing but how many new any of the intricate details involved in that story? The film was well put together, well directed and well acted. Some people may have a problem with the fictitious character, played by Mark Wahlberg, being inserted into the story, and while I didn’t have a problem with it on the surface, it does lead to some parts of the film coming across as very manufactured and disingenuous. You also may have a tiny problem in your hands if your closing credits which showed the real life people involved in this event is more emotional than anything you had in the main part of your film. Overall, a solid film that I would recommend to just about anyone.

Quick Take:
(By HardCandiMandi)

I didn’t know what to expect from a film about such a tragic event except that I knew I would be bawling at some point, if not during the entirety of the movie. I think it did a wonderful job portraying this event and gave great insight as to the autrocities these people went through. I was inspired by the people of Boston and completely heart broken for their loss at the same time.


Split

Release Date: 1-20-2017 (Wide Release)
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Genre: Pyschological/Horror/Thriller

Quick Take:
(By OptimusSolo)

M. Night Shyamalan has been hit or miss for me over his career with really only one film (The Sixth Sense) really standing tall amongst his filmography. That being said, Split worked for me on almost every level. I thought it did a great job of balancing the horror and the thriller aspects it included. James McAvoy was outstanding and deserves recognition for his performance here that will sadly most likely be forgotten by awards season next winter. I wasn’t sure I was a fan with the supernatural turn it took towards the end but the insane cameo in the final minutes fixed any problems I may have had with that. This may be my second favorite Shyamalan film overall.

Quick Take:
(By HardCandiMandi)

I had high hopes for this most recent M. Night masterpiece, only to be seriously let down. I was left wanting more. There was little showcasing of the multiple personalities and a weirdly religious motivation caused some serious disappointment with me. The film was only redeemed by the last 3 minutes of the film and it was so mind blowing that I was able to fight the distaste left by my hatred of the back story of the main character among several other flaws.


John Wick: Chapter 2

Release Date: 2-10-2017 (Wide Release)
Director: Chad Stahelski
Genre: Action

Quick Take:
(By OptimusSolo)

I was hoping that the second chapter in this franchise would give us everything we loved in the first film without trying to up the ante like so many sequels mistakingly do but also give us a little more of a glimpse into the world that the first film so expertly crafted. I was not disappointed. Although it did go the typical route and just take the action to another location as we often see in franchises, it never felt artificial like it does in those films. It gave us more crazy, intense and UNIQUE action sequences without ever numbing our senses to the violence or the quick pace. It also gave us more Ian McShane which is probably my favorite character in the series which is obviously a plus for me.  It may be hard for any film to take the mantle from John Wick as the best action flick we see in 2017.

Quick Take:
(By HardCandiMandi)

So glad to see John Wick again in all his gun blazing glory. The ass kickery and action were everything I’ve ever wanted. The world we glimpsed in the first installment was much more fleshed out and I loved seeing more of this crazy cool society John Wick operates in.


 

A Cure For Wellness

Release Date: 2-17-2017 (Wide Release)
Director: Gore Verbinski
Genre: Horror/Thriller

Quick Take:
(By OptimusSolo)

A Cure for Wellness had all the potential to be one of the best films of the first half of the year. Unfortunately the film could not decide exactly what type of film it wanted to be. At an almost 2.5 hour run time, I was not expecting to be on the edge of my seat as much as I was during the first half of this film. There was just the right amount of mystery and mind games going on that I was hooked to see where this all went. Unfortunately it decided to go down a route I would have advised against and threw out everything it had been setting up to turn itself into a completely different film in the final act. There is still enough uniqueness and visually breathtaking elements to make this a movie that is still worth watching. Just be prepared, as half of you most likely will be either turned off of angry with the film’s final sequences.

Quick Take:
(By HardCandiMandi)

My love of horror and fandom of Dane Dehaan brought me all in for this film only to be left with some serious heebie jeebies. It had mad potential in its premise until we find out the motivation behind the actions of our main villain, then I was completely taken out of the film. The sub-plot could definitely have been removed and it would have left an outstanding horror flick with extreme visuals and a feeling of well earned discomfort. Instead I had a feeling of the creeps in a much different, and unwanted, way than I had expected.


The Great Wall

Release Date: 2-17-2017 (Wide Release)
Director: Zhang Yimou
Genre: Fantasy

Quick Take:
(By OptimusSolo)

The marketing and the trailers for this film did not do it any favors when it came to my experience with this film. I’m pretty sure that in the fantasy realm, the ultimate worst thing you could possibly do is tease us and hint to us that we will see dragons, and never give us dragons. This film is just the slightest tick above things like Pompeii and Legend of Hercules (the one starring Kellen Lutz NOT the one starring The Rock!) from recent years. Really the only thing redeeming in this film is the fantastic use of color in the costuming and makes for some visually stunning moments. If you aren’t into costuming or visuals, I would stay away from this one.

Quick Take:
(By HardCandiMandi)

Matt Damon seriously screwed up by choosing this film over Manchester by the Sea. I have no idea why he read this script and was like “Yes! This One!” The monsters were not what I expected, but the visuals were still solid. Nice use of color and some great costuming but the story fell flat. Even the humor and the action couldn’t make this rise above. The A-Listers here as well as the potential in some of the characters was extremely wasted as was my time in watching this.


Get Out

Release Date: 2-24-2017 (Wide Release)
Director: Jordan Peele
Genre: Comedy/Horror

Quick Take:
(By OptimusSolo)

This film scores higher than any other film for this edition of Monthly Movie Round-up for me. Jordan Peele surprised the world with how well he directed in his feature debut here. The film so expertly balances the humor, the pyshcological aspects, and the horror. I think it provides excellent and much needed racial commentary for today’s world and it also gives us some incredible performances from Daniel Kaluuya and Allison Williams. This is a film that will not be forgotten come the end of the year as people formulate their best films of the year. It is a film that can just be enjoyed for being an entertaining horror film or a film that spawns multiple conversations and keeps you thinking about it again and again in the days and weeks after viewing.

Quick Take:
(By HardCandiMandi)

As much as I disliked the underlying commentary on racism for its heavy handedness, I thought this film was original and had a twist I definitely did not see coming. Solid watch!


Justice League Dark

Release Date: 2-7-2017 (Video Release)
Director: Jay Oliva
Genre: Superhero

Quick Take:
(By MovieRevolt Dan)

 By utilizing underused characters and putting together a solid voice talent team Justice League Dark is an improvement over more recent Justice League films like Throne of Atlantis. However, with an overall narrative that is sorely lacking a compelling antagonist it does come off as long way to go to get to a basic Justice League story. Easily the best part of the film is the voice performance of Matt Ryan as Constantine. With his show sadly canceled it is great seeing or in this case hearing him play that role, and his back and forth with Jason O’Mara’s Batman gave the film some if its best moments.

Quick Take:
(By OptimusSolo)

I come to this film with very little experience with the animated section of the DC universe. I did see last year’s The Killing Joke though and this film was far superior to that one. I loved the exposure that some of the lesser known characters in this world received and it generally made me more interested to seek out more stories surrounding them. It was a welcome change to the same old Superman/Batman stories I’ve seen in the past. The voice work was great in this one especially from Matt Ryan (Constantine), Jason O’Mara (Batman) and Alfred Molina (Destiny). Although the Destiny plot line was very similar to something like what we got with Apocalypse in last years X-Men: Apocalypse, I thought it was done better here. I enjoyed the twists and turns that took us from Boston to Constantine to Faust and to Destiny. I also really liked the Jason Blood/Etrigan character(s). I also thought the film made a decent use of the ‘R’ Rating The Killing Joke almost solidified for me why I don’t watch these DC animated videos but I decided to give them one more change with Justice League Dark and I am glad that I did.

Quick Take:
(By HardCandiMandi)

Super cool seeing animated Constantine. Some great action and a pretty solid story line. Could have used a bit more to actually warrant the ‘R’ rating but still enjoyable. Didn’t see much of the Justice League but their look and costuming was legit. Overall a fun watch.

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