New to Home Video: November 22nd 2016
War Dogs - General Synopsis
Efraim Diveroli (Jonah Hill) and David Packouz (Miles Teller) discover that small businesses are allowed to bid on U.S. Military Contracts. Then, the two start making tons of money by delivering guns to Afghanistan in the middle of the Iraq War. This movie tells the true story of how two men in their twenties, took advantage of a United States government policy and putting their lives at great risk in order to make a ton of money.
War Dogs - Recommendation
I think my biggest criticism of War Dogs would be the false advertising. Most of the trailer gives the impression that this is a comedic take on a true story. Which is not that crazy considering the ridiculous premise that happens to be true. The trailers lead you to believe that this will have The Hangover style of comedy with way better action. It isn't, it just isn't. This would be absolutely fine if the trailers didn't give that vibe. Anyway, this was my biggest complaint for War Dogs, so my biggest word of advice would be to not expect a comedy with this movie.
This is a slower paced, drama set to a war theme. It has both suspense and intensity. The actors are great (specifically Jonah Hill) and the chemistry between Jonah Hill and Miles Teller feels natural. I really enjoyed watching this story unfold and learning about the true events that transpire, even if it was a loose movie translation. Looking past the false advertising issue, there is a good movie here. I would definitely recommend renting this movie, but I do not think it is worth adding to your home video collection.
Kubo and the Two Strings - General Synopsis
Kubo (Art Parkinson) lives in peace until, one day, a vengeful spirit from the past comes for him. He must then fight his way through all sorts of powerful beings and creatures using his magical instrument while on a quest to find his father's old samurai suit which will help him defend himself. Along the way, Kubo meets Monkey (Charlize Theron) and Beetle (Matthew McConaughey) who help him on his journey to find his late father's armor, and find answers regarding his father's death.
Kubo and the Two Strings - Recommendation
Kubo and the Two Strings is a good movie. There's no way around it and it means a lot for me to say so. It is filmed using stop motion animation which I normally can not stand. I don't think stop motion animation looks nearly as good or as neat as digital animation. I think it looks way more sloppy and while I agree that the method takes an incredible level of patience and an incredible attention to detail, it doesn't change the fact that the end result does not look as great as it could.
Anyway, we have made it through my rant on stop motion animation so, for that, we should be grateful. Getting past the chosen animation style, Kubo and the Two Strings is a good movie. It has a fresh and interesting story, and no notable plot issues. It is a fun kids movie with mystical action and deals with the concept of losing a parent. It has colorful and entertaining side characters in Monkey and Beetle voiced by Charlize Theron and Matthew McConaughey respectively. Going into the movie I thought these two were poor choices for these roles and were examples of white washing, but I thought they both did a great job voicing these characters.
If you have children then I believe this is a must buy, get it now, add it to a child's holiday gift list, how you do it doesn't matter. This movie is a must for any families' home video collection. It's also a movie to watch out for come oscar season.
Hell or High Water - General Synopsis
A single father (Chris Pine) and his ex-con brother (Ben Foster) learn that a bank is about to foreclose on their family ranch. In an effort to save their ranch, the two brothers devise a set of heists to rob the bank. Meanwhile, a soon to be retired Texas Ranger (Jeff Bridges) is hot on their trail to put an end to these robberies. The two sides will come to a head as the brothers plan their final heist.
Hell or High Water - Recommendation
I had not heard much about Hell or High Water before going in to see the movie, and I ended up being kind of blown away. This was a fantastic movie. It has a bit of a slow burn as it is setting up the world, the brothers and the Texas Ranger. However, the slow burn for Hell or High Water pays off in a huge way, as the end is truly compelling and truly satisfying filmmaking.
The acting in Hell or High Water was incredible. Chris Pine delivers, possibly, his best performance in an already talented career. Jeff Bridges does what Jeff Bridges has done in so many movies which is give an expectedly great performance. Now that I've credited and complimented both Chris Pine and Jeff Bridges, I need to address Ben Foster. His performance in Hell or High Water, blew me away. It was easily one of the best performances in 2016 and if Ben Foster is not nominated for best actor or best supporting actor (whichever they consider this role to be) at the Oscars, it will be an absolute travesty.
Not only is Hell or High Water an Oscar contender, I think it is an Oscar front runne. Again, it has a bit of a slow burn, but the acting gets you through it and the movie really delivers on the slow burn in the end. I definitely recommend adding Hell or High Water to your home video collection.
Mechanic: Resurrection - General Synopsis
The Mechanic: Resurrection is the sequel to The Mechanic (2011) starring Jason Statham as Arthur Bishop. Bishop is a master assassin, specializing in making his kills look like accidents. He decides to fake his own life and live a peaceful, normal life but his past eventually catches up with him. A man tells Bishop that if he wants to be left alone and live a normal life, he will have to take out three "impossible" targets. While on the run he meets Gina (Jessica Alba) and forms an unlikely ally in her. However the man searching for Bishop eventually finds them, kidnaps Gina and says that if Bishop does not cooperate, she will be killed.
Mechanic: Resurrection - Recommendation
Alright now The Mechanic: Resurrection was not great and it certainly was not as good as it's predecessor, The Mechanic (2011). The original had an interesting enough plot BECAUSE it was original. The Mechanic: Resurrection needed a more compelling story and instead, it was less compelling. The action in both movies was great so if your only requirement for both movies is for Jason Statham to be kicking ass, then these movies are for you. If you want more than that, then being as generous as possible with my words, The Mechanic (2011) was good. The Mechanic: Resurrection did not live up to it.
My recommendation is to see The Mechanic (2011) first. I don't say this for plot reasons, it is just the better movie and will give you an idea of what the sequel is like. If you love the first one, go ahead and watch The Mechanic: Resurrection. If you don't like the original, stay away from this one. I do not recommend adding this to your home video collection.
Yoga Hosers - General Synopsis
Two teenage girls (Lily-Rose Depp and Harley Quinn Smith) are best friends in Canada, doing yoga and spending most of their time on their phones. When the girls are invited to a Senior party, they discover an ancient evil in the form of deadly Nazi sausages. Yes, I will repeat myself to be perfectly clear, deadly Nazi sausages. Now the girls must team up with legendary man-hunter (Johnny Depp) to battle the deadly Nazi sausages.
Yoga Hosers - Recommendation
So this movie is weird. I think what I liked most about it was the notion that it was directed by Kevin Smith, starring his daughter (Harley Quinn Smith). It also has a side role in Johnny Depp, and the other co-star of the film is HIS daughter Lily-Rose Depp. We have two fathers in the film industry working with (but not overshadowing) their daughters. That's cool to me as it doesn't feel as forced as when Jaden Smith starred in After Earth. The demographic for this movie is very specific. Basically if you are in your low-mid teens AND like Kevin Smiths style and sense of humor then this movie is for you. Otherwise, you will find this movie to be too bizarre or too unrelatable.
Overall I didn't think this movie was terrible, but it certainly wasn't for me. So due to the extremely specific demographic, I cannot recommend adding this movie to your home video collection.