‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales’ Film Review

Grade: B-

What is the threat Captain Jack Sparrow has to face this time around? Might I remind you that he fought Captain Barbossa and his crew of pirates to retrieve the Black Pearl in ‘The Curse of the Black Pearl’, found treasure containing a beating heart in ‘Dead Man’s Chest’, faced his inner madness and later fought Davy Jones in ‘At World’s End’, and went on a quest with former jilted flame (played by Penelope Cruz), and the ruthless Blackbeard in ‘On Stranger Tides’. Here, at first, he is nowhere to be seen until – 15 minutes in – he is found sleeping with a governor’s wife while napping off one of his drunken hangovers in a giant bank, which causes a funny chase that kicks off the fun, high-octane action that the series held on to for so many years. While that may not be the actual challenge Sparrow has to face, ‘Dead Men Tell No Tales’ seems to focus on the humor more than the quest written out for the heroes: Seeking out Poseidon’s ancient, all-powerful trident with the power to get rid of any curse placed on everyone, mostly pirate.

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‘Baywatch’ Film Review

Grade: D-

While Jeff Gordon’s ‘Baywatch’ tries to be a more ridiculous film adaptation of the popular TV guilty pleasure of the same name – which starred David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson (who each make brief- respective -cameos) – it barely feels like a comedy. One rule about turning a popular TV drama into a feature-length comedy reboot is to not take the material too seriously (Given that the show is famous for its use of slow-motion with Pamela Anderson jiggling her way through the beach with her bosoms, why would anyone?) and just have fun; It is the same rule which made the ‘Jump Street’ movies and ‘Starsky & Hutch’ work while leaving not only references to their respective source material, but saving the special surprise – which is the original actor cameo – for us to enjoy. ‘Baywatch’ does have the ingredients necessary for a good film adaptation of a successful TV show, but it feels like there is not much to work with, and we feel spoiled; Also, there is too much of a tonal inconsistency floating above the surface of ‘Baywatch’.

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‘Alien: Covenant’ Film Review

Grade: D

I’m not sure what to say about ‘Alien: Covenant’, but as far as I can remember, it is one of the most disappointing science-fiction movies since ‘Morgan’. Here’s a little fact! If you remember my review of last year’s ‘Morgan’, I mentioned how the director of that little film was Luke Scott, a.k.a Ridley Scott’s father. Why do I bring up this fact? Well, if you know the movies ‘Alien’ and ‘Prometheus’, then you know the name ‘Ridley Scott’. He has made acclaimed movies (‘Gladiator’, ‘Blade Runner’, ‘The Martian’), and he has made critically divisive movies (‘The Counselor’, ‘Exodus: Gods and Kings’). What Ridley Scott wanted to do was to capture the feeling audiences felt when watching ‘Alien’ for the first time, from its opening titles which fade in one by one to the ‘Alien’ theme by Jerry Goldsmith, to its plot which critics have felt was similar, while also serving as a sequel to the divisive ‘Prometheus’, which was a semi-prequel to ‘Alien’ that worked as a visually stunning stand-alone movie, but sadly feels like a video game more than a horror movie worthy of the ‘Alien’ name.

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‘Snatched’ Film Review

Grade: D+

Today, I saw that the theater was packed with groups of people. I know that it is Mother’s Day, but for a comedy with mixed to negative reviews starring Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn together, I was surprised. I was thinking that ‘Snatched’ was going to be a good time, especially seeing Hawn in a movie again after a 15 year hiatus. (her last film being ‘The Banger Sisters’ in 2002; an enjoyable movie where Hawn played a good role.) I did enjoy the way it looked and I did chuckle a lot, but some of the jokes in this comedy feel uncomfortable. The question being: How many people can we offend in an hour and forty-four minutes?

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‘Gifted’ Film Review

Grade: B-

Gifted Movie Poster

‘Gifted’ stars Chris Evans and Mckenna Grace as uncle and niece who give us, the audience, sweet moments of chemistry as Evans’ boat mechanic, Frank Adler, does everything to keep Grace’s stubborn, yet extremely intelligent Mary, happy. Whenever we see those moments (that only Fox Searchlight Pictures could show), we feel the heart and emotion shine through. Especially when we have to sit through scenes of courtroom drama that feel real.

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‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ Film Review

Grade: B

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Poster

I was excited for ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ after seeing the first major trailer which showed the original cast (including the likes of Chris Pratt, a green-skinned/sexy Zoe Saldana, an excitable Dave Bautista, a CGI-raccoon with Bradley Cooper’s close-to-Italian accent, and a tiny version of one of everyone’s favorite repetitive could-be annoyances in tree form.) doing some action/comedy exercises intercut with Sweet’s ‘Fox on the Run’. I was given more exciting action, humor, brightly colored footage compared to the first ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’s dimly lit cinematography, and excitement that thrilled me.

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