In this sequel to 2013’s surprise hit, infamous magician thieves “The Four Horsemen” are back, this time hired by a double-dealing Daniel Radcliffe to steal back a piece of high powered tech he developed and lost to his former business partner.
We Said: “So many moving parts makes the plot ungainly, and more difficult to control precisely. The timing is off. Feints are telegraphed. Seams come loose. An offhand line suggests a character knows more than they logically should at that point. Is it a clue? No, just a sloppy point in the script.” Rating: 2 out of 5
The Good: Big and mindless and silly, Now You See Me 2 was exactly the kind of summer fun I wanted. I enjoyed the first film in the series, and had fun seeing the characters and ideas continue in this second installment. I also appreciated the added presence of Lizzy Caplan, taking over Isla Fisher’s role as “the girl Horseman.” No disrespect to Ms. Fisher, but I’ve always enjoyed Lizzy Caplan’s screen presence, and was happy to see her in another comedic role. Daniel Radcliffe also really shines as the villain of the film. I honestly don't think it's possible to dislike that man. Overall, if you don’t think to hard about it, Now You See Me 2 can be pretty fun.
The Bad: Okay, so it’s not especially “good” by conventional standards. There a plot holes left and right, the effects are loud and dumb, most of the actors don’t seem to care about this movie at all, and as a sequel, it only serves to muddy up the already iffy plot-line of the series so far. This is an incredibly silly movie that actually thinks it’s being clever a lot of the time. It’s a real mess.
Overall: While I hate the phrase “turn-your-brain-off-movie”, that might just be the best way to describe Now You See Me 2. However, if you can manage to ignore the little voice in your head telling you that movies should make sense, you might just have a fun time watching this movie.
In this topical, Jodie Foster directed thriller, George Clooney stars as the eccentric host of an financial talk show, who is held hostage live on the air by an angry young man who feels his life was ruined after following Clooney’s bad financial advice.
We Said: “Whatever Money Monster has to say about our corrupt finance system is mostly lost to genre conventions, but the cast and Foster's direction make it a film worth investing a little time in.” Rating: 3 out of 5
The Good: This is a very interesting movie for the amount of ground it tries to cover. This is both an intense action thriller, and a quiet, psychological thriller about our current political climate. It’s fun when in some scenes and dramatic in others, and both are interesting to watch. It’s an interesting idea to center the movie around a real-time TV broadcast, and director Foster handles that pretty well most of the time. The cast is great. Jack O’Connell gives yet another great performance, and George Clooney is always likable. Most of the time Money Monster is a pretty good, tense thriller.
The Bad: Like I mentioned above, the movie tries for many different tones and many different styles, and it doesn’t always blend. One minute we’re in an intense, character driven, two person scene about the horrors of the economic collapse, the next scene is a big high stakes action scene with a bomb strapped to George Clooney’s chest in Times Square. Both moments are fun. Both moments work. The problem is that they don’t work together, so the movie feels disjointed. Is it serious or is it fun? The movie seems to think it can have it both ways. A lot of the time we’re left with a melodramatic take on what could have a been a brilliant concept for a film.
Overall: Money Monster, much like Now You See Me 2 above it, is yet another kind of silly movie that thinks it’s way smarter than it is. There are great performances and interesting ideas, but they don’t always mix together as well as they could have. Money Monster is pretty good.
Bill Engvall stars as the mysterious neighbor of a young couple on the run from the law in this new direct-to-DVD thriller from Anchor Bay. How much does he know? Can he be trusted? Spookiness ensues.
We Said: "While the visuals, editing, and performances are all strong, none of them are able to make the poorly structured script exciting. The Neighbor is a rather unexciting thriller." Rating: 2 out of 5
You can view our full review HERE!
The Good: The Neighbor has some pretty solid performances and moments of well executed suspense peppered throughout its run-time. It’s also considerably less graphic than one would expect considering director Marcus Dunstran’s previous work in the torture-porn genre, which was a big plus for me. Psychological and slow burning, The Neighbor is surprisingly heady.
The Bad: The film certainly takes its time to get going, and for a horror movie, is very light on scares. The characters are not especially likable, and the plot structure is kind of all over the place. It’s kind of a mess.
Overall: It could have been better, but it could have been worse. Overall it was just a different kind of movie than expected. Maybe if you go into it anticipating a kind of slow moving, character based drama, with suspenseful moments scattered about, you’d walk away having enjoyed it for what it is. Ultimately, I found The Neighbor to be a little disappointing.