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Movie Reviews

Quick Hitters Vol. 1

Scott Tennant May 11, 2016
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I’m always expanding my TV and movie horizons, and as much fun as Good Luck Chuck is, sometimes I like to talk about the fun stuff I’m watching. This will be a periodic article series that I (and maybe Max will get in on too) will just briefly talk about some stuff I’ve been watching. Let us know in the comments if you would like to hear more detailed thoughts on any of these and we can discuss them on the show or maybe with a full length review!
Keanu
Keanu is a fun action comedy that heavily leverages its comedy duo (Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele) for a solid and fun flick. The has moved on from its wildly popular sketch comedy show Key & Peele and brought director Peter Atencio with them. The familiar crew here means that you know what to expect when you sit down in the theaters; if you liked Key & Peele, you will like Keanu. This film has a lot going for it with lots of good jokes and really fun characters. Method Man, Luis Guzman, and more make appearances and nail their comedic roles. Also, Keanu is absolutely adorable, and during one scene where a character is hallucinating, has dialogue voiced by Keanu Reeves himself. This is the kind of movie where you know what you are going to get and if you like that brand of humor you will really enjoy it. If you are not into the Key & Peele dynamic, maybe try streaming/renting this one.

Grade: B-

Daredevil Season 2
Daredevil‘s second season on Netflix continues growing on the excellent framework that season one laid and improves upon it in many ways. One of the things that I was most happy about was that Matt Murdock’s supporting cast had a much more significant and powerful role in this season; Foggy and Karen were critical at times during the season and showed more range than they had to in season one. This season also marks the debut of Jon Bernthal’s version of The Punisher, a character I am sure we will see more of because he was stellar. The Punisher and Daredevil have an interplay that is very absorbing and interesting to watch unfold. This season continues season one’s hallmark of great action scenes and there are a few in this season that are just breathtaking. My only complaints with season two are that it lacks focus compared to season one, and jumps around a lot. A more focused direction episode-to-episode (especially in the middle third of the season) would have made it a smoother watch in my opinion. It is still a stellar show though, and I look forward to more of The Defenders on Netflix.

Grade: B+

Zodiac
David Fincher’s Zodiac has been on my list to watch for quite a while and I finally was able to watch it and I am kicking myself for not getting around to it earlier. This is exactly the kind of movie I love; it’s a crazy mystery all wrapped up in a 60s/70s period piece, and with Fincher’s direction, it builds an unsettling sense of dread throughout. Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, and Robert Downey Jr. all turn in great performances here and serve as the vehicles through which we see he action unfold. Honestly this is one of the best movies I have seen in a while, it was expertly paced and tense throughout. There is not a lot of action in the movie, but this is the type of movie that can thrive without it with great acting to power through a long runtime, and make it fly by. I personally think this may be David Fincher’s best work (he’s one of my favorite directors) as it is a masterclass of editing, pacing, and storytelling.

Grade: A+


Flaked Season 1
Flaked is a bit of an odd show, and it never quite feels like it knows what it wants to do. Will Arnett is the executive producer and star of this 2015 Netflix show that isn’t funny enough to be a comedy, but isn’t deep enough to be a real drama. I pretty much could tell that this was the case through episode 3, but I still finished the season, and even I am perplexed as to why. I do enjoy Will Arnett, particularly as Gob in Arrested Development; he has a certain charisma, but his character here is charmless and hard to root for. It takes place in a sleepy old California town full of California oddballs, and I have always romanticized small towns like that. There is a semi-interesting mystery unfolding throughout the season, but you have to watch a lot of unlikable characters deal with their own troubles for no reason just so see that through, and then the end of the one mystery you do care about is a letdown. These are 30 minute episodes, so it’s not too much of an investment, but I still think your time is better spent elsewhere.

​Grade: C-


Deadpool
I held off of watching Deadpool for some time because the trailers made me think that the humor might not be for me. After it received rave reviews, I went to the only local theater still showing it when I had a couple hours to kill and am glad I did. The humor is consistently good throughout the whole movie; I was constantly laughing and grinning like an idiot with only a few jokes falling completely flat for me. Ryan Reynolds is dynamite as Deadpool here, and shows strong comedic chops that I did not know he had. The action here is plentiful and, while not spectacular, it does fine; this is the rare superhero film where the action is not the main focus of the movie. This truly is a comedy and it excels at being one. I am very happy to see that the R-rated Deadpool did so well, because movie studios have been so against making big R-rated films like this, the success of Deadpool hopefully will allow filmmakers to execute their vision for their movies, regardless of what rating it will get.

Grade: B+
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Scott (or Uncle Scootz) is a business analyst in Charlotte, NC. After graduating from Clemson University and enjoying some time in Atlanta, Scott has embraced the Queen City. He likes basketball, board games, Back to the Future, and his Baby Little Pug named Mickey. Yell at him on instagram at breakdown_scott!