I never really got into the original "Predator" from 1987. I rented it to see future governors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jesse Ventura together, and essentially tuned out once Ventura was eliminated after very little communication with Schwarzenegger (see "The Running Man", also from 1987, if you want to see the two interact in a meaningful way i.e., fight to the death). But I did retain that the Predator is a space alien that hunts humans for sport and has dreadlocks for some reason.
My last two roommates have complained about me having an annoying habit: walking around our apartment in my socks, not making a sound, and scaring the... let's say "daylights" out of them when I enter a shared room like the kitchen. There's no good reason for them to be scared - it's just little ol' me - and I'm in no way trying to time my entrance so that it scares them, but it's just human nature to jump a mile in their air when something pops up unexpectedly.
Labor Day weekend is notoriously bad for the box office. Not just bad in relation to other holiday weekends, but bad in relation to other weekends, period. Here were the top four movies this past weekend, in order: the third weekend of "Crazy Rich Asians", the fourth weekend of "The Meg", the sixth weekend of "Mission Impossible - Fallout", and then and only then did we get a new release in fourth place with "Operation Finale".
There's a pop culture entity that can be seen right now that features foulmouthed puppets doing risque things and is an absolute blast for anyone mature enough to handle it. I'm speaking, of course, about "Avenue Q", the Tony-winning musical of consistent popularity that has been playing in New York since 2003. There's also a new movie called "The Happytime Murders" that features foulmouthed puppets doing risque things.
For about a year now, I've been hearing about the impending release of "Crazy Rich Asians." I tried to get into an advance screening last week, but it was sold out on two screens. I was almost shut out of a Wednesday screening this week, but I was able to get one of about a dozen remaining seats with over 90 minutes until showtime. Clearly this was going to be an event movie, and since I knew it was based on a series of books, I likened it to "The Hunger Games" or "Twilight".
Early on in "The Meg", it occurred to me that sharks just aren't very scary. I don't mean this movie's shark (although some unconvincing CGI doesn't help), but all sharks. Their teeth are always so small in proportion to the rest of their mouths that they don't register the way they're supposed to, and their eyes and faces perpetually have this expression that tells me they're just minding their own business.
Sometimes it's best just to stay in one's comfort zone. Believe me, I know all the counterarguments: "Playing it safe is boring," "You'll never get anywhere if you don't push yourself" and of course, "No risk, no reward." "Christopher Robin" takes a risk by taking Winnie the Pooh and his friends out of their familiar setting of the Hundred-Acre Wood and transporting them to the real world. And the whole time I couldn't stop thinking that the characters should have just stayed in the Wood.
Like any proper franchise, "Mission: Impossible" has to up the ante with each new installment. This concept means different things to different people. Maybe it means that Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his team are up against their most diabolical villain yet. Maybe it means their challenge is the hardest-to-crack yet. But "Mission: Impossible - Fallout" knows that what the majority of fans want is the best action yet.
Two new releases topped the box office this past weekend with approximately $35 million. I've decided to review both.
"Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again"
I'm not terribly familiar with the ABBA songbook. I know about "Dancing Queen" and of course the title song, but otherwise I just think of ABBA as that one band from Sweden that isn't Europe (they of "The Final Countdown"). But apparently we didn't get enough ABBA in 2008's "Mamma Mia!" so we're getting this sequel to meet... demand?
I did not care for the first two "Hotel Transylvania" movies. Basically I felt that Adam Sandler's style of humor had run its course, and even doing something as unique as applying it to animated monster movies couldn't make it interesting again. Both films got a One and a Half Star rating out of me (the equivalent of a C- now that I use letter grades) and I remember seriously considering giving One Star to the second film. So "Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation" was one of the least-anticipated viewings on my summer watchlist.