I have been slacking so, I am going to kill three birds with one stone and post my reviews of all three of the most recent films I have seen recently, Mad Max: Fury Road, Pitch Perfect 2 and Tomorrowland.
Let us start with Mad Max: Fury Road. This movie was a visual feast in every sense of the word. The visuals in this film from the direction and cinematography down to the visual effects were spectacular. The director George Miller wonderfully captures a barren desert post-apocalyptic wasteland and makes it look so beautiful that you sit and think to yourself “I want to go there”. The effects were mostly practical, used stuntmen, actually flipped cars, etc. which was a nice a change from the CG overload in visual effects over the last 10-15 years. There is some CG, there are two scenes in particular I can point to where there would have to at least some CG implemented or you could not capture them. Without spoiling anything in the film (it has only been out one week, and I did not want to sit on this for another week) the sandstorm scene and the last big stunt of the film had to have some CG. Other than those scenes, I am sure there is a little CG sprinkled in somewhere, but CG and practical are blended so well that you do not notice it. There was nothing particular that I did not like about the film so it stands at 5/5.
Now Pitch Perfect 2, I was looking forward to this one because I enjoyed the first movie. In Pitch Perfect 2 Elizabeth Banks delivers an excellent sequel. The highlights were that just about every type of comedy is highlighted in the film. There are slapstick gags, witty jokes, gross-out gags, etc. The jokes, at least tonally, kind of feel like an R-rated comedy. The main difference being that it makes these jokes without crossing that line into an R comedy and without having the punch line being fuck you. This is refreshing because much like the CG overload, the past few years (save Pitch Perfect) have been having been void of non-R rated non-Pixar comedies that have been of any real quality. The weakness in this film was the scripting, not the writing, in general, the scripting. The whole film felt like a series of subplots, even the main plot had enough layers in it to turn it into making it a subplot. The subplot between Anna Kendrick and Keegan-Michael Key should have been fleshed out more and turned into the main plot, while the main plot could have been condensed some, and turned into a subplot. The Kendrick and Key plot was the more exciting plot and Key was fantastic. 3.6/5.
Tomorrowland, one part sci-fi action/adventure, one part comedy, one part message of environmentalism, what exactly this film wanted to be was all over the place. It was good, it was not great, and considering the talent involved in the movie, Brad Bird, George Clooney, etc. I like many others had high expectations for this film. For their part I thought Clooney was great in the movie and Bird directed it well, so they met my expectations, the rest of the film, however, did not. The biggest problem with the movie was that the message of the film grows more explicit as the film goes on. I got it when it was implicitly stated; making it clearer took me right out of it. And that the film spends very little time in Tomorrowland, and it should have explored it more, and kept it shrouded in mystery just a bit longer. Still it is a solid 3/5, good but not great.