Friday, March 3, 2017

"Logan" Film Review

"Logan" is the bittersweet end to Hugh Jackman's career as Wolverine.

The film depicts Logan as a broken man amidst a world that he feels ostracized from. When presented with a young mutant with some striking similarities, Logan chooses to embark on a violence-filled trek as he comes out of retirement to be a hero one more time.

Logan is the most violent film in recent memory, and the film holds nothing back in its action sequences. From gunshots to impaling claws, this movie is not for the weak-stomached. The action choreography deserves nothing but praise, but viewers should be mindful of the violence the movie contains before purchasing their tickets.

The story does a great job of bringing Logan's 17-year character arc to a close. Jackman first portrayed Wolverine in 2000's X-Men, and since, he has become a fan favorite among followers of the superhero movie genre.

Patrick Stewart and Dafne Keen play standout supporting roles, and Boyd Holbrook plays a charismatic villain, not dissimilar from the villainous charisma displayed by Negan on "The Walking Dead."

"Logan" is absolutely worth checking out, but be warned that the violence and language in this movie are both brutal. This is NOT a family film, and it certainly is not a film to take young children to.

"Logan" hits theaters Friday, March 3rd, 2017.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Secret Life of Pets Review - 4/5 Stars

I had high hopes for this film, and it really lived up to my expectations. There have been tons of animated animal movies, but the presentation The Secret Life of Pets offers gives the viewer a fresh spin on the animal movie genre.

The movie will resonate well with pet owners both past and present due to the humorous and light-hearted take the film uses to present its characters. Almost every type of domesticated pet has a role in this film to one degree or another, and the pacing was well-set for a kids movie. The humor is well-written and not overdone while the story is clear and straight forward (with some surprising twists along the way.)

This film will be of interest to audiences of all ages, and I would highly recommend it on the basis of its clever writing, it's star-studded voice cast, and it's lighthearted tone. Definitely go check this one out!

“Ringo’s Riot at the Ryman!” Review

“Ringo’s Riot at the Ryman!” 

On June 18th, 2016, Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band rocked the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. Ringo sold-out two shows over the weekend, and he and his band were full of energy, enthusiasm, and excitement to be in Music City.

Ringo has not played Nashville since 2012, where he and his band recorded the smash hit DVD “Ringo at the Ryman,” and the audience welcomed him back with cheers and applause all night long. At age 75, Ringo showed no signs of his age as he danced, sang, and played drums throughout the evening.

"Ringo’s All-Starr Band” has kept a steady line-up over the past five years, which is comprised of Steve Lukather (Toto), Gregg Rollie (Santana), Richard Page (Mr. Mister), Warren Ham (Olivia Newton-John), Gregg Bissonette (David Lee Roth, Electric Light Orchestra), and Todd Rundgren. Each of the band members expressed their admiration and excitement to be performing in Nashville, and more specifically, to be at The Ryman.

The band’s setlist was jam-packed with everyone’s favorite hits, too!
It Don't Come Easy
What Goes On
I Saw the Light
Evil Ways
Bang the Drum All Day
Don't Pass Me By
Yellow Submarine
Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen
You're Sixteen
I'm the Greatest
You Are Mine
Oye como va
I Wanna Be Your Man
Love Is the Answer
Broken Wings
Hold the Line
Act Naturally
With a Little Help From My Friends

Ringo’s weekend at the Ryman was undoubtedly a memorable one, and fans of all ages were thrilled to say they have seen a Beatle perform live. 

Ringo’s return to Nashville is already anticipated by many, and we cannot wait to welcome him back to Music City!


Finding Dory review - 8/10 stars

Finding Dory is Pixar's latest film and a sequel to the 2003 film Finding Nemo, which has since become a classic among Pixar's films. That said, Finding Dory was guaranteed a wide appeal but was also burdened with delivering a solid film without feeling too much like a "repeat."

The film was animated beautifully, using unique shots of light traveling through water and the physics of the underwater world to introduce unique backgrounds and settings. I felt the animation itself was one of its strong points of this film, as it felt totally different from other recent animated films. Consider the fact that 71% of our planet Earth is made up of water, and yet we know so little about it. It is also true that we rarely see films taking place almost entirely underwater, so the setting of Finding Dory was refreshing in that sense as well.

The story was classic Pixar, interesting the viewer right off the bat while pulling on your heartstrings at just the right places thought the film. The characters were lovable and the dialogue was cute, funny and understandable for all audiences of all ages. 

My only real complaint with this film was the pacing. The pacing seemed like a roller coaster, which is understandable to keep kids' attention, but clearly isn't necessary compared to past Disney films. Consider Cars or Wall-E, both of which gradually built up to the climax, where as Finding Dory rapidly approaches the climax. There were some points of the film that felt a little too similar to Finding Nemo, but I went in expecting this considering how similar the plots were.

All-in-all, Finding Dory is a fun film suitable for all ages. I would definitely recommend seeing it, especially if you were a fan of Finding Nemo!

X-Men: Apocalpyse - 3/5 Stars

X-Men: Apocalypse was a fun movie, but long-time fans will enjoy it more than newcomers. The film relies a good bit on past knowledge of the stories and characters in the X-Men franchise, and although there is a fair amount of exposition to catch up folks who are new, the "wow factor" of this film is mainly derived from the viewer's connection to these characters from the past several films.

Cinematically, the film is shot wonderfully (especially during the first half of the film.) Several of the film's scenes, especially those set in ancient Egypt, use warm tones and interesting camera angles to make viewer feel the emotion and essence of the scenes portrayed. Ironically, the film doesn't really find its feet until about halfway through, but by this point, the film already started to feel long and drawn-out. The pacing was odd and seemed to have trouble finding its own rhythm, because there would be a serious heart-touching scene with a hard cut to a fast action scene, then filler, then more action. The film wrapped itself up nicely, bid not without faltering a bit with its own pace.

X-Men: Apocalypse did a great job of utilizing its setting in the 1980's, but sometimes, it felt forced. Particularly, in the soundtrack it seems, the film had trouble using its music to convey feeling. The score was beautiful, and really helped build action scenes or passion scenes, but the soundtrack songs chosen felt like cheesy grabs to blatantly say "Hey! We're in the 80's!"

Overall, superhero and action movie fans alike will find this movie as a fun ride, but casual movie-goers may feel differently. I would highly recommend seeing this film for its creative cinematic approach alone, as well as its great action choreography.


The Monkees have a new single out which was written by Weezer's Rivers Cuomo. Anyone who knows me knows I love the Monkees and I love Weezer, so this is like a dream come true!

Lyrically, I think this tune leaves a lot to be desired, but the music and production more than make up for this. "She Makes Me Laugh" is a perfect encapsulation of the "60's sound," which so often evokes nostalgia and warm feelings from its listeners. 

Well done Monkees and Rivers Cuomo, well done.