Archives for posts with tag: Chris Pratt

Grade B+

The Guardians Of The Galaxy are back in Vol. 2, which focuses on who and what the father of Chris Pratt (the leader of the “G.O.T.G.”) is.   On the run from petty, golden colored creatures, the Guardians run into a man (played by Kurt Russell) who saves them and explains to them that he is a Celestial being — basically a god, virtually immortal with great powers.  Pratt, always wanting to know who his father was and why he was abandoned, now has an answer to his questions, as well as someone he can yell at for being an absentee father.

It isn’t long before father and son hit it off; but Russell hides a secret that may rip the Guardians apart and destroy the Universe.   As if that wasn’t bad enough, the golden colored creatures and other assorted enemies make their appearances at all the wrong moments.

My most memorable, movie moment of “Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2” is the scene when a major character makes the ultimate sacrifice to save a loved one.   It almost brought a tear to my eye.

If you loved “Guardians Of The Galaxy,” you will like this sequel.  It comes close to reaching the quality of the first, but comes up a bit short.  The jokes are more numerous but some feel forced and aren’t that funny.  Some of the action sequences also feel too cartoony; but overall I very much enjoyed “G.O.T.G. Vol. 2” with its irreverent humor, nods to the 1980s, and sentiments to family and friendship.

— M


Grade B

Director Antoine Fuqua teams up again with Denzel Washington to remake “The Magnificent Seven,” a story of farmers and miners who are being forced out by a rich, vicious gold miner (played by Peter Sarsgaard).  Those who take Sarsgaard’s deal are given the short end of the stick; those who refuse the deal will wish they had taken the deal.   But a handful take an alternative route: hire their own gunmen to fight Sarsgaard and his henchmen.

The townspeople end up with seven hired men: a peace officer extremely fast with a pistol; a sneaky gambler who likes to use magic to get the upper hand on his enemies; a notorious killer; a sharpshooter; an Asian who is fast with guns and knives; a legendary tracker; and a Native American deadly with a longbow.  Seven against a hundred.  But the seven have an edge…they have time to fortify the town and set up their defenses; and they have dozens of civilians at their disposal to train and help in the upcoming fight.  The good guys are confident of their chances to win; unfortunately, Sarsgaard has his own surprise for the seven and the rest of the townsfolk.

My most memorable, movie moment of “The Magnificent Seven” is the scene when Sargaard brings out a Gatling Gun (an early machine-gun) to bring hell to those who dared oppose him.  This scene gives a major wow factor, and it also gives its biggest shenanigan.  Why did Sarsgaard wait until his men were getting their asses kicked to bring out his special weapon?  Also, at the range the Gatling Gun was used for in this movie, I wonder how effective the bullets would have been once they reach the town.

The Western movie, as far as I know, is an art form originally created in America.  As long as entertaining movies such as “The Magnificent Seven” keep getting made every few years, this American art form will never die.

— M

Fourth in the “Jurassic Park” movie series, “Jurassic World” proves that some people just don’t learn from others’ mistakes in the past.   Taking place decades after the original movie, the idea for a Jurassic Park has turned into a full blown theme park called Jurassic World.  New technology is in place to control the dinosaurs; but the old way of thinking — profits over safety; believing that large, extremely powerful and dangerous, genetically engineered animals can be fully controlled and contained — still exists.  As you may have guessed, the newest Frankensteinasaurus escapes, causing a domino effect that releases more dinosaurs, giving the audience shocks and giggles when we see the puny humans devoured by the animals they paid to see.

Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard have the starring roles as a dinosaur trainer and the manager of Jurassic World, respectively.  Pratt basically plays the same character he did in “Guardians Of The Galaxy”: smart-ass, charming, and witty with a heart of gold.  Howard starts is an ice queen whose entire reason for being is to manage Jurassic World in the most efficient, cost effective way; but her character arc was a bit of a surprise to me, and that’s always a good thing, because a predictable movie sucks.  The Pratt and Howard characters are polar opposites that manage a very good chemistry that adds to the appeal of this movie when the crap hits the fan and the running, screaming and dying begin.

One of my most memorable, movie moments is the prolonged attack on Howard’s assistant.  Fought over by multiple dinosaurs, she is tossed, flipped, dropped, grabbed, scooped up and finally eaten.  This part will either make you cringe or laugh.  I did both.

Another memorable, movie moment is the scene that has the first appearance of a Mosasaur, an aquatic dinosaur the size of a whale with a mouth bigger than the average car.  Too bad the wow factor is severely diminished due to the endless commercials showing the entrance of this beast.

And now, for my most memorable, movie moment of “Jurassic World”: the scene when Pratt tells Howard that she has no business going out into the wild looking for Howard’s nephews.  Howard rolls up her sleeves and ties the ends of her dress shirt into a knot by her stomach, hinting to Pratt that she’s ready for action.  Pratt asks her what all that is supposed to mean.  Ha ha, funny stuff.  Unfortunately, it does decrease the tension quite a bit, and the movie does that quite often; and that’s not what you want to do when this kind of story is in full swing and it’s a life and death situation for everyone on the island.

Overall, “Jurassic World” is a very good, highly entertaining movie.  Sure, there are things that doesn’t make sense, for example: Pratt being able to somewhat train the raptors, supposedly because he was there when they were born and they imprinted on him.  Huh?  These are velociraptors, not ducks.  Whatever, I give this movie a pass on the shenanigans, because it delivered on its main purpose.  Yes, Maximus, I was very much entertained.

— M


Chris Pratt plays an Earthling who was kidnapped as a boy by aliens; and now he cruises the galaxy as a hard-partying, rock and roll listening, smart-ass, fearless hustler who comes into possession of an orb that secretly has the power to destroy worlds.   Naturally, creatures from all parts of the galaxy want to take the orb, either to use it to destroy worlds, or to sell it to the highest bidder.   To make matters worse for Pratt, he also has a bounty on his head.

Enter Bradley Cooper, who plays a talking Racoon with a short temper, and Vin Diesel, who plays a tree-like creature with deadly powers and a very big heart.  Together, Cooper and Diesel are a team of bounty hunters who try to capture Pratt, only to be foiled by Zoe Saldana (playing a former henchwoman of a galaxy thug named Ronan) who is after the orb so she can hand it to the good guys and save the galaxy.   The ruckus the four people and creatures create in their attempts to achieve their goals leads to their arrest by law enforcement and a stint in prison, where the four meet a very large prisoner played by Dave Bautista.

Through a series of hilarious, sometimes heart-warming and often action-packed events, the motley group of five become “The Guardians Of The Galaxy” as they make a pact to keep Ronan from destroying the galaxy, even if their mission is most likely doomed.

Third place in my memorable moments of this movie is the scene when Cooper is drunk, flips out and has a fight with Bautista.  Cooper points a weapon as big as his body at Bautista, ready to fry him, but Pratt intervenes.  Cooper tells everyone he’s had it with being made fun of, being called vermin and rodent, that he didn’t ask to be physically altered over and over again; but he’s going to stop people laughing at him when he starts pulling the trigger.   This added a whole new layer of depth to Cooper’s character, and this is when I really liked him.  In fact, the Cooper character is my favorite in the movie.  I see part of myself in this little dude.

Holding the second slot in my most memorable, movie moment of “Guardians…” is the scene when the Guardians are in a ship that is going to crash and will kill everyone in it.  One of the Guardians takes action that will save the others but will most likely cost that Guardian’s life.  Cooper asks why the Guardian is doing this.  The Guardian essentially says that they are all family.  It almost brought a tear out of my eye as I watched this part.

Coming in first place for my most memorable, movie moment of “Guardians Of The Galaxy” is the scene when Ronan is about to destroy a planet, and Pratt starts singing and dancing!   Ronan is so shocked at Pratt’s actions that he stops his planned destruction of this world to ask Pratt what the hell he is doing.  Pratt says, “I’m distracting you.”  Ha-ha!

Hey, some of you probably watched the trailer for this movie and thought, “this looks stupid.”  That’s what I thought, too!  Well, this goes to prove you can’t judge a movie’s quality by its trailer, because my first impression was wrong and now I love this movie.   This movie is really funny, has a lot of action, great special effects, connects with you emotionally, has fast pacing, and has a killer soundtrack.

Now I’m waiting for the Blu-ray to come down to $10, and this movie is mine!

— M

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