Tag Archives: Mike Reyes

Cocktails and Movies Review: “Inferno” – A Hell Of A Letdown

by Mike Reyes

Perhaps the year’s greatest disappointment since Jason BourneInferno has one really good set-piece, some excellent performances, and no substantial film to prop them up with.

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I remember when The DaVinci Code became the literary success of the year back in 2003, which was an event practically begging for two things to happen: for me to read the book, and for Hollywood to eventually make a movie. Both happened, and to a great extent, as The DaVinci Code and its literary predecessor Angels and Demons, were both excellent literary experiences that translated to equally good films. And yet, when I returned to read The Lost Symbol, I was so disenchanted with the series that I not only wanted the film to never exist, I didn’t even want to return to the world that I had once loved. Unfortunately I did, hoping that Inferno would impress, despite my not having completed the book before my screening. Sadly, I think I’ve grown out of this series, as this movie is a damned mess.

Cocktails And Movie Review: “The Accountant” – Ben Affleck Kicks Ass In An Action Thriller That Rivals Jason Bourne!

by Mike Reyes

The Accountant is one of the best films of this year, as its potent mix of noirish drama and pulse pounding action puts it in rarefied air.

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October has been known for its surprises, what with political revelations, tricks and/or treats, and now movie offerings in said month managing to knock the public for a loop. The beginning of the month looked like business as usual, with The Girl on the Train failing to take in an impressive gross and The Birth of a Nation becoming a non-starter. But this week should change that, as Ben Affleck is about to kick some serious ass in The Accountant, the latest film from Warrior director Gavin O’Connor.

sully

Cocktails And Movies Review: ”Sully” – A biopic that soars in some respects, but has its wings clipped in others.

by Mike Reyes

Clint Eastwood’s latest biopic, Sully, is another fine example of the director’s biopic prowess, but doesn’t rise above a certain level of brilliance.

brody-clint-eastwoods-sully-existential-burden-1200Despite being the man that revived the Western genre for all to know and love in the modern era, Clint Eastwood is a director who loves to tell a story about people. Focusing on notable and intriguing people, be they real life figures or fictional creations, Eastwood’s bread and butter is showing us one person’s life through the lens of the experiences they have. And he’s given us plenty of those films, for better or worse, past the last couple of decades. While Sully is a step up from the dull and unfocused American Sniper, shades of those mistakes still color a film that showcases Tom Hanks’ most restrained performance. 

Sausage Featured

Cocktails And Movies Review: “Sausage Party” – A Weenie That Deserves A Good Roasting

by Mike Reyes

Sausage Party, you’re the wurst.

For 20 years, South Park has pushed the boundaries of animation, and the subject matter it tackles, to an amazing extent. We’ve seen talking douches, talking tacos, various parodies on religion, and even sex acts committed by things we’d never thought of as sexualized. The Matt Stone / Trey Parker created show has handled all of these topics with much humor and wit about them, and I have no doubt that they’ll continue to so. This is the main reason I was disappointed with the latest “comedy” from the pens of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, as they have tried to take their own shot at all of those ideas that worked brilliantly in 30 minute bursts, and have produced an hour and a half of few laughs, and a lot of groans.

Frank (Seth Rogen) and Brenda (Kristen Wiig) can’t wait to get into The Great Beyond! The hot dog and bun combo have been waiting for a long time to finally become one, and after being selected by The Gods, they’re headed to the moment they’ve always dreamed of. But is the world outside of the supermarket really as rosy and cheery as they think? Honey Mustard (Danny McBride) doesn’t think so, as he’s seen “The Great Beyond,” and it’s not exactly as advertised. Thus begins the quest of Frank and his new group of friends, as they wander the supermarket trying to find there way back to their shelves, in hopes that The Gods will select them again.

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Sausage Party thinks that it can be as vulgar and raunchy as it wants, and not craft an original story to tell. Yes, we’ve seen this sort of movie time and time again in the realm of children’s films, but that’s why it doesn’t work as a full feature. There isn’t enough new material to really poke proper fun at the films of Disney and Pixar. If you strip away the literal food porn, and the foul language, you could easily refashion this film into a kids’ flick akin to Foodfight. However, in its current form, Rogen and Goldberg crib so much from South Park‘s 20 year canon, they should really give Matt Stone and Trey Parker a writing credit.

That isn’t to say Sausage Party doesn’t get laughs, if anything the few laughs it does rack up manage to be quite fun. With Edward Norton’s Woody Allen impression fueling his character, Sammy Bagel Jr., and a couple of really funny gags involving the German food aisle help keep the film afloat for some segments. But not even a cameo by a certain food named
pop star could change the fact that Sausage Party would have done better if it was competing in the era of South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut, and even then it would have probably been seen as more of a copycat than it would be today.

Sausage Party was a chore to watch, and with every obvious callback or visual gag that pokes you in the ribs, if only to say, sausage_party_ver9“Look at us! We’re naughty,” it went from bad to wurst. (This is the type of humor you should expect from this film, folks. Drink it in.) If you liked This Is The End, and you’re not asking for much from your talking food comedy, then I guess this movie would work. But if you’re looking for more than just a buffet of half warmed leftovers, served with an original song that sounds like a Disney number, as well as a mini-jukebox of light FM hits, then Sausage Party is going to come off a bit limp.

My Rating: 2/5

Trek Beyond Poster

Cocktails And Movies Review: “Star Trek Beyond” – New Director, Same Stellar Track Record

by Mike Reyes

Make no mistake, Star Trek Beyond goes to great lengths to prove that this 50 year old still has some impressive moves.

With a story that pays homage to, rather than flat out remake, some classic Trek movie story beats, Star Trek Beyond is a bold step into the future for a franchise celebrating its 50th anniversary. The new sequel takes advantage of having Fast & Furious director Justin Lin at the helm, as well as writers Simon Pegg and Doug Jung wordsmithing the whole thing, amounting to a lot of new talent involved behind the camera on this third voyage of the starship Enterprise. And the best part is, you can’t tell the difference at all!

In the midst of their five year mission in deep space, the USS Enterprise’s crew is suffering some stereotypical ennui. Spock (Zachary Quinto) and Uhura (Zoe Saldana) are experiencing some complications in their relationship, Kirk (Chris Pine) is having an existential crisis, and the rest of the crew are dealing with their extended stay in space in their own ways. All personal matters are put on hold though, after a re-supplying stop has entangled the crew in their latest mission: the investigation of a rather perilous nebula that’s hiding the deadly Krall (Idris Elba) and his secret plan to wreck havoc on the Federation.

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