Quick Reviews: Week Of 05.27.2022
Flash Reviews Of The Upcoming Weekend's Movie Releases
Here are my thoughts on the movie releases from the weekend of 05.27.2022 in alphabetical order of their respective release dates. A reminder, you can click this link to see how I grade films when I review them.
- Plot: Ready for a night of legendary partying, three college students must weigh the pros and cons of calling the police when faced with an unexpected situation.
- Review: A longer treatment of what was originally a short film from back in 2018, Emergency finds a way to showcase a story about what is ultimately at its core one about the harsh realities of the biases against minority groups. Our three protagonists are all non-white and the fear of an encounter with trigger happy cops permeates through the whole film, all leading up to a tone shifting third act when that fear becomes a reality. Their friendship is tested and I legitimately wondered if this night would end well for them whether it be their bond breaking or not getting out alive. But what makes this movie stand out is the fact this is all done with dark humor that at times feels like the typical “friends have a wild night” subgenre of comedy films.
This levity is able to keep you from getting too awkward and uncomfortable with the situation they’ve gotten themselves into, and yet as the movie goes on there’s encounter after encounter that expounds on various micro-aggressions (as the intellectuals call them) that minorities face and even takes a look at the hypocritical side of the suburbanite white voter that seems to be an ally to reform only with their votes rather than their personal actions. This creates a movie that left me thinking about its themes, especially in today’s political environment, even while it got more than a few chuckles from me.
But this mixing of comedy and drama doesn’t quite always come together. Particularly in the third act when there’s a shift in tone where the drama overtakes the comedy and made me feel like I was almost jarred into a whole other film. Maybe there’s intention behind that but for me it seemed to be executed with some sloppiness. There’s also incredibly frustrating character motivation and actions that at times felt more like the movie trying to find reasons to fill in the middle act rather than come off more like realistic actions by college boys “in a pickle”.
Overall this may be wroth seeing and I think this is a well-intentioned and well made film that impressively attempts to give you a comedic tale with a serious message behind it even if it feels like it gets a bit sloppy in trying to do so in the finale.
- Initial Grade: B-
THE BOB’S BURGERS MOVIE
- Plot: When a ruptured water main creates an enormous sinkhole right in front of Bob’s Burgers, it blocks the entrance indefinitely and ruins the Belchers’ plans for a successful summer. While Bob and Linda struggle to keep the business afloat, the kids try to solve a mystery that could save their family’s restaurant. As the dangers mount, these underdogs help each other find hope and fight to get back behind the counter where they belong.
- Review: Whereas last week I was going into a TV series’ film having been an avid watcher of that particular show, this week I went to go see the film to the hit animation comedy, Bob’s Burgers - a series I have never seen one episode of. That’s not meant in any offense to any of its fans that might read this review. I just have never gotten around to giving it a try. My only experience with it has been a funny intro to a season of the more adult oriented animated comedy, Archer to play off the fact the lead voice actor H. Jon Benjamin does work on both shows.
I have to say after watching the movie, I’m not necessarily sure this is gonna’ make me seek out the show. While I would be lying if I didn’t admit to the film getting some laughs from me and legitimately keeping my attention enough to want to see how things ended for the Belchers and their misadventures, I have to say this felt like a series of episodes of a show rather than a standalone film. Which might be what fans wanted, but I could go and watch TV for that.
Also as someone who had never seen the show I couldn’t say this film made me connect with any of them really and I if anything I was taken aback on how exaggerated they were in their traits. I understand its for some comedic effect and obviously these have become beloved characters for many, and as a non-fan I’m not the guy they need to hear from. But for me this was an okay movie that honestly could have just played out as a lengthy TV special rather than be shown at my local theatre. I didn’t dislike this, but I’m not sure I liked it enough to seek more from this series.
- Initial Grade: B/C
TOP GUN: MAVERICK
- Plot: After more than thirty years of service as one of the Navy’s top aviators, Pete Mitchell is where he belongs - pushing the envelope as a courageous test pilot and dodging the advancement in rank that would ground him.
- Review: I have a confession to make. I had never seen the original 1986 classic that is Top Gun. However since 2020 when the sequel’s trailer started playing only to be pushed back time and time again for the next two years, I’ve known that I was going to have to fix that blind spot before seeing the follow-up film. Well this past Monday I did just that. And given how mixed the critical and cinephile response is to it, I have to say I liked it a lot! So color me excited going into Top Gun: Maverick, especially given all the great reviews and reactions I was seeing for it. Hell, they even played this at the Cannes Film Festival!
For those who purely want a sequel to the 1986 flick that doesn’t shy away from what attracted some to that movie, this will not let you down. Save for the glaring omission of Kelly McGillis’ “Charlie”, you get to see some old faces return thirty plus years later and those you don’t are addressed. Obviously this includes the lead, Tom Cruise’s “Maverick”, returning with all the charisma he brings to the role as arguably the best fighter pilot in movie history. But it also includes Val Kilmer who has a very small (but nice to see given his recent troubles) subplot that sees the “Maverick” and “Iceman” relationship come around full circle. There’s callbacks to the originals’ soundtrack and this truly feels like a continuation rather than a standalone film.
However for those who weren’t as wild for the first one and wanted to see maybe a little more emotional character depth, I think this movie improves on that score. This is particularly anchored by the complicated relationship between “Maverick” and Miles Teller’s “Rooster” who happens to be the son of the 1986’s film’s “Goose”. Teller made me buy he could have even been Anthony Edward’s son in real life, he’s that good in the role! But we also get other new names like Jon Hamm as Cruise’s commander he answers to, Ed Harris as a memorable intro cameo, and Jennifer Connelly who plays the new love interest for “Maverick.” That’s not including the rest of the fighter pilots Cruise is tasked with getting ready for a dangerous mission which are all written well enough to be easily recognized for their separate personalities and characteristics.
The action is even arguably better than the original film. You actually get more moments up in their air with the fighter planes and the third act is a pulse pounding finish that will literally have you sitting at the edge of your seat as you experience almost every emotion possible.
Overall, this isn’t just arguably an incredible sequel but it may just be the best blockbuster action flick of the year when all is said and done - and what’s that? I hear a little bit of Oscar buzz even. I discovered how much I enjoyed the 1986 original and I can also say I loved its sequel. I can now be counted as a Top Gun duology fan. Its wild to think Paramount was keeping this final product from us for almost two years.
- Initial Grade: A-