Morgan Freeman

Now You See Me 2

Once again starring Jesse Eisenberg, Dave Franco, Woody Harrelson, Mark Ruffalo, Morgan Freeman, and Michael Caine, The Four Horsemen have returned. This time they are joined by Lizzy Caplan and Daniel Ratcliff. That’s right Harry Potter is in a new magic film! Trying to re-enter the world but they are being held back by The Eye. Now the Eye has a new mission for them, and when things go wrong, they have Horsemen decide to venture out on their own to attempt to reclaim their lives without Dylan Rhodes (Ruffalo)

This film blends the first film, with a little bit of Oceans 11. With all but Isla Fisher who had to back out due to her pregnancy, the cast has all returned and all have a great chemistry.  The story is definitely a little bit more ramped up as most sequels are. It brings the magic on a lot stronger than before, but they don’t make it to unbelievable. Even when a trick seems too off the wall, they immediately explain it to you. Which is something I like; I did not want this to become a fantasy type of franchise.

Seeing the first one, and then watching it again before this one, I’m not very sure this really needed a sequel, or better yet even a third which is apparently already coming. However they found a way to make me continue to stay interested in these characters, and genuinely be excited for this adventure. As far as another, I do not know if it is needed, but maybe they can capture that magic again.

One of the best things about this franchise is the cast. They all work so well together. The entire cast. Jesse Eisenberg is dialed into this character more than any other that he place. He isn’t so much himself like he normally does; it is just the right amount of him, toned down to the perfect level. If he could’ve done this for Lex Luthor, that probably would have made BvS better. Dave Franco is someone I want to see in more films. This kid has so much talent. I would love to see him really branch out into more films.

The new comers are pretty good, and fit their roles. Most just bit parts like Sanaa Lathan and Jay Chou. But Lizzy Caplan is a good replacement for Isla Fisher. While you feel her not being there, Lizzy’s character is a lot of fun and makes for a new take on their comedic relief. Daniel Ratcliff is really good as our new villain. He is creepy, and off putting and flat out weird. And it makes it so much fun.

The problems with this film lie in the script. There are some story problems, and some plot whole issues that come up on pretty regular bases. The most glaringly of these being Isla Fishers characters absence. A big plot point of the film is The Horsemen wanting to come out of hiding and claim their lives back. They are stuck and live together in a hide-a-way house. Yet Isla’s character was allowed to leave and not come back…. Yes I know they needed some way to explain her absence, but could you not come up with something that did not go against your plot so much?

The film also drags a lot. It really could have been sent back to the cutting boards 2 or 3 more times. There were plenty of times that I found myself just waiting to get through a scene or a segment. SO much to the point that I even nodded off a few times. There are a lot of exposition scenes that I get why they are there, but I feel they could have re worked the dialog to make it run a lot more smoothly.

Maybe this is something I missed, but the post credit scene in the first film, I don’t know if that just had something to do with that film, but certainly had no connection to this film. This kind of confused me. I had just rewatched the first film, and watching that scene I figured the plot of this one would have something to do with that junk yard fun house place they showed up at. But nothing.

For the most part Now You See Me 2 is an enjoyable film. It has its problems, but they are not so bad that you cannot find enjoyment in this film. You may not need to rush out to see this, but when you do you will have a good time, and go home happy. A fun film, in the same world as its predessceor. If you liked the first you are going to enjoy this one too. If you did not enjoy the first, you wont like this, plain and simple. I gave it a score of 2.8, no bonus, which leaves the Jeebus Score sitting at a 2.8. Not great, but not bad. Maybe wait to catch this one FXx? But what say you? Sound of in the comments and let me know what you thought of the film!

The Jeebus Score explained

The Jeebus score is out of a possible 5 points with a .5 bonus. Films are giving a max of 1 point each for Entertainment Value, Story/Writing, Performance, Direction, and Production. There is also a possible bonus up to .5. Any film between 2.5 and 4 is considered a good film. 4-5 is a great film. Anything over 5 is an incredibly amazing film. To get a perfect score of 5.5 a film will pretty much have to be The Empire Strikes Back or The Godfather.

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Terminator, year 1. Wait, that’s not right. TRANSCENDENCE

From the cinematographer who brought us The Dark Knight Trilogy, and has not directed anything, at all. And starring Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hall, Morgan Freeman, Kate Mara, Cillian Murphy, Cole Houser, and JARVIS, er Paul Bettany. Comes the film that could be considered the alternate reality of Skynet, Transcendence. So this is Wally Pfister’s first outing as a director, and I won’t say it was terrible. Maybe a little rough around the edges but if your first outing is helming a Johnny Depp and Morgan Freeman film, good job bro.

Transcendence follows Dr. Will Caster (Depp) working on an A.I. system with his wife (Hall). When a radical anti-technology group lead by The Invisible Woman, who I don’t think you ever get her name in the film, orchestrates a terrorist attack on multiple technology companies and figures, one of which being Caster who is left fatally wounded. His wife, and best friend Max (Bettany) decide they can upload his consciousness into a super computer so that Castor can live forever. From there Castor grows in power and intelligence becoming connected to the internet and everything. Max realizes the dangers and joins up with the government and the same terrorist organization responsible for Casters death to put a stop to all-knowing A.I. that Caster has become. But are they too late?

Is this Johnny Depp’s return to super stardom? Absolutely not, but is it the abysmal fail that Dark Shadows, The Lone Ranger, and The Rum Diaries were? No. It’s quite entertaining to start with. It is definitely more of a drama throughout the first act, dealing with letting go of a loved one. But then it begins to get a bit technical and hard to follow. Transcendence is full of plot holes as well. Once Castor is uploaded to the web he sends his wife to a tiny town in the middle of know where and they proceed to build an entire unground laboratory, in what seems to be the span of 2 years. Now I’ve seen construction on the highways here in Dallas Texas and go on for well over two years and they have yet to do what these people seemed to do. The film also makes the assumption that you are just going to figure out the random sci-fi like acts that go on, and again makes it hard to follow. You leave the theater thinking about the film, but end up picking it apart.

It’s not all bad like I said though. With Pfister being a cinematographer the visuals are stunning in Transcendence. Plus the casting is incredible. Everyone in the movie is believable in their roles. And for the most part it is very entertaining. It goes from a drama to the thriller, all though not the most thrilling of a thriller. Depp is great, it is always nice to see him outside of the eye liner wearing crazy characters that he has been doing lately.

All in all I gave Transcendence a pretty good Jeebus score, probably higher then I should of, but I couldn’t dispute the math. 3.8, Check Out The Matinee.

Everything is Awesome!

A few days late to the party, I have been witness to the awesomeness that is, The Lego Movie. The film stars Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Liam Neeson, and Morgan Freeman. Written and directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, The Lego movie tells the tale of the extremely average Emmett(Pratt) who gets thrown into the middle of President Business'(Ferrell) plot to destroy the world. Chaos ensues, and we a treated to a jam-packed story filled with childhood memories!

I am a believer that when it comes to animated films, big names are not needed to voice your characters. However, Chris Pratt, who is becoming quite the Hollywood commodity, and Will Ferrell bring these characters to life and drive this film forward. As well it is fun to see another side of Liam Neeson as he voices Good Cop/Bad Cop. The cameos of Lego characters are many, and none more pleasant than Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill as Superman and Green Lantern respectively. The banter and relationship between the two is hilarious. And to top it all off, Morgan Freeman could be reading you the classifieds and it would be one of the most entertaining things you’ve ever seen or heard.

The story has its moments that you feel like there is too much bundled together, however not to the point that it takes you out of the film. The jokes and punch lines come so fast that you almost want to see the movie over and over just to make sure you catch-all the little quips. The plot seems to bear resemblance to The Matrix, and the films prologue shows you that right off the bat. But its a fun story filled with entertainment for the whole family, and by the end, you can feel a heartfelt message that leaves you feeling like you just watched a Toy Story film. Bold words, I know.

All in all, The Lego Movie is a fantastic film that everyone will enjoy, and will have you laughing for hours and singing “Everything is Awesome” for years to come. I gave it an original Jeebus score of 4.5 with a .1 bonus for Superman and Green Lantern, and a .2 bonus for “Everything is awesome” bringing the Jeebus score to a 4.8, Multiple Viewings Required!