What I’ve Seen Lately – August 2016

Starting with what I’ve seen in theaters:

star trek beyond

‘Star Trek Beyond’

The third installment in the new ‘Kelvin Timeline’ series of Star Trek movies might have been the closest to the original television show we’ve gotten yet. In 2009, I fell in love with the first film that J.J. Abrams directed. I was never really into the franchise before then, but that movie did it. I remember going back to all the old movies that summer and giving them a watch, and every once and awhile, I’ll give the original 60’s show a watch too. ‘Into Darkness’ was a very well done sequel, even if it did rip-off ‘Wrath of Khan’ a bit.

I think that ‘Star Trek Beyond’ was the most fun of the three. The first two films focused heavily on the relationship between Kirk and Spock. This one put the focus on the rest of the crew, and I loved this. Everyone was split off into groups or pairs for a good chunk of this movie, and it was a wise move. We got to see Spock and Bones in the way the original series always touched on. Their banter was excellent. And I also loved the chemistry between Scotty and newcomer alien Jaylah. Can never complain about more Simon Pegg!

Speaking of Simon Pegg: he was one of the writers of this movie and that was another big plus. The script was tight, and everything felt very well written.

There was some room for improvement though. The villain was a bit weak sauce, especially for Idris Elba being in the role. The plot itself was also a little basic as far as what some other Trek movies have done in the past. Then again, there have been multiple that feel weaker than the average television episode too. I’m looking at you ‘Star Trek Insurrection’! But you can tell they were trying to focus on getting other areas right. So these things were not that big a deal.

Being that this came out during Star Trek’s 50th anniversary, I couldn’t have asked for a more enjoyable Star Trek movie. There were a lot of great, subtle nods to the franchise history, and heart-warming tributes to Anton Yelchin, Leonard Nimoy, and the rest of the original cast who are either still with us or passed long ago.

I actually urge everyone to go see it. It’s under-performing to an extent I couldn’t even fathom and it’s a HUGE shame. Go see it! Support Star Trek! These are actually great movies, and you don’t have to know everything about the franchise to enjoy these new ones. I’d love to see more of these made so please, go out and see this!

Recommended? Yes. Go!


jason bourne


Honestly, if you liked the first three, you’ll like this one too. It does have this “greatest hits” type of feeling to it, and is basically the same movie as ‘The Bourne Supremacy’, but it was just so cool seeing Bourne back after the disappointing ‘Legacy’ with Jeremy Renner.

This got more mixed reviews, but rightfully so. It’s not exactly a necessary sequel. The story still should have ended with ‘Ultimatum’, but if their goal is to keep making these, or to at least make a few more, this was a good movie to bring it back from a 9-year absence.

Julia Stiles as Nicky Parsons was horrendous though. She was perfectly fine in the other movies, but here… I have never seen such horrible line delivery in my life.

Thankfully, I felt that everything else was great. Classic Bourne action, cool supporting characters, and of course “Extreme Ways” by Moby. The action is very shaky, but that’s expected with a Bourne movie. And to be honest, I think director Paul Greengrass uses it quit effectively.

I wanna see more, but I do think it’s time to move the story forward, and not continue to retread everything that’s come before. I would like them to actually tie ‘Legacy’ into everything. The only reason that movie wasn’t that great was because of how irrelevant it was. It’d be sweet to have Matt Damon and Jeremy Renner team up.

Recommended? If you’re a fan of the original trilogy, yes. If shaky-cam bothers you or you never really got into this series in the first place, probably not.


suicide squad

‘Suicide Squad’

Yup, here we go. When I saw how divisive this movie was, I was instantly disappointed before even seeing it. As I said in my Revisiting ‘Batman v Superman’ post, I mentioned that DC really needs to chill, and not try so damn hard to catch up with Marvel.

I still stand by that statement after seeing this movie. Now to be fair, ‘Suicide Squad’ was in the same development time frame as BvS, so it only makes sense that if one movie had studio related issues, the other one probably would as well.

The movie is a HUGE mess. The plot makes zero sense, and the villain… oh man. Enchantress might be one of the worst villains I’ve ever seen put to screen. That’s not an exaggeration.

However- the characters are phenomenal and their interactions throughout the film is immensely entertaining. Will Smith and Margot Robbie were fantastic as Deadshot and Harley Quinn, and I’d love to see more of them in future DC movies. The action itself was also very fun.

All in all, I think it’s a perfectly fine movie. But DC does need to step their game up with ‘Wonder Woman’ and ‘Justice League’ if they plan on their universe having longevity.

Recommended? Sure, but I think DC made this movie too soon. They’re trying to build a universe, and jumping right to this more obscure type of movie ended up being a poor decision.


what I've streamed

             What I’ve Streamed/Rented



‘Whiskey Tango Foxtrot’

This was actually pretty decent. A great mix of laughter and seriousness, and even though I found the plot to be lacking, the movie itself was interesting and kind of educational.

Tina Fey is pretty good as usual, and this featured a nice cast all around which I was not expecting.

Recommended? Sure!




I suppose this was about as good as ‘European Vacation’, and funnier than ‘Vegas Vacation’, if I’m to make comparisons. Still though, this could have been a fantastic comedy, but you could tell they were trying too hard.

The original Vacation movies are all ludicrous. Let’s not fool ourselves. But they get a pass for all the ridiculous stuff because they’re 80’s movies.

When this movie wasn’t trying too hard to be an outlandish 80’s comedy, it actually worked. But there were so many times where the humor in this felt way too forced.

Overall, I must admit that a good junk of this movie was pretty funny. However, there were still so many moments that didn’t work at all. Not every line of dialogue in a comedy has to be funny. If you can’t come up with something that will make the audience laugh, leave it be and let that particular line just be a normal traditional line of dialogue. Don’t force it.

Recommended? As a turn your brain off comedy, perhaps. It has its moments. If you’ve never been a fan of the Vacation movies though… stay away.



‘Transformers: Age of Extinction’

Okay I have a confession. I actually dig the first three Transformers movies. The first one is actually pretty sweet. The second, not so much. It’s a terrible movie actually, but the action makes up for it, at least for me. The third was a step in a better direction, and almost came close to the enjoyment level I had with the first.

I avoided this 4th one (until recently) because I had heard it was just more of the same and was more like the quality of the 2nd movie. So I streamed it on Hulu recently and…yeah, I’m glad I didn’t pay to see it in theaters or anything.

It actually took me two separate days to watch this whole thing. How sad is that? I expected the plot to be dumb, and it was. But unlike the 2nd one, the action didn’t even make up for anything else. This was just all around dumb, and I had negative amounts of fun with this.

I shouldn’t even be talking about it anymore.

Recommended? Nah dude.


begin again

‘Begin Again’

Alright this was one of those movies where it’s your girlfriend’s turn to pick the movie of the night and you just kinda sit there and go with it.

But in all honesty, this was a delight. I really dug this. Both Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo were awesome and it’s just one of those movies that’s there to make you feel good.

The characters and their decisions were all very realistic, which can be rare for a film like this. And I actually really liked the narrative structure this movie went with. It’s a small movie, but it’s really well-done.

Recommended? Surprisingly, yeah!



‘Edge of Tomorrow’

I saved the best for last. I’m kicking myself for not seeing this movie sooner.

To everyone that complains that we don’t get anything original anymore and you haven’t seen this, you are a part of the problem. I don’t even have that complaint, but I’m still mad at myself for letting this one sit on my watch list for two whole years.

This movie is straight-up AWESOME. Think of ‘Groundhogs Day’ but on steroids with a military fighting aliens plot.

Recommended? I can’t recommend it enough!!!
Please check it out as soon as you get the chance. It’s REALLY REALLY GOOD!


12 comments on “What I’ve Seen Lately – August 2016

  1. Nice post! I found some fun with the new Vacation, but it is hit or miss. And cool reminder about Edge of Tomorrow. That should have made more money than it did.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I liked Star Trek Beyond enough to have seen it twice already!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi mate, agree with your sentiments on Star Trek and Edge of Tomorrow! By the way I have nominated you for a Sunshine Blogger Award: https://throughthesilverscreen.com/2016/08/18/first-sunshine-blogger-award/

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m assuming you’ve followed up on the controversies surrounding Suicide Squad, how WB worked on their own re-edit after the nuclear fallout to BvS, which they *also* re-edited at the last minute? If I don’t see an original linear cut of Suicide Squad on the Blu-Ray, I’m going to scream. WB needs to either let their auteur filmmakers work, or just hire Brett Ratner to do exactly what they say…

    Jason Bourne may be my favorite film this summer. I thought its action was top notch, and that they moved beyond his search for memory and identity by focusing more on the politics of the CIA and Bourne’s patriotism. I thought it was a more than warranted sequel, and added closure to the previous trilogy. Also, I enjoyed how Bourne beat a Julian Assange-placeholder to death. 😀

    As per Star Trek Beyond, I may have some answers as to its underperformance: http://trekmovie.com/2016/08/25/star-trek-beyond-after-one-month-at-the-box-office-well-received-but-not-profitable/ … but basically, it boils down to brand strength and competition. Star Trek can’t compete with other tentpole franchises, particularly superhero films, in this day and age, and on film. Move it earlier in the year (February, early March) or after the summer to September or October, but before awards season. Summers are too congested with high-profile franchises these days.

    Finally, and I hate to say it… general audiences don’t care for “real” Star Trek all that much. The Trekkies do, of course, but the mainstream masses who’d generate enough ticket sales to boost massive profits will turn out *less* the more patient, careful, and like the television show these feature-films are. PEOPLE WANT SHOOTING.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Could not agree more with what you said on Star Trek. I even really like the OG Trek, but when it comes to the movies, I actually do prefer it to be more action-oriented. Why bother making it like the show when you actually have shows and can make the films feel like more of an event? I think Trek would be far more successful in a different season. Sept-November would be very good as opposed to mid-July.

      Regarding Suicide Squad- I actually don’t really think a director’s cut would improve this movie like it did with BvS. At least for me. The problems I had with it were more just with the villain. The movie was messy story-wise, sure. But I don’t see it really becoming a better movie necessarily. Maybe by a bit, idk. From the sounds of it, that’s not the plan though. I haven’t heard anything about an official release of an alternate cut so I wouldn’t hold your breath for one. At the end of the day though, this was the one DC movie where I didn’t really care if it turned out to be amazing or not. It ended up just digging the DC hole deeper, but I just really want Wonder Woman and JL to be good. And I think all will be well. They’ve moved people around, and it seems like the studio might be a little more on on task now.


      • With regards to Suicide Squad, word on the street alleges that Ayer’s original cut was a different movie altogether than the one we got, hence its tonal confusion and choppiness. Where as BvS was merely abbreviated, SS was rearranged and tonally adjusted by the studio itself, much to the chagrin of Ayer.

        Already, Charles Roven and David Ayer are opening up about other versions of the film, so at this point I’d be shocked if they didn’t release it. They depend on home video sales for the DCEU more than ever. What I mean to say is, a director’s cut of SS is likely to have far greater contrast to its theatrical counterpart than BvS’s ultimate edition.

        Liked by 1 person

      • My only real issue, like I said was the villain. I didn’t care that the movie was a little choppy, and for the most part- the tone really worked for me. If they could make the tone work in favor of the villain a little more I think that would make the movie a lot better for me overall. Enchantress was honestly making me cringe. Lol
        We’ll see if WB does have an alternate cut. I think they’re a little eerie. They probably don’t want the average consumer believing that they have some weird gimmick where they release a weird version of a DC movie in theaters and then release the “better” version on home video.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I understand, but again I must emphasize that all evidence points to David Ayer making a much different, much darker film. Also, I’m agree Warner doesn’t want to start a pattern where they release the preferred versions of their films on home video only; however, if they’re subtle about it, and release the original cut as an “alternate” or “extended” version rather than an “Ultimate Edition!!!,” they can carefully tiptoe around that marketing knife edge, and reap the potential economic benefits.

        Obviously they haven’t admitted to home video details yet or acknowledged headbutts with the director for that exact reason (David Ayer is no Josh Trank), but they can release as many versions as they want and please the hardcore fans. I don’t think general audiences care one way or the other, as I’ve stated before.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Honestly, it’s Josh Trank’s fault I didn’t see Fant4stic. Once he came out and said his movie sucked I was like “okay, won’t see it.” David Ayer and the cast stood by their movie and I say it and enjoyed it for what it was. No one can be more dumb than Josh Trank.


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