Nope (in theaters)
Now you know I don’t do scary movies. I was REALLY nervous about this and I went back and forth on whether or not I was going to watch it. I was mainly intrigued because it’s a Jordan Peele movie and I actually enjoyed “Get Out.” Plus, I figured I owe it to my fans to watch and review the latest releases.
So, my son, my nephew, his wife, and I went to see “Nope” on Tuesday evening, and, honestly, I don’t even know what to write about it. It’s just plain strange! Here’s the story:
After random objects (change, keys, etc.) start falling from the sky killing their father, now ranch-owner siblings OJ and Emerald Haywood attempt to capture video evidence of a UFO with the help of a salesman and a documentarian.
I honestly don’t know what to write. I will tell you it’s not exactly what I expected. However, I don’t really know what I expected. I DID expect to be scared a lot more. It’s not really scary. There’s quite a few “edge of your seat” moments. There were a couple of jump scares. To me though, it’s mostly just a lot of “What in the crap is going on here?”
There is a sort of alter-story line about a chimpanzee. That’s all I’ll say about that, but I’m still trying to figure out why they went so deep into that. I feel like I left with way more questions than I had when I went in, but maybe that’s the point. Maybe Peele wants people to leave and sit around talking about what in the world they just watched. I don’t know.
Honestly, this could have also been made by M. Night Shayamalan. It’s just weird. I didn’t like it as much as I did “Get Out,” but it’s worth watching. If you’re like me and you are curious, but you don’t do scary and super gory, you’ll be okay here. I promise.
I think the 2 leads did a good job in the movie. Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out, Queen & Slim) plays OJ Haywood, Jr and Keke Palmer (Hustlers, Scream: The TV Series) plays his sister, Emerald. You will see a few familiar faces in the movie including Michael Wincott (24: Live Another Day), Along Came a Spider), Steven Yeun (The Walking Dead, Space Jam: A New Legacy), and the great Keith David (They Live, Armageddon.)
“Nope” is rated R for language throughout and some violence/bloody images. I’ll give it a 3.6/5.
Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank (in theaters)
Okay friends, this one surprised me. I’d seen the trailers and I thought I knew what I was in for. I love animated movies. I love taking my kids to the movies to see stuff like “Minions” and “The Bad Guys” and “The Croods” and all the Disney/Pixar stuff that comes out. However, this one caught me by surprise.
Let me just tell you up front this movie was co-written by the absolutely awesome Mel Brooks (Space Balls, Blazing Saddles.) If you dig deeper, there is also a writing credit given to the greatest stand-up comedian of all time, the late Richard Pryor. (Don’t worry. It’s not a dirty movie! It’s still okay for kids.) However, trivia time here! Which classic Mel Brooks movie was Richard Pryor a writer? You guessed it! The answer if “Blazing Saddles!”
Y’all, this movie…”Paws of Fury”… is absolutely a cartoon animal version of “Blazing Saddles.” I wasn’t 5 minutes into the movie, and I started thinking, “Hey! Wait a minute! That’s familiar.” You see- “Blazing Saddles” was my fraternity movie in college. I’m not exaggerating when I tell you I’ve probably seen that movie 300 times.
So, here’s the story. A hard-on-his-luck hound named Hank finds himself in a town full of cats who need a hero to defend them from a ruthless villain’s heinous plot to wipe their village off the map. The villain’s idea is to send Hank the dog into the town full of cats to be their town Samurai because he knows the town will hate him and likely kill him since he’s a dog. Are you seeing the similarities here? In case you somehow haven’t seen “Blazing Saddles,” it takes place back in the old railroad days in the West and when slavery was still alive. The villain in “Blazing Saddles” wants to destroy a town because it stands in the way of railroad expansion and so he sends a black man in to be the town’s sheriff with the hopes that the all-white and quite racist town-folk will hate him and likely kill him. “Blazing Saddles” was black/white. “Paws of Fury” is cat/dog. I could go on and on and on. Mel Brooks plays the exact same type of bumbling character in both movies.
It’s hysterical! On we go. Once Hank gets into town, he confides in an old “washed-up” Samurai cat named Jimbo, played by the great Samuel L. Jackson) and “employs” him to help him learn the ways of the Samurai and win over the cats. In Blazing Saddles, Sheriff Bart gets into town and is hated (just as the villain suspected) and he confides in a washed-up gunslinger named Jim (played by the great Gene Wilder) and “employs” him to train him or help him to win over the people.
I think you get the point. I learned today that the movie was originally titled, “Blazing Samurai.” Folks, go check out this movie. I don’t even care if you have kids. Or maybe you have kids, but you want to just leave them at home. It’s funny! ESPECIALLY IF YOU LOVE “BLAZING SADDLES” LIKE I DO!
Now, in case you haven’t yet seen “Blazing Saddles,” here’s a little warning if you will. This movie would absolutely never get made today. At first glance/viewing, “Blazing Saddles” may seem absurdly racist. However, I implore you to go in with an open mind. Yes. The “N-word” is used a lot in the movie…by white actors. However, Richard Pryor wrote the movie. The premise of the movie is actually to show how absurd racism really is. Mel Brooks is a comic genius…as was Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder. “Blazing Saddles” is absolute comic gold. It’s absurd and hilarious and does a really good job at showing just how stupid it is, and how stupid you look, when you judge someone and discriminate against someone based on the color of their skin. And now, “Paws of Fury” does a pretty good job at teaching this same lesson in a much more kid-friendly way.
There’s also a great cast of characters in the movie. Michael Cera (Superbad, Juno) voices Hank. Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction, The Avengers) voices Jimbo the Samurai. Ricky Gervais (The Office- UK version, After Life) voices the villain, Ika Chu. You’ll also hear Mel Brooks (Blazing Saddles, Space Balls), George Takei (Star Trek, Trapper John, M.D.), Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All at Once, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), and Gabriel Iglesias (Mr. Iglesias, Ferdinand).
I laughed at this movie more than my 9-year-old daughter did. Maybe it’s because of all the “Blazing Saddles” stuff or maybe I just understood the jokes better, but I really recommend this movie! “Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank” is rated PG for action, violence, rude and suggestive humor, and very little language. Again, I took my 9-year-old daughter and have no regrets. I’m giving this one a 4.3/5.
Last Seen Alive (streaming on Prime Video and in Redbox)
While on quarantine last week, I watched a LOT of TV and several movies. I won’t lie and say I don’t love a good B action movie now and then. I’m also a fan of Gerard Butler. This one took care of both. “Last Seen Alive” is a straight to Redbox action movie that, quite frankly, has been made before, but I enjoyed it. Gerard Butler (White House Down, Law Abiding Citizen” and Jamie Alexander (Thor: Love and Thunder, The Last Stand) star as a separating couple on a road-trip when Lisa (Alexander) mysteriously vanishes at a gas station. Will (Butler) immediately delves into the town’s criminal underbelly while running from the authorities in a race against time to find her.
The movie kind of reminds me of a Kurt Russell movie from back in the mid-90s called “Breakdown.” That movie was awesome! Very similar premise, but even better than this one. Anyway, I think the movie was done pretty well. It does definitely have the feel of a B movie. You can just tell. But it’s a good B movie.
Honestly, I think Gerard Butler is what makes it as good as it is. This same movie could have been really bad had it been a different leading man. Just my opinion, but my opinion is what you pay the big bucks to subscribe to Watch This with Chris. Right? Oh! You didn’t know you’re now being charged $9.99 per month to read these?! Nah I’m just goofing. Feel free to send me $9.99 though. I could use it to pay for movie tickets. Oh! Idea time! Anyone want to sponsor this column?! For the cost of one movie ticket per week, I’ll mention you in the column! That’s a pretty good deal! For the cost of a movie ticket, a bottle of water, and a popcorn, I’ll mention you and put your company logo in each column! Come on now!!! You know you want to!
Back to the movie. Check it out! You can rent it on Prime for $3.99 or find it in your local Redbox. “Last Seen Alive” is rated R for pervasive language, violence, and some drug material. And when I say drug material, I’m talking about some good ole backwoods meth heads! Yee Haw! I’ll give this one 3.6/5.
The Gray Man (in select theaters and streaming on Netflix)
When the CIA’s most skilled operative, whose identity is known to no one, accidentally uncovers dark agency secrets, a psycho former colleague puts a bounty on his head setting off a global manhunt by international assassins. Got it? Okay good.
Honestly, I didn’t know if I was going to love this one or not. There have been a LOT of movies similar to this made over the years and sometimes they’re not great. I was pleased here though. I think there were some really good casting choices made, but the fact that the Russo brothers (Avengers: Endgame, Captain America: Civil War) directed also made a BIG difference. They are some really great up and coming directors! Be on the lookout. They have a couple movies coming up this next year called “The Electric State” and “Citadel,” and they both look really good!
Anyway, back to “The Gray Man.” To me, the worst thing about this movie is Chris Evans’ mustache. Check out this bad boy!
It’s just terrible. The closest comparison photo I can find is this old Freddie Mercury stache!
So, “The Gray Man.” I liked it and Chris Evan’s mustache is terrible. That’s pretty much the whole review. Hahaha
No! Really. Billy Bob Thornton (Slingblade, Bad Santa) is also in the movie, and he is, of course, always fantastic. There seems to be really good chemistry between the cast in the movie. The are also some really good action scenes. There’s one in particular that is just about as fun and over-the-top as some of the “Fast and Furious” stuff.
For of you let down with the mustache and really hoping for some male eye candy, I have good news for you. Along with good ole Captain America, you’ve also got pretty boy Ryan Gosling (The Notebook, LaLa Land) in the lead role. Gosling and Evans are a great pair in the movie and, honestly, I’d like to see them do more stuff together. I DID read that this movie had a $200 million budget, and that confuses me a little. It was good and it didn’t look like a cheap B movie or anything, but $200 million?!?! Come on, Netflix! For that much money, it could’ve been a little bit better!
Anyway, give it a shot. “The Gray Man” is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of strong violence and some strong language. I’ll give this one a 4/5. Solid score if you ask me…and you did!
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