Pitch Perfect 3 (2017)

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After the highs of winning the world championships, the Bellas find themselves split apart and discovering there aren’t job prospects for making music with your mouth. But when they get the chance to reunite for an overseas USO tour, this group of awesome nerds will come together to make some music, and some questionable decisions, one last time.(Letterboxd)
The unexpected intro with “Toxic” followed by a big action movie “jump away from explosion” sequence is pretty fun, but the flashback story that follows mostly disappoints, with forced backstories (see dad issues x2), tired retreads of old plot lines (“It has to be a competition!”), and constant fishing for new filler (see the barely there romance and Bella baby). Amy’s still funny and the music’s still good though, so it remains decently engaging through to the nice wrap-up ending.
6/10 (Mediocre)

Interstellar (2014)

A team of explorers travel through a wormhole in space in an attempt to ensure humanity’s survival. (IMDb)
The years-long save-the-world plot, poignant near-future setting, and infinite themes both heady and heartfelt are all undeniably epic and compelling, and while the exposition weighs quite heavy at times (see the repeat of the ghost revelation), it doesn’t stop the film from reaching many incredible cinematic heights both emotional (see the devastating return from Miller’s planet) and action-oriented (see the spinning dock sequence), helped as it is by stunning visuals, music, and performances.
8/10 (Great)

Cliffhanger (1993)

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A botched mid-air heist results in suitcases full of cash being searched for by various groups throughout the Rocky Mountains. (IMDb)
The beautiful yet intimidating natural setting of the snow-capped Rockies is a breath of fresh (mountain) air for the action-thriller genre here, and together with the notable performances by all the main players it makes for a solid film able to withstand the test of time, as the unforgiving elements and edge-of-your-seat rock climbs appreciably amplify the character-focused heist/hostage tension. It’s not flashy or deep and its plot is a bit forgettable but it’s a taut and exciting watch.
7/10 (Good)

 

The Campaign (2012)

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An incumbent congressman embroiled in personal scandal faces a no-holds-barred challenge from a naive newcomer funded by two unscrupulous billionaire lobbyist brothers. (IMDb)
The American political satire has its moments, particularly early on as Brady is introduced (“America. Jesus. Freedom.”) and Huggins learns the ropes, but it quickly wears thin, with only occasional outside relief (see the uproarious Huggins family confessional), as its growing ridiculousness offers more misses (see the CGI baby-punching) than hits (see the popularity-increasing sex tape and shooting), and bland side-characters (see the Motch bros) don’t help. It ends nicely though.
6/10 (Mediocre)

Shrek 2 (2004)

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Princess Fiona’s parents invite her and Shrek to dinner to celebrate her marriage. If only they knew the newlyweds were both ogres. (IMDb)
The fart jokes and pop song performances feel a little stale this time around, but there’s still plenty of chuckles to be had in the sly one-liners (“You still look like an ass to me”), the dramatic Donkey (“I’m melting!”; “I am trotting!”), and cutesy medieval-modern culture mash-ups (see the Medieval drive-thru). The story is a little simplistic but presents with frankness the mature themes of identity and insecurity as they relate to the central couple. Stay tuned for Waits’ musical cameo.
6.5/10 (Alright)

 

Shrek (2001)

After his swamp is filled with magical creatures, an ogre agrees to rescue a princess for a villainous lord in order to get his land back. (IMDb)
Myers’ and Murphy’s Shrek and Donkey make up an instantly classic odd couple at the heart of this enjoyable animated adventure; their hilariously contrasting personalities add plenty of humour to an already fun journey-plot full of great tunes and imaginative extrapolations on well-known fairy tale characters and premises. Diaz is also great as the feisty Fiona central to the film’s touching twist on the typical prince/princess story. There’s lots to love in this cleverly written family flick.
7.5/10 (Really Good)