‘Deadpool 2’ Review: Merc With A Mouth Is Better The Second Time Around

Deadpool 2

Ryan Reynolds stars as Deadpool in Twentieth Century Fox’s DEADPOOL 2. Photo Credit: Courtesy Twentieth Century Fox.

Though Deadpool proved Ryan Reynolds was tailor made for the titular role (actually he proved that in X-Men Origins: Wolverine), the original film had its share of flaws. With respect to Ed Skrein, Ajax wasn’t the most memorable of villains, the non-linear structure, at least for me, was a bit too jarring.

With the origin story out of the way, Deadpool 2 flies in a much different and more liberating dimension. The merc with a mouth is still annoying (and at times funny) as can be, but this time out he has a worthy adversary in a tough guy from the future named Cable (Josh Brolin).

Determined to kill a powerful young mutant named Russell (Julian Dennison) for his own, understandable motivations, Cable is a force of nature who the seemingly indestructible Deadpool can’t even stop. After a botched mission with his X-Men buddies Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) to reign in Russell, Deadpool eventually bonds with the kid. Vanessa’s (Morena Baccarin) desires to start her own family brings paternal yearnings from our hero, so it’s easy to see why he’ll risk life and limb for this troubled kid.

After assembling a ragtag group he calls X-Force (Zazie Beetz as the luck infused Domino is particularly memorable), Deadpool is ready to save Russell, defeat Cable, and become the ultimate team leader in the process. Since Deadpool is unpredictable as they come, things immediately go south, leading to a ton of destruction and carnage in the process.

Fans of the character will undoubtedly love both films, but even if you get annoyed by Deadpool’s constant chatter (like most of his colleagues), Deadpool 2 is engaging and often eye-popping action fare. David Leitch, who directed one can’t miss sequence from the otherwise blah Atomic Blonde, takes over the directing duties of original filmmaker Tim Miller and does an excellent job. A chase sequence spearheaded by Beetz is bordering on sensory overload, and it’s terrific (the final fight, though not as memorable as the chase, is also finely tuned). Thanks to an excellent ensemble (though Leitch pays a bit more attention to the newer characters, the Deadpool returnees each have their small moments to shine) and a first rate screenplay (Reynolds is a co-writer), Deadpool 2 is a creative highpoint in the comic book genre.

Unpredictable to the core and filled with more easter eggs and self-referential jokes than one can imagine, Deadpool 2 succeeds on all fronts (the end credits are also to die for), proving that the sophomore slump isn’t part of the merc’s verbose vocabulary. 

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

David Tennant Gets “Giddy” Over “Bonkers” Role In ‘Bad Samaritan’

Bad Samaritan

David Tennant in BAD SAMARITAN. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Electric Entertainment

Bad Samaritan centers on a valet (Robert Sheehan) who burglarizes the homes of various rich customers. His plan goes awry after visiting a customer’s (David Tennant) home only to find a woman (Kerry Condon) being held captive in the residence. When the valet decides to do the right thing and call in the crime, his good deed doesn’t go unpunished!

“I just got this script and I just thought this is an amazing set-up, a bonkers story, and a bonkers character,” said Tennant. “I just jumped at the chance, really. I wasn’t specifically angling to play a psychotic monster but there is something rather delicious about exploring those darker corners of the human psyche.”

Click on the media bar to hear David Tennant talk about why he was “giddy” with his role in Bad Samaritan:

Bad Samaritan, directed by Geostorm filmmaker Dean Devlin, is now playing in select theaters.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

CinemAddicts Spotlights Standout Olivia Holt Teen Comedy ‘Class Rank’

The latest episode of CinemAddicts has us spotlighting some of April’s top releases (Avengers: Infinity War, A Quiet Place) and offering up a preview of some of the top films coming out this month. One flick that is definitely worth a watch is the first rate teen comedy Class Rank, which is directed by veteran actor Eric Stoltz (Mask, Rob Roy).

The narrative centers on Veronica (Olivia Holt), an ambitious student who believes her dreams of attending Yale are ruined after receiving a #2 high school class ranking. Veronica hatches a plan to have a fellow classmate named Bernard (Skyler Gisondo) run for the local school board in an attempt to get rid of the ranking system. Bruce Dern (Nebraska) co-stars as Bernard’s slightly cantankerous yet ultimately genial grandfather, with Kristin Chenoweth playing Veronica’s mom.

Class Rank hits theaters, On Demand and digital services on May 11, and it’s a well written story that’s filled with first rate performances (Gisondo and Holt also have natural chemistry, which is a huge plus). Take a listen to CinemAddicts below as we review this film and a host of others!

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

Review: ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Is A Marvel Tale Of The Highest Order

What began with 2008’s Iron Man ends with Avengers: Infinity War and next year’s untitled Avengers movie. Over a decades worth of excellent films, coupled with the gradual buildup to the battle with Thanos (Josh Brolin) may have proven to be a bit anti-climactic and disappointing because, if one is cynical, how long can this golden streak last?

Avengers: Infinity War is actually the finest hour (actually, make that two hours and twenty nine minutes) in the Marvel cinematic universe mainly thanks to Thanos. Though the Guardians of the Galaxy, the Avengers, Spider-Man (Tom Holland), Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and The Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) all have their respective moments within this epic narrative, everything would have fallen flat if a compelling villain didn’t take center stage. Like Black Panther’s antagonist Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan), Thanos has a violent way of doing business, but it is a thirst that is not borne out of world domination or even blood lust. Thanos’ desire to possess all the Infinity Stones and fit them into his power glove stems from a vision to make the universe a more sustainable place, even if millions of different races have to be killed in the process.

It’s Thanos’ grand vision that lords over Avengers: Infinity War, but if you want to see tons of CGI driven action and each of Earth’s “mightiest heroes” humbled beyond belief, Avengers: Infinity War will definitely do the trick. Credit goes to directors Anthony and Joe Russo for keeping the multitude of storylines, set in different parts of Marvel’s world, streamlined and interest. Each of the story arcs, while seemingly beating to the tune of a different drummer, all fit into place.

Even if you’re not a comic book fan, Avengers: Infinity War succeeds as an action driven film that refreshingly refuses to let up (even the end credits scene, without giving too much away, is ambitious), and there will be moments that, if you haven’t read or listened to spoilers, will surely take you by surprise. Well written, action packed escapist fare is few and far between, and it’s also a huge accomplishment that, after years of hype, Avengers: Infinity War lives up to the billing.

Speaking of Thanos, click on the media bar to hear Josh Brolin talk about how he approached playing Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War:

Avengers: Infinity War made a record $630 million worldwide in its opening weekend.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

Blu-Ray Spotlight: ‘Father Figures’ Is A Family Comedy With A Ton of Heart

Father Figures

Now out on Blu-ray and DVD Father Figures centers on Kyle (Ed Helms) and Peter (Owen Wilson), fraternal twins who, on their mother’s (Glenn Close) wedding learn that their late father is actually not their dad! Determined to find their biological father, the pair go on a quest where they meet several guys who could be their dad (Terry Bradshaw plays himself, JK Simmons is a criminal, and Christopher Walken is a veterinarian).

This road comedy, which if one judges by the poster, may seem like an innocuous, forgettable affair but surprisingly the flick has a ton of heart and, running at 113 minutes, a well developed storyline. Credit goes to director Lawrence Sher for making Kyle, who is a stuffy proctologist, a rather unlikable dude for a substantial portion of the narrative. Peter, a millionaire who lucked into his money (he’s the logo for a popular drink), is the more easygoing of the two, and his zest for life absolutely rubs Kyle the wrong way. Bradshaw, Simmons, and Walken all have their moments to shine, but it’s Katt Williams as a hitchhiker they pick up along the way who steals the show.

Along with being a solid and ultimately heartwarming comedy, Father Figures also has 21 minutes of deleted scenes that are featured on both the Blu-ray and DVD versions. These sequences included more moments with Glenn Close, a bonding moment between Kyle and his son, and a scene from Peter and Kyle’s childhood that establishes their rivalry. Overall, Father Figures is definitely worth a look if you’re a fan of the two leads but, more importantly, if you dig comedies that unabashedly pulls your heart strings. 

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

Review: ‘Isle of Dogs’ a Master Class in Wes Anderson Storytelling

It’s been four years since we were graced with a Wes Anderson film, but you can forgive the director for the slow turnaround due to the nature of his latest effort. Isle of Dogs, like Fantastic Mr. Fox earlier in his career, is an animated tale using stop motion, thus requiring more time to achieve the painstaking detail that Anderson films have become known for.

This new film is a master class in storytelling, opening with a prologue revealing the history that the Kobayashi family has with canine kind, thus revealing why the modern day mayor (Kunichi Nomura) might be prone to bow to pressure to exile dogs to a trash island when Megasaki City gets overrun by dogs, some of whom begin to take ill. As a sign of his dedication to the city, Kobayashi makes Spots (Liev Schreiber), the faithful companion of his ward Atari (Koyu Rankin), the first exiled dog.

But the bond beyond boy and dog is one that should not be underestimated, with Atari defying his uncle and flying off to the trash island in search of Spots. It is there he meets a pack of alpha dogs, who have survived malnourishment and poor conditions. They include the seeming leader Rex (Edward Norton), King (Bob Balaban), Boss (Bill Murray) and Duke (Jeff Goldblum) who are joined by a no-nonsense stray named Chief (Bryan Cranston) who eventually comes around to help save the little pilot when he crashes on the island. Eventually the dogs and Atari fend off an attempt by Kobayashi robot dog unit to reclaim the boys and set out on an adventure through the finger island in order to find out what happened to Spots upon his arrival.

For fans of Anderson, there is his typical dry wit with Murray and Goldblum offering a little comic relief to the adventure, while Norton and Cranston do most of the heavy lifting in terms of dialogue. Many of the Japanese actors in the film speak in their native tongue, with the occasional translation coming from English speaking characters, but to Anderson’s credit, not much is lost for viewers even if the native tongue spoken is not their own.

Other central characters to the story include Tracy Walker (Greta Gerwig), a conspiracy theory-obsessed foreign exchange student and activist who’s seriously crushing on Atari’s exploits, and Nutmeg (Scarlett Johansson), the former show dog serving as a voice of reason to Chief on his journey to aid Atari in his noble mission. You’ll also find Harvey Keitel, Frances McDormand, F. Murray Abraham, Tilda Swinton, Courtney B. Vance and Yoko Ono (in a very meta character) among the high profile voice talent in the film.

As you might expect from Anderson, the film is visually stunning. Credit should be given to Curt Enderle and his art direction crew, who could be hearing their name called at Oscar time. The look and style help set the tone for the film. And Alexandre Desplat‘s score, as usual, adds an extra layer to the film.

Though animated, there are some seriously darker moments that might be a little much for young children, with adult themes definitely more at play. But still, family, no matter in what shape it may come, and the connection made in the most difficult of circumstances, is what gives this film its heart. Anderson and his frequent collaborators Jason Schwartzman and Roman Coppola, along with Kunichi Nomura deliver this heartfelt tale with a well-earned ending.

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Posted by Ari Coine