GHOSTBUSTERS (2016)

I seem to be in the minority (as usual) but I liked the cast and had some good laughs from this. If the 1984 film had never been made, this might have been the start of a franchise. But the 1984 film is in the canon, and its iconic cast and jaw-dropping succession of outrageous twists, culminating in the humongous Stay Puft marshmallow man, make this come off as an also-ran. Too much deja-vu / been-there-done-that to make me want another look.
FF=2.

BATMAN V SUPERMAN

Nowhere near as bad as I was led to believe. The effects were excessive and the direction/editing cornfusing at times, but I was more engaged than I expected. High point: Gal Gadot as WW; Linda Carter go away, this Gal (sorry) owns the part. (Must see WW feature.) Low point: Jesse Eisenberg as LL; wrong-wrong-wrong for the part; get Corey Stoll next time.
FF=2

SUICIDE SQUAD

I thought this would be more fun. And funnier. All the good lines are in the trailer. For the most part it’s grim laced with more grim and sprinkled with stupid. Stick me in front of a well-done film and I’ll buy into the most preposterous scenario. But I couldn’t buy any of this. Even Harley got old. And I hated Leto’s Joker. Heath Ledger’s layered portrayal set the standard and all Jokers must be measured against his.
FF=2.

GOOSEBUMPS

Jack Black plays R.L. Stine in this horror comedy geared for kids. The plot releases a horde of Stine’s monsters on the town [the lawn gnomes, the Blob that ate Everyone, the Mummy, Slappy (of course), and many more] and the kids and Stine have to return them to the printed page. After a slow opening it starts rolling and is a lot of fun. Watch for R.L. himself in a cameo near the end.

FF=2

AVENGER

No funny spandex costumes here.  I rented this TV movie because it stars Sam Elliott.  It’s okay.  Some good action but I expected more twists in a story based on a Frederick Forsyth novel. For Sam Elliott fans only.

FF=2

EVERLY

No, this is not about singing brothers.  This is what grindhouse cinema is all about: non-stop action, low budget, few sets (most of the action occurring on just one set), Swiss-cheese plot, bizarre supporting characters, blood and gore galore but some humor too, and starring Salma Hayek. If you like all of the above and want to rest your brain for 92 minutes, “Everly” is for you.

FF=2

GRACE OF MY HEART

An easygoing bio-fic from 1996 about a female singer-songwriter in the 60s. The character is an amalgam of Carole King, Cynthia Weil, and Ellie Greenwich. John Turturro does a hilarious turn as a bewigged Phil Spector type.  Bridget Fonda plays a not-yet-out-of-the-closet Lesley Gore character.  The songs are surprisingly good (I’m thinking of picking up the soundtrack) as you watch music change from the girl-group sound to psychedelia, but it’s not a film that requires much focus. Good to have on while you’re puttering around the room doing other stuff.

FF=2