Blu-ray & DVD Review: Three Sequels And A Reboot Come Home

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LOS ANGELES, Calif., Dec. 15, 2015 (Gephardt Daily) — Four films hit home today as “Ted 2,” “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials,” “Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation” and “Fantastic Four” are released on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Copy.

“Ted 2”
Starring: Mark Wahlberg and Seth McFarlane
Directed by: Seth McFarlane
Rated R

Picking up where “Ted” left off, newlywed couple Ted and Tami-Lynn want to have a baby, but in order to qualify to be a parent, Ted will have to prove he’s a person in a court of law.

“Ted 2” manages to sew together a patchwork of chuckles, moans and hard laughs. Writer/ director/ actor Seth MacFarlane pummels the audience with rapid-fire jokes and non-sequiturs, the film never loses momentum.

And I think that’s what makes “Ted 2” work. It’s a kind of “oh that didn’t work?… here’s another one” attitude.

But somewhere at the heart of “Ted 2” is a tender story about needing to love and to be loved. Which is why, even the poorest-taste jokes are ultimately forgivable.

“Ted 2” gets a B and is rated R.

“Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials”
Starring: Dylan O’Brien
Directed by: Wes Ball
Rated PG-13

In this next chapter of the epic “Maze Runner” saga, Thomas and his fellow “Gladers” face their greatest challenge yet: searching for clues about the mysterious and powerful organization known as WCKD.

Their journey takes them to the Scorch, a desolate landscape filled with unimaginable obstacles. Teaming up with resistance fighters, the Gladers take on WCKD’s vastly superior forces and uncover its shocking plans for them all.

“Maze Runner: Scorch Trials” is mostly more of the same and frankly I think I have had it with dystopian stories, “Hunger Games,” “Divergent,” “Elysium,” “Ender’s Game” – I could go on.

“Scorch Trials” is the weakest of these simply because it just doesn’t have the cache the other films have. I found the film to be very shallow and poorly paced as well as late to the franchise party, as if it were an afterthought.

It gets a D and is rated PG-13.

“Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation”
Starring: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner and Simon Pegg
Directed by: Christopher McQuarrie
Rated PG-13

“Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation” is the the fifth in the franchise of films with Tom Cruise and based on the 1960’s TV series.

The film focuses on the Impossible Missions Force team who accept their most impossible mission yet, eradicating the “Syndicate,” an international rogue organization committed to destroying the IMF.

“Rogue Nation” is an action-packed film for sure. But the film also allows more humor in to the mix, giving Simon Pegg the job of controlling the action and suspense with his wit. By allowing for a natural comedy to blend with the suspense, the chemistry between the actors becomes part of the film’s allure, and buoys the movie.

“Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation” isn’t another sequel. It’s a well-crafted and well acted spy story well worth your ticket in. It gets a B and is rated PG-13.

“Fantastic Four”
Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara, Miles Teller
Directed by: Josh Trank
Rated PG-13

A contemporary re-telling and re-boot of Marvel’s original and longest-running superhero team, which centers on four young scientists who teleport to an alternate and dangerous universe, which alters their physical form in shocking ways.

Their lives irrevocably upended, the team must learn to harness their daunting new abilities and work together to save Earth.

Look… I am going to just say it – “Fantastic Four” is a mess.

None of the lead characters have any chemistry with each other and for the first 45 minutes of the film there’s nothing for them to do except avoid any kind of “acting” whatsoever.

The film never goes beyond being a monotonous, dreary and uninteresting lifeless shadow of the comic book. Never once did the audience feel the film was doing anything but playing it safe.

This is exactly what happens when a studio hires a director who takes orders from the suits in the head office. The result is a dispassionate, politically correct, by-the-numbers film that lays on the screen like a vending machine pork burrito in your gut.

This version of “The Fantastic Four” needs to be avoided. Send a message, by NOT handing over your hard earned money to see it… it’s time make a statement that you simply want better.

“Fantastic Four” gets an F. It’s rated PG-13.


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