Joel has written 32 reviews for films rated ★½ .

  • Underwater

    Underwater

    ★½

    Underwater has hints of the Abyss, Aliens and Sphere when it keeps whats lurking in the water at a distance and has this cerebral feel to the story while Kristen Stewart, Vincent Cassel and even TJ Miller excel in this survival situation they're in as they are dealing with the elements and scenarios they encounter(air supply, broken machinery etc) but when what is in the water is revealed, it quickly becomes reminiscent of the Meg and not in the best…

  • Dolittle

    Dolittle

    ★½

    The latest adaptation of the Dr Dolittle story wrote by Hugh Lofting, Dolittle continues to show Hollywood doesn't know what to do with Robert Downing Jr outside of the MCU. Dolittle has this lighthearted nature to it that has a story that keeps Dolittle and his furry friends moving through their quest in a good pace that will keep young children entertained along with many good actors doing voices they will like as well.
    Unfortunately, the humor(mostly revolving around animal…

  • The Rhythm Section

    The Rhythm Section

    ★½

    The Rhythm Section is a revenge story led by a great performance by Blake Lively that could have benefitted from a more dynamic story instead of the predictable by the numbers plot that telegraphs every move the story takes and does so in such a meandering pace.
    Blake Lively is putting in some great work here as her intensity in the action scenes feels real, the vulnerability in the more dramatic scenes feels earned and her chemistry with many of…

  • Impractical Jokers: The Movie

    Impractical Jokers: The Movie

    ★½

    So caveat on this but I’d never seen an episode of this show, but after watching this movie I probably won’t. The four guys do have some decent chemistry but they hardly on screen together. What we get is a bland story only there to make this cinematic length and to hold all this bits together that were hit or miss at best. Most of the humor was really dumb but I did find myself laughing at times. The overall…

  • Just Getting Started

    Just Getting Started

    ★½

    Another comedy about the hijinks of older stars in the same vein as Going In Style, Just Getting Started takes its leads, Morgan Freeman and Tommy Lee Jones and puts in this silly storyline where they must compete for the affection of Rene Russo send to check out the senior resort Freeman runs. The challenges they put themselves through are at least entertaining enough to watch at times but the jokes are just groan worthy to sit through.
    The main…

  • Bitter Harvest

    Bitter Harvest

    ★½

    Bitter Harvest had a potential to be great, chronicling the Ukrainian massacre at the hands of the Russians but the bland acting and the focus on the love story that became more melodramatic than keeping the film historically accurate made Bitter Harvest one of the more forgettable period pieces.
    Terrence Stamp does the best with what he has to work with but his role is a minor one and therefore can't really do much for the overall story. The slow…

  • Smurfs: The Lost Village

    Smurfs: The Lost Village

    ★½

    A reboot (of sorts) for the franchise, going all animation this time, really
    helped with the narrative of the film. Smurfs The Lost Village follows four main Smurfs, Smurfette(Demi Lovoto), Hefty Smurf(Joe Manganiello), Brainy Smurf(Danny Pudi) and Clumsy Smurf(Jack McBrayer) as they search for the Lost Village while avoiding the dreaded Gargamel(Rainn Wilson). The story is a very basic journey film but the actors are able to make the journey somewhat interesting with a fun dynamic that they share with…

  • The Perfect Match

    The Perfect Match

    ★½

    The story of a man unwilling to keep a steady girlfriend meeting a girl that challenges his dating stance and turns his world upside down is so predictable. What makes the Perfect Match not even live up to the run of mill nature of the premise is how bogged down it is in all these side plots that don't add much to the overall premise of the film. The movie relies on the chemistry of the two leads(Cassie and Terrence…

  • Allegiant

    Allegiant

    ★½

    Yet another YA dystopian film series based on a book series that decided to break up the final book into two movies and while some of them have been from good series(Harry Potter), some very successful (Hunger Games) and others quite terrible(Twilight), one is sure: the first film of the two-parter is basically just a hold-over for the series and therefore is just not compelling as a film that tells a complete story.
    Shailene Woodley as Tris in this movie…

  • Freaks of Nature

    Freaks of Nature

    ★½

    Also known in my MoviePass app as the Kitchen Sink, Freaks Of Nature is about a small town dealing day to day with a zombie outbreak and a vampire infestation that now must unite together to face an even bigger problem: Aliens. Kitchen Sink seems like a fitting title as it seems the screenwriters threw everything in this script to try and get it to work. Nicholas Braun is just not leading man material here, Vanessa Hudgens plays a one…

  • A Walk in the Woods

    A Walk in the Woods

    ★½

    The tale of two old friends(Robert Redford and Nick Nolte) reuniting to tackle the Appalachian Trail and moving on to that next step in their lives. The film has these great moments between Nolte and Redford in the more subdued moments(even if Nolte's playing this exaggerated version of himself) but those honest moments are few and far between and there is just too many cheesy and dumb comedic scenes that don't deliver on the comedy and feel really off putting…

  • Chappie

    Chappie

    ★½

    Chappie is a science fiction action film by Neil Blomkamp about Chappie, a robot that is given human emotion. Sharlto Copley is great as the voice of Chappie and is able to bring complexity to the character through just his voice alone. Chappie is a compelling hero(even if the narrative doesn't always allow him to be as compelling as desired).
    Dev Patel has some great chemistry with Chappie as Deon, the inventor of Chappie, but their onscreen time is so…