What’s On The Grill? February 8 – February 14, 2018

Welcome to another What’s On The Grill? where this week’s watching gets condensed into smallish reviews by yours truly, then I invite you guys to do the same!

We’re back! The great Blank Stare is quite busy IRL, so I’ll be filling in until his schedule clears. It’s the same format!

Let’s begin, shall we?

Going in Style – Movie – Warner Bros. – 2017 – A-

Three Academy Award winners starring in a remake of a late 70s film? Sure, it worked for Ocean’s 11 but that was a different film. However, I don’t remember the last time I watched a film like Going in Style. The atmosphere is light, the cast is charming, the script is funny, the stakes are relatively low. All in all, the film knows it’s not a potential breadwinner, so it doesn’t try to be.

Oh, and kudos to whoever is casting Christopher Lloyd in films still. Thank you.

And now that I think of it, I’m starting to wonder if the masks these three wear to rob the bank is a direct callback to the stars of the original Ocean’s Eleven. #latenightthoughts

Once Upon a Time in Venice – Movie – RLJ Entertainment – 2017 – B+

This was a pleasant surprise. I’ve been toying with picking this up everytime I see it at Walmart and I finally bit the bullet. It actually didn’t disappoint. Bruce Willis doesn’t really phone it in here (another pleasant surprise), and the comedy was pretty spot on. Not sure what John Goodman was trying to do here, but he gets a couple laughs.

Of course, the thing that kept me entertained was the story. Willis stars as a private investigator, so the story takes advantage of that. There’s multiple cases and problems arising that need to be taken care of ASAP. Willis has to deal with a real estate mogul, a drug dealer, the “producer” from Borat, a graffiti artist, a hooker, a different drug dealer, and a drag pimp. I don’t know how the film manages to connect everything together but it does. I’ll reiterate, a pleasant surprise.

Kong: Skull Island – Movie – Warner Bros. – 2017 – A-

This was a good film. I’m a fan of Peter Jackson’s 2005 Kong, but the long runtime has prevented me from revisiting it more often. However, both films boast a number of similarities despite featuring completely different stories. The two big comparisons are that they both boast a stellar cast of likeable characters, and feature some amazing Kong action.

Tom Hiddleston and Brie Larson make for a likeable duo, while it is nice to see Samuel L. Jackson play a more antagonistic role. John C. Reilly was a delightful surprise, and I’m damn well glad to see his character’s arc wrap up in a nice clean bow. I would have been crying “MUTINY” otherwise! My only grievous is that we most likely won’t be able to see these characters again on screen. Unless the MonsterVerse is able to pull something awesome from under their sleeves and have an early 80s set adventure featuring Hiddleston and Larson searching for a different monster, because I’d be game for that!

What about, you, Exiles? Have you seen anything that blew your socks off this week? Anything that made you think you should have read a book or gone outside instead? Let us know what you have been viewing in the comments below!