I've only ever done one multiple/bulk review prior to this one, but I wouldn't expect it to be a recurring theme. Sometimes life gets busy, and Ryan gets lazy. Anywho, I hope you enjoy these three bite-sized reviews for films in the exact order that I saw them in.
Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw: 7.5/10
Neither in the upper echelon of the zaniness that the Fast & Furious franchise has come to be known for, nor at the bottom of the barrel. Hobbs & Shaw is at its very best with a mouthful of popcorn, kicking back and not thinking too hard. Unfortunately, when the action sequences do inevitably take a (brief) rest, the moments of character development do struggle a fair bit. Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham's constant back-and-forth, while hilarious at times, starts to feel recycled and tiresome by the film's conclusion. Vanessa Kirby, although a fantastic addition to the franchise's cast, would've served better had she had a bigger on-screen presence. (The scenes that she participated in, however, were fantastic.)
Though the characters in the film feel mostly familiar, the overarching (and often cheesy) themes of family don't resonate nearly as much this time around. I can't pinpoint exactly what it is that made Vin Diesel's Dominic Toretto so endearing, but I'm sure it's some concoction of an excessively gravelly voice mixed in with a naivety that only him and his family can carry. The film's third act, while still wildly entertaining, comes off strangely disjointed—as if the filmmakers suddenly realized that the film was a part of a larger franchise, as opposed to its own separate entity. But regardless of some of its pitfalls, Hobbs & Shaw is a lot of action and humor thrown at the wall that mostly sticks. If you've watched all previous 8 films that preceded it, it's a no-brainer to try these waters. If not, it's still a decently fun excuse to visit your local theater.
The Peanut Butter Falcon: 9/10
Rarely will I go straight into a film without any sort of expectation, and purely on recommendation. And even more rare, I'd say, do I find myself thoroughly enjoying such a small-scale story compacted into that of a near 90 minute runtime. Based on the trailer alone (and even less so its title), I could not have anticipated how emotionally resonant the film would be. With a main cast of maybe half a dozen people, and a story that is mostly about getting from point A to B, The Peanut Butter Falcon fills the journey to the brim with poignant character moments, charming spats of dialogue, and just enough tension to keep you on your toes. The slew of film festival awards that this film has taken home shouldn't be surprising if you do take the gamble to go see this one. The best complaint that I could give a film is that I wish it were longer. I wish I would've gotten to know certain characters just a bit more, and I wish that certain relationships and interactions were given more breathing room to flourish. But it's a miniscule complaint in an otherwise beautiful film.
Ready or Not: 8.5/10
If there's one feeling or sentiment that I had to use to describe this film, it'd be that of nervous laughter. As an avid horror film naysayer, this film knew exactly how to get me to enjoy a genre that I often avoid. The premise is simple: in order to become the newest member of a particularly (and lavishly) rich family, you have to play a (mostly) simple game. Unluckily enough, the game picked was hide and seek. Of this bizarre premise that could only ever exist in film (and books), comes a fantastically entertaining ride than spans the better part of two hours. Seeing Samara Weaving's initially happy-go-lucky bride become crazed and animalistic is equal parts stressful and downright satisfying. Rarely are we ever given moments of respite, as the game of hide and seek from dusk 'til dawn is a constant reminder of each participant's mortality. While the events that eventually unfold shouldn't come off as overly surprising, the execution (see what I did there) and tension throughout should have you focusing less on what happens, and more on how things happen. If you enjoy more of an offbeat horror flick—like the recent retelling of IT, or Cabin in the Woods—then this should be right up your alley. As for 'traditional' horror fans, I'm sure there's more than enough enjoyment to be had as well.
1-2: Horrendous, wouldn’t recommend watching even if free of charge.
3-4: Potentially has some good ideas, but overall still lackluster.
5-6: Average, a decently good time; go see it if it's free.
7-8: A solid recommendation, and well-rounded film; warrants a purchase after home release.
9: No glaring flaws; deserves to be watched multiple times.
10: Masterful, must-see; filmmaking at its finest.