Johnathon Wheatley's Profile - Rotten Tomatoes

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Rating History

How the Grinch Stole Christmas
13 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Classic Christmas cartoon that still holds up as the best adaptation of the Dr. Seuss books. The late, great Chuck Jones delivers some brilliant animation that perfectly matched Seuss's art while Boris Karloff's narration fits perfectly into the story. A true classic and must-watch for every holiday viewing rotation.

Toy Story
Toy Story (1995)
13 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Classic and breakthrough animated movie that not only showed CGI was the future of the medium, but also just a great film in itself. The vocal cast is top notch, with Tom Hanks and Tim Allen perfectly inhabiting their roles as Woody & Buzz Lightyear, with Hanks give a charm but frustration as a has been toy while Allen plays it straight as Buzz, making him not knowing he's a toy that much more funny. Behind the camera, director John Lasseter crafts a superb and smart film, examining what childhood is like from a toy's perspective, along with fun moments and gags for adults to keep them entertained as well (seriously, there is some sneaky racy humor here). While the CGI is technically dated, it still looks great, thanks to the craftsmanship of the PIXAR animators (who deliberately made their first film about toys because the technology still looked plasticy). Simply put, a landmark film that holds up as one of the best animated movies ever.

John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum
13 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Exciting entry into the John Wick franchise that only peters out at the very end due to an anti-climatic resolution. The cast is superb, as usual, with A-list talent elevating this action film. Keanu Reeves remains perfection as the title character, a man of few words but lots of action, even when he tries to avoid a conflict (seriously, don't mess with him). Of the new additions, Halle Berry makes a capable action heroine while Asia Kate Dillion is the embodiment of bureaucratic evil as the Adjudicator. Behind the camera, director Chad Stahelski crafts another slew of brilliant action sequences (the first 20 minutes just one brutal chase) while also exploring the rich world, including giving Wick something of an origin story. The one downside is the ending, which doesn't give much resolution to the story (granted, with recent news, we now know why) but doesn't give a completion to the trilogy. Overall, still a fun action movie with some of the best sequences you will ever see, but the ending is a bit of a let down.

Pokémon Detective Pikachu
13 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

Enjoyable film that is excellent the first 2/3's of the way in but peter's out in the third act with a strange resolution. The cast is solid, with Justice Smith and Kathryn Newton both appealing in the lead roles, while Ryan Reynolds steals the show as Pikachu, combining his trademark humor with some brilliant CGI to make you wish all Pokemon sounded like him. Behind the camera, director Rob Letterman adapts the video game brilliantly, at least at the beginning, with pitch perfect recreations of all the classic Pokemon, along with natural ways they would interact with the world (for example, Charmander uses his tale to help make stir fry). The opening mystery is solid as well, with a compelling story of trying to find Tim's father, but the ultimate reveal is a bit out there, feeling a bit anti-climatic. Overall, still a fun watch and proof you can make a good video game movie (though "Street Fighter II: The Anime" is still the best).

Shaft
Shaft (2000)
13 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

Solid reboot of the iconic film that while technically better than the original, doesn't have quite the impact. The cast is excellent, with Samuel L. Jackson bringing his trademark charisma and intelligence to the role, along with a nice bit of volatility. He gets nice support from the rest of the cast, the standout being Jeffrey Wright as Peoples Hernandez, a drug dealer who makes a compelling threat to Shaft. Behind the camera, director John Singleton makes a nice homage to the original, wisely not remaking it (Jackson's Shaft is the original's nephew, with Richard Roundtree making a fun cameo), while giving the film some social relevance (the race issue isn't black and white, as characters of all colors are on both sides of the conflict, along with the cops). The action is nicely done, too, though sometimes Singleton does get a bit too stylized (Shaft displays superhuman abilities at times) while the ending is a bit anti-climatic. However, the plot is clearer along with given a real villain for Shaft to face. Overall, a solid film on the technical side but doesn't have the cultural impact of the original.