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Seth Johnson's Movie Review, Holiday Edition
Seth Johnson

As 2018 draws to a close, we as a country are left with what is known to most as the Holiday Season. Christmas-themed malls, feel-good movies on ABC network, and the inevitable overplay of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” all begin to show their merry face at this time of the year.

Another symbol to mark the holiday season, although you might not realize it, is the release of long awaited movies that just weren't quite ready for summer blockbuster season. Everyone is out of school, and many parents are off work, so Christmas marks the perfect time to head out to your local movie theater and check out the newest releases. Here is how I've felt about our Holiday Season movies so far.

Creed II:
To say I was hyped to see this movie would be a gross understatement. The Rocky series is arguably the best sports series of all time, and Creed II is all about seeking revenge from my personal favorite movie of the series Rocky IV. Also, by featuring Michael B. Jordan (Adonis Creed), one of the best emerging actors in the business, I immediately set high standards for this film. Now let's just get to the point. This movie was good. For two hours and ten minutes I sat in a theater and loved what was happening on the screen in front of me. A lot of people use the word “predictable” to describe this film. In truth, they are not wrong. I knew exactly what the plot of the entire movie was going to be no longer than 30 minutes into the film. Let me tell you that being predictable does not impede this movie from being great in a single way. I don't care that the good guy wins. I love it that the good guy wins. I don't care that the ending is cheesy. I love that the ending is cheesy. I don't care that when the hero is knocked down, he searches himself and the Rocky anthem comes on, and all of the sudden he gets up and starts fighting like a man fresh out of hell, ready to take down God and everything else standing in his way. Creed II is about finding an ending to the Rocky movies that preceded it. Behind great performances from Jordan, Tessa Thompson (Bianca Creed), and Sylvester Stallone (Rocky Balboa), this movie lived up to all my expectations and received an incredibly high score. Go see Creed II, I promise, no matter if you've seen six Rocky movies or none, you will not be disappointed.

Rotten Tomatoes: 87%
Seth's Smart Score: 9.6/10

Instant Family:
Like I said earlier, Christmas is a time for feel-good movies. Instant Family is exactly that: a feel-good movie. Mark Wahlburg adds another solid movie to his career list, and as viewers, we receive another better than average movie that is worth the watch. This film is all about the struggles of adoption, and every single one of the cast members, I felt, captured those struggles in a relatable, realistic fashion. Having seen a form of the adoption process in my own life, I could have easily disliked the movie, claiming that it's depiction of the process was inaccurate. This film’s depiction was accurate, and in turn created a film with emotion and great moments. This movie is worth the watch. Is this movie going to leave you in tears, ready to adopt seven children and raise them as your own? It didn't for me personally, but maybe it will for you.

Rotten Tomatoes: 82%
Seth's Smart Score: 7.2/10

The Grinch:
Well, if you were waiting for my scathing, hurtful review here it is. The Grinch (2018 version), is just a bad remake of the same story we've all read since we were young children. In order for this film to be even worth seeing, either the story needs to be noticeably different from the original, or the movie needed to somehow be better than Jim Carrey’s live action remake from 2000, and it was neither. Every single one of us is going to watch some form of The Grinch around Christmas time, but the odds of anyone taking enough time to watch all three films of the same story are very small. Let's be honest, why would I watch Benedict Cumberbatch’s pathetic attempt to match up to the genius portrayal of the Grinch by Jim Carrey, when I can simply watch the genius portrayal of the Grinch by Jim Carrey?

Not only was this movie not better than the live action remake, but this film is not even as good as the original animated version released in 1966! I'm not gonna stop you from seeing this movie if you are all out Christmas and you feel like it is your moral obligation, but personally I'd rather have my $12 back. Jim Carrey>>>>>>>>>>>>Benedict Cumberpatch.

Rotten Tomatoes: 47%
Seth's Smart Score: 2.9/10

Ralph Breaks the Internet (Wreck-It Ralph 2):
I went to one of those recliner seat movie theaters for the first time to see this movie, and it really does enhance the experience; I recommend it. The first Wreck-It Ralph is a movie I enjoy watching again and again despite the fact that I am 16-years-old because it is just an enjoyable movie. The sequel is no different. Don't get me wrong, this movie has plenty of cringe-worthy cheesy moments, but it's PG, what do you expect? Overall however, this movie had a great storyline, and a genius portrayal of the inner workings of the internet, without throwing in our faces the “You kids spend so much time on your phones. You don't even speak anymore” speech. It was cool to see Snapchat portrayed as a luxury apartment building, and it was funny to see pop-up ads as little annoying green people. The movie was able to be “kiddy” without making me lose interest, which is no small task. Definitely worth seeing in theaters, or at least watching on Netflix in a few months.

Rotten Tomatoes: 88%
Seth's Smart Score: 8.0/10

Did y'all notice how Rotten Tomatoes rated three of these movies 82%, 87%, and 88%? I think they're getting kinda lazy over there in Big Boy Review town if you ask me.


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